Chicago Fire Draw LA Galaxy 1-1 Sunday Afternoon

Men in Red earn valuable point in first match of seven-day, three-game stretch

CHICAGO (Sunday, June 1, 2014) – The Chicago Fire (2-3-7, 13 points) drew the LA Galaxy (4-3-4, 16 points) 1-1 Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. Jeff Larentowicz converted a penalty kick in the 68th minute after Quincy Amarikwa was fouled in the box before Landon Donovan equalized for the visitors in the 74th minute. Fire Homegrown midfielder Chris Ritter made his first team debut and Tottenham loanee Grant Ward made his home debut as the Men in Red opened the three-game stretch with a point.

 

With a quick turnaround, the Fire head to the Rockies to face the Colorado Rapids (5-4-3, 18 points) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. on Wednesday, June 4 at 8 p.m. CT (My50/TWCSC Wisconsin/La Ley 107.9 FM). The Men in Red return home to host the Seattle Sounders FC, presented by Athletico Physical Therapy, on Saturday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match are available via Ticketmasterwww.Chicago-Fire.com or 888-MLS-FIRE.

 

MATCH REPORT: http://bit.ly/1u6cowu

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: http://bit.ly/1nV7JvE

 

Quotes:

 

Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop

 

On today’s performance…

 

“I thought we played really well today. I thought we had some great individual performances from a lot of the young guys playing, and other than one mistake, I thought we very deserved to win. Obviously very frustrating points wise, but very encouraging performance wise. I thought they gave their heart for this club and the team today and tried their best to get the result.”

 

On decision to start Chris Ritter…

 

“I think Chris has done well in the games he’s had with the reserves, trains well. With a few bumps and scrapes that we do have, I thought our forward play has been good. I thought today, other than the chance that they got and they scored on, we kept them pretty quiet. A very good team that’s good at going forward. The stability of Chris next to Jeff, it really wasn’t a defensive move. It was more making that box that Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane love to operate in. I think that Chris, Jeff, Baky, and Jhon did a really good job making it difficult for them to get any space and go and that’s reason that I am playing Chris. It loosened Jeff to get on the ball and we had some good solid possession and solid attacks.”

 

On the original back four together after a couple months…

 

“I thought they did well. Gonzo’s not really training much. He got an injection before the match, he has to get his ankle cleaned out, but I think he has done well for what he’s done. Baky and Jhon were strong, and played with authority today. Lovel wasn’t our best player but pretty close. I thought he had a great game. Once they start to play together again, and it’s been up and down and injuries and other things come into it, but I was very happy with the chances we didn’t give to L.A.”

 

On the health of the team…

 

“I think we are okay. Lovel has just a bit of tight hamstring. Quincy has been feeling a little bit fatigued. With the game on Wednesday I thought ‘take him out.’ We were one up at the time. I think we are okay. I haven’t check with Bo [Leonard] yet, but I think we should be okay.”

 

On changing to a more defensive formation in a 4-2-3-1…

 

“The balance has not quite been right and I think the balance was good today. I think we created enough chances to win the game, but we limited them to not many good looks. Whether it’s Chris or the system we played, I liked it. Logan probably would have played in there had he been healthy, but I was very happy with Chris’ performance. I was very happy with the whole demeanor we had and the way we went about it. I thought we played high up the field, which is important. I thought we created some good turnovers, our penalty comes from a turnover, but it was good play by us.”

 

On Landon’s performance today…

 

“He scored so…that’s Landon. I actually texted him when he broke the record and I was there for his first goal in the MLS and I just saw it again today, but Landon is a good player. I think you saw his quality on the finish, and any time we can keep him under wraps, and Robbie Keane, two very good players. Our team did a nice job of that, we didn’t give them some good looks, which usually they have.”

 

On Duka and Ward out wide…

 

“I think both guys did well. Dilly’s been kind of injured all year and he played in the Columbus game and wasn’t effective. He never got himself going. I talked to him this week and said ‘you got that game under your belt; that was the game to get your legs moving, now we got to start to play.’ I thought he did well, a couple of shots, but he is going to tire. He hasn’t played much, but I liked the fact that they are attacking players, both of them, with Harry and Quincy it’s four good attacking options we have and the supply was good from Chris and Jeff. I though Grant Ward played well today. He is a good player, a young kid. It’s a shame we’ve not had him and just got him now. We got to make a decision pretty soon so we will see how that goes.”

 

Chicago Fire Forward Quincy Amarikwa

 

On battling in the heat against the Galaxy

 

“That’s what it was, it was a battle. It’s hot, you could tell; a little bit different than what we’ve been playing in recently. As a team, we battled, we fought hard; unfortunately one mistake got the best of us. But we’ll bounce back and hopefully get a win on the road in Denver.”

 

On the team adapting to multiple injuries

 

“I mean, a couple of guys have come down with injuries, so we’ve had to adapt. I think the guys that were called upon today did really well to fit into the system and really show themselves, and show that we have depth all the way to our 18th man and beyond. I think the guys showed well, and it’s going to carry on through rest of the season.”

 

On how upcoming week will test depth

 

“Yeah, definitely, any time you have three games in eight days, your depth is going to be tested. I think we rose to the occasion today; it only builds confidence for the rest of the week.”

 

On combating fatigue after Columbus game

 

“I feel pretty good. For that reason, I came off a bit early, I think in the 60th minute. Just looking to save my legs a little bit, especially since we’re going to altitude on Wednesday. I think the guys that stepped on did really well. Again, it’s unfortunate to concede that goal; but overall, I think that’s one of the better performances we’ve had, especially at home, this season.”

