Quotes from last night

24 May 8:18 am

Quotes from last night

CHIVAS USA HEAD COACH - ROBIN FRASER

On the match: At the end of the day a point on the road is good. Certainly, we want to continue to improve the way we’re closing out games and that needs to continue to get better. But at the end of the day, it was a really hard fought point. The players dug in, it’s a tough situation; this is a good team. This is a good team and it’s their place; lots of very special players that can make plays.

On the fans’ tribute to Juan Pablo Angel: When I went out and I saw the huge ‘Thank You Juan Pablo’ sign, I thought ‘What an impact he has had on this city.’ And for him to come back here today and score the goal and really, I thought, played very well, it was fitting. It was a fitting day for him.

On the tough competition the team has faced this year: We’ve played a lot of first place teams this year. I think we played Kansas City when they were in first place, San Jose when they were in first place, the Galaxy is the Galaxy, and New York has been a very good team for a long while, regardless of where they stand. Obviously, being in first place, they’re in good form at the moment. We’ve had several very difficult tests and I think this will only make us better as the season goes on. 

CHIVAS USA FORWARD - JUAN PABLO ANGEL

On his return to New York: You know that people remember you, it’s because they appreciate what you did for them, for the organization, and for the club. For me, it meant everything. I will always be grateful to these supporters, to this club, for giving me the opportunity to express myself for a few years. I feel great; the memoires will never go away. And the banner…I wasn’t expecting it. For me it was very emotional.

On his goal: At the end of the day, you get your head into the game and you forget about the rest of the stuff. We knew that we were gonna play against probably the best team in the league as of now. They’re coming from four or five wins in a row, and we needed to get a result somehow.

On playing the full 90: I felt good during the game and I think I played a decent game. In general, I think it was an entertaining game. They had their chances and for us it was important to get at least a point. We go back home, just looking forward to the game this weekend.

CHIVAS USA DEFENDER - DANNY CALIFF

On his transition to Chivas USA: I think it’s been a bit of a whirlwind so far. I’ve had two days before the game training and then two games. For me, I’m just taking each day as it comes. Putting one foot in front of the other and really trying to concentrate on doing the best I can in the matches. What really excites me about the team is I think there’s a ton of potential, we just have to believe we can win. I think the big problem so far is giving up late goals. The belief that we can actually play, compete and win games is the last piece to the puzzle.

On his return to Los Angeles: It felt great. Obviously, being that it’s the first game, there’s always that extra bit of buzz. To walk back in as a player through the tunnel at Home Depot, it felt really good, I felt really comfortable. They’ve made it really easy for me: the guys in the locker room and the coaching staff. It’s been a whirlwind, so there hasn’t been too much down time, but they’ve made me feel comfortable straight away.

NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH - HANS BACKE

On the match: I’m quite pleased. We should have won this game, but the way we dictate the game in the second half, I must say it looked much better than before. Of course we had our chances. Sometimes games end up with a tie when it’s not always logical in football, but I must say I’m pleased with the performance.

On Kenny Cooper: I think he’s up to 11 now. He deserves it. He’s a hard worker, every game, every training session. And of course he has some good guys around him who can feed him with precise passes. I still think he has a lot to learn and I think he can improve. 

On if he thinks Cooper should have been called up by the U.S. National Team: I don’t really comment about other teams and national teams. He’s hot, he’s scoring a lot and you can say normally strikers are in then. But I don’t bother, I must say, it’s up to (Juergen) Klinsmann. 

On the play of Dane Richards: I hope that Dane could stay consistent. Sometimes you feel, okay should you sub Dane or get another guy in? But, you know, you need pace in this league. That’s why we keep him on the pitch almost all the time because sometimes he’s just running in behind and having an assist or things like that. I just hope we can keep working with Dane and make him a little bit more consistent to create chances. 

On Thierry Henry’s return: I would say a little bit positive surprise because he’s been out, by the weekend, about four weeks. And that’s without competitive games, and it’s not enough to just do some training sessions. He was very, very close three or four times to have a free runner and to finish the game off. So I’m happy with his performance. 

