CHICAGO, Ill. (June 26, 2013) – The Chicago Fire defeated the Orlando City SC 5-1 Wednesday evening at Toyota Park. Chris Rolfe opened scoring in the sixth minute before Orlando’s Rob Valentino equalized early in the second half but the Men in Red scored four unanswered goals in the second half to defeat the USL-PRO side 5-1.
The Fire will host D.C. United in the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Park on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match will go on sale Thursday, June 27 and will be available via Ticketmaster, www.Chicago-Fire.com and by calling 888-MLS-FIRE.
Rolfe opened scoring in the sixth minute when midfielder Dilly Duka dribbled down the left flank, shook his defender and centered his cross to Rolfe at the top of the six-yard-box. The 2012 Fire Golden Boot winner rose above his defender and snapped his header past Orlando ‘keeper Miguel Gallardo to give the Fire the 1-0 lead.
The visitors equalized in the 51st minute when Orlando’s Kevin Molino played a ball through to Valentino, who made a run to the far post and tapped in the equalizer.
The score wouldn’t stay level for long as Patrick Nyarko would put the Fire up in the 59th minute. Nyarko dribbled down the left side of the field and broke into the 18-yard-box. With a few quick touches, Nyarko slotted the ball inside the back post to give the Fire the 2-1 lead.
Five minutes later Rolfe would get this second goal of the night. Forty yards from goal, Jeff Larentowicz collected the ball and chipped the Orlando City defense, playing the ball into the path of an onrushing Rolfe. The Kettering, Ohio native dribbled into the box and from the penalty spot, chipped the ball into goal to complete his brace.
In the 83rd minute, Maicon Santos played the ball into the path of an onrushing Mike Magee. With a deft touch, Magee curled his shot past Gallardo to score his seventh consecutive competitive goal in a Fire jersey.
Joel Lindpere would cap off the goal scoring barrage in second half stoppage time when Dilly Duka sent a perfectly weighted cross in behind the Orlando defense. With fresh legs, the Estonian raced into the 18-yard-box and with his first touch, chipped Gallardo to give the Fire the 5-1 victory.
After a busy June that featured six matches across all competitions, the Fire have the weekend off in MLS play before returning to action by welcoming the San Jose Earthquakes to Toyota Park on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9 FM). Tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-FIRE or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
- The Fire are 33-10-4 all-time in U.S. Open Cup play
- The Men in Red are 21-0-1 all-time in Open Cup matches played in the state of Illinois
- The Fire have now reached the semifinal round nine out of 16 times
- Mike Magee’s goal in the 83rd minute was his seventh goal in seven consecutive matches to start his Fire career
- With the brace, Chris Rolfe now has three goals this year in Open Cup play. Rolfe and Magee lead the team with three Open Cup goals this season.
- Patrick Nyarko sits in a close second with two Open Cup goals to his name
- The Fire finished the month of June with a 5-0-1 across all competitions
- The Men in Red are on a eight game unbeaten run across all competitions
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On the win and how the team did today
“These games are never easy. You can’t underestimate anyone and I think we came in with the right mentality. You could definitely see some guys were still a little bit fatigued with the amount of games and travel. It’s been a long week for sure but hats off to the players, fantastic performance, and to the fans that came out their support was great. It was a big game knowing that now we can host the semi-final now so hats off to the players, their performance was fantastic, the effort. And to fans that came out, their support was huge.”
On switching Nyarko and Duka
“I think Dilly was [tactical]. I didn’t feel the other side with Patrick [Nyarko was]. I wanted to get him more in the game. The one thing we did talk about was try to attack more [towards] their outside backs, the ability to switch play because with both O’Connor, who came out early in the game, and Pulis they sit very deep and the spaces would be out wide. We knew we could get the match-ups 1v1 with Dilly or Patrick. I felt Patrick wasn’t in the game the first 15/20 minutes. Dilly started really well. I just wanted to switch play when I feel it’s closer to me and I can yell a little bit more I can get them [going]. More than that I wanted [Patrick] closer to me. You try some things, because I thought Dilly started really well and Patrick looked a little bit tired so I wanted to get him that switch and then I switched them back in the second half.”
