Quote Sheet: Fire vs. Red Bulls
Chicago Fire 3 - 1 New York Red Bulls
Toyota Park - June 17, 2012
Frank Klopas - Chicago Fire Head Coach
Comments on the match...
“It was a great win, and it’s good to be back home. It’s important after this two week break to start off on the right track. We talked about coming out from the beginning and having a good start to the game and pressuring right off the bat. We had a great start. We lost momentum and the rhythm after the first 15-20 minutes. We gave up a goal off of a set piece and then the team responded very well. I give credit to the players and the great fans coming out and watching the game. It was a great victory for us.”
On the disallowed goal motivating the team...
“You saw change a little bit, the players pushed harder to get the win. They never lost confidence or the belief. Chris played a great through ball. The team responded really well after that. It’s great to be back home with our great fans. We need to build on this and get ready for Columbus, another tough match.”
On Chris Rolfe’s performance..
“Chris came in and changed the game. He’s got technical ability. His ability to make a good run. He can definitely be a difference maker. Toward the end you saw that he’s a little bit rusty. We have to keep working with him on his fitness and through games to get his sharpness back. When he is 100% he can definitely be a difference maker and score goals.”
On the defense today...
“It was fantastic. Obviously we’re missing Arne Friedrich and Corey Gibbs. Austin Berry and Jalil Anibaba are young but they did a fantastic job. They can compete and are good in the air. Kenny Cooper is a guy that is good in the air and uses his body well. I thought the whole back line did well. Sean Johnson came up with some crucial saves in the game as well. Credit to those guys, they did a good job tonight and I know they are looking forward to the next match. They get better every game.”
On the offensive performance being the best of the season...
“It’s always good when you create chances and you finish them. We talked about starting games with a mental focus. You have to have the ability to lock games down and be focused 90 minutes. It’s great when you create 3, 4, 5 chances and you score 3 goals.... 4 goals if they would’ve counted that one.”
On being the most complete game of the season..
“We always need to look and get better. We talked about limiting teams' opportunities and not giving goals away. Keeping clean sheets. We feel that we do have players that can change the game, create opportunities, and score. I think overall, from start to finish, it’s better. Now we have to continue to build. It’s on to the next game. The important thing is that we’re all focused on reaching our goals in the end. This is behind us. Fantastic. Very good victory. Now back to work.”
Chris Rolfe, Chicago Fire forward
On his goal:
“It was classic Patrick [Nyarko], he does it all by himself on the outside making it really easy for me. As soon as he got his touch past the defender I knew that he was going to slide it across and I just had to be there.”
On his return to Toyota Park:
“It was a great win for the team - it doesn’t get any better than that, especially compared to the last appearance I had that kind of went the other way. The guys responded really well to the disallowed goal, and finished the game on a strong note.”
On his home debut:
“Personally, it was exciting – seeing the fans and enjoying all their support. My family was in the crowd and my father was here for Father’s Day. It was great. After the game I was able to let lose a little and enjoy the crowd.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire midfielder
On the result:
“This was a total team effort. It was a hot day out there – we had to play a team game to win this one. We had a couple weeks break and we had a rough patch before the break, so it was necessary to come out here, at home, and get the points. New York is just a little bit ahead of us so we had to close the gap. We needed to come out firing, and I think we came out with the right mentality and attitude of a home team and got that early goal. We need to make sure we play like in all the games.”
On what Chris Rolfe brings to the Fire:
“First of all, he is a finisher, a goal scorer. He’s done that throughout his whole career – he’s quicker than a lot of people think, he’s got great feet and he works hard. Chris is also a two-way player, we’re excited to have him back and we’re looking forward to having him help us into the playoffs.
On the team’s best performance this season:
“As far as we didn’t go down a goal, from that stand point it was the best game of the year. We played pretty well against Philadelphia early in the season when we shut them out, but this game was right up there with that one.”
On the team’s performance after the disallowed goal:
“It wasn’t just the disallowed goal that sparked us, them getting the goal inspired us. We thought we had control of the game and all of the sudden we gave up a bad goal, that woke us up not necessarily the disallowed goal.”
On not giving up the first goal:
“We challenged ourselves not to go down a goal, that’s the main thing. Because of the bad run we had before the break, we couldn’t let it continue – we had no excuses today. “
Gonzalo Segares, Chicago Fire defender:
On his goal:
“Pappa played a great through ball to me. I was lucky to get here before the defender.”
