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23 August 10:38 pm

Chicago Fire at Toronto FC
BMO Field – Toronto, Ontario
MLS Regular Season
Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop

Thoughts on the game

“Hard fought, coming back in any game always feels like you got something out of it as opposed to letting it slip. I’m really happy with the fight back and the spirit of the guys. Obviously, quality wise we weren’t quite there yet but the fighting spirit was great.”

On Robert Earnshaw’s debut performance

“As TFC fans know, he knows where the net is. He hasn’t played for a couple months now and he said he probably has 15 minutes in him and I said, “How does 30 sound?” He’s dangerous and he creates the second goal with his forcefulness in the box and he is going to help us. I felt we were very dynamic once Ernie came on and it was nice to see.”

On the playoff chase

“Every team I manage I want them to fight hard. We’ve been in almost every game but we just don’t have quite enough quality in all our positions to really dominate and take games over. We do have the fighting spirit and once we add some pieces I think we’ll be okay, so it’s a building process but I’m happy with the overall commitment from everybody.”

 

Chicago Fire forward Quincy Amarikwa

Thoughts on the game 

“We didn’t make it easy on ourselves but as a team we fought together and we got the draw.”

On the goal

“We were trying to bring them into the middle and then get it out wide for some crosses.”

On the addition of Robert Earnshaw 

“That’s what we expected out of him, just to come off the bench and bring some energy. He came on and scored right away and hopefully this leads to more goals in the future. Hopefully we can build a little partnership.”

 

Chicago Fire forward Robert Earnshaw

On returning to Toronto

“It’s like I haven’t been away. Maybe just because it is a familiar ground and a place I am very fond of. I have been back and forth here, it’s a great place that I like to come to. I’d like to thank everyone at Toronto as I never got a chance to really thank everyone here. From Ryan Nelsen to the whole organization, I just want to say thank you very much. The goal I scored was a welcome to Chicago, but also a thank you very much to Toronto.”

On returning to Major League Soccer

“Yeah, I love to play. I enjoyed just coming in and getting the shirt on, getting a feel for the ball, felt great. I want to get better on a personal level. I’ve come here to give something extra, contribute and help each teammate to do better with my experience and quality.”

 

Toronto FC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen

Thoughts on the match...

“Well I thought we were pretty comfortable in the first half.  Obviously losing Steven (Caldwell) our captain was a little unsettling for us and we were in pretty good control until then.  Then that kind of happened and although we had a lot of the ball, a lot of possession, the analytical guys will say we had all the possession, but we really didn’t do much with it.  It was pretty comfortable possession in front of their team and they sat back and we didn't really punish them.  We had a couple of really good chances and we kind of left them in the game.  Obviously we conceded a soft goal and again losing Justin (Morrow) disrupted us.  We needed some energy and we needed something, a lift, someone to grab the game by the back of the neck.  I thought when Luke (Moore) came on he looked really good and we got ourselves a goal and could have made it three.  Then that second goal was horrendous to tell you the truth.  We’ve got to have a desire when an opposition player gets down to the endline we’ve got to have midfielders right on top of our backline defending our box.  We were spectators, we kind of watched it hoping that someone would make the play but in the end it was a deflection bicycle kick that fell unfortunately to them and they punished us.  We weren't in the right spots and we had guys just watching in comfortable positions.  When you put yourself out of the arena to affect the game, things like this happen.”

On the injuries to Seven Caldwell and Justin Morrow…

“Steven (Caldwell) had a really good week of training and he just felt his same quad on one of the stretches that he made, which he probably made 50 times during this week, but unfortunately in the game he hit it.  Luckily it wasn’t as bad as the original one, it was just something that we had to pull him off because it was only going to get worse.  With Justin (Morrow) it was his hamstring so we’ll have to get that scanned.  When we go down with injuries we seem to do it all at once.”

Does it sting even more that the two goals were scored by former TFC players?

“No, not at all.  We wish all the best for all our former players.  When any player scores against us it stings.  Any former player from TFC we wish them all the best.”

Dwayne De Rosario was dropped from the 18, is it safe to say that you haven’t got what you wanted out of him this season?

