Dallas Soccer: Steve Nicol

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman

General thoughts on the game…
Hindsight’s always great. I probably shouldn’t have put him (Brek Shea) out there. He was very tired, and it showed. But the type of player he is, he wants to always contribute. We didn’t have Ugo Ihemelu, who was sitting out with his fifth yellow, and we didn’t have Marvin Chavez who got hurt playing for Honduras. It didn’t feel like we had Brek Shea, even though we had him out there. So that hurt us a little bit.

On whether he believed that New England set an aggressive tone in tonight’s match…
I don’t know if it was an aggressive tone. There were a couple of hits out there that you normally see, those types of physical plays. It’s the referee’s jobs to take control and I’m sure it went both ways, so I don’t think it was any more aggressive than we’ve seen.

Was it a faster pace?
Yeah. I think after the Philadelphia game when they scored four goals in the first half and then get tied. I think there was a lot of soul searching and I think they really needed this game. I think Steve (Nicol) did a good job to get the guys focused and bring something out tonight.

On New England…
I really think that the two strikers (Milton Caraglio and Rajko Lekic) for the Revolution are good players. They’re good players and you’re going to have to pay attention to them the whole time. And what a great goal by Shalrie (Joseph). Excellent goal. We had the ball, we were keeping possession and we had that one touch and lost possession and it came back across and it leads to a great goal. These are the types of things we’ve been trying to stay away from this whole year - unforced errors and mistakes that lead to goals.

On the passing of FC Dallas icon Bobby Rhine…
It’s been such an emotional week for us. Losing Bobby Rhine, who we all love, and as I said to the players, if their emotions have been as rollercoaster as mine have been, I can understand just not having it. I thought there were a couple of key opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on and those key opportunities kept up form building the confidence and fighting through it. As a coach, I’m very proud of them, they played until the final whistle, and this has been our team. We don’t give up and we fight hard, and we put everything we had out there. We just ran out of time.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

General thoughts on the match…
We have high expectations of ourselves and to come in and to play against New England, I think that we had in our sights that we wanted to catch Seattle tonight and put ourselves in second position. Unfortunately, they were able to put one away early, and as we continued to push they were able to pick up the second one on a corner kick, which frustrates us even more. We don’t want to be giving up set-piece goals. It’s something that we’re going to have to come back from as quickly as possible. We’ve had as big a break as we’ve had in a long time in the past week-and-a-half. It’s something that we are going to work our way back into it and sort out some issues that we have and hopefully be prepared for our game next Wednesday.

On the FC Dallas back four…
When we had our group of four back and we had our guys organized and didn’t have any problems, I thought that off the set piece we had a little bit of difficulty. I think we turned over a ball in the second half and so we were a little bit disjointed. I think Brek (Shea) was the one who came back and sat into a spot, so that’s a midfielder trying his best to at least get to a spot and try to help us out. Certainly we have some guys in different spots, working hard and trying to prove their worth. You’re going to miss a guy like Ugo (Ihemelu), somebody that’s been with us for a number of years and has built quite a relationship with George John.

On New England goalkeeper Matt Reis…
I have a ton of respect for Matty (Reis). I watched the game the other night, and I think they gave up four but it could’ve been like 15. I thought Matt played out of his mind. He’s a very consistent goalkeeper within the league, and I think New England is lucky to have him. He’s somebody I spent a number of years with and developed quite a relationship with. He’s somebody who I think is at the top of the league and somebody who I have the upmost respect for.

On the passing of Bobby Rhine…
It’s emotional. You have Bevan (Rhine) and her family, and Bobby (Rhine) on your mind. It’s difficult. I went to the wake on Thursday night, just to pay my respects. It’s obviously on your mind. You want to win games, you want to dedicate something to Bobby, but when you’re not able to do it because you’re not good enough as a soccer team, you feel like you’ve hurt somebody.

