Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop
On the result:
“It seems it’s the story of the season, where we play well enough to be in the game, do the right things, mainly. Getting chances and not taken them. Then having a spell of lax play when we’re soft and we’re off people and they are letting them play and then the team punishes us, it’s happen actually all season to be honest, more than a couple of games. It’s a real difficult one to put your finger on because it’s a whole team thing but we got to be a lot stronger and braver in both boxes, and that’s where the game is won and lost.”
On the period right after halftime when New England scored:
“Halftime shouldn’t make a difference in the performance, we’re professional, they have been playing the game a long time, doesn’t make a difference, you got to be ready whatever they throw at you and you’ll be clued in and tuned in and we weren’t and when you give a team with the fire power like New England, obviously have good players, they are going to punish you and they did. It was a set play again, good finish, but we have guys running sort of away from the danger area when they shouldn’t be and leaving a guy like that at the edge of the box, pre-strike, he’s going to hit the target and he did, but we got to hand it to their finishers, pretty good what they did tonight and ours were poor.”
On his team playing to the end of the game despite being down two goals:
“The game was kind of, I wouldn’t say it was dead, if we would’ve scored one to get it back, pretty close to it. JJ had a couple of good chances, Jason Johnson. Guly had one I think. I think the one that was really good was Harry (Shipp) headed at the start of the game. If we score that, it makes a bit of a difference obviously, but still, we have not had a nil nil game this year. Forget scoring, we can’t defend. We have conceded I think seven or eight goals in three matches. I know the league is an attacking league but that doesn’t mean anything, so we got to figure that out for sure.”
On how his club will move forward:
“We get all our guys that are away back, still they are attacking guys they’re not defensive type players so it makes a difference to the other team. Again we just didn’t defend well at the right times and got punished.”
Chicago Fire forward Jason Johnson
On his opportunities as a substitute:
“Pretty much unfortunate. It’s never a good sign when you try, try and keeper made good saves or unfortunate to just—for the ball to just go outside the post. Dreaded for the loss but we got to stay focused, stick together and get ready for the next game, you know?”
On whether the bye week and upcoming U.S. Open Cup game may help the team regroup:
“I think the Open Cup game coming up is a good opportunity to get back the winning way cycle. That would be good to get the momentum going even in the bye week, for the guys to get ready for the next game.”
Chicago Fire midfielder Harry Shipp
On the result:
“It was a tough one I thought overall they did a better job than we did at controlling tempo. I think a lot of the game was played in our own defensive half which eventually you’re going probably give up goals if that’s the case and we created a couple of chances, could have snuck away with a tie but all in all we were outplayed.”
On missing some key players:
“It’s tough when you’re missing guys but we’re confident in the guys we have and that’s no excuse. I think you expect, you’ve got a team of 26, 27 guys you expect whosever here to be able to step in and do the roles just as well as the guys who are gone so no it’s no excuse for us.”
On the team moving forward:
“It’s tough I think it’s three losses in a row now for us so it’s been tough, it’s a tough stretch, you know it’s a long season so you’re probably going to have a few stretches where you’re winless for a few games but it’s how you snap out of it and gain some confidence because right now we’re probably a little low on that.”
A nationwide movement swept through the City of Chicago Friday -- one with a close connection to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club.
For the first time ever, Special Olympics is orchestrating a coast-to-coast relay of the Flame of Hope in preparation for the upcoming Special Olympics World Summer Games 2015 in Los Angeles (July 25-Aug. 2). In fact, the torch is traversing a trio of routes across the continental U.S., following Northern, Central and Southern passages, crossing through all 50 states over 46 days with the help of thousands of local torchbearers along the way.
As the Northern Route makes its way through the Midwest, Chicago Fire COO Atul Khosla -- flanked by Sparky, the Chicago Fire mascot -- was fortunate enough Friday to cover a half-mile leg of the journey that wound through McCormick Place and west along Cermak Road.
On Saturday, Special Olympics will host a Unified Relay Community Celebration at Navy Pier from 1-3 p.m., before continuing north to Wisconsin and on to Minnesota. Additionally, area residents wishing to support Special Olympics in a direct manner can attend this weekend's Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games at Illinois State University in Normal and Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Competition began Friday and continues Saturday (7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) through Sunday (7:30 a.m.-Noon).
