Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Scocer
Thoughts on the match
“I’m smiling, that is my opening statement. It was good to win.”
On the importance of the win
“Massive, I think I have said long enough to guys on the field that we are pretty good. I think that showed tonight, we had the difference makers out there. Obviously, Kennedy with his two goals, when he gets the service he can finish. David has world class sprinting speed along with great skills and was electric out there. I thought Shaun was excellent in the game too. He and David have not played much but Shaun wasn’t playing for five weeks, and to put that performance in, wonderful. I will say they are the three but the whole team was excellent tonight. I was really proud with the way we played and we kind of got guys out of position, Polster and people like that. I thought we thoroughly deserved to win the game, for sure. That was very pleasing.”
On how a performance such as tonight helps Kennedy gain momentum
“Yeah, I think any time you have a chance to get on the score sheet as a striker, that is the most important thing you are there for. You can play brilliant football and keep the ball and do other things but you are there to score. You are the focal point of the team and you are the striker, we need you to score goals. It was obviously a great finish off the post from David’s run and shouldn’t miss it but when confidence is not high you might do so. Good finish on the first run and the second one is a typical Kennedy goal, where he can do that and he can break away and finish things off. So that is very happy for him a good kid and he is trying hard and has not quite gone the way everyone has expected and wanted. But you scored four goals for us but I don’t know how many starts and any competition, that is still a MLS team we played there. I was very happy for him.”
On if he had spoken to Didier Drogba in recent days
“We will expect an answer in the next 48 hours, that is basically it and we can go over everything we talked about already, we are just waiting for a decision from their side and which way he wants to go. He has choices; he feels like we have put a good pitch in and is very happy with what we have done. But again it is up to the person to choose and we will see.”
On if having Matt Polster as a right back is a permanent move or a temporary fix
“I think Matt is the type of player who has been around the game for a long time and I think Matt is the sort of player who can play anywhere. Maybe not striker, but I think you could play him in a lot of positions and he will find a way to get it done. He is very athletic and he has good clean feet, he listens to the coaches and wants to learn any position he is in. I think that was a good position for him because he likes to get forward and he’s got pretty strong crossing and finishing when he gets the chance to get in there and he is very fit. That position needs it and I think it was good to have Joevin Jones back tonight as well. It was nice to have him back but he looked a little tired, but good to have him back with us and we can sort of start to build the team going into the second half of the season.”
On the play of Matthew Watson, whose performance flew under the radar
“Matt, I have been up and down with Matt and we go way back. Matt will give you everything he’s got if he is comfortable and knows his role and I think his role was that. He loves chasing the ball down, he likes to be physical, when he gets it, he likes to drive with it. We spoke for the game, I said, ‘just play your game,’ which I don’t want to give him too much information because it brings some guys down, and Matt is one of those guys. He just learns and gets on with it, he is pretty good and I thought he was great tonight. I thought he was good in Columbus but I thought he had an excellent performance. Trying to start the half off with Raz, Matty, and Shaun limited their chances. I think the first shot on goal was a goal, if I am not mistaken. They’re a good team, very proud with the way we defended and worked. They are going to have chances on their good side. I was happy with Matt, not only Matt, but the whole midfield there.”
On the decision to start Jon Busch in goal
“I wanted to play Jon, give him a game, not give him a game but play him. Jon was fine and I think he got an assist didn’t he? Not bad at all, he’s not supposed to get an assist but he did. It was good to get him a game and he did well. Sean had something wrong with his toe during the week, that wasn’t the reason I didn’t play him. But it gives him a chance to rest that and he should be fine.”
On the congested schedule around the semifinal match
“I haven’t even thought about it until it comes up, like I said to our guys. You just need to look for the next game and can’t look ahead because you will forget the game coming up. We have a game coming up this Saturday and a massive game next Sunday. Hopefully this win, although it was in the Open Cup, it was against a good contender and hope it lifts our spirits and have a great performance on the weekend and win. Lifts us all and go on a good run and make the playoffs. That is the plan to do very well in the Cup, I think we have done well to get to this stage and we have had a couple tricky ties at home, forget the opposition. If you look at the results in our league and in the Cup a lot of teams go through lower in league. We got through, big game tonight, and we got through and I thought we did well.”
On going through highs and lows this season
“Do you know why? Because certain players weren’t on the field, it is very difficult when you don’t have your team and try to explain why you aren’t very good.”
