Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United rally in the second half to beat Chicago
MLS: DC United 3-1 Chicago Fire
D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen
On if he had planned to put Fabián Espíndola in the game to start the second half:
He was going to be the first sub, but I might have held off a little bit in the second half if the game wasn’t what it was in the first half. The first half wasn’t good enough. I don’t think we had any good performances, besides Andrew, in the first half. It’s been happening too much lately and it’s been addressed; but the quality and energy in the first half wasn’t good enough. Fortunately, we had Fabi [Espíndola] in the bag. He came in and completely changed our whole mentality. He brought quality and energy, and that’s contagious.
On Jairo Arrieta’s and Fabián Espíndola’s performance together in the second half:
I think everybody plays better when Fabi [Espíndola] comes on the field. I’m very happy for Jairo. I didn’t think he had a great first half. Some of that is the product of what’s around him; but again when you add quality to the team other guys start to look better.
On what he can attribute Jairo Arrieta already matching his goal total from all of last season:
Good coaching (laughs). Jairo can score goals. He’s done it throughout his career. He’s a true number nine and we needed that. If you see him play he really, really likes scoring goals. So I’m happy he’s doing it for us.
On the back lines performance:
[Chris] Korb was a late scratch so we had to scramble and we went with Steve [Birnbaum]. I thought he did fine, besides the hand ball. It’s not easy to put a guy in a new position for the first time and I thought overall he did pretty well. It’s good to know that we can use that if we get in to trouble.
On the status of the injured players:
Bill has had a few knocks that he’s been playing through for a while, and it got to a point where we thought it was best to give him a rest and get him ready for the weekend. Taylor [Kemp] is day to day, [Chris] Korb is day to day, [Chris] Pontius is day to day; all these guys we have to evaluate over the next day or two and see if its makes sense to put them in a game. We’re not going to risk getting them re-injured so we will continue to use new guys and make sure we are as fresh as we can be to try to get results. But, we have to start putting better performances together as a whole. The tale of two halves stuff is getting old.
On if it’s hard to get the message across that the team needs to start better when they have gotten away with it:
Yea, I think that’s a fair part. We have gotten away with it the last two games, and again you’re not always going to get away with it. But, we have been.
On the introduction of Espíndola in the second half:
When Fabián came in, our attack was instantly better. I have a good understanding with him. I think Fabián, you guys all know the quality he has. His movement is phenomenal, and like I said, we have a great understanding. I feel comfortable with him and I hope to keep pairing up with him and hopefully the team will benefit.
On the team’s performance in the second half:
Our attitude in the second half was the one that the coaching staff has been instilling in us all week. The second half was very different than the first – we over-complicated things in the first half. I think we gifted them control of the ball all half. We came into the second half with a better attitude, more desire to take it to Chicago, and that’s obviously what happened.
On his goals:
I think those two goals are essential for my confidence, and were obviously a big lift for the team. Again, I think we understood what our coaching staff wanted out of us tonight, and in the second half we were able to execute that plan.