Gary Smith vs Dallas DL
Bart Young / Colorado Rapids

Post-Game Comments: Smith, Mastroeni, Moor

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Colorado Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith

On tonight’s win: Well, confidence gets built on nights like tonight, where there were periods in the game where we could’ve been forgiven for giving up a goal at some point, but we didn’t. Somehow we didn’t, and we got it done, there was some good football in between and some good chances. Sanna’s chance probably kills the game completely, but somehow we’ve kept a clean sheet and we’ve won a game, and that builds confidence. It builds belief. It gets everybody back on side and on track. That’s two wins in a week. Unbeaten in… well, two games. That’ll do us.  

On his decisions this week: It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for a week like this. Some big decisions to make, I felt they were the right ones, and I’ve been vindicated in that with the two results that we had. Sometimes when things are not quite going your way, you’ve got to try to do something a little bit different. I took a little bit of a chance, of course, but I think it paid off, and paid off handsomely. We’ve ended up in a real good spot in the Champions League and today’s result covers a lot of ground.  

On pulling closer to Dallas in the standings: To beat Dallas means that we go that much closer to them, and hopefully puts a little bit more pressure on them to get some results, so we’re going to try to chase them down. A clean sheet, which is nice always to get. I think the momentum that the guys created midweek somehow had to be carried on. There were some times tonight, especially in the last 15 minutes, where it was backs to the wall, but I thought we showed some qualities that could well get us into that postseason and maybe give us a little bit of a run.  

On the play of Dallas: I thought it was a very competitive game. Dallas is a very good side, I said before the match started. They’re one of the complete teams. They give up few goals, they’re a big, strong side, but they’ve got plenty of athleticism. Normally threaten the goal with some considerable ease at times. They’re having a little bit of a difficult spell and I’m obviously greatly pleased that we were able to take a little advantage of that.

Colorado Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni

On the team’s play: We got in good attacking spots, and that was all from the forwards checking in, laying it off, getting open, and the outside backs could get forward. We created a lot of good chances in the first half, at least fluid soccer that we’ve been missing for quite some time. That’s all a product of just touching and moving, creating spaces, and I think we did a good job at that. It was a real tricky game, it was almost the team that made the first big mistake was going to get punished, and I think that corner kick Drew did real well with. That was the difference in the game.  

On the intensity of the match: It felt like a playoff game, where there wasn’t a lot of space given, everyone had to fight for every inch while they were on the ball and during possession, so you had a lot of good, sharp movements to get open. I think both teams are stingy, and it was a real competitive match.  

On building confidence: We’ve been without a [league] win for a while now, and I think finishing off the way we did against San Jose, and not being able to get that second goal, left us a bit empty. The guys going away midweek and really performing in what I think is the most difficult environment that we’ve played in all year, and coming out with that positive energy coming back to the club, it just lifted all of us playing in this game today. It’s a team effort, and we’re going to need everyone.  

Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor

On the performance: It was just a huge win, just a gutsy performance for 90 minutes from everybody that was on the field. We knew exactly what we had to do coming into the game. We knew it was going to be tough. Dallas is a tough team, they interchange positions extremely well, they’re very exciting, they’ve got a lot of pace. They were going through a tough time the past couple weeks, like us, and this is a huge win to hopefully propel us into the playoffs.  

On the team getting an early goal: Scoring early goals always gives you confidence, especially when it’s the first one. I thought we showed great character last week, coming back after going down a goal. This week we showed character the other way, by protecting a lead, which we’ve had trouble doing at times throughout the season. To score an early goal like that, give yourself some confidence, and to see it all the way though the 95 minutes is a huge win, against such a good team as Dallas.  

On finding an opening for his goal: I ran my guy across Jeff Larentowicz. He and I do a good job of setting picks for each other in there, just to get a little bit of separation. Jacobsen is a big guy, I knew I wasn’t going to win any strength battles with him, so I needed to get a little bit of room away from him and I was able to do so.