We need to make sure we have him in our thoughts, but we need to be able to play the way that we want to play. It’s going to be interesting to see how we are going to deal with these emotions. It is certainly something fresh and something that is going to be on your mind. He’s somebody who was a huge part of FC Dallas. I saw guys from the Burn, from 10 years ago, at the viewing. This is something that is not easy to get over, but at the same time, I’m not going to say it was the reason that we didn’t perform well tonight. We made a couple of mistakes, we broke down, and it’s been a long week. We’re going to have to refocus and prepare for a big game on Wednesday. Anything we can do for the Rhine family this week, we are going to do. (We are going to) try and be there and be supportive.

FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea

General thoughts on the match…
We’re obviously disappointed. We wanted to come out with a win, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. As a team, we knew what they had but I think we’re a team that focuses on ourselves so we went out and tried to play our game. We didn’t really focus on what they were doing, but they obviously got a goal, or two. You saw from the very beginning, that first foul on Ricardo (Villar). They kind of came out playing very physical. On turf, that’s kind affects the other team, so I think they did a good job of throwing us off.

New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol

General thoughts on the match…
I guess I should be ecstatic, but kind of look at it now and think had we not made the mistakes previously, we’d be in a great position. It’s good to win. We’re undefeated, which is a positive way to look at it, as well. But I think we probably just deserved it. We certainly rode our luck a couple of times - but so did they - with a few more chances we could have scored with. But overall, we’ve got to be happy.

It’s a strange. It’s hard to explain to you, but you get a feeling. You kind of know when it’s your night. And to be honest, I sat there and felt as though we were going to get another goal. We certainly made enough chances to suggest that we’d make more chances. The key was obviously not giving one up. And as I said, I just had that feeling we weren’t going to make any mistakes and let them in. And we didn’t.

On his back four…
It’s really a collective thing. We said to the back four tonight that if they did the job well tonight that we’d win the game, we knew we’d make chances. So it was important that we kept a good line and didn’t drop back. And they did it. And it shows that when they do keep together and they do make good decisions, then we can win games.

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis

On not being able to finish off teams lately…
It’s been frustrating, for sure. Even though we tied the past couple of games, we've still been playing a lot better than we have in the past. That's what we told ourselves. The one thing about this team is that even though things haven't gone our way, we've kept our chins up. We've really tried to improve and we finally put it together tonight. We held off. We got a late goal too to put it away. We probably played our best game of the year tonight.

We did give them some chances and we did slow down a little bit, but, in the end, we still tried to keep the ball. We were still getting chances and we weren't just kicking the ball away so they could come right back down our throats.

New England Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber

On the team’s playoff chances…
We haven’t been good enough this season to be thinking (about the playoffs). Obviously, mathematically it’s possible so I still think we should be thinking one game at a time, putting in a 90-minute performance and we did that today. So now we can look forward to trying and build and I think if we can start putting in some performances together regardless if we get three points every single game. But if we get 90 minutes we’re comfortable with, that’s the first goal. If we get three points here, three points there and we’re starting to climb up the rankings, then yeah, then maybe we can sneak in there, but that’s not where our minds should be right now.

On getting a win…
It’s huge. I mean it feels like we’re getting 4-1 lead, a 1-0 lead, a two-something lead in Salt Lake. It feels like we gets leads for fun in the first half, but can’t keep them. Obviously, it was fantastic to see that from the guys. Never in all these games have we let up effort-wise and it’s good to see the guys – regardless of how tough the season’s been – to really put everything into it. The subs were really, really important. Regardless if you’re getting tired, when you put subs in, they have to make a difference and they did today. All the guys that came in did their job and more and helped us all out and gave the guys that were in there more life. It’s really gratifying, the whole result today.