The Chicago Fire and Chicago Fire Foundation have long partnered with Special Olympics for initiatives throughout the area, but AK's involvement in the inaugural Unified Relay carried a bit of extra significance thanks to the ongoing Chicago Fire Unified Soccer Team initiative. The team, which pairs teens with and without intellectual disabilities, is part of a cornerstone program for Special Olympics as the organization seeks to break down stereotypes and foster fun, empowering athletic settings. The Fire's Unified Soccer Team is currently in training for an August match in Portland that coincides with the Chicago Fire First Team's road match against the Portland Timbers.
For more on the Special Olympics Unified Relay and to follow its journey, visit UnifiedRelay.org.
Chicago Fire Academy
The Chicago Fire U-18 and U-16 sides concluded U.S. Soccer Development Academy play over the weekend.
The U-18s defeated Crew SC Academy Wolves 2-0 on Saturday morning with goals from Ben Rhoder and Peter Schropp, and on Sunday topped Vardar, 2-0, courtesy of goals from Cameron Lindley and Ben Rhoder. The U-18s finished the regular season first in the Mid-America Division with a 14-4-9 record.
The U-16s fell 3-1 to Crew SC Academy Wolves on Saturday and defeated Vardar by a score of 3-2 behind a Vitalis Takawira Jr. strike and a Todor Atlija brace on Sunday. The U-16s finish the season with an 11-9-7 record, just out of a spot in the playoffs.
Chicago Fire PDL
The Chicago Fire PDL side defeated the St. Louis Lions 3-1 on Sunday evening at Toyota Park, led by a Joey Calistri brace in the 20th and 55th minutes and an 89th minute strike from Fletcher Ekern.
With a 2-0-2 record, the Fire sit in second place in the Heartland Division of the Central Conference, just one point behind the Springfield Synergy FC, who have played seven matches.
Next up the Fire host the Des Moines Menace on the Toyota Park Turf Field on Tuesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. CT.
MLS Regular Season
Chicago Fire vs. Orlando City SC
June 6, 2015
Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer
Thoughts on the match:
“Obviously kind of stunned and shocked with the result. It felt like pretty similar to last year to be honest. At 2-1, I thought we were going go see the game out but we self destructed. And it was a tough thing to take to be honest. A tough one”.
On how to bounce back from the tough week:
“Well, we know we have to. I mean we had enough chances tonight to score more goals but we’ve conceded six goals in two matches. And at any level that is not good enough of. It is a collective thing, it’s not just one person doing it, and it’s the team. And for whatever reason, we talk about, we watch a lot of clips, work a lot in training, and sometimes in soccer it’s not about pretty play it’s about digging deep and making sure the opposition doesn’t get a chance. And I think that is kind of missing right now in the last two matches. We saw it against Montreal and I thought it was good. In the last two games, in certain important moments in the game we didn’t collectively defend at all. I wouldn’t call it mistakes it’s just a catalog of errors that cost us. I haven’t obviously watched the whole game back but seeing the goal doesn’t look good to be honest. But we just got to keep going, keep playing on. Some of our players are quite bright going forward but that doesn’t matter in the end. If you concede three goals at home, I’m not sure you deserve to win. And we didn’t.”
On what positives to take from the results:
“Again, I think we have some exciting players and I think that we still are growing but at some point we have to put a line in the sand and say we’ve got to be a team that wins games. We’ve lost seven matches and we’ve lost last year and it’s getting closer to that. We weren’t very good last year, so it’s a weird thing where we’ve a pretty exciting team going forward but we not a team that can concede games out or win them like you should win games. At 2-1 we should have won the game. I’ll give them the goal by Larin, it was a great finish. A great finish. And maybe you can expect that it was a terrific finish. I think we still should have clear it. Adi had a chance twice to clear and we didn’t, but a good finish. But to go and loss the match after that and give the conference opponent three points and we get none. So that’s not good. So that was a tough one”.
On bringing Mike Magee in to the game
“Me and Mike spoke yesterday. And twenty minutes was maximum, from probably around 15 to 10 minutes, something like that. That was the idea and I think again they equalized right when we bring Mike in. And again you know, it’s good to have him back on the field. Obviously he has been out a while and to expect miracles from Mike right now would be tough but we will slowly but surely bring him back to health and hopefully he can help us out. Attacking-wise we created some chances and not finishing them but it is just the overall mentality the defending has been, especially the last two matches have been quite poor.”