“No, not at all.  We’ve got absolutely everything from Dwayne, he’s been absolutely fantastic.  He’s been fantastic in the locker room and he’s a great guy but I’ve got a premier league striker on the bench, I’ve got a Nigerian striker who would have been going to the World Cup on the bench.  So it’s a hard squad to make these days.  This is a wee bit different and we’ve got to make tough decisions.  Even Daniel Lovitz unfortunately didn’t make it and Daniel has been absolutely brilliant for us.  His (Dwayne) position is up for grabs now every time we play.  They are under the microscope to play well because there are guys, Dwayne and Daniel being a couple of them, that really want to play.”

 

Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow

What was the injury?

“I just turned it. I felt in on a longer run right at the beginning of the second half. I just kind of felt it.”

Any idea of how long you might be out?

“I’m going to get it scanned on Monday and see how it is but I don’t think it should be too bad. It’s sore right now but it should be alright.”

How gutted are you to see the team concede so late and throw away points?

“Yes its tough but we have to take a positive out of it in that it is a tie. We do expect more out of ourselves at home and we should get three points. So we are a little disappointed with that but we have a lot of games coming up, games that we should win.”

 

Toronto FC forward Gilberto

How did you feel scoring in successive games?

“I’m very happy that I scored my first goal at home in my stadium in front of my fans. I feel the team is doing really good work right now but unfortunately we couldn't get the result. But I am really happy with the progress of the team.”

Do you feel comfortable with Luke Moore upfront?

“If you look back Jermaine Defoe scored six or seven goals when we were playing together so it really has nothing to do with my comfort with Jermaine or Luke. I’m happy now, I wasn’t scoring goals and now I am.”

 

Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom

Overall thoughts of getting back into a full game?

“It was good for me to come off of injury and start my first time back. I felt like my fitness was good and I didn’t focus about my knee at all. It didn’t bother me at all so in my mind I’m back fully fit.”

Tough to see Caldwell and Morrow going down to injury, did you feel some of the energy was deflated when they went out of the lineup?

“Those two guys are crucial to our team. I mean you take our captain and a guy that has played every single game, that is definitely hard. It takes away the heart of our defence but we have the players to cover them and I thought we did well. Unfortunately we gave up two goals.”

23 August 10:31 pm

Select shots from the Fire's 2-2 draw with Toronto FC.

16 August 9:42 pm

Chicago Fire at Montreal Impact

MLS Regular Season

Stade Saputo – Montreal, QC

Saturday, August 16, 2014

 

Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop

Thoughts on the game

“We weren’t very dangerous to be honest going to goal and basically when it comes to the crunch, we didn’t get the job done. It’s disappointing, but it’s kind of where we are right now. It’s hard because we lost 6-0 on Wednesday and now we had a chance to prove ourselves again and we lose.”

What can be changed to get that winning goal?

“We have to be more positive going forward. We have to dig deep and get that extra run for that extra minute and make sure we get beyond people and not play in front of the players. So I think that’s the difference we need to make. I think that after Wednesday’s loss it was hard on the team to be motivated, but our spirits seemed to be up at the beginning of the game and then we couldn’t get it done in both boxes, we couldn’t defend and couldn’t score.”

On how tight the table is

“Of course, you never give up until it’s over. It’s been a tough season; we have 13 ties, which 6 we should have won. I think that we would have been in a better spot with those extra two points per game. We’re not good enough to be higher up at this point and that’s on us.”

 

Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson

On the team's performance

"It's a tough result for us. We’ve got to be better. It's disappointing. We were in a position where we can put ourselves in a good spot in the playoff race. We played decent in the first half and just didn't do enough to get the result."

On what needs to be done to get three points

"It just a matter of believing and going out there and doing it. We just got to get it done. It's up to us, we're the players on the pitch and we have to solve some problems ourselves out there sometimes. We got to find it in us to get those results."

 

Chicago Fire midfielder Matt Watson

On how the team can improve offensively

"We weren't clinical enough in the final third. We need to find a way to get goals, maybe support the strikers more. We let the field get spread. We were hitting long balls to the strikers and then they were kind of wrestling for it by themselves with no support coming. We need to do better moving forward as a team."

On his team's defensive play

"At times I think we were chasing, myself included. I think sometimes we run just for the sake of it, where we could kind of be a more of a compact unit. We need to stay in a tighter defensive block."

 

Montreal Impact head coach Frank Klopas

On getting a win?

“It feels good. It took us a while to feel like this. There`s a lot of games that we could have walked away with points but you need to move forward. Today was a good overall performance by the group, I think that at some point we lost a bit of the midfield but the subs we made gave us a lot of added energy at the right time.”