On preparing now for New England
“They will be a little fresher but I still think we will get the players’ bodies ready and their minds are fresh and strong. They want to play on the weekend obviously and I think we are looking forward to the game instead of dreading it now. We will be fine, and we’ll come in tomorrow and will get ready and pick a team for Saturday, hopefully we can perform pretty close to that and hopefully to win and that is what we are trying to do.”
Kennedy Igboananike, Chicago Fire Forward
On how speed factored into his two goals
I’m very happy we won the game and think it was a great energy to come in and make everybody happy.”
On his first goal, the game winner
”I didn’t even know if the ball was going to come, I just had to follow the rebound and keep believing that it would come to me. As soon as I saw it, I just had to put it in.”
On playing with David Accam again
“He’s like a brother to me. Everyone is like family here so for me, it doesn’t matter. We just have been a little bit unfortunate to not win games but I think we just have to keep going and keep believing that we can do it so that’s most important for now.”
On the up and down season and if this helps his confidence
“Absolutely. For me, the first season is always like this. You need to get things around you and know everything about yourself and the team. It’s been unfortunate for the team, things haven’t been going good for us but we just have to keep our head up because we’re professionals.”
If this performance will help him fight for a starting spot
“For me, absolutely. I have no strikes and the coach decides who to play. Everybody is a good player, so whenever you get the opportunity to play you just have to be ready to jump in and make a difference. I think everybody is ready to play.”
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH FRANK YALLOP
On tonight’s performance
"Well, obviously, result-wise – not very good, but I thought we played pretty well. Up until the phantom red card, I don’t see it. I thought it was a penalty kick."
On what Chicago is looking to improve upon going into next week’s match against New England
"Results. It’s hard enough coming here to get a result, let alone not getting any help at all from certain individuals. It’s very tough. I thought that the calls didn’t go our way tonight, that’s for sure."
On Chicago’s level of play in the first half
"I thought the game was an even game up until the red card, and then it’s very tough, which I didn’t think it was a red card. It’s tough to lose, but I thought it was a poor game from us call-wise and in the end it costs you."
On injured players returning for Chicago
"Well we’re starting to get guys healthy now. [Chicago Fire midfielder] Shaun Maloney is back in, he should be playing. I thought David [Accam] played well today. We had to take him off because he only played 20 minutes the other night, and to play him 90 minutes right now and expect him to play Wednesday will be tough. The fact that we’re slowly getting guys back, we’re looking more like ourselves. Defensively, I thought we didn’t do a good job tonight, but it is what it is. Columbus were decent in their attacking stuff, but I thought we created enough chances to at least tie the game."
CHICAGO FIRE FORWARD DAVID ACCAM
On his return from injury
"I felt good. I was happy to be on the pitch. Even though I didn’t feel 100 percent, I was happy with my movement, everything was good. I was happy to be on the pitch playing."
On tonight’s match
"I think we gifted them two easy goals, but for me, the performance from everyone [was good]. Everyone worked really hard. On another day, we might get a good result because we worked so hard, even though we gave them two easy goals. I’m really proud of the team because they did really well."
On if Chicago can bounce back in its next League match against New England
"Yeah, for sure. We play at home and will go all out for the three points, so yeah, we can get three points as the outcome against New England."
On making his Chicago Fire debut
"The feelings are unexplainable, it was a tremendous feeling. I couldn’t have imagined it. I have been dreaming about [making his debut] ever since I was a little kid playing for the Fire, but I am happy to have made my debut for the Chicago Fire tonight. Tough result, but we are going to bounce back on Wednesday in the Open Cup."
On tonight’s match
"I thought the team worked well, I thought there were a couple of errors defensively. We need to work on it, we need to pick it up. The refs didn’t treat us to well in the game, but we can’t blame them [for the loss]. We just got to keep working hard and looking forward to the next game."
On if Chicago can bounce back in its next League match against New England
"I think so. I think the team is really looking forward to it. Our first focus is the Open Cup and [the New England match] is our second focus. We will be ready to go."
Frank Yallop has a vision.
The Chicago Fire head coach wants to play an attacking-minded style. He wants goals. That’s why he brought in the likes of David Accam, Shaun Maloney, Kennedy Igboananike, Joevin Jones
and Guly do Prado in the offseason and Jason Johnson in April. And despite having a tough time getting everyone fit at the time same, Yallop’s mindset hasn’t changed.