On conceding two own goals
“I’m not sure that I have seen that with many teams I have coached or played on, but I mean, the first was kind of a deflection of Jon onto Adi’s knee and goes in. Obviously the second one more of it just rolls over the line and JJ tries to clear it. But I haven’t seen it. Just disappointed. At least we should have cleared the ball before and we lose the header at the back post. Jon saves it and it goes and hits Adi. The second one is preventable and so in the end it goes in the net and it doesn’t matter who scores it. They scored three goals and we got two.”
Harry Shipp, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On the match
“It’s pretty frustrating, reminds me of what happened last year in a lot of games. Came out second half, I thought we played pretty well and got the goal and then stopped playing. You look at a team like Barcelona where no matter what the score they keep playing the same way, they have that identity and for us there is so much fluctuation between playing long and keeping the ball. Anytime you switch up in the course of the game it’s probably not going to bode well for you. Unfortunately for us in the last twenty five minutes we weren’t able to keep the ball as much as we wanted to.“
On giving up late goals
“It’s tough. It’s a combination of natural goals and avoidable mistakes and stupid little things that we aren’t doing great. Like I said we’re being forced to absorb pressure because we decide to stop keeping the ball and that’s a combination of people from back to front, kind of gone stagnant the last twenty minutes of the game and that’s something that you can’t have happen to you.”
On switching formations and positions
“I think it’s tough being our third game in seven days, and with Shaun out. We knew coming into the game that guys would be moving around, be it in the starting lineup or over the course of the game. It’s not an excuse; we’ve got smart enough soccer players in this team to be able to play multiple positions and move around during the course of the game. That’s something about soccer is that it’s not really a coach’s game as the game is going on, it’s up to the players to figure it out and we didn’t do the best job of that tonight. “
On maintaining focus throughout the game
“You have to focus so much on it mentally, and at times when you’re exhausted and on your third game in seven days it’s easy to squeeze up and kick it long and I think that if we’re really going to be a good team that mental will to keep playing and keep passing and moving maybe when your legs and body are tired is something that we haven’t got to yet. Hopefully at some point in the course of the season we’ll be able to do that.”
On moving forward
“This league is about streaks. I think that every team is going to have positive and negative streaks and it’s how you shorten the negative ones. Luckily we’ve got another game next weekend, it’s tough, it’s definitely going to hurt this week and everybody is going to have to go back and figure out what they can do in the last twenty minutes to keep that lead, because it’s unacceptable to blow that.”
Orlando City SC Head Coach Adrian Heath
On the team's winning performance
"I thought some of our football was very, very good at times. We gave them the start, switched off from a corner, we spoke about [how] they've done this before, but we weren't switched on and we paid dearly for it. But I thought, in between the goals, I thought we were far and away the best team in terms of football this evening, I really did."
On rallying to tie and win the match
"I said last week, I feel as if the group is coming together a little bit more. There's a little bit more camaraderie in the group, they're getting to know each other a little bit more, it's a really happy dressing room. As I said to them tonight, nothing comes easy; anything that is worth fighting for is hard. They dug in tonight, I thought they were excellent, I thought there were some really good performances."
On the performance from the youth
"That's what we've got to get more out of it, running in behind people, because that's his [Carlos Rivas] strength. He's as quick as anybody in this country playing football. We have to get him running in behind people, we have to use him a little bit, it's a perfect example of what we've been trying to do in training: running behind the last man, sliding balls down the side at people. There will be benefit from that, it'll be a confidence-booster for him, but great finish from Cyle. But I thought, overall, we deserved to win, and we had some really good performances."
On the general direction of the team.
"It's four games without defeat, two wins, two draws. I'm pleased with the way we're heading at the moment. As I said, we're still a work in progress, I'm still not as pleased with what we are. I think there's an awful lot of work to go, but as I've said before, I think there's an awful lot more growth in this team, because certainly, a few players are starting to grasp what we're looking for."
Orlando City SC Forward Cyle Larin
On the importance of a road victory
"I think it's important that we move up in the table. I think we fought back and were on them the whole game, we needed to get the ball then, then you saw it when we came back, we started playing, and we started scoring."
On having a sense of urgency
"When we do that, when we have a sense of urgency, we're able to score. You saw it today, when I came on and then [Carlos] Rivas came on, we started to get at them, and that's when he [Adrian Heath] told us from the bench, just get at them and we'll come back."
On turning around the game
"I think when we really believe in each other, we'll come back. We're a really good team, and I think once we believe in each other, and play with a sense of urgency, we'll be fine."