What was your reactions to Chicago`s presence on the field tonight?

“We had possession very deep in our side of the field in the first 25 minutes, we wanted to open them up and move the ball quicker. We had opportunities and options to play out of the back. We knew it was going to be a big game, so we didn’t underestimate them at all, after them losing at the open cup. We knew it was going to be a difficult match, we expected one and it was. In the end we gave out a quality performance which gave us a great victory.”

On Maxim Tissot?

“He brings a lot of energy, every time he’s been in for us good things happen. He makes good runs off the ball, has a lot of pace and can make those long runs. In all he’s been giving us a good constant quality and becomes a really dangerous opponent whether he starts or comes out on the field later. It’s good for me, because we have a lot of options. He’s young but we’re going to continue to work with him and build him up.”

 

Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio

Working with Piatti on the field…

“We tried to make a couple of combinations but it’s not easy for him because he’s arriving in a team that has a lot of confidence issues.  For the past month and a half we’ve been playing better and taking the points we learnt and applying them on the field. So it’s not easy for him to come in our team at this point so I think that with his arrival here it might help the team’s confidence even more.”

Are you thinking on ending your career soon?

“It’s too far for me to think about this now. I don’t even think about what will happen next week. This year was harder for me but I am only focusing on our games to come at this point, especially in the Champion’s league games.”

 

Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush

On Chicago’s last offensive play?

“Those are the things that happen at the end of the game, when you’re up a goal, you send a lot of guys forward on set pieces and I got knocked down. I didn’t hear a whistle and he got a foot on it and I was there to take care of it.”

 

Did the defense have a lot to do with not getting any goals in tonight?

“I think so, there weren’t that many chances that we gave them and fought well for the ball. We had a good side to side movement and Wandrille and Matteo did a very good job to hold the back up.”

 

Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti

On the game…

“As my first game I think that I played well and that the team had a solid performance and played well together. I knew about the MLS beforehand and knew the style of play so there was no surprise for me, but I still will have to adapt my style of play to that of the MLS.”

 

On Marco Di Vaio …

“Marco is a star player, when you play him the ball he’ll return it quickly, so there’s a good chemistry there and I am going to keep working on developing that team synergy. I asked Marco if there was a possibility for him to stay, but he says it’s hard for him and his family, but he’s still looking for a solution.”

16 August 9:15 pm

Select shots from the Fire's loss to Montreal presented by MiAllstate.

14 August 11:53 am

Chicago Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko is lending his support to an Indiegogo campaign for the construction of a community sports facility in Keta, Ghana to help improve and develop soccer in Ghana.

“When I grew up, I played barefoot on gravel, and at the end of the game we would have cuts and bruises all over. But we would come back the next day and play again,” said Nyarko. “That’s what we had to deal with and we were never going to stop playing because it hurt us. We did not have access to soccer fields to help develop your game and take it to the next level.”

Through the help of Sandlanders Football, a not-for-profit organization establishing community-owned soccer teams throughout Africa, and the Keta Municipality, the plan is to build a 6.5 acre Soccerhub in Keta to grow the sport of soccer in Ghana and to give the community a central location to host community events and showcase the local industry in Keta.

Nyarko, a native of Kumasi, joined the project because he believes it will contribute to the development of the children of the area, not just in terms of their soccer skills but also in terms of their character. Additionally, the facility will provide local children a safe haven in the community.

“When this opportunity presented itself, I did not hesitate and wanted to help contribute and help the youth back home,” said Nyarko. “This place will not only give them a place to play soccer, but also a place to go to after school to hang out with friends and stay out of trouble. The last couple of World Cups, we have seen the tremendous amount of talent back in Ghana and to help the youth develop that way through the construction of soccer fields and facilities, it will only help them become great players and hopefully future role models in the community.”

To support the Keta Soccerhub, go to www.GoKeta.com to find out ways to contribute.

10 August 9:49 pm

Select shots from the Fire's win over the Red Bulls presented by MiAllstate.

