Chicago Fire 0 – 1 Philadelphia Union
Toyota Park – May 11, 2013
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On the team’s performance
"I don't think we dominated most of the game, I think it was the whole game. You look at games like this and you scratch your head when you lose a game like this. We came out, we had good energy, we were good with the ball. In the first half there were opportunities where we forced the ball in bad spots. We knew they were a good team in transition. You walk away from the first half, we created enough opportunities but we didn't score. We had possession and pushed the game. Then a bad call on not even a foul. We fell asleep, they fell asleep on a quick restart and they give up a goal. The game is like that, that's soccer. You scratch your head. I felt we played well enough not to lose but to get the three points."
On when he found out Sherjill MacDonald would not be able to play
"Yesterday he came in and he was under the weather. He was able to train and he went to see our doctor; he had strep throat. We wanted to keep him away. It is contagious from what he said. We didn't want that spreading throughout the team. It was late afternoon yesterday after he got examined by our physician. We decided to leave him home and not around the players."
On the partnership of Chris Rolfe and Patrick Nyarko
"They combined well. They showed well. You can see by the opportunities. Patrick was dangerous, their ability to play off each other and stay more connected. Pushing Danny a little bit higher up the field because everyone has to defend. You need their energy mostly in the final third. As a team we are pretty hard. Patrick, when he got the ball, was very good off the dribble. He created a lot of opportunities but he didn't get rewarded with a goal. The little things are hurting us right now. Over 90 minutes you get the chances and you don't score, you can say it is a little unfair but it's soccer. We got to go back and be focused."
On the missing part of this team
"I've said it in the past. It would be different if you’re not creating chances then you could scratch your head. You look at the game today we had more possession in the second half. There were shots on goals, opportunities. I can't tell you, all I can tell you is we had opportunities, but we need to finish. We had five, six, seven chances. It would be nice to score a couple goals to take the pressure off.”
On the play of opposing goalkeeper Zac MacMath
"To win on the road you need the goalkeeper to play big. When you get the one chance to finish like they did they did well as a team. They were a bit lucky, those things are not going our way not due to lack of effort. We got to keep working. It is disappointing when you lose at home. You need to win your home games. I don't know what much more to say but go back to work. We played well enough to win the game.”
On what is different in the team from this year compared to last
"We are missing Arne Friedrich in the back for sure 100 percent. His ability to communicate and over 90 minutes his ability to dictate the backline when to move up and stay connected with the team. He is really good with his feet and plays the right balls at the right time out of pressure. It is huge. We are making some mistakes that are hurting us. The other guys and Rolfe had a strong second half. You got to keep working on things. We miss Friedrich's leadership on a play like today."
On the Fire's finishing ability
"Yeah put the ball upper 90. What do you do to duplicate those situations in practice how do you get the confidence? You have repetition and training in the final third shooting. We do that stuff in training. Finishing they are proven guys who have done it in the past. In the game when the chance comes it's a little bit different. The pressure this and that. Those three inches to the left or right and we are talking about a different result. Give credit to them they defended well and came up with big saves. Sometimes you scratch your head and you look at this game again and you say how did you lose this game? One chance they score and we have 10 chances and we don't score. One little mistake that is the game. We need to move forward and look where we can improve certain spots on the field."
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Forward
On the frustration of not being able to finish
"It's a little bit frustrating. We're feeling a little bit unlucky right now, but I don't like making excuses. I thought we played well, but we're on a bad run. We've just been inconsistent and things are just not falling for us. I've said before, and I'll say it again, I'm confident that it's going to turn around. Games keep passing us by, but I'm optimistic that the team will turn it around."
On playing up top
"Most of the other players think I'm better up there [in the forward position], but I'm just out there trying to do what I do best - creating a bunch of chances and hopefully finishing a few. This week has been the only time I've really practiced up top and it takes a different mentality, and I need to get used to it.
As of right now, I don't know if it's going to continue like this. Because of an illness, I had to step in and be ready for anything that comes up. If they want to keep me up there, I'm ready to play. It's just a matter of staying consistent, which I think I have been throughout most of the season.
I've been practicing with Mac [MacDonald] and Chris [Rolfe] all week. The coaching staff just wants move things around and see how it feels."