Orlando City SC Midfielder Kaka
On capping off a four-game streak without a loss
"Not perfect. Amazing win today, congratulations to our team, we played a very good game. Now that we are in a good way, we know that we need to keep playing like this, because now it's four games without a loss, and that's a very good thing for us. Now we have a game at home, in front of supporters, and await the opportunity to keep winning."
On explaining a comeback victory
"It's difficult to explain what happened, because it was a very tough game. But I think, every game, this team is getting better, we are revealing our character every game, so this is a very good thing for us, and we are very happy. Now we can celebrate this amazing win."
On maintaining a winning streak [note: in Portuguese]
"As I said in interviews previous to the game, it's very important to maintain a winning streak, especially away from home. It was a very exciting game, a game that showed me the character of the team. We were losing on two occasions, but we found a way to win. Now we have an upcoming match at home, which is an excellent opportunity to maintain a winning streak."
Orlando City SC Midfielder Lewis Neal
On the importance of this victory
"It's a massive three points. Any three points in this league, home or away, are big. We played pretty open, exciting football as you say. There were some times we were a little bit exposed the way we were going forward at times, but that's the way we play, and that's the way we like to try [to win]. Tonight, we came away with three points. I thought, to be honest, we were a little bit sloppy in possession at times, but in general, I thought we were the better team for most of the night. They have some decent chances after the pace that they had, which was to be expected, and guys with pace that they got in their team, they're going to hurt anybody. It's something you have to ride your luck with a little bit at times, but overall, I thought we deserved the three points."
On the team's character coming back to win
"I think we've shown that on a few occasions this season, how we've come back. We've been down at home on a few occasions, we've come back and nix a point at home. But I think we've shown that we're slowly getting there as a team, we're starting to believe in what we're trying to do and where we're trying to go with the team. Hopefully it's started to show on the field, and hopefully it continues to show."
On returning from injury
"For me personally, it was obviously really exciting just to be out there. It's been eight, nine weeks since I last played, so it was certainly time. My legs were a little bit worse for wear, but it was certainly nice to be out there. I was little bit rusty at times, but that's to be expected when you haven't played for so long. But it was pleasing to get out there, and to come away with the three points is the main thing."
2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Kaká is slated to feature for Orlando City SC in tonight's match vs. the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park (7:30 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago). With that in mind, the broadcast duo of Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan have asked Chicago Fire fans for their opinions on today's matchday poll question:
Who is the greatest player to show in a match played at Toyota Park? Choose from the answers below and tune into the CSN Chicago pregame show at 7 p.m. CT to watch Dan and Kevin debate the question.
The weather forecast for the Chicago Fire's Saturday night matchup with Orlando City SC (7:30 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago, ESPN Deportes 97.5 FM Chicago) calls for clear skies and warm, June-like temperatures.
The outlook for the following morning? Not as promising.
As a result of predicted rain and severe weather, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Friday that the annual Meet The Team event for the club's Season Ticket Holders, originally scheduled for Sunday (June 7), has been postponed to Sunday, July 26. The event, which allows Season Ticket Holders to meet and mingle with Chicago Fire First Team players and coaches at Toyota Park, will run from 12-2 p.m.
Season ticket holders with further questions should contact their dedicated account representative or call 888-MLS-FIRE for more information.
See you Saturday night!
Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Yallop
On what he saw in the first half:
"If you look at the way we played it was very good and basically at half time it’s more of the same. I knew they were going to change the game with putting players on. Espindola comes on and makes a difference but we seemed to stop playing. You’ve got to credit D.C. for the forceful play but we’ve got to do better at defending and handling situations. I said they’re going to change it up and get at you so we better be ready for it and we’ve got to adjust our game and play quicker or whatever it is and when we get a chance to punish them on the break, best do it so it’s disappointing were 1-0 up and lose 3-1 away from home. You know it’s never a good feeling at all."
On the team’s first goal:
"It was a great goal for us. Good early ball by Harry, great run by Quincy, good early ball by Quincy and a good finish by David but that wasn’t the issue. For whatever reason we stopped playing in a certain part in the game and started trying to soak up pressure when we can’t do that. We were naïve a little bit tonight I think in the big picture and D.C. United kept going and were stronger than us. The set play goal was awful to concede. I haven’t seen the goals, so I have to look at them again on tape but it’s never good to concede three goals at home or away but especially when you’re away and one goal up."
On the midweek road games and the challenges that brings:
"Yeah, there are no excuses though, we’re professionals, for 45 minutes we were fine. I thought we played probably our best stuff away from home. It was good, it was clean. Without getting the second goal, Jeff missed penalty kick but obviously it maybe wouldn’t have mattered because right afterwards we scored anyway. For us conceding three goals in any match is not good so we’ve got to look at it again, dig deep and get ready for Saturday’s game because it’s a big game for us."