02 August 11:58 pm
Quote Sheet – MLS Regular Season
Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew
Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.
Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014
 
Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop
 
On talks with Jermaine Jones
 
“I actually spoke with Jermaine yesterday and I wanted to put forward our club and what we thought of him. We'd love him to join us. I've done that. He has an offer, it's not officially turned down because we have not heard anything back. We are still waiting. I think it was a big offer. Andrew [Hauptman] stepped up and put out a good contract offer. I think he's thinking about it and we will probably find out in the next couple of days. We have a few guys we have, sort of, a domino effect, lined up if you like. If one doesn't go, then we have to move to the next one. The closer it gets to the end of the window, those guys decide to move on and we are scrambling. But, we have some interest in some players and I'm sure we will get something hopefully done in this window for sure. I'm hoping it works out.”
 
On Jermaine Jones' interest to join the Fire
 
“He's a nice kid, he's receptive, he wants to play in MLS. He's coming from a big contract and  I think that anytime you have that in your background, if you want to come and play somewhere then you have to commit yourself to do that and it's maybe not as much as you like, but, it's the market value we have in this country and I think if he comes to the understanding that it can work out, and it's a good offer. It's pretty much up there for us and for the league. I'm hoping he thinks about it and takes it, but, again I'm not Jermaine and he's going to decide. We're just waiting to hear back.”
 
On transfer talk being a distraction to the team
 
“No, not at all. Unless a player arrives or we sign him then it's more of a talking point. Speculation is speculation. We have no idea if he's going to sign with us or sign with somewhere else. Until you get a contract signed, like I said a couple days ago, you don't know what's going to happen. They have options, good players have options. I said it to my staff earlier, we can sign bad players because it's easy, but to sign good players it's difficult because everyone wants them and that's our issue. We are trying to get the best players we can for the club, we obviously need help in certain areas. If you go into the game tonight, it's sort of déjà vu. We've all sat here before and said the same thing: it's frustrating, maybe we didn't play great, we could have maybe gotten something more out of the game but didn't. Again, I'll say we are not quite ready to get over the hurdles of winning games and dominating play. But, it will come, we are working on some stuff, and we are trying to build for the future, which is important.”
 
On the frustration of giving up a goal
 
“Your whole talk at halftime is to see the game out, let's try to get a second goal. All the things you talk about as a team to make sure they don't get into it. I thought we did a nice job in the first half. It was an even-ish game and I thought we shaded it to get the goal. It's just one of those nice professional performance. Second half and from a long ball with a broken play and boom, boom, boom, here goes [Federico] Higuain and he scores. You know right after halftime, is the worst time because the tactics you talked about three minutes earlier are useless. Now we're depressed again and I don't think it got into our guy's mind to get urgent and get moving forward. We still had a couple of chances, but I didn't think our urgency, and it's not from a lack of effort, it's more like a lack of knowledge I think a little bit to go and our urgency to go and try to win the game. I think we were trying to protect what we had and maybe go and see if we can win it. When I wanted us to go out and try and win it.”
 
On the possibility of acquiring players from within MLS
 
“We don’t have much to trade. That’s an issue when you’re trying to get people in the league. We have a first round draft pick, but sometimes that’s not as valuable as you think it is. But we’re always looking to improve the team. When you have a window coming up, and have one or two spots we can focus on, it sometimes becomes who’s the best player. And if we’re getting Jermaine Jones, we’ll take him. For sure. He makes us a lot better than we are. If we want to get a certain player, a forward or attacking midfielder, or whatever we’re trying to do, we’re trying to get the best available. But, again, it’s a domino effect. It’s not easy. It would be nice to get some more options. I see a team, our guys, I love them to death; they try hard, they’re desperate to win, they’re very frustrated when they don’t. But I think it’s where we are: we’re not quite good enough to get over the hump and dominate games. It’s up to me to make sure that I get players in that can do that. Whether it’s in this window, I’m trying my best to do some moves that will really benefit the team. But I don’t want to panic, because I think the club has done that in the past, and now I’m paying for that a little bit from last year, to be honest. But I want to make sure we’re building for the future, and make sure that come this window, the next window, and the next window after, that we make some solid, clean, good decisions that build the team from the back up. I think that that’s my big focus right now: not to panic, and just build, and make sure we’re solid.”
 