On playing with Chris Rolfe
"Before Chris [Rolfe] left for Europe a few years ago, we played together a few times, so we know each other. We're both really quick and creative with the ball, and I feel like we opened the field up for each other and created a couple of very good chances. Whenever I play out wide I feel like I have a really good connection with him. As long as we keep creating chances I think we are going to be successful."
Logan Pause, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On the result
"I thought we played well enough to win the game and get three points, but life goes on. We play the same team next week, so we'll have to go their home and try and get three points."
On bouncing back next week
"The big thing for us is getting past it mentally and moving on. We know that things aren't going well. We're sitting toward the bottom of the table, and we don't feel like this is where this team should be. Obviously, this is a tough one to swallow today, especially since I felt like we did more than enough to get some points, in front of home fans disappointing them.
On missing Arne Friedrich
"We miss Arne [Friedrich] whether we win a game, lose a game or if he misses one game or five games. He's a guy that brings a wealth of experience to us in the year since he joined the team, but as much as we miss his experience we have guys that are capable and have shown game in and game out how well they can perform for the team. When we lose a game like this it's easy to go searching for answer, but that's not one of them."
John Hackworth, Philadelphia Union Head Coach
On the match
“It was a tough game in a lot of ways. The conditions-the wind is a thing that affects a soccer game more than anything. It was hard to play, especially in that first half. It felt like we were pinned in. Chicago was doing a good job, so full credit to them. We felt like we were up against it a little bit. In the second half, you have to give Chicago credit because they came out and really tried to push the game. I wouldn’t say we played our best soccer, but we found a way to get a result here and that’s huge.”
On Zac MacMath’s performance:
“Zac was our man of the match for sure. He made a couple huge saves to keep us in that game. Otherwise we really would have been in a bad spot. No question. It was a great play by Sebastien [Le Toux] and Jack [McInerney] to get the goal. And Sebastian played great coming off the bench. So did Antoine Hoppenot. By far and away, Zac was really good. Also, I need to give credit to Soumare and Farfan for coming in there. Both of those guys coming into our back line for the first time this year did a really good job. It was an all around team effort. Coming here and getting a win on the road is always difficult.”
On facing the Fire in a week at home and needing to adjust the line-up:
“We will have to mix it up. We have Los Angeles on Wednesday night, and it’s going to be really hard for us to get through these 8 days in three matches, with one on the road. I know we’ll see a very competitive team, and I’m sure Klopas will get organized and come to Philadelphia to try to steal the three points there. We have Los Angeles before that; we have a lot of depth in our roster so I’m pretty sure we will have to go pretty deep.”
Jack McInerney, Philadelphia Union Forward
On his goal
“Someone got fouled and I was up against the back line. Sebastien put a great ball on my foot and I touched it and Sean came out and I put it past him.”
On taking advantage of one quick play to score
“That’s usually how it is on the road in this league. We just have to battle. If you can hold a zero in the back anything can happen. Credit to Zac [MacMath] and the back four today, they did a great job today. Like you said, it just took one today.“
On being surprised by his production so far this year
“Yes and no. I feel like we haven’t clicked offensively from the midfield to our strikers. All I need is one or two chances a game, so that’ll happen.”
Zac MacMath, Philadelphia Union Goalkeeper
On the match:
“It was tough. The wind was a big factor in the game today. It wasn’t as pretty as both teams would have hoped, but I think it’s great to get a win on the road.”
On keeping the ball out of net when under a lot of pressure:
“Every game you go into the game knowing you’ll have to make a couple of saves to keep the team in it, especially on the road, you want to keep the shut out, and hope our team finds an opportunity to get a goal. Jack [McInerney] did that today. It helped us get three points.”
On keeping the momentum going:
“[Doing] the same thing we did today-keep fighting and having heart. Things weren’t pretty. The difference between this year and last year, the guys had heart and they stayed together. We fought for three points.”
On playing with a new back four:
“It’s really not too different. Soumare is a big guy and he likes to win balls in the air, and he did a really good job saving some balls and getting in the way. I think his veteran experience helped us today, winning balls and communicating to the back line.”