Chicago Fire Earn 0-0 Draw Against Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Sean Johnson and Fire defense earn third shutout of 2014 season

CHICAGO (Wednesday, July 30, 2014) – The Chicago Fire (3-5-12, 21 points) earned a 0-0 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-4-11, 29 points) Wednesday evening at Toyota Park. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made two saves as the Fire defense earned the third shutout of the season.

Next up for the Men in Red is a clash with Eastern Conference foes Columbus Crew for Military Appreciation Night presented by TrueCar at Toyota Park on Saturday, Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/TWCSC Wisconsin/La Ley 107.9 FM). The first 5,000 fans in the stadium will receive a set of commemorative Chicago Fire dog tags. Tickets to the match are available via Ticketmaster and www.Chicago-Fire.com.

MATCH REPORT: http://bit.ly/1pHlewr  

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

Quotes:

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.”

 

Notes:

-       Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made two saves en route to the third shutout of the season, the 24th of his career.

-       Romanian midfielder Razvan Cocis made his competitive debut when he entered in the 62nd minute of the match.

-       Tonight marked the eighth match across all competitions for the Fire to close out July.

 

Chicago Fire 0 – 0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Lovel Palmer, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Patrick Ianni, Gonzalo Segares; Grant Ward (Harry Shipp 62’), Chris Ritter (Razvan Cocis 62’), Matt Watson, Alex; Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa (Matt Fondy 82’)

Substitutes not used: Kyle Reynish; Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Logan Pause

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Jordan Harvey, Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell; Matias Laba, Gershon Koffie (Russell Teibert 57’), Sebastian Fernandez (Omar Salgado 58’), Pedro Morales ©; Erik Hurtado (Kekuta Manneh 77’), Darren Mattocks

Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Andy O’Brien, Mehdi Ballouchy, Nicolas Mezquida

Scoring Summary

None 

 

Misconduct Summary

CHI – Chris Ritter (caution) 28’

VAN – Jordan Harvey (caution) 36’

VAN – Johnny Leveron (caution) 63’

CHI – Lovel Palmer (caution) 69’

 

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistants:  Chris Strickland, Gregory Barkey
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
Attendance: 13,532