On conversations with Chicago Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman
 
“I’ve spoken to Andrew for the last week every day for at least half an hour or forty five minutes. He’s completely on board. Whatever we want to do, he’s completely put up whatever funds we need. Obviously, there’s maybe a little bit of a limit, that we’re not going to go crazy with everything, but real substantial amounts of money, Andrew’s ready to pay. He’s determined to let me do my thing, and let me and Brian [Bliss] get after it. I said to him last night, ‘it’s not easy to do; it’s not a quick fix, you have to make sure that you’re building in the right direction, you have to get everyone on board, you have to see what you have to start with, and then you can start to piece together what you think is right.’ And it’s a little unfortunate we haven’t had more results to help that along and not make it desperate. But, I think we’re in the right direction. I feel good about some targets we have right now, in this window, and moving forward in January. End of the season will give us a little more scope to do some stuff too.”
 
On Harry Shipp’s absence from the Starting XI
 
“I honestly thought the team played well enough to win the game against Vancouver, and I wanted to reward that group that went out there. In our game tonight, we go a goal up, and we did ok; I wouldn’t say we were dominant, and completely outplayed Columbus tonight. For the first half, I thought it was pretty even. I go back to Harry, he’s in his rookie year where it’s not easy, it’s tough, it’s a lot of games, a lot of minutes, a lot of training. He’s taken more photographs now than he ever did, and everyone’s filming him. That wears on you. Once he gets back to playing soccer, he’ll be okay, but just a little tired right now.”
 
On Patrick Ianni’s performance with Jeff Larentowicz in defense
 
“I thought he did well again tonight. I could look at the goal again; it looked a little disjointed and sloppy. I think Jeff missed, not missed a header, but this fella flicks it on, and I don’t know what happened. I haven’t seen the tape, I have to look at them. But I feel pretty comfortable with those guys there. I think they work pretty hard, work well together. I think Jeff’s a solid influence back there, and whoever he plays with will be okay. But I’m pleased with the two performance. They didn’t give up a lot of goals and a lot of chances, and I think that’s good.”
 
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson
 
On having to make multiple saves in a short amount of time
 
“I think in those moments we were really pushing to get the go ahead goal – it’s what the game needed.  As a goalkeeper, I just have to be alert in those situations and not switch off – anything can happen – especially when you’re pushing for a goal.  I’m going to have to come up and make saves when we’re going to try and find a goal for the lead.  It’s just one of those things.  On the night, I think we were the better team, we were just unfortunate.”
 
On the draw:
 
“It was a disappointing result having been up 1-0.  You always want to go out and win the game after being up.  You don’t want to let it slip away, especially at home.  It’s a tough spot in the season for us. We’re tying a lot of games, we’re not playing badly but need to find it within ourselves to go out and do what’s necessary to win games.  We haven’t found an answer yet, but obviously by the results, but we have to keep searching. Once we do find it, we really have to buy into it and keep that going for the rest of the season so we can make a push for the playoffs.”
 
Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares
 
On play of the back line
 
“I think we’re doing fine.  We had a clean sheet the last game and this one there was an unfortunate bounce or we could have had another one.  It’s frustrating because we’re fighting every game, and then we have a situation like that.  But we’re doing fine, Jeff’s a guy with a lot of experience even though he hasn’t played there much he feels comfortable and we both have done well.  I think he’s adapted pretty quickly and done a great job.”
 
Columbus Crew Head Coach Gregg Berhalter
 
On the match:
 
“I think we are disappointed to not come away with three points after a sluggish first half.  In the second half, we created enough chances to win the game.  That’s a little bit disappointing.  I think the reaction at halftime was everything we were looking for.  So that was good.  That was a positive.”
 
On getting fresh legs in the second half:
 
“We wanted to make some subs.  Obviously we knew Chicago had three games this week against Tottenham, and Vancouver and we wanted to take advantage of that.  We put some new guys in, and hoping they will be effective as they have been in the past.”
 
On the hand ball in the first half:
 
“Honestly, I haven’t seen anything.  So I can’t comment on it.  I need to look at it again.”
 
On generating more chances in the second half:
 
“We identified spots that we knew where guys could get the ball to be dangerous. They were wide open.  We just weren’t finding them in the first half.  We were giving the ball away.  Our main principle was to take care of the ball and we weren’t doing that.  We needed to be patient and find those gaps between the midfield line and the defensive line, more towards the inside, then we can turn and play from there.  I think we did that.  But besides tactics, to me it was the will, it was the will of the guys, the belief in the guys, and I missed that in the first half.  That’s what we communicated to the guys at half time.  We said you have to show more.  It’s not good enough.”
 
On the team’s mental mind set versus the knowledge the Crew haven’t found success at Toyota Park in many years:
 
“I don’t think so.  I think today was a perfect opportunity to get three points.  That’s not to discredit Chicago but I thought we were there.  We were in position to do it.”
 