 

Chicago Fire Homegrown Midfielder Chris Ritter

 

On first game in MLS

 

“It was an exciting day for sure. Getting your first start, or even just making your debut, is certainly a special day. The game didn’t go the way we wanted it to, and I feel a bit at fault for the one goal; but definitely a learning experience, and playing more games this season could make it up.”

 

On the coaching staff’s advice in first game

 

“He kind of just told me to play my game, which is, I think, the best thing to hear from a coach. I think the whole coaching staff had all the confidence in the world in me, so it made going out there pretty easy; so I’m hopefully doing well.”

 

On giving up a goal and learning a tough lesson from it

 

“It just shows how quickly top-notch players like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan can punish you, so definitely a lesson learned.”

 

On technical adjustments in the midfield prior to the game

 

“I think we do a good job adjusting to all the teams we play. It’s kind of a mix of adjusting and letting them adjust to you, so I thought playing with two holding midfielders was effective and held them to limited number of chances.”

 

On being part of the first two Homegrown players to take the field in club history

 

“Definitely exciting. Harry [Shipp] has done a great job this year, and I’m kind of just trying to follow in his footsteps. It’s fun to be out there with Harry, a guy I know pretty well and spend some time with off the field; so definitely a special moment.”

 

Chicago Fire Defender Gonzalo Segares

 

On first individual performance coming back from injury

 

“First game of the season; not completely fit yet, but it was good for me to come back. I feel that defensively, it was pretty good, but I had a few issues with the ball. Definitely not sharp yet, but you just have to keep working.”

 

On health of ankle after the game

 

“It’s okay until the medicine goes away [laughs], then it’ll start hurting. It’s something I’ve been dealing with for a long time, I think it’s around 9-10 weeks, and the bone spurs started growing after the injury that I had. But I’m just glad that we know what it is, and the injection definitely helps me be in the game and not have pain; it’s something that we eventually hope will get fixed.”

 

On being surprised about the starting backline meshing well

 

“No. I’ve worked with Baky [Soumare] for a long time, with Jhon [Kennedy Hurtado] and Lovel [Palmer] I’ve been playing with for a while; we worked a whole preseason as well, so we’re used to each other. I felt we were very satisfied with how we did defensively. It’s unfortunate that the one play, I think the only look that we gave them, they definitely took advantage of that; that’s what you get with Keane and Donovan. I think we learned from that, and we’ll just keep building up. There’s an important game against Colorado this Wednesday, and we need to go over there and get some points.”

 

On tying Chris Armas’ mark of 214 appearances for the Fire

 

“It’s definitely an honor. Chris is a guy that helped me a lot when I came into this league, he’s a Fire legend. It’s definitely an honor to have as many games as him. It’s not easy to stay at one club in MLS, and I’ve been lucky enough and fortunate to have been here for that long.”

 

Notes:

 

-       With the result, the Fire move to 15-19-5 all-time against the Galaxy in regular season play.

-       Gonzalo Segares moves to tie Chris Armas for fourth on the club’s all-time MLS appearance list with 214. Ahead of Segares are Fire assistant coach C.J. Brown (296), Fire midfielder Logan Pause (278) and former Fire ‘keeper Zach Thornton (215).

-       Fire Homegrown midfielder Chris Ritter made his professional debut. The rookie and Winnetka, Ill. native lined up in the center of the park next to captain Jeff Larentowicz.

-       This game marked the first time in Fire history that two Homegrown Players started a MLS match.

-       Grant Ward, who made his debut in the second half of last Saturday’s road loss against the Columbus Crew, made his Toyota Park debut today, earning his first start in a Fire shirt.

 

Chicago Fire 1 – 1 LA Galaxy

 

Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Lovel Palmer (Matt Watson 85’), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Grant Ward, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Chris Ritter, Dilly Duka (Benji Joya 71’); Harry Shipp, Quincy Amarikwa (Juan Luis Anangono 71’)

 

Substitutes not used: Kyle Reynish, Greg Cochrane, Orr Barouch, Steven Kinney

 

LA Galaxy: Jaime Penedo; Tommy Meyer, AJ DeLaGarza, Dan Gargan (Robbie Rogers 43’), Leonardo; Stefan Ishizaki, Baggio Husidic, Gyasi Zardes, Juninho (Marcelo Sarvas 84’), Kenney Walker; Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan

 

Substitutes not used: Kofi Opare, Samuel Rosa, Brian Rowe, Rob Friend

 

Scoring Summary

CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (penalty kick) 68’

LA – Landon Donovan (Robbie Rogers) 74’

 

Misconduct Summary
CHI – Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution) 7’

LA – Landon Donovan (caution) 76’

 

Referee: Hilario Grajeda

Assistants: Paul Scott, Claudio Badea
Fourth Official: Edvin Jurisevic 

Attendance: 17,487

 

ABOUT CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB

The Chicago Fire Soccer Club is a premier franchise of Major League Soccer (MLS).  We provide an engaging and authentic soccer experience for the city of Chicago and for all of our supporters around the world. The Fire enters its 17th season in 2014 looking to continue its winning legacy both on and off the pitch. The Club proudly embodies the spirit and diversity of our sport, and since its inception in 1997, the Fire have captured an MLS Cup in 1998, and remains the only MLS team to have won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup four times. The Fire's home venue is Toyota Park, a world-class soccer stadium located minutes from downtown Chicago in Bridgeview, Ill. For more information on the Fire and to purchase tickets, please visit the Club's official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.