CHICAGO (July 26, 2014) – The Chicago Fire fell 2-0 to Barclay’s Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur Saturday evening in an international friendly. Harry Kane opened scoring for the visitors with a right-footed shot in the 5th minute and Aaron Lennon doubled the lead in the 84th minute as Tottenham completed their three-city American tour with the victory. Fire head coach Frank Yallop utilized a total of 23 players, including Romanian midfielder Razvan Cocis who made his debut in the second half, in the Men in Red’s seventh match of July.
The Fire next welcome Vancouver Whitecaps FC to Toyota Park in a match presented by energySMART, a Nicor Gas Program on Wednesday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/TWCSC Wisconsin/La Ley 107.9 FM). Tickets for the match are available via Ticketmaster or www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Chicago Fire head coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop
On the timing of the game:
“I think it was welcomed because it was a tough few days after the last result we had, so it’s always nice to get back on our feet. Although we lost, I thought that we had a good account of ourselves tonight, and it was good to see our guys responding and playing a lot better than they did in the San Jose game. All in all, happy with both sets of players, and obviously, the result is not what you want, but getting ready for our game on Wednesday is the most important thing for us at the moment. But I think it’s great to have any top club in Europe – not just in England – in Europe come play against us here. So I think it was exciting for our players, and certainly exciting to coach against that caliber of the team we played against in Tottenham.”
On moving Jeff Larentowicz to center back
“I just wanted to look at Jeff there. Obviously, we got beat 5-1, so it’s different combinations I’m looking at and different things. So, you know, it’s my prerogative to look at stuff and try and work on stuff, and see what could be a different scene for us. But Jeff’s played there before, and I think he has the traits to play there. But again, I’ll evaluate the next little bit and pick a team that hopefully gets a good result Wednesday night, and that’s the most important thing. We’ve just got to let the result in San Jose go. It was a bit of a surprise, and I think it shocked me to be honest, and I think I’m just finally getting over it tonight with a decent performance against a very good team.”
On Razvan Cocis’ Chicago Fire debut
“I think he did well. He hasn’t played in – I think it’s 10 weeks in a regular season game, or anything 11 on 11. He knows the game. You don’t play that many times and have the pedigree without knowing the game. I think the more players we can get that have experience and that are savvy, I think that will help us. And I think he showed some stuff tonight that was simple, but good. Obviously, not being fit, so I gave him 30 minutes. I wanted to see how he was doing. I think he was doing fine. But I just didn’t want to push him too much to get him injured and not be available for the next sort of couple of weeks. So, we’ll see. Probably not available for Wednesday. I don’t know, I’ll talk to him. But we’ll see.”
On seeing the whole roster play in a competitive game
“Good. I mean, a lot of times you play a reserve game on a Sunday morning and both sets of players have either played a little bit in the game the night before or whatever it is, but this is a real, proper game against a good opponent. I think our guys rose to the occasion, I thought we played some good stuff. We were a little unlucky to not get on the score sheet, especially in the second half, only had a couple of chances to notch. But again, I was proud and happy about the way we went about ourselves tonight.”
On Brad Friedel’s reception at Toyota Park
“He deserves all the accolades you can give him, to be honest. Is he 43? Not bad. He’s in good shape, but I think one of the top, if not the top, goalkeepers we’ve seen from the states. I think he deserved everything he got tonight. I don’t know how much more he’s going to play, but he’s actually a real gentlemen, as well. I know him pretty well too, and he’s a terrific guy – and I think that’s the main thing I look at. He’s a terrific player, obviously, but I think being a really good person like he is, he deserves everything he gets.”
Chicago Fire midfielder Grant Ward
On playing Tottenham
“It was a good experience to play against a few people I know, some good players. For me, it was time to impress. Obviously a new coaching staff, new manager coming in, so it was time to impress.”
Chicago Fire midfielder Razvan Cocis
On playing his first game with the Fire
“I was really excited before. I think it was okay, beside the tightness. I’m off from the end of May, [when] Europe and championships stop, I was in Ukraine. So, a little bit tight, but I’m getting back to it.”
On first impression of the Fire
“Only good impressions about the club and everything, because they’re all professional. I just met the team yesterday, that was the only impediment: I didn’t train with the team, just one day, because they were off when I was here. But besides that, I feel like all professionals, I feel fine.”
On urgency to play regular minutes
“I like to be fit as soon as possible, but this depends on the body, and we just need to control it. I think we don’t need to rush it, but as I told you, they are professional so they know what they’re doing. I have been working with Tony Jouaux since I came here, and he’s doing a great job for me. We will try to come to good fitness as soon as possible.
On decision to sign with Major League Soccer
“The decision to come to the MLS was one year ago, one and a half. I really like the US; I’ve been here on holiday a few times, I’ve been here with the national team. I’d heard lots of things lately about MLS, I even watched the World Cup, so for me I think it was the best choice.
- The Fire move to 2-3-0 against English sides.
- With the Fire facing their eight match of the month on Wednesday, Fire head coach Frank Yallop utilized a total of 23 players in tonight’s match.
- Romanian midfielder Razvan Cocis made his Fire debut when he started the second half and played a total of 30 minutes in his first action in a Fire shirt.
Chicago Fire 0 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson (Kyle Reynish 46’); Lovel Palmer (Steven Kinney 46’), Jeff Larentowicz (C) (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 46’), Patrick Ianni (Bakary Soumare 46’), Gonzalo Segares (Greg Cochrane 46’); Grant Ward (Dilly Duka 55’), Chris Ritter (Logan Pause 46’), Matt Watson (Razvan Cocis 46’, Marco Franco 77’), Harry Shipp (Benji Joya 46’); Mike Magee (Alex 46’), Quincy Amarikwa (Matt Fondy 46’)
Substitutes not used: none
Tottenham Hotspur: Brad Friedel (Luke McGee 77’); Kyle Walker (Kyle Naughton 46’), Danny Rose (Ben Davies 46’), Michael Dawson (C), Milos Veljkovic (Ryan Fredericks 79’); Erik Lamela (Christian Eriksen 46’), Lewis Holtby (Yago Falque 64’), Etinne Capoue, Andros Townsend (Aaron Lennon 46’), Ryan Mason; Harry Kane (Roberto Soldado 46’)
Substitutes not used: Younes Kaboul; Christian Ceballos
TOT – Harry Kane (Lewis Holtby) 5’
TOT – Aaron Lennon (Roberto Soldado) 84’
TOT – Danny Rose (caution) 45+’
CHI – Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution) 59’
TOT – Kyle Naughton (caution) 82’
TOT – Etienne Capoue (caution) 88’
Referee: Andres Pfefferkorn
Assistants: Brian Boeschel, Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Dimitar Chavdaray