On playing Michael Parkhurst on the right:
 
“You see when he gets forward he’s accurate in his passing, he’s calm, and I thought we needed a little bit more accuracy in that position.”
 
Columbus Crew Midfielder Wil Trapp
 
On the match:
 
“I thought the first half was a little slow.  We started not the way we wanted, not urgent enough.  Then giving up the penalty kick was unfortunate, but I thought the second half we came out obviously right off the bat.  It’s something we’ve been kind of looking at which is great.  Not a pretty goal but a goal nonetheless.   I thought we created a lot of chances.  Sean Johnson made some big time saves for them.  We were a little unlucky not to come away with three points.”
 
On what the coaching staff said at halftime:
 
“He wasn’t happy with our first half.  He gave us some pointers about what we could do to fix it.  It’s mostly just a mentality sort of thing.  We really didn’t need to change too much tactically or technically, it was kind of just a desire sort of thing.”
 
On battling the Fire in the standings and as rivals:
 
“Yes, they are definitely our closest neighbors, the noisy neighbor I guess you could say.  We had a great crowd come out today.  The east is tough.  There’s a lot of teams vying for those playoff spots.  These are big games.  To come away with a point we aren’t happy with but it’s better than no points at all.”
 
On a three match unbeaten streak:
 
“It’s great.  We would prefer it to be three wins in a row.  But every game from here on out is important.”
 
Columbus Crew Forward Adam Bedell
 
On the match:
 
“I thought we came out a little slow in the first half.  It was kind of slow paced both ways.  Unlucky with the penalty kick call.  Moving into the second half, I thought we came out on fire.  No pun intended.  Off the kick off, scoring the goal was huge.  Got us into the game.  I thought we dictated the play in the second half.  We are happy with the second half.  Hopefully we can start the game next weekend like that.”
 
On the sluggish first half:
 
“I don’t know what it was.  Sometimes that’s the way the game goes.  Maybe it’s a little bit of communication too.  Not talking, not asking for the ball.  But I thought we did better in the second half realizing where the spots were and I thought we exploited those areas and it lead to some of our chances.”
 
On having a few excellent shots on goal:
 
“We had enough chances to win the game tonight.  Obviously Sean Johnson stood on his head a couple times there with Ethan’s shot from the cross, it was an unreal save.  You put it on net, and nine times out of ten that goes in the net.  You stay positive and keep trying to get those chances.  They’ll go next time.”
 
On Michael Parkhurst’s All Star call up:
 
“It’s well deserved.  It’s great for him, it’s great for the club.  He’s going to represent the club very well.”
02 August 10:44 pm

Select shots from the Fire's draw with the Crew presented by MiAllstate

30 July 11:35 pm
Quote Sheet – MLS Regular Season
Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
 
Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop
 
On making changes in the center of defense
 
"I guess switching it up is a part of football. I thought they did well tonight. Other than, maybe winning the game. It is the most solid we have looked, limiting a pretty potent team to just a couple of chances. I think having said that we didn't look as dangerous as I think we've looked at home at times. It's a fine line. We had chances tonight, you know some good looks. I think if Mike slips it by the last defender he gets a good chance. I think Quincy had a good shot from a decent angle. I was pleased with the whole overall the defensive unit. I think Patrick [Ianni] and Jeff [Larentowicz] did a good job."
 
On reports of signing Jermaine Jones
 
"We have interest in the player, for sure. You know we have spoken to the agent. At this point there is nothing to add until someone agrees or it gets concluded. The truth in the matter is we have interest in the player, but nothing has been finalized yet. That's all I can kind of say on that."
 
On the decision to not start Harry Shipp
 
"He’s just tired. I had a good chat with Harry. I think he looked a bit tired, not in the Tottenham game, but the San Jose game, everyone looked tired. They hit a bit of a wall, these young guys, when they come into the league, and I think he just hit a bit of a wall. But, I think he looked fresh when he came on, so that was good, and we will decide what to do on the weekend. It was for resting and just getting him fresh.”
 
On Razvan Cocis’ debut
 
"I think he did okay against Tottenham, its hard, he's not really trained with us. He's been doing his own work. We have been away on a road trip and we came back, and we’ve not really trained because we played three games in a week. He's clean and simple and once he gets his legs under and becomes part of the team, it will be a lot easier for him.
 