On what he takes away from this game heading in to Saturday:
"We’ve got to take away decent play in the first half, good goal by us but we’ve got to look at the tape and figure out what went wrong in the second half. It was forty minutes, three goals conceded which is not good. I think one of them was a bit of a ricochet but it doesn’t matter, we’ve got to be able to clear the ball. We’ve got to defend a lot better than that. I made some changes to the lineup but I don’t think that made a difference to the result and I think we should have done better than that to get a result."
Chicago Fire Goalkeeper Jon Busch
On his impressions on the game:
"The first half they didn’t have too many looks. They were organized defensively and had some good chances on the offensive side. They had the one early shot and that was about it. Second half they stepped it up a gear and unfortunately we couldn’t keep up with it. They took over the second half and we couldn’t deal with it."
On what he took away from the game:
"It’s the same thing we’ve been saying all season, we have halves that are good and we have halves that aren’t good. The first half was a real positive. Second half we weren’t sharp, we weren’t keeping the ball when we should and we weren’t dynamic enough. We got a little lackadaisical in the back and good teams will punish you. D.C. United is a good team, they’re at the top of the table for a reason and they showed it tonight."
On the difficulties of the midweek game:
"There’s no excuses. Everybody’s got to play midweek games at some point in the season. We came out with the right mentality just didn’t do it for 90 minutes and we’ve got to pick ourselves up now and get ready for Saturday. This is how the league goes and you just get on with it. You have midweek games, you’ve got bunches where you’ve got to pick up points."
Chicago Fire Forward David Accam
On the overall reaction to the game:
"For me, I think we played a good team today. So far this season this is the best team we played and it showed in that second half. Even though we were much better in the first half, we didn’t keep the tempo up and they were much better than us in the second half."
On the differences in the second half:
"I think they wanted it more than us in the second half and that’s the only difference. You can see the pressure they gave us and they were hungry to win the game."
On his goal:
"For me, I know whenever the ball is out wide then I need to get in the box. Quincy was smart enough to see me, to give me the first time pass to score."
On what he takes in to the next game against Orlando:
"How we played in the first half. There was so much positive in the first half and we have to forget about the scores today and concentrate on the next game on Saturday. We should play the way we played in the first half and we should win on Saturday."
The CSN Chicago announcing duo of Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan are asking fans for their help prior to tonight's Chicago Fire match at DC United.
MORE: Match Preview
Cast your vote in the survey below and watch Dan and Kevin discuss your responses on the Chicago Fire Pregame show at 5:30 p.m. CT on CSN Chicago Plus:
The Chicago Fire's convincing 3-0 victory over Montreal Saturday night drew significant praise from numerous outlets. ESPNFC.com's Major League Soccer Team of the Week featured a remarkable four representatives from the Men In Red: goal-scorers Kennedy Igboananike, Harry Shipp and Jeff Larentowicz as well as defender Joevin Jones all merited inclusion.
Igboananike's first goal in a Fire shirt also landed him on the MLS Team of the Week as named by the league, while Harry Shipp's left-footed blast is one of five nominees for the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week.
The next big Major League Soccer star may one day look back and remember the Chicago Fire as the club that offered a springboard to his pro soccer career.
A national search for undiscovered youth soccer talent that began with 1,200 total entrants across three tryout locations (Chicago, Orlando and Los Angeles) has been narrowed to four final honorees. Remarkably, three of the four were among those that emerged as winners of the Chicago-based tryout hosted in conjunction with the Chicago Fire on May 16-17.
The four finalists were announced Sunday at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles -- where the 18 total winners from each regional tryout lived and trained as professionals for one week -- during a live broadcast on Univision's Republica Deportiva.
Eduardo Munoz, a Lafayette, Ind. native who emerged from the Chicago tryout, claimed the Portero Allstate honor as the top goalkeeper in the competition. He'll head to the Sueño MLS final in Miami next week along with three finalists from among the field players: Baltazar Duran of Cicero, Ill., Miguel Acosta of San Diego, and Isaac Arellano of Las Vegas, who came through the Chicago-area tryout.
On the line in Miami will be one spot in a Major League Soccer Academy program and a veritable path to an MLS First Team.
For more on the Sueño MLS program and each of the four finalists, visit MLSsoccer.com/Sueño.