USA Today Sports Images

Postgame quotesheet: Red Bulls vs. Houston

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

Asked to sum up and grade his first season
"Come on, it's not the time for that. I'll never give myself a grade. That's for you guys to do and my bosses. I don't think I'm in the right frame right now to sum this season up, but listen: It was a long journey, for sure. I learned a lot. And like I said, I'm proud of these guys for this entire year. And for responding to what we were trying to do and accomplish. You'll have to give me a week or so to answer that question properly."

On what went wrong
"Besides them scoring more goals? We didn't finish. I think we were a bit off on our crossing, on our passing. I think we were a bit too urgent for most of the night instead of calming the match down. Yeah, at the end of the day, they did what they had to do to come in here and get a result. Hats off to Houston."

On the defense in the playoffs
"It's tough for me to ... it's individual mistakes, and they happen. Please make sure you write out what I just said: That happens a lot. It happens to everybody. A missed cross, a bad touch. Whereas I don't think that we saw many of [those] during the year as in years past. This year it seemed to have crept up on us in the playoffs. So yeah, individual mistakes that everybody could make."

On the playoff structure
"I would be shocked if you guys could think of one instance this year where I blamed, put blame, pointed [my] finger after a loss, and I'm not about to do that now. However, the playoff system is very interesting. I think what's very interesting is that we were the top seed in the whole league, and we're playing Sunday, Wednesday, and then if we won, it would be Saturday. Other teams played Saturday/Thursday.  But the Dynamo had one more game, so that's not the reason why we lost.
Listen: At the end of the day, I think it's smart that they have, over the years, that they have a Supporters' Chield champion and they have an MLS Cup champion. You know, it's two separate things, both equally as important. But one's over a nine-month season, and one's over five weeks. So it is what it is."

Thoughts on the match
"It's very disappointing. We pretty much give them a gift, an early Christmas present, and hopefully they can go on and do something special and maybe win it. They're definitely a team that can grind out a result, but even over the two legs, I still feel that we did enough to probably be the better team, and it's a gift for them. They should enjoy it, and hopefully they go on and win it."

On Houston's lack of chances
"No, they didn't create hardly anything, I think. We gifted them goals away from home and then at home. Nothing much to say except they took their chances -- their very few chances of what they had -- and they're an ugly team to play against. [They] basically destroy the game, and they pressed us so high and turned it into one of them games, but you also have to give credit to them, because to come here and beat us on our own turf and come back from 1-0 down. They're a decent team, but from a standard of what we've been showing all season, we've given a gift tonight."

On the Red Bulls not finishing their chances
"We could've been better in all areas: delivery, execution. But yeah, it's quite a weird feeling, because I feel we're definitely the better team, but other than that, it doesn't show in the final, because they go through to the next stage. But they've played three games in a week as well. A lot of us had a lot of [injuries] as well, so they had to put up with the same scenario as we did, but they had that little bit of grit that's seen them over the line."

On the match
"Congratulations to Houston, congratulations to Omar Cummings. But of course it's frustrating, especially for us to be up two in the away leg and to be a man down and give up a goal in the last minute. We're going to look back, and we're going to realize it was just a missed opportunity more than anything."

Asked if the Houston Dynamo got lucky
"I think Houston created their own luck today. They exeecuted exactly according to their game plan, and to be fair, we didn't have so many chances. I mean, there were some really close ones -- I think we hit the post, we hit the crossbar, we were just off a little bit. But at the end of the day, when we look back at the end of the day, it's just going to be our mistakes that doomed us."

On if the last goal felt inevitable given the club's history
"I didn't feel that way. I didn't feel that way only because of the way the team's played all year. We've had several situations going late into the game that we've been able to pull it off, and I think that showed the character of the team. Today, we just ran out of gas, unfortuately, and a lot of credit goes to the Houston team."

Thoughts on the match
"It is personal. I am one on the team. I am so disappointed and empty, and yeah, it's hard."

On his role this season
"I had the same role last year, too, and it was the same feeling last year. But now is now, and living in the moment, and this moment wasn't good at all."

On the team
"This team is one of the most talented teams I've played for, and it's an amazing team. We have amazing players. But we couldn't score today, and then they scored. Of four goals, we gave them three; it's not good enough."

On why Houston is so good in the playoffs
"I mean, we just try to win a game, to be honest. There were a lot of chances coming the other way, and Tally [Hall] made some huge saves and some great last-line defending. We try not to think too much about it, we just try to win games and move on to the next round."

On Omar Cummings' goal in extra time
"I'm just happy he was there: Cam [Weaver] heads it across, and Omar [Cummings] puts it in. Kofi [Sarkodie]'s run for the goal was for me the best thing about it. The guy has played a lot of minutes, he's made a lot of great overlapping runs, a lot of crosses, and obviously the two forwards were working well together inside the box."

On Tally Hall's performance after allowing the opening goal
"There are mistakes that happen all over the field, so that's the way it goes. He's a good goalie. He's not going to go on and hide; we need him, and he knows that. He showed up afterwards. It didn't bug him at all. That's the way it goes."

On why he brought on Omar Cummings
"He's fast, and the field was open enough that we were hoping to catch them on the break. That's pretty much the only thing. And Will [Bruin] was struggling a little, too. We just tried to get some fresh legs closer to goal and hope that something good comes. Omar has made me look good two games in a row."

On the first goal
"I'm going forward, and iti kind of comes back, so it's hard for me to come up and back. It's a sinking feeling, but I say it all the time: Eventually as a goalkeeper, you're going to look like an idiot. I mean you're just going to look stupid, and people are going to look on TV and say, 'What was he doing? What was he thinking?' You've just got to know that if it happens early, if it happens late, you have to continue the game, and you have to finish the game. When you have a team like this, you have guys saying, 'We're going to do this.' We're a team, and everyone has got each other's backs."

On his performance throughout the game
"Until I'm off the field, I've got a job to do. I still have to help the team out. I still have my roles and responsibilities. If that ball came out, I would still have to go get it the second time, and you've got to know that. Another cross came in in the second half, and I caught it. I looked up, and I saw Bobby Boswell, and I go, 'Not this time.' You've got to have sort of a sense of humor. You've got to be even-keeled. Mistakes happen, but the most important thing is this team has a will to win like nothing I've ever seen."

On the game-winning goal
"I just followed the ball into the box and tried to stay sharp on it. [Cam Weaver] got a head on it, and I just tried to be close to him where I could put it in. Same kind of goal [as in the first leg]: I just tried to stay sharp. The main thing is to get it on goal, all it needs is to cross the line. We just have to get a touch on it, and that’s sort of the mentality. I was just like, 'Please let the ball go over the line,' because I wasn’t sure if it went in, because obviously [Luis Robles] stopped it. I wasn’t sure if it crossed the line. I was looking around to the referee or to the linesman, and when he pointed to the spot, I was happy."

On the team's mentality
"Just keep going, and the goal is the championship, but you have to take it one game at a time. In order to reach that final, we know that we have to win these games, so it's just how we look at it."

On how they were able to beat a team they hadn't beaten in four prior meetings
"I think it's just playoff time. The Red Bulls for the regular season had our number -- they beat us three times, and they beat us convincingly -- so, coming into the playoffs, [we thought]: Man, the season is done; this is the playoffs; it's a different ballgame. I think that was the attitude we had coming into these two games: The playoffs are different, get rid of the regular season -- that's over with. It's playoff time; let's go."