On the direction of the Fire after multiple ties
 
“Where do we go from here? Trying to get a win is the next plan. It is what it is. We’re obviously not ready to go and take a game over and win, because we would’ve done that by now. Not losing is sometimes a good thing, but at this point in the season we need to win. I think that tonight was a good opportunity to do that, and we didn’t quite do it. I thought we played a pretty good game all around, without being really dynamic in the final third; and that’s what wins games. Another big one coming up in the weekend; we’re still kind of in the picture, and so that’s the most important thing for the club.”
On the health of Patrick Nyarko
 
“I just spoke to him tonight, and he’s still struggling a little bit. He was getting his ankle scoped the next week, and he did his knee in the KC game, and that’s what he’s been out with for two to three months. Yeah, we miss Patrick; I said to him tonight, ‘I haven’t seen you for two or three months,’ You know, you miss quality, and he’s a quality player. I think he may have maybe made a difference a little bit tonight. But you can’t stop injuries, and that’s the way it goes with him.”
On Mike Magee and Quincy Amarikwa playing together
 
“I think tonight they played closely together, and it was better than it has been. The forwards should be closely together if they’re playing as a twin pair. I always like them to be underneath or working off each other. I thought they did a better job; again, if Mike slips by a guy and scores, and then Quincy has that chance where Mike plays him in and all of a sudden you’re sitting there and they’ve done well. It’s a work in progress; we have to make sure that we stick with it and try to keep going because it’s all we have at the moment.”
On the amount of draws
 
“You’re not playing for a tie, that’s the big thing. We put people in to change the game, and so did they. They’re putting on their players to try and get a goal, and we’re putting on our guys to try and get a goal. I can’t put a finger on it. Sometimes you tie a lot of games in the season, and you don’t know why, sometimes you win a ton, and you’ve played the same as you would have done if you had gotten the ties, and it looks like you’re doing great. I think we’ve played well enough to get more wins out of the ties, but maybe there should be some losses in there, which means more points. I don’t know, I can’t put a finger on it. I will say, we’re trying hard, and I think we’ve made some strides. We had a clean sheet tonight, which is important, so that was good.”
 
 
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson
 
On the defensive performance:
 
“I thought we were very organized, we didn’t allow many chances and kept everything in front of us. I think we were able to play a bit more out of the back, which helped us with possession and going forward.  We were able to deal with the pressure teams have been able to put on us, so overall the performance was good.”
 
On Jeff Larentowicz’s performance on the backline
 
“I thought he was great. Jeff’s a leader and he leads by example – he’s great to have back there. You saw in the first half that he blocked a shot for me that was one that was going to be difficult to deal with.  He throws himself into difficult spots, which is good, you always want that from a defender. He’s aggressive and it’s always good to have him in front of me.”
 
On the third clean sheet of the season:
 
“You always want to work on keeping the ball out of the back of the net. For us it’s a building block coming off the San Jose performance, we just wanted to make sure that we got back there and really focused on the little things.  For us defensively, that was getting back on track, and getting a shutout after a game like that is great for us.”
 
 
Chicago Fire defender and captain Jeff Larentowicz
 
On playing on the back line:
 
“I thought we did alright. A shutout is good. I haven’t gotten much training back there, but it’s a place I’ve played before for a number of years so I’m pretty comfortable and I felt alright.”
On the clean sheet restoring confidence in the defense:
 
“Clean sheets are good.  However we want to play, we have to work as a unit.  Whether it’s me or anybody else – you have to communicate, you have to work well with each other.  I think that’s what we did tonight, and I think that’s what we didn’t do in San Jose.  I don’t think it was just a backline issue, I think it was kind of everybody.  Tonight, for sure, we worked together and communicated.  Good defenses make the goal keeper’s job easy and I think we did that for Sean tonight.”
 
On Jermaine Jones potentially joining the team and his role if that happens:
 
“I want to be on the field, I don’t mind where it is. He’s a good player and we love to have good players on our club. If that’s the truth, great.  I just want to be on the field wherever I can help, I don’t mind where it is, he’s a good player.”
 
On what Jones would bring to the team:
 
“It would be good [to bring in Jones]. He’s got tons of experience.  It’s good to have experienced guys, it’s good to have guys with strong character on your team. I’ve been around him very little, but he’s a very good player, he’s a tough guy and that would help. Wherever he goes, he’ll do well in the league.”
 