“When we’ve got everyone on the field, for sure,” Yallop said when asked if he still envisions his side as a consistent attacking threat. “We’ve got some real dangerous attacking-style players that haven’t played in the last three or four weeks. That’s been a little frustrating. We created enough chances in [the Seattle] game to score more than one goal. Seattle had their moments, but just for us, we missed some good chances. Getting to those moments or those spots is part of it, and the really tough part is finishing the play off.”
The Fire continue to lead the league in shots per game (14.7) but would like to have converted on more than 19 of those opportunities. Even the side's most clinical finishers have had moments they'd like to have back, including a Mike Magee header Saturday that the Fire striker lost in the lights.
“I almost jumped off the seat expecting to see it hit the back of the net,” Yallop said. “Mike doesn’t miss those.”
Yallop remains hopeful that his vision will come together when the roster comes together as well. Shaun Maloney remains out with a back injury, though Monday marked “his first day with the ball with his boots on,” Yallop said. David Accam continues to recover from a hamstring injury, and Guly do Prado suffered a slight knock to his ankle against Seattle, but both are hopeful to be available for selection Wednesday. Joevin Jones, meanwhile, remains on international duty having helped his Trinidad & Tobago side earn a spot in the Gold Cup knockout rounds.
The return of Magee and Patrick Nyarko has helped, but Yallop continues to be cautious when working them back into the lineup. Both got their first MLS starts since coming back from injury, but Nyarko came off after 65 minutes and Magee after 70. Putting too much on them too soon remains a concern for the technical staff.
“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t send these guys back to the treatment table, because it is a vigorous, tough, hard spot,” Yallop said. “It’s a lot running. It takes a lot out of your body. It takes you a while to recover from a 90-minute match.”
With four games in the next two weeks, off days are less about training and more about regeneration and rejuvenation. The list of options remains shorter than Yallop would like, so everyone has to be ready to contribute.
It shows in someone like Jason Johnson, who struggled for playing time with Houston only to arrive in Chicago and score two goals in 187 minutes on the pitch. Regardless of who is in the match, Yallop wants to see an attacking mentality and a finishing ability that puts the crowd on its feet, like Johnson did Saturday.
"I see the team as a team that the fans want to come watch,” Yallop said. “Once we get everyone on the field, it will be that.”
Head Coach Frank Yallop
On the match
"Obviously great to get three points. I thought we played well enough to get three points tonight. Although late, much needed goal and very good to get three points at home. Looking forward obviously to our home stretch we got coming up. Very pleased."
On the importance of the fresh legs
"It was very important, if you look at the two guys Patrick and Mike, guys that are still not at hundred percent. It is important for our subs to come on and make a difference. And I think JJ and Mikey combined greatly for the goal. Terrific finish and obviously won us the game. I have been pleased with the spirit of the squad and we have been through some rough patches in the last few weeks. But we stuck together and are looking forward to our next game. We are looking forward to the Open Cup game coming up as well, so tonight was a very important three points. We spoke after the game on the field and I said to the guys, 'this is the feeling you want to have. You know, you worked hard to get this very important part. We have put our bodies through turmoil and fight, knocks, bumps, and bruises and you come out victorious.' I thought we deserved to win tonight, we fought hard, we tried to win the match and we were lucky, which is important."
On the play of Patrick Doody
"I am happy for Patrick and it was a solid good performance. If you look at Seattle obviously they are a good side and top of the West for a reason. And it is not just having both Dempsey and Martins out. They are tough to play against, they are good defensively. I thought we did great stuff early in the first half. In the first thirty minutes I thought we dominated and should have scored but we didn't, that was disappointing. But we kept going, we scored but a little late but we scored, that's important."
On the health of Patrick Nyarko and Mike Magee
"Mike got a knee to the back, he's a little sore, so I guess one good thing is we haven't run him into the ground for Wednesday, that's good news. Patrick looked like he got a knock but then he had a play afterwards where he didn't look too bad, dribbling the ball and playing. I have to see the medical staff and see how he is feeling and doing. But I thought both guys did well, after all it is just a long layoff for them to spark all the time is tough. They did a great job tonight, held it 0-0 and end up playing well the first half to maybe get ahead in the match. But again, we saved minutes for them which are important for Wednesday night."