What was the difference in getting a win tonight?
Tactically we didn’t drop into a shell like we have been. It doesn’t work. Unless you’re an amazing team at defending 10 guys behind the ball and you have no brain lapses whatsoever and lack of concentration, it’s going to be real tough playing 45 minutes sitting back and not giving up goals. And we didn’t do that today. Of course they’re going to come at us more – in more games than not the team that’s losing is coming to come at the team that’s winning and the team that’s winning has to go create chances off the counter attack. I thought we did that to some extent today. We definitely didn’t drop in 11 guys behind the ball. We kept two forwards up there pressing their defense and didn’t make it easy for them to build it out of the back. So all those things play a huge factor.

FC Dallas visits New England

September, 9, 2011
FC Dallas has failed to win its last seven road matches against the New England Revolution, but may feel good about its chances to buck that trend Saturday night.

The Revolution have not had much time to recover after blowing a three-goal lead in their last match as they get ready to host Dallas.

New England (4-11-12) built a 4-1 halftime lead Wednesday at Philadelphia before conceding three goals in the second half to settle for the draw. The Revolution are 0-2-5 in their last seven matches.

"When you score four goals in a game, you expect to win," coach Steve Nicol said. "But, they put a lot of pressure on us in the second half."

The mood in the locker room was predictably down for New England, which has 24 points to tie Toronto FC for the fewest in the Eastern Conference.

"I mean we are all questioning each other and trying to find answers right now," captain Shalrie Joseph said. "How we can give up a 4-1 lead is just frustrating, we're not mentally tough and we're not doing the things necessary to hang on to a lead. From my standpoint, we're just a young team and we're not mature enough to hang on to a lead."

New England is 0-3-4 in its last seven home games, while Dallas (13-7-7) ended a six-game losing streak at Gillette Stadium with last year's 1-all draw.

Dallas won 1-0 over New England at home June 4 as Marvin Chavez scored. The club is well rested since it has not played since ending a three-game winless streak with a 3-2 win at Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 27.

That doesn't mean that all Dallas players have been completely idle. Brek Shea, tied for third in the league with 10 goals, played the full 90 minutes twice for the United States during the international break.

Although the 21-year-old Shea failed to score for the U.S., new coach Jurgen Klinsmann was impressed by what he saw.

"I think we have some very interesting youngsters coming through the ranks," Klinsmann said. "Brek Shea is definitely one of them. He's full of energy, he's creative, and he's fast and has a good physical presence."

Dallas has also been boosted by the news that George John will remain with the club after the defender nearly joined Blackburn Rovers of the English Premier League.

"I got over there and it was a really good experience," John told FC Dallas' official website. "They welcomed me with open arms and it's just that the timing wasn't right. We are going to maintain a relationship and right now I'm back with FC Dallas."

Dallas will be without defender Ugo Ihemelu, suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

The Revolution's last three matches have ended in draws in which they conceded the tying goals in the 87th minute or later.

"Hopefully we'll pick our heads up and be ready for Dallas on the weekend," Joseph said.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman

“It was really a good performance on FC Dallas’ part. The thing we didn’t do is in the first half we didn’t put away our opportunities. That always makes a team and especially the coaches very nervous because when you don’t finish your opportunities, you get frustrated and the opposition starts to believe you can’t score. So they start to throw more people forward. This was one of those games that if you don’t win, you make a mistake and they score… one of those games that you just hate yourself and you can’t sleep because it’s a game you should have won [based on] the way you played. The shots were 16-3. That should tell you something about the game itself. Our boys came out in the second half as focused as they were in the first.”

On the Marvin Chavez goal…

“This was his first goal of the year and it couldn’t have come any better. Watching Marvin many times during games, he has that speed to get around the corners, running at the keeper and he just gets there and hits the ball as hard as he can sometimes right at the keeper, sometimes over the goal. Tonight he showed some composure late in the game to keep it low and score the game-winning goal.”

On possession…

“It’s something we’ve been working on. It’s nice to be able to say we’ve been working on something and then see the progression. I really thought it was better tonight. New England hasn’t won a game on the road, so it’s tough for them. They may have a mental barrier about being on the road. It was extremely hot, like a sauna. If it’s hot for the coaches sitting there, you can imagine what it is like for the players out there giving you everything they have. At the same time, I don't think the weather conditions affected us as much. We’re either used to it or a little stronger mentally and being at home we wanted to win. So we got the three points.”