 
Chicago Fire midfielder Razvan Cocis
 
On his first competitive match at Toyota Park:
 
“It feels great, but we didn’t win this game, so I only have a little reason to be happy.  It’s good to be on the field, but I’m not happy with the result.”
 
On how he’s been treated by the team:
“The team has treated me very nicely and kindly. I knew American people are kind and welcome everybody. Everybody has been nice to me and asking me questions like I was one of them from the first day.”
 
On choosing Chicago and his plans to stay in MLS:
 
“I don’t know if I chose [Chicago], I had this offer and I took it.  I hope to stay in MLS, that’s why I came here.  When I came here, I came to stay of course.”
 
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson
 
On the team’s effort today:
 
“I could have predicted [the tie] before the game.  I think you guys could too.  Frank the same so, but yeah we’re disappointed.  Think it was a game we could have won.  I’m sure Frank will feel the same as well.  We played on Sunday, difficult for us to come to the east coast, but the boys showed a lot of blood, guts, and thunder if I am honest.  They couldn’t have given me any more effort that then did today.  I think we had our best period of the game in the first twenty minutes of the second half.  We controlled the game.  We ended up getting probably the best chance of the game but we couldn’t take it.  I won’t fault a single player because they’ve been absolutely fantastic.  Today, as well as all season.”
 
On another tie:
 
“You’re right, it is frustrating.  You win one, you lose one, and it’s probably better off doing that than being unbeaten in four.  I’m not happy with the draw, but we’ll take the draw because the performance, the effort was there from the guys.  We move on.  We got a big game in ten days time.”
 
Collecting a point on the road:
 
“You always want to try to win games.  Frank probably is saying the same as well.  It’s an opportunity for him as a home game.  We are in a run at the moment where we are drawing a lot of games.  But it’s a fine line this game.  It really is, between winning and losing.  I think you see that, especially today because it was an okay game, but it wasn’t a great game to watch.  We had a great game to watch on Sunday, because playing against Dallas, and we ended up with a draw as well.  It’s the same result unfortunately, but probably two different performances.”
 
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Omar Salgado
 
On the match:
 
“It was a hard fought match.  Zero-zero’s are always hard fought games.  Chicago is a good team, and we came in here knowing who we are playing, and it’s good to get a clean sheet.”
 
On the draw being a fair result:
 
“Yes, I feel so.  Both teams had their chances.  I feel like we had the clear chance with Eric, and if we put that away, it’s a one-zero game, and we take it away.”
 
On his performance:
 
“It was good.  I feel like I was able to get the ball a little more than against Salt Lake and I tried to put the ball in to the box.  It was a good team performance overall. “
 
On turning ties into wins:
 
“Yes, just score goals, obviously.  We’ve had our chances.  Last game we had over 30 so, we just need to score our chances.”
 
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted
 
On the match:
 
“I thought it was a story of two teams trying but not really getting there.  Both teams really wanted to go for it, but the ability just wasn’t there today.”
 
On being too cautious and not pushing for the win:
 
“No…that’s why I say the ability was missing a little bit.  I don’t think it was fear on our part, but I think we said in the locker room we wanted to try to go and get the win.  We need the win. I think Chicago was the same way. It was a lot of trying but not a lot of succeeding.”
 
On the team’s defensive performance:
 
“Yes, I thought we did well.  It’s always nice to get a clean sheet, especially away from home.  But it’s finding the balance of doing well both defensively and offensively in the same game.  We’re still looking for that.”
 
On getting out of the tie rut:
 
“There is. Go get a win. That’s the easiest way.  I think we are there.  I think the little details are there.  Once we get a win, we will get over the hump.”
 
On it being more of a mental game than a physical game to register a win:
 
“I think it’s a little bit of both.  It’s physical, when you’re coming here, after playing a game on Sunday, traveling then, and coming to Chicago which is a tough place to play.  But it also mentally, getting over that hump, and doing the little things correctly and getting that win.  It would be nice for us.”
 
On facing off against Sporting KC:
 
“Another really tough match.  Now we are getting into a bye week.  A little weekend off here.  That’s going to be really nice for us.  We need it.  And then KC at home.  Big game for us.  A game we have a good chance of winning.”
30 July 10:55 pm

Select shots from the Fire's draw with Vancouver.