On the importance of getting a late goal
"I think, I have been around this game a long time and you talk about different parts of the game, late goals scored and blame. To be honest it is the same type of thing if they score early. If you score late it changes for us all the time. We talk about not conceding late goals but we seem to do it quite regularly and early in the season. I think for us throughout the season but tonight was a good example; they have a few little sniffs and a little chance but didn't score. I feel Larin's goal against us was a word class goal. And if you look at the D.C. goal, I mean you don't see a better goal then that. Those two goals are what really hurt us and we lost because of it. So good to get through this defensively and it gives you confidence going into the next match. I thought we put our bodies on the line tonight and I was really proud with how the boys fought and dug in and got the goal and then didn't let it go. I thought it was good."
On the central partnerships in midfield and defense
"I thought Razvan especially was outstanding tonight, he covered so much ground. He is really coming into his own now, playing like the great professional we know he is, he is playing very well. And Polster is obviously a young kid that is learning and his enthusiasm I love, and he gets kind of caught up in that position once in a while but I'd rather him do that and learn from it then being timid and not getting himself out around the field. So very happy with those two in the middle and I thought both Adi coming off injured in the game in Houston and he worked very hard to get himself ready for this game. He is probably still sore here and there but I thought him and Eric were outstanding again. They fought; they battled and didn't want to give anything up. I think that is important and I talked to the guys and when we had a video meeting after the Houston game and I showed a ton of clips where we out fought Houston and we didn't win the game. I thought we fought tonight and didn't allow them to bully us and I thought that is important enough in our league and for us moving forward. Forget the players that are playing and if you don't want to fight, it is bad for your teammate and yourself. Often you are in the wrong spot and the last little spill. In the last couple games we have had there was desire to win the match and that is important."
On what was said to Jason Johnson before he entered the match
"Yeah, I said, 'get on the right wing, cut in and shoot in the far corner.' No, I didn't I just said make a difference. Just get up and down wherever you're playing. We do tend to mix it up a little bit, we were going to go three in the back but we decided to put JJ up front. Just get dangerous, we need a goal so whatever you need to do to get it onto to your left foot and get a strike off, please does it. It's not really one instruction it is more be forceful, be positive, get your shots off, and get your crosses off because that is what we need in this game. He was on for 15 minutes, give everything you have and close them down when they have it. And when you get a chance to goal go at them, get your shots and crosses off and he did that. It was a wonderful goal; I haven't seen a better goal this season. Well I have seen a few against us but for us this season this is a great goal. I am very happy for him and a good kid as well."
Patrick Doody, Chicago Fire Defender
On making his MLS debut
"As a Homegrown guy, it's something that I've thought about for quite some time. So to make my first appearance at home, with my family here, and obviously, more importantly with the win, in that type of fashion, it was a really special night, something I won't forget."
On the match
"It was awesome. Even though it came late, I'm not lying, we really thought it would come, and we kept at it defensively, didn't really give them much. It was a special play, special moment, and I think it was just a fun night for the Fire, fun night for the fans and just a really big team night."
Jason Johnson, Chicago Fire Forward
On the goal
"It was quite simple. It was a good ball from Mikey Stephens. Good counter attack and I just had one thing on my mind, to shoot. That's pretty much it. No doubt. Even before the ball was played, my mind was set to the option I did. Sometimes it goes on the other side of the post but I'm thankful that it went in tonight. It was great for the team."
On the recent struggle to get goals
"I don't think the team has been struggling to get goals. What does it do for the team? I think it was great. It was a great team effort tonight to get a win and get us back on track for the next couple of games. Good momentum for the team to get a couple more wins in the next few weeks."
Michael Stephens, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On the match
"I think it started in Houston more than tonight. Houston was a good effort, I think tonight we just continued on what we did there. But I think that was a big game for us, things were more positive in training this week and then we continued into the game, but I think Houston was a big turning point for this team."
On recovering from his injury earlier in the season
"I was out longer than I would have expected, I was out for four weeks, that takes a toll on you, obviously you lose some fitness. I've been back for the last three or four weeks training hard, trying to get back into the team so hopefully tonight helps me get more minutes."
