D.C. United 

Olsen: ‘ They can counter you and they can break you down’

It’s game day!! A week of training has transpired since last week’s loss in New York. The Black-and-Red are ready to go and try to get back on the winning side of things, they are 1-1 after just two games and there’s no reason to panic. Here’s what they had to say after the last practice of the week.

Coach Olsen addressed the media Friday after practice, here’s a some of the best from the 12 minute conversation.

If there’s any differences in LA’s play now that Donovan is no longer there

It doesn’t change the way they play, they’re still a very good team. Their midfield and back line, they’re still up there in the league. I don’t care who they’re playing. If they put Villareal or Gordon or Buddle, they’re still putting very good players on the field. Bruce has a great ability to get the most out of players. We’ll be up against it, but I like our chances.

On team’s mentality heading into the matchup with the Galaxy

I’m excited about our mentality right now, hopefully we can respond and continue with our success at home.

The challenge they present defenses

Set pieces, they’re very dangerous. What’s made LA great over the last few years is they can counter you and they can break you down. So they have a good balance of beating you with ball movement and passing but they also have the ability in transition through their counter to punish you that way.

On Bruce Arena

Bruce does a great job, does as good a job as anybody at mixing stars. With guys in their primes, with role players, he’s done a great job there.

Bruce’s influence on him as a coach

I’ve had a lot of influences, been lucky enough to be around a lot of  good coaches. Some of the best coaches this country’s seen and obviously I’d probably taken more from Bruce than I have the others. I also have my own style and we’re all influenced in whatever we do with people before us that have mentored us or guided us. Ultimately I feel good about where I am as a coach and I need to continue to grow, but I take influences from  past coaches, current coaches, that I see around the world. Other sports, just always trying to push and grow.

On league’s continued growth, announcement of expansion team in Minnesota

It’s great, we have a guy on staff, Amos McGee who’s really connected to the Minnesota soccer community. He’s been keeping tabs on it and keeping us in the loop. It’s great, expansion is interesting. It’s moving at a fast rate and we’ll see see if it’s too fast, I don’t know. That’s an argument I guess people can have and we’re going to find out, but I’m all for it. More soccer!

Sean Franklin was acquired from the Galaxy last season, he’ll be facing his former team today. Here’s what he had to say about United’s mentality headed into the match with LA

It’s been a good week, we’ve put that loss to New York behind us. The best way to respond is with a win and it starts tomorrow against LA. Everyone wants to beat the champs, we know it’s going to be a tough game and we’re looking forward to playing in front of our home fans.

On playing the team that drafted him

It’s against a bunch of guys that I had a fun time playing with and I know them pretty well, our team knows that, it’d be nice to get a win this time. Since last year we went to their place and they beat us. I’m looking forward to saying hi to everyone but, I kind of want to win the game as well.

Who  he expects to see at forward with Keane and Zardes out

I’m assuming with those two guys out, I can see either Edson or Alan Gordon starting up top. I’m not too sure who they’re going to play but they’re both dangerous forwards. Edson’s strong and fast, I’ve played with him and also against him. He’s tough to handle and you got a guy like Alan Gordon who doesn’t give up on plays. Scores late goals and that’s kind of been his bread and butter. Regardless of them losing Keane and Zardes, they’re still going to be a tough bunch up top.

Steven Birnbaum on what was learned last week in New York and how it could help this week against LA

It was a good lesson for us. LA though, they’re used to playing a 4-4-2 so we’ll see how they line up, they might have three in the middle since their two forwards are out. I think we just have to have more pressure on the ball, everywhere you know. The mentality is to step to the ball and kind of read pressure better as the backs.


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CEO/Founder of My Mind on Sports For More Information on Wilson, check out his Bio in the "Team" Section Follow Wilson on Twitter: @Willietspeaks

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