Ben Olsen? Three goals? Are you serious?
It was more than Olsen, though.
United played with width, found an attacking rhythm and maintained its intensity. Fred overcame a weak first half and inspired the second-half uprising. Emilio was a consistent threat and Erpen did a solid job on Angel, who missed an early sitter and was never really a factor.
United's finest all-around performance in a league match since last July? Agree? Maybe?
Anyway, my player ratings:
Perkins 6; Namoff 6, Erpen 6, Boswell 4, Gros 6; Olsen 9, Carroll 6, Fred 7, Gomez 7; Moreno 7, Emilio 7. Subs: Moose 6, McTavish 6, Burch no rating.
Video highlights here.
My match report here.
Bonus quotes below.
(After going a man up) "I was very disappointed. It was a horrible performance from our end from that point on."
(On Olsen) "I love Ben. We've obviously had a very good relationship on and off the field and I think the world of him."
(On scoring three goals) "There's a saying that the sun shines on a dog's [rear] every now and then."
(On his last goal) "It's just one of those things. The ball bounces up perfectly. Jaime does a great job of having like five defenders on him. He hits me. My touch popped up perfect and I figured why not try my luck. I was feeling pretty good, I struck it well and fortunately I caught [Waterreus] a little bit off his line."
(On the team performance) "A lot of focus is going to be on me, but realistically the focus should be on the 90-minute performance by all these guys. Josh hits me on a great ball, Christian played outstanding, Fred was very dangerous, Jaime played his usual stuff and the defense held up pretty well against some pretty crafty players. Let's be honest, [New York] got a little tired. We can take it as the best game we've played this season but we also need to go forward because they seemed to die a little bit physically. We can't be too high on ourselves."
(On his role) "I'm as confused as anybody right now. I've played three or four different positions this year, and that's fine. This is about the team and wherever I can fit in, I want to do that. I want to be on the field. If I can fit in and help the team in whatever way is possible, usually it's not scoring goals, usually it's a lot of the other stuff, but today seemed to be a lucky day for me."
(On the result) "Today was a step in the right direction. Again, they weren't that great today. We can say, yeah, we played great, but they were a little slow to the ball and slow to the reaction. We should be happy with what we've done, but we have to move on. We've got a Chicago team that we owe some stuff to, as well. This is a good starting point to start climbing back up to where we want to be in the standings."
(yellow cards) "The first one was very well deserved. I put myself under the gun early. You get a yellow card like that, you've got to adjust the way you play. [On the second one] Jozy hooked me; he's good with his body. I tried to keep my hands up to show [the referee] I was riding him, that he was holding me and not the other way around. I don't think that's Brian Hall; the linesman has got to see that. I thought it should've been our ball. I'm not happy with the performance I had today. I put myself in that situation by getting the card early, but I'm glad our team was able to respond.
(what he was doing in the locker room after the red card) "I was yelling. I was really happy. They were tired and I think they thought with a man up they could throw more numbers forward and it actually worked in our favor. We were able to counter on them and create some good situations. I thought we could have more than we had, to be honest."
(overall) "Since the start of the season, I've always asked the guys to give us 90 minutes and this is the first time we've come closer to pushing that bar. We had a little gap in the first half where we kind of petered out, but then give [United players] credit, they came out and reestablished the game."
(On team response after the red) "Obviously, you don't want to go shorthanded and use that as motivation, but when Bobby got his second yellow, I thought the guys really stepped up and worked twice as hard."
(On Olsen) "He's a warrior out there. We worked all week on getting the flanks involved and he scored three goals from flank positions. What a performance he had."
(On Olsen defensive responsibility after the red) "We kind of pushed him back to cover but still promoted the idea that he gets forward. Benjy is a smart player; he can read the situations and knows when to push forward and knows when to hold."
(On the field condition) "Sometimes it might not look good as it is, but it was fine."
(On Angel) "He was causing a lot of ruckus as far as at least winning the first ball. They just didn't have a second guy there to win it and we did a good job of cleaning those situations up. As a team defensively, we made it hard for them to play and we used our defensive play to set up our attack.
(On the unbeaten streak) "You always like to say you haven't lost but I don't think that is a concern of ours. We're looking for consistency and when you have that consistency, you win games and you get your points. We said about six games ago that we were going to get ourselves a little run, and give the guys credit, they've done that, but we keep building on what we keep trying to do. It's early in the year, we're still looking to improve and throughout a season, several guys are going to see the field, different formations, whatever it takes."
(On Emilio) "You go through stretches, like everybody does, and all it takes is one sometimes. I wouldn't want him to heat up if I were somebody else."
(Replacing Boswell next week) "We've got a week to work on it, but we've brought in a lot of guys I trust to play in there, and our team shouldn't skip a beat."
(On the team desire) "That passion I've asked for is there, and when we have that, we are a much better soccer team."
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