On Dax McCarty: First of all Dax, I think he’s still staying on a quite high level. Sometimes you can see unforced errors, but overall his work rate is phenomenal, winning some 50-50s. He’s been playing, I must say the last five or six games on a quite high level. 

On Juan Pablo Angel’s return to Red Bull Arena: It’s quite expected. I would have expected him to score the winner too in the last dying minutes. But that’s the way it is, it always happens like that. He’s a clinical finisher and if you have a team that will feed him around the 18-yard box, he will still score goals. 

NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER - RYAN MEARA

On the backline today versus earlier this year: We’ve been defending more since the DC game when they scored 4 goals on us. We basically felt embarrassed about it, especially against one of our rivals. We came together as a team and we’re sick of giving up goals like that. The back line has been great, but it’s a lot more- it’s the whole team defending and everyone chipping in.

On Henry’s return: Definitely [an emotional lift to the team]. He’s our captain, he’s a huge presence in our locker room. And not only that, on the field, he’s probably the best player in the league. So you always want him on the field when you can. I think we were a little unlucky to not get that second goal, but that’s just how it works sometimes.

On Pearce’s presence and addition to the back line: I think it’s been huge. He’s been around; he’s played in Germany and other places in Europe, as well as the MLS. Even during the Montréal game, we just met him the day before, but he fit right in. When someone is that good, it’s easy to play with. He’s been great and I’m looking forward to playing with him.

On Henry’s presence on the pitch: He’s such a big presence on the field, when our backs or midfielders are in our trouble, they know they can clip it up to him and put it near him, and he’ll try his best and more often that not he’ll come out with the ball. It’s huge for us.

On Juan Pablo Angel returning to the Red Bulls Arena and facing him: It was definitely cool. He’s been a great player; he was great for this franchise. And you can see how much it meant to the fans, the big signs they had. That’s why our fans are so great. Because I don’t think too many fans in this league would go to that extent to thank him for his time here.

NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER - HEATH PEARCE

On playing against Chivas so quickly after being traded: It’s a quick turnaround obviously, but I’d prefer that compared to waiting a while, [to play] having it set in, and kind of get thrown into the fire. But, I enjoyed it I thought we could have gotten three points, but nonetheless it was good to get out there and play a home game with the guys.

On settling into his role on the Red Bulls: Today I felt a lot more settled in. Obviously the conditions in Montreal weren’t the greatest: the pitch isn’t the greatest, we played down a man there a little bit. So, I thought this game was a lot more comfortable for me, hopefully it gets better with time as well. 

On Dax McCarty’s performance: Dax is a solid two way player and he makes a lot of late runs for us, that stretches their defense for us. He also takes a lot of pressure off us when were trying to go side to side. So, Dax had a great game he’s a great player. 

On whether or not the mood of the Red Bulls locker room was if the team felt like it dropped points: I don’t know if that was the mood, but I think everyone is on the same page that we felt like we should have won that one. We dictated the play most of the time and we had our chances, so of course we’re a bit disappointed but I think it was a decent showing overall. 

On Chivas’ style of play: They’re a possession orientated team as well, they’re a technical team, they like to keep the ball, they like to control the tempo. But, I thought we did a good job of implementing our style of play on them and controlling the flow of the play. 

NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER - DANE RICHARDS

On the feeling in the locker room: Well we’re disappointed. We created a bunch of chances and we could have won the game, but we didn’t. But, the point is better than a loss. 

On playing with his former teammate Juan Pablo Angel: Before the game he said, “Dane no sprinting today and I’m like no scoring today Juan Pablo.” But I sprinted, he scored. So, we didn’t listen to each other. 

On the roles of Henry and Marquez winning back possession for the team: Definitely with having Rafa in the midfield, we know we are going to keep the ball more. So that was no surprise today. And we know that Chivas is a very technical team, so we tried to keep the ball too.