On Kevin Hartman’s 100th career shutout…

“Fantastic! What a terrific accomplishment. I don’t know who the second person is (all-time in MLS) as far as shutouts, but I’ve got to believe it’s quite a ways from what Kevin has. I think it shows a great career, a person who has been very loyal to MLS and didn’t take opportunities to go internationally and a person who last year when we picked him up he was a player that Kansas City did not bring back. So, I think it was a huge loss for them when you see the type of player he’s been for us. I’m really very proud of him and pleased for him and his family.”

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

On holding on to the clean sheet…

"We were very persistent. We continued to attack and possess the ball. We played them in a pretty hostile environment in terms of the heat, and it really worked to our advantage."

On earning his MLS record 100th career shutout…

"It certainly is something I'm extremely proud of. I feel like I'm part of something here in Dallas. I feel like I've played on some great teams in the past where guys would work both sides of the ball, and shutouts are always something that takes more than just a goalkeeper."

Forward Marvin Chavez

On turning down Gold Cup call up from Honduras…

"It wasn't a very easy decision to make. I had to think a lot about it, but I thought about this group and the injury problems, and I'm happy with my decision."

On scoring the game-winning goal…

"I beat the defender to the line and inside the box. I then saw Milton [Rodriguez] open, but I was confident I could score. Luckily, I made it."

Defender Ugo Ihemelu...

On shutting down the NE attack…

"They have some solid, creative players and Shalrie [Joseph] in the middle to help create chances. We just stayed organized tonight, kept up the communication and helped each other. It all starts with communication and I think we've been getting better at it as the season progresses and that's been crucial to our success so far."

Matt Reis- Goalkeeper for New England Revolution

Thoughts on tonight’s game

“We didn’t have that much possession. We gave them the ball a lot and they got a lot of opportunities. We made one mistake and costs us the game”

After a level first half, what was the mindset going into the second half?

“We had done well keeping it 0-0, but still needed to keep better possession of the ball. If we kept better possession we would have given them less chances and have the ability to create chances ourselves. It was also trying to get forward more and keep them under pressure, we didn’t do that.”

What’s the key to turn it around?

“Scoring goals. We haven’t scored a goal in a couple games and with us if we make one mistake it usually comes back to haunt us.”

Thoughts on the Texas heat tonight

“It wasn’t as bad as it can be here, but it is a little bit of a change for us. We aren’t used to the hot and humid weather. It is taxing on your body, if you don’t have the ball a lot and your chasing all night it makes it that much harder.”

Zak Boggs- Midfielder for New England Revolution

Thoughts on the game

“They were in our half most of the game, we didn’t get much possession and when we did we didn’t keep it long, and we didn’t get that many chances because they (FC Dallas) were coming at us the whole time.”

Thoughts about the team’s defensive shape

“I thought our defense shape was good. They definitely did very well moving off the ball. We talked at halftime that we needed to pass players along better, talk better and I thought we did that.”

Thoughts on the heat

“We knew that this was going to be a tough place to play and it’s a very good team we came against and the heat was for both teams, both teams had to deal with that. The second half was much more favorable for them.”

Steve Nicol- Head Coach of New England Revolution

Overall thoughts on game

“A lot of the problems we had tonight were giving the ball away. We either gave it away or didn’t give a good pass when we were not under any pressure. We turned it over too many times and away from home, that is always going to lead to the opposition scoring”

Thoughts about defensive shape and problems of the game.

“The goal was disappointing, shape was ok, when you turn the ball over under no pressure, Dallas took advantage. When we gave the ball away, when you turn the ball over so much your encouraging the opposition to come after you, its hard enough when your away from home.”

Six days till New Revolution play again, what they must do from tonight to Friday when they take the pitch again.

“We get back on the training field and try to get better passing the ball.”