On what the coaching staff has said about his role in the next four to five games
"Not as much as far as what my role is in the next four, five games, but we've been in communication about things they want to see me doing. We have an open dialogue. These are coaches that are honest and communicate with the players well, so I've had good conversations with them and haven't felt like I've been out of the team fully, so I've just been biding my time and waiting for my opportunity."
On the goal
"I saw that I was on a break and knew that I wasn't going to beat the guy with my speed. I saw Jason coming around my shoulder and I thought, 'the chances of him beating this guy with his pace are a lot better than mine,' so I let him go. It was a central midfielder caught in a left back position. Playing central midfield, you're not used to being in that position so I just round-footed him a little bit. He thought I'd go outside and the inside would open, but he's not used to being in that position."
Chicago Fire midfielder and defender Joevin Jones is away from the club on international duty, but he won’t be far off for his opening match.
Jones’ Trinidad and Tobago side open their 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign Thursday against Guatemala at Soldier Field, with kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT. The Soca Warriors, who trained locally at the campus of UIC, will then head to University of Phoenix Stadium to face Cuba at 5:30 p.m. on July 12, before concluding group play at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium against Mexico on July 15 (5 p.m.). All three matches will be televised on Fox Sports 2 and Univision Deportes Network (UDN).
Jones, who owns 38 career national team caps, is competing in his second straight Gold Cup after helping his side advance to the knockout stages of the 2013 tournament, where they were ousted by Mexico, 1-0. He has scored one goal and added one assist in his debut MLS campaign, starting all 14 matches in which he's played.
Click here for the complete 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup TV and streaming schedule.
Prior to the start of the Fire’s 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo Friday, the club announced that captain and centerback Jeff Larentowicz would miss the match and an estimated two weeks with a herniated disc. On Monday, head coach Frank Yallop provided a bit more insight into the situation, explaining that Larentowicz has been dealing with recurring pain in his neck since at least the June 24 match vs. D.C. United and would meet Tuesday with a specialist to better gauge the extent of the injury.
“I’m not sure the signs are great right now,” head coach Frank Yallop said Monday via teleconference, “but there’s hope that he’ll be OK to train soon. Right now, it’s up in the air what time he’s going to be back. We’re just waiting to hear tomorrow afternoon.”
Even with the rash of injuries that have befallen the Fire of late, the news of Larentowicz’ impending absence from the lineup still came as a surprise because of his well-earned reputation as an MLS iron man.
Since establishing himself as a full-time starter for the New England Revolution by his third year in MLS, the 31-year-old has been nearly impossible to keep off the field. Larentowicz hasn’t been held out of more than two MLS regular season matches since 2006, his second year in the league, and was in the Starting XI for all but two of those appearances. In the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Colorado Rapids, he played in every regular-season game on the schedule.
Per Yallop, Larentowicz battled through his recent neck pain and lingering groin issues for some time but, regardless of the outcome of further evaluation, is already on the verge of missing more match action than he's grown accustomed to.
The injury, coupled with a nagging groin strain felt by fellow centerback Adailton, means the recent acquisition via trade of Ty Harden from the San Jose Earthquakes is likely to pay immediate dividends for Yallop, even factoring in Harden's own recent hamstring issues. The newcomer has not played in an MLS match since scoring for the Quakes against the Fire on March 22 in San Jose.
Still, in the event Adailton is held out of the team, Harden could see his Fire debut come as soon as Saturday vs. Seattle in a centerback pairing with Eric Gehrig, who capably assumed Larentowicz' spot in Houston.
“[Harden] hasn’t been full training yet, it’s been a lot of running,” Yallop said, "but he’ll be ready to go on the weekend I’m sure."
On Tuesday (June 30), the Chicago Fire dispatched of USL side Charlotte Independence, 3-1, in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 at Toyota Park.
Four days later, it was Saint Louis FC, the USL affiliate of the Men In Red, who bested the Charlotte outfit, and they did so with the help of three Chicago Fire loanees.
The two clubs met Saturday (Independence Day, fittingly) at Charlotte’s Ramblewood Stadium, where the Independence had lost only once in six home matches this season. The visitors took an early 1-0 lead on a sixth-minute goal by Parker Maher that was set up by defender Patrick Doody, who only 24 hours earlier was on the bench in Houston for the Fire’s 1-1 draw with the Dynamo. The helper was Doody’s second assist of the season.
