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Lamar Hunt Open Cup Finalists Talk about Wednesday Night's Final at Pizza Hut Park

CHICAGO (Oct. 1, 2007) -- Lamar Hunt Open Cup Finalists from FC Dallas and New England Revolution answer questions on Wednesday night's Open Cup final match up.

FC Dallas Head Coach Steve Morrow

On how much importance he places on winning the Open Cup final with his team:
“It’s a very important game for us, a very important tournament, as well. We are very excited to be hosting a final here at home. It means a lot to our team. It means a lot to our organization. It means a lot to the Hunt family. We’ve said it’s a very important game, a very important championship for us to win. We’re very much looking forward to it.”

On losing to New England, 1-0, twice this season:
“It doesn’t weigh on my mind at all. I think we’ve had two very close competitive games against New England so far – a defeat here at home which was a very competitive game and the loss in New England was a close game too. Like I said before, a Cup final, a championship game is a one-off game and we’ll be doing all the things we normally do to prepare for that. I don’t see past results as having too much of an influence on this particular game.”

On added pressure after losing their previous final appearance:
“I don’t think we feel any added pressure. For me, the hardest pressure is getting to a Cup final and once we get there we want to make sure we do all the right things to win it. We want to enjoy the occasion here at home in front of our fans.”

On his mentality as a player when playing in English Cup finals:
“I think from a player’s angle, it’s a very special occasion to play in a Cup final and one the players should remember for the rest of their years and certainly make the most of when it happens. I think the mentality is very important going into a one-off situation like that, and we have to make sure our mentality is right and enjoy the occasion. We want to rise to the occasion as well and do the things that we normally do as a team with passing the ball. But I do think it’s important for players to enjoy the game and make the most of it.”

On whether he’ll use the same defensive strategy in this game:
“It’s not just the defensive players, we defend as a team. The whole team takes responsibility for our defending. I don’t think we’ve been in bad form, but I don’t think results have gone our way. We’ve played well in games and not gotten the right results, but every team goes through a stage like that at some point in the season. It’s how you come out of that that matters most. What we bring to the field Wednesday night will hopefully be enough to win the game for us.”

On smaller clubs competing for the Open Cup:
“I certainly agree with Steve, that in club competitions all around the world, it doesn’t matter which league, the smaller teams always want to beat the bigger teams. The smaller teams want to get to the final and the Open Cup is the opportunity in this country for the smaller teams to get the chance to play in a championship final. We’ve certainly felt in earlier rounds that some of the A-League teams have put up a very good fight. We’ve played our strongest team in every game because we want to win this competition. It’s been a long, hard road to get here and we want to make the most of it now that we’ve gotten to the final.”

On whether winning or losing this game will have an impact on the rest of the MLS season:
“A cup final is a one-off game. Our late form hasn’t been as good as what we’ve wanted it to be recently. We see that the Cup final is a championship game, it’s a one-off game. Anything can happen in a one-off game. Our results in the league recently haven’t affected the team in any way, mentally. We’re still in a very good condition, mentally. We are, physically, looking forward to the game. A game that we believe we can win. We will put our recent league form behind us and concentrate on winning this game.”

On FC Dallas’ form over the last six weeks:
“Our results haven’t been what we’ve wanted, in the league, recently. We’ve been just a little bit inconsistent. We’re still playing well enough as a team. Our mentality is still very, very strong. We still believe in what we’re doing. We’ll leave the league form behind us going into a one-off championship game.”

On whether he has any concerns about Denilson in light of Wednesday’s game:
“I don’t have any concerns. We brought him here because of his ability as a player. He didn’t have a particularly good game on Sunday, just wasn’t very effective during the course of the game. He’s the same as everybody else. Every other player on the team is exactly like everybody else. If I don’t think they’re doing their job on the field, somebody else will come off the bench and have a go, but no concerns.”

New England Revolution Head Coach, Steve Nicol
On what it would mean to the New England Revolution to lift the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night:
“It means everything to us. It’s the oldest cup competition in America so something with that history behind it is something we want to win.”

On breaking up the routine of past finals:
All these things at the end of the day are rubbish. It’s what you do on the field that counts, all the other stuff is nonsense. We’ll just be concentrating on trying to pass the ball and do the right things on the field.

On not being able to count on Shalrie Joseph due to injury and how it impacts the team:
“Clearly, it’s a loss. I think Shalrie would be a loss to any team in the league. I said yesterday in the media that we’re not going to make radical changes. We’ll be doing exactly what we’re trying to do and the only difference will be a change in personnel.”

On the status of midfielder Shalrie Joseph:
“He’s staying here in New England. He’s got a bit of a strain so he’ll be staying here and coming out to join us on Thursday as we’re going straight to Chicago after the Open Cup final on Wednesday.”

On his mentality as a player when playing in English Cup finals:
“I think a strong mentality will definitely give one team an edge on the other. What’s between your ears is huge in a Cup competition.”

On smaller clubs competing for the Open Cup:
“I obviously have some experience with teams in the A-League before I came to the Revolution, so I know what it means to the smaller clubs. It’s their final every single game, and the opportunity to move on is like a Cup final for them. For the MLS teams, it’s a no-win situation. If we win, we’re supposed to win. You have to put a strong team out against those teams because if you don’t, you’re going to lose.”

On what he thinks of the MLS designated players, and whether they have made an impact on the individual teams:
“I think (Cuauhtemoc) Blanco has a made a huge impact in Chicago. I think before he came, they were really struggling offensively and, I think, since he’s come, he’s totally transformed them and they look really good going forward. I think, for me, he’s been the most successful. Obviously, Denilson has only just arrived here so he needs some more games to get 100 percent. I think, generally, the designated players have made a real good impact. Some probably more off the field than on. Obviously, Beckham has been unlucky enough not to have played very much on the field but he’s made an impact as far as the game is concerned.”

On Matt Reis picking up his career-high 10th shutout:
SN: “We play with three in the back and with Matt there, it seems like four. He’s an excellent sweeper.”

FC Dallas Forward Carlos Ruiz
On what is different now that he has started scoring more goals after going through a stretch of not scoring a lot:
“For me, I have more confidence and we know it’s a big game next Wednesday against New England. I know what it is to play in a final. I know what it is to win a final, and we have a couple players who know what it is to be a champion so we have confidence for this game.”

On moving past Sunday night’s league match against Houston:
“I am a little frustrated about what happened yesterday, but I have to get past it because in two days I’m going to play in a final, and I really want to win the Cup for the fans here in Dallas, and make history here. It’s a little tough because the game was yesterday but we have to be professionals and I’ll be ready to play on Wednesday and try to win the Cup.”

New England Revolution Defender Jay Heaps
On what’s been the key to getting results on the road this year and how the team is taking that into Dallas for the final:
“I think what we’ve done is stayed consistent with what we do. We’re traveling out tomorrow and we go light today and tomorrow and we’re going to go real light and be prepared. I think, for us, it’s about keeping the legs fresh when you travel and it’s been important for us to do that. That’s what we do and it’s been successful for us.”

On the balance Dallas has in their scoring:
“Dallas can come from a couple different angles. Defensively, it’s important that we match up and really just play smart and keep everything in front of us.”

On Matt Reis picking up his career-high 10th shutout:
“I think Matt (Reis) has been a great goalkeeper and in the last couple years has just settled in. He’s a good field general back there. He does a good job cutting down space in the box and at the same time he’s good with his feet. As a defender, you feel like he’s almost like another player back there. I think Reis takes advantage of his opportunities and that’s why he is where he is. Reis came here, took advantage and he hasn’t looked back and he’s played great for the last three or four years.”