On the emotion the team felt after the disallowed goal:
“Frustration. It was a very hot day, we put a lot of numbers forward to push for another goal right after they tied it up – our emotions were up and down. The important thing is that we kept fighting and found two other goals.
New York Red Bulls Coach Hans Backe:
Thoughts on the match:
“The first twenty minutes were horrible, conceding an early goal. Survived first half, and bounced back quite well, and scoring the tying goal, making it one-one. I felt our defending game was too flat. I couldn’t see the right attitude. That’s a starting point-defending well. When we got the equalizer, I thought we were able to win the game but we looked too flat.”
On what happened the first 10-15 minutes of the match:
“Well, if you have an answer, you’ll have to tell me. I have no idea, but we didn’t show up the first twenty minutes. I can’t say fatigue or exhausted but there was no power in our actions. As I said, too flat.”
On making a substitution at halftime:
“I said we need to do something. The last 25 minutes of the first half were decent, it was an even game. But I said we need to do something and get some fresh energy. Medhi [Ballouchy] did well and made a difference when he came on. We got the one-one, and we looked good, then when you concede goals that you feel it’s too easy, knowing we can defend better, it’s frustrating. “
On starting Pearce as a defensive midfielder:
“Normally he’s a solid defender and he can protect the center back position, Dax the same, but we aren’t playing the same since we are missing some players. His best position is center back, or left back. But if he’s going to improve, of course he’s going to need some time at that position.”
On looking forward to Vancouver:
“We need to defend better. That has to be the starting point. We need to track different. We need to start better. We have to alter our attacking game and be braver when we crosses and it was too easy for both center backs to win those 50/50 balls. It’s a lot of things that just have to be better. The passing game, too many unforced errors, the pressure. It happens sometimes in games every now and then and it’s still frustrating.”
New York Red Bulls Goalkeeper Ryan Meara:
On coming out flat in the first 15 minutes of the match:
“Yeah, for whatever reason we came out a little flat and they punished us right away. It’s tough to play when it’s 5 minutes in and you’re already down a goal. It’s unacceptable to come out flat but we have a game Wednesday and hopefully we can rebound.”
On getting the equalizer and thinking the team can pull out a win:
“Yeah, I think we all did. And then for whatever reason we kind of went flat a little again. They had a couple of chances and put two away. I can’t really put a finger on why. I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
On getting back to defensive basics for the next match:
“When you don’t give up goals, you win games. When you give up three goals, it’s almost impossible to win games. We almost have to go back to the basics a little and start doing the stuff we did during that run when we were winning games.”
New York Red Bulls Midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli:
On what happened in the second half:
“That’s a good question. I wish we could just know the answer right away. I think we went out for the second half, and played decent. I think when we actually made the equalizer we kind of stopped playing after that. Obviously they came on to us. We were starting to pull back a little bit; we had a few unforced errors again. There were too many of them in the first half. So unfortunately we gave it away when we were definitely into the game. We lost in situations where it was one against one, which we usually are pretty good with. They beat us.”
On what he expects out of his team next match:
“I expect us to bounce back and show and build on what we did in the beginning of the second half. It should never be like that in the first half. We fight for the equalizer and we played well. Chicago pulled back and that’s what we have to build on when we go to Vancouver. It’s not going to be an easy game. It’s going to be a fight, a battle and I think everyone needs to step up more into the 50/50 balls and make sure we don’t get taken on as easy as we did in a couple of situations here. I don’t think we are too good today, which we have been, supporting each other out there. When one person makes a mistake, we help each other out and fix it. Today we were in critical situations, we were losing one against one. That’s how we lost the game.”
On the goal that wasn’t awarded to the Fire:
“It’s one of those situations that’s difficult for the referee, right there and then. We can all see that the ball was inside based on the replay. It tough you know, it’s hard to see far away and we were lucky in that situation. I think those kinds of situations should motivate us even more to make sure, okay we were really lucky, let’s step it up, let’s help each other. Instead it kind of went the opposite way for us. It’s not like we want that to happen but that’s soccer. Critical situations, that’s where we lost the game today. Especially one against one. They got too much space and it was too easy for them, and then we don’t help each other as we were supposed to.”