The hosts pulled level in the 68th minute thanks to a strike by Daniel Jackson but were done in by 2015 Chicago Fire MLS SuperDraft selection Kingsley Bryce, who slotted home a rebound in the 89th minute to lift Saint Louis FC to the 2-1 victory.
Another Fire loanee, Alec Kann, manned the net and recorded a stellar eight saves for Saint Louis FC, which improved to 4-5-6 on the year. Kann, who has made eight starts this season for the USL side, owns a 1.00 goals against average and ranks second in the league with an .846 save percentage.
Check out the highlights of the match below, courtesy of the USL and Charlotte Independence:
The annual Chicago Pride Parade is always one of the most celebratory and festive events of the year, but the 2015 edition took on extra meaning following Friday's landmark Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the United States. Just four days after hosting Pride Night at Toyota Park, representatives from the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Section 8 Chicago were on hand Sunday to join the estimated one million revelers on the city's North Side. A big thank you to all the supporters who contributed to a day (and week) to remember!
— Joel Biden (@JoelBiden) June 28, 2015
— kornkid15 (@kornkid15) June 28, 2015
Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer
Thoughts on the match
“Obviously not a good result for us. I think the guys gave everything they had, that is an important thing for me. The quality in the end and the final third wasn’t quite there. And we got done with it, with a terrific goal. Not a loss for words but that one hurt again but our guys tried their best. I don’t make excuses but I thought we did enough to at least get a tie or a win but we didn’t. We didn’t have a final touch that is what cost us. Obviously a great goal by Doyle.”
On why it’s been difficult to win in this stretch of games
“I don’t know, I mean we are putting all our efforts into it. I think maybe having a few guys out in a time we kind of need them the most, I think hurts a little bit. Maybe if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. I don’t know, I am trying my best to turn it around. We have added some really talented players. Again I will go back to the work ethic, maybe it wasn’t there some of the games and we have let our foot off the gas in this season. We should be good enough to win games. We work hard in the training field, the guys are committed it seems, you don’t know if it really is real deep within them, but I think it is. I have been around awhile, I kind of feel for the guys right now. They are trying their best and I though tonight was a good effort. With endeavor and triumph and you can live with that. If it is just a lack of quality here, not quality but lack of final third play. I thought we defended pretty well most of the night and get with a wonder strike if you like. I don’t know, I have only been here for a year and half and you guys have been here for a little bit. We got to keep going and I feel like we have enough talent on the roster to get it going, once we get everyone healthy and feel better. If, buts, and maybes don’t get is done.”
On pulling Joevin Jones at halftime
“No, he was ill. So he was ill before the game and he said at halftime he couldn’t finish the game. So we had to pull him out, which another good player was coming out of the lineup. Maybe he didn’t play particular well the first half, usually kind of gets himself going but he was ill.”
On not using all three substitutions
“I just felt we were getting close to scoring to be honest. I thought we were going to get something out of the game. I wanted to leave the momentum and leaving Guly back, he did a decent job with his passing. He definitely tried very hard tonight in that spot and Mike looked dangerous and I thought that was good. I thought Kennedy was doing well and so sometimes you don’t want to throw all the forwards on. I felt like we were going to get something out of the game and it wasn’t to be tonight, obviously. Again, it wasn’t a lack of effort from our guys. The coaching staff is trying their best to right the ship obviously. We are doing the best we can with what we have but I think we still could have gotten something out of the game tonight. It was just disappointing for our group.”
On the challenges of his position
“The results are showing that. No, I mean, I like a challenge. I think that this is certainly a challenge. I feel that it is not only changing certain players in and out. It is trying to get a team to work together and gel and really do well. I think that is the hardest thing. For example, D.C. is a group that sort of grinds through everything, they got some talent obviously but don’t get flustered with whatever happens in the match. I think they had one header and the goal. I don’t know what the stats were and they didn’t have a ton of chances but that didn’t really matter to them. Our group seems like they need a lot of the chances to get one goal. I think we didn’t create enough to get that one goal tonight. But I think it is just a matter of building a group that can win no matter what. That is the hardest thing in sports, is getting the right chemistry and the right balance. I feel like the group we have right now, and maybe adding a few pieces to it is going to be good. But obviously time runs out in the season and we need to start to win and I will be under pressure if we don’t win. But I don’t give up and I keep going and in the end I usually get the group to go in the right direction. I am very determined to do that here because I feel for the fans first and foremost and the people who work for the club, and the owner. He wants to do well and has given everything in his resources to help me. It was a shame we didn’t have our guys on the field tonight but hopeful we will get healthy soon. And will start to put on the team I felt that is going to do pretty well in the league. Again, the game just slipped them by and in this league it is hard to catch up. But it won’t be from lack of trying from our players and the coaching staff and the staff.”
On teams scoring off set plays or off rebounds
“It seems to fall to their guys but you got to give them credit in that spot, to hit that shot. Sometimes your fortunate sometime you’re not. We have worked on set plays for a while and I thought Eric did a great block on the shot that got deflected on. And it goes to straight to one of their players which is Doyle and he is a great striker and anticipating where it is going to end up is the hardest part in soccer. You try to think about where it is going to end up, but it ends up in a good spot, rolling back to a fellow who can strike a good ball and goes in. It’s probably the best goal he is going to score and I think tonight that was one of the better goals we have seen here. It is just frustrating when that happens, it would be nice for one of those to go in for us. Then we can get the ball rolling and the effort from the group tonight was there. We didn’t want to lose the game, the fellows gave me everything they have, they give themselves and the team, the club, and the fans a right good go trying to win the game. We might not have the final touch and final bit of play in the final third to win the match but that happens sometimes. Especially when you have a loss of confidence, we have lost four in a row now before this game is was three in a row. You get down on yourself for a little bit but again the guys did shrug all the emotion of from losing three and gave everything they have. Things happen to you when you are down there, it doesn’t seem to go your way. We will keep fighting and keep going; hopefully we can get some wins in and climb up the table pretty soon.”
Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago Fire Defender and Captain
On the match
"Certainly, the one goal did us in. I think the performance was good, I thought that for large parts of the game we were the better team. I thought we had more of the ball; I think we created more chances, I'm not sure if that's true, but it felt that way. It's about taking one chance, and they did that."
On the team’s morale
"It's difficult, but that's the job. We're 15 games into the year, and that means we have 19 left. There's plenty of time to turn things around, and everyone has to work. I think that, more than anything, we feel like we deserved something tonight. It's not a game where you get beaten down 3-0, and you just feel like you need go home with your tail between your legs. It's kind of, maybe we're on to something, but we're just not getting it all the way there."
On D.C. United’s goal
"The last two weeks, we've had some pretty good goals scored on us. But like I said, in that moment, they take it. That's skill, that's talent. Good goal, and you can't say anything more than that, they took a chance."
On the play of D.C. United
"DC is an organized team, for sure. They've been together for a couple years now, having success doing what they do. I think they have a group of guys that compete, very smart, organized tactically. When they feel pressure, they're able to stand up to it. Late on in the game, they bring another forward on as well to try and win the game, but they end up winning on a rebound and restart. They're a good team, they're at the top of the league for a reason, and I think you can see why."
On reaching a turning point in the season
"I don't think it's ever too late. You look at 2013, things turn around, it's possible. The Revolution went to the final last year losing seven straight, I think, at one point. So you have to find a way to keep the morale up. I think that having good players in the lineup is good; however, I think that we had good performances tonight and didn't get the result."
On the trajectory of the season
"It is surprising. At 3-3, we felt like we were in a pretty good spot. We're competing with teams in the league that are good teams. I thought that we've been playing well at home. That's kind of turned a bit; losing a couple at home, still not finding a way to win on the road, that's going to hurt you in the long run. We have to get tougher on the road, and obviously take advantage of home games."
Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer
On the status of Shaun Maloney
“He had slight back spasms. Probably didn’t want to play him tonight but with the lack of guys we had available, we weren’t playing particularly well and didn’t look dangerous. But obviously with the trip he had, he had a long trip and I hope it is just spasms. When he settles down he should be okay.”
On the match
“I think Quincy had a great look first half. I think we pressed the fellow in the back and he coughed it up straight to Quincy, should have scored. I think it makes a difference in the match then but doesn’t. So from that, he has a few more chances, I think and doesn’t really bury them. But I will say one thing he kept going. He got his goal in the end, and that wasn’t pretty. When you play everyone who doesn’t play a lot of minutes and you put it all together. This doesn’t always come out well, we kept going. We won the game and we are into the next round. I’ve got to take the positive and that was, we kept going, we kept fighting, we kept pushing. I know the team we are playing against is a lower league team but I think with the guys we had missing and what we did on Saturday, it was a hard match for us and I think we obviously did enough to win.”
On league standings influencing Open Cup performance
“We want to do well in both tournaments, both the league and the cup. We’ve just got to sort out our league, play out. We are in 9th position but we are three points behind. We know we have a bit to do to catch up but I think the Orlando game is what really hurt us, as a club. Going to New England without a few guys, is always a tough game. I think the Orlando one is the one I am more disappointed with and didn’t win. Just need to stay in the pack and once everyone gets back from international duties. Hopefully we can straight to re gel as team. Obviously learn to win and be better, that’s the plan.”
On utilizing Matt Polster as a centerback
“He was good. Yeah, I think he was solid and we only played against one striker, Matt Fondy, who played very well and he runs hard. I thought he handled it well. They had some good situations and we could have a final ball better, that wasn’t to be. But I think Matt did fine, he thought he did adequate after playing on the weekend. I think he did okay.”
On the play of Quincy Amarikwa
“Great, I said to him as he was lying on the field getting work done, ‘you know you kept going but you missed some chances, but you kept going and you got the goal to win it for us.’ I was proud of him and I think he did great. I challenged him at half time. I didn’t think our first half was up to standards for a team trying to win the cup. This is round one but you trying to win a trophy. And I thought we were sleep walking through it and not applying ourselves. And I told him that. I think a saw a response, not in our general play but in our desire. It showed in the end, we did keep going. We did get the goal, is what we wanted in the end now. The result is all that matters.”
On taking the positives from the match and looking ahead
“I mean, getting all our players back and healthy. Getting them all on the field together. I wouldn’t judge us, we have six guys out; Mike and Patrick haven’t seen a lot of the field yet. So I am excited when we get everyone healthy and what were are going to look like. I think we obviously problems at the back, when I say the back I mean defending. It is not just the defenders it is everybody. It was nice to get a clean sheet tonight; forget the opposition. I am excited about the prospect of this team, it is an exciting team. I talked before; we wanted to make it a team that was good to watch. I don’t think you can judge us on that tonight, a lot of guys out, a lot of exciting players out. Shaun coming back not ready to go but we need to pick up point in the league.”
On Sean Johnson’s return to goal
“I thought he was good tonight, he was solid and focused. He look assured of himself in goal. I will obviously analyze it and make a decision. I thought Sean did well tonight.”
Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago Fire Forward
On the mentality during a long match
"We knew they would come to grind out a result, we knew they were going to be in it for the long haul. That's what happens in these Open Cup games. They're scrappy, the other team is looking for something to prove, and it just makes it hard to break down. We knew all we really had to do was keep going, and eventually, we'd break through. You're confident in your own abilities, you're confident in your teammates, you know what you're capable of doing. You keep doing the right things, and eventually you're going to break through. That's how we felt about it, and we knew that it would just be a matter of time before we got through, and we would end it."
On the win
"Anytime you can win, it's a positive. That's what you're trying to do every time you step on the field, regardless of if it's a league game, or a cup game, exhibition, practice; every win matters, and every win contributes to confidence for players individually, and for your team. I think we're happy to get away with a win here, and we're looking forward to carrying the momentum into the next match."
On building confidence
"That's what goals do: goals give you confidence. Winning games gives you confidence. What you try to do is take that confidence in that next game and build upon it. Learn from the mistakes throughout the game, and see how you can improve come next week."
On Coach Frank Yallop's advice during halftime
"He thought we could be doing better in pushing the envelope a bit more. I think as a team, we were being calculating; we didn't want to throw everything at them too early, and then struggle to find answers later in the game. As a team, we buckled in and continued doing what we were doing in the first half, but looked a little bit more to get in behind."
On match fitness
"That was my first 120-minute game in a long time, and my first 90-minute game in a month and a half or two months. No matter how much you run in training or how much you train, it's not the same as match fitness. I did the best to run as much as I could to gain as much match fitness as I could today, and I'm hoping that translates into more minutes down the road."
On scoring his first competitive goal of the season
"That's the name of the game: you create enough chances, and you take enough shots on goal, eventually you'll score. That was the mentality going into the game. I've been looking to break through for a while now, and it's nice to get the monkey off your back. It's just a matter of continuing to not let the misses keep you from taking your next chance."