On the importance of Chris Rolfe’s goals
“I think that confidence goes a long way for any player on the field and I think that every time [Chris] is on the field he gives everything for the team. When you do score a couple goals it helps also with your confidence. When you don’t do that, I think he’s been the guy that finds ways that he makes an impact on the team, he’s been creating chances, and it was great for him to score a couple goals. Both goals were fantastic. The first one was a great ball by Dilly and the finish and even the second one [was great]. It’s great when he gets rewarded for all the hard work. The most important thing is that he played his part. The team had a great performance and we won and that’s the important thing. But I think the goals will help from a confidence standpoint for Chris.”
On the concern for his players when the game got chippy
“It’s a game, things are going to happen. I think both teams competed hard on the field. I think there were some late tackles, but not because guys tried to hurt each other. You go for the ball, your timing is off a little bit…it was a hard fought game and I think both teams left everything on the field so that’s just part of the game.”
On if everyone is healthy, despite the rough play
“Pat [Nyarko] was a little bit bruised up but with Pat, that is the case. The minute he seems like he’s dead, he finds a second wind, he sprints 50 yards, beats a guy, and scores a goal. There’s always the enigma with Pat that the minute you feel like something is wrong it’s like he’s got a second burst of energy.”
On the next match-up with DC
“At this point you are going to play good teams. The good thing is that we are at home, that’s the match-up we wanted. DC [United] is a very good team, regardless of how they started the season. They have quality players and I think New England is the same thing. They are both good teams. At this point, the [Open Cup] semi-finals there are no easy games…there are no easy games at all. The thing that we are happy about is that we can be home and hopefully Toyota Park will be full with our fans because that’s something that we need for games like that. It goes a long way for the players on the field and having even on a Wednesday, the atmosphere we did tonight was huge for our players.”
On if Orlando could join the MLS
“They have an excellent coach. They are a very good team. From what I saw, I think they are a quality side and they have an excellent coach. So, why not?”
On the lack of schedule coming up since the next Open Cup match isn’t until August
“It’s weird with the schedule. There are a lot of games coming up for us also this month and next month. Even when we play that August 7th game you are playing Saturday, Wednesday, and then you have another game [Saturday] so it doesn’t get easy. It’s just a matter of managing guys. I think that some of the guys gave everything but their recovery was not where it should be, but the important thing is the win. The schedule doesn’t get any easier.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper
On his game:
“In any game, a goalkeeper just wants to keep his team in it, and I think I did that tonight. We have a lot of games in a short amount of time, we have heavy legs so we just wanted to get through this game with a result and that’s huge. I’m just trying to do whatever I can do to help the team.”
On Orlando’s offense:
“I give a lot of credit to Orlando; I think they are a quality team. They put the pressure on us from the opening whistle. They were able to create chances and we were able to sustain the attack, go forward and score our goals. I thought it was a good game all around. They’re a quality opponent. You can’t overlook them because they are in a lower league. They gave us a game tonight.”
On the result:
“We were up for the challenge, came away with the result and that’s what we came out here to do. We got the job done, now we’re on to the semi-finals and are one step closer to the Cup.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire forward
On advancing in the USOC:
“It’s the first trophy that you can win, it’s a big deal. It’s nice if you can win this cup and add some meaning to our season and give us some confidence going forward. I’ve never won it before, but I’ve seen a lot of other teams have fun winning it, so I’d like to be part of it.”
On the energy level of team:
“I think our problem tonight is that we were sitting back. Sometimes mentally it’s hard to get into these games because you see that they are third division side and you obviously take them lightly. They’re a pretty well fashioned team believe it or not even for some MLS teams. Once you take the game on your heels it’s hard to get that momentum back no matter who you are playing. When they scored that goal we had to wake up. It kind of lit a fire under us and the rest is history.”
On Chris Rolfe scoring two goals:
“This is huge for him. I’ve been there many times [in a scoring slump] and the goal just keeps getting smaller and smaller the longer you go without scoring. For him to get two is huge. It’s the second that really gives you the confidence, so that was massive. If we can get him going we’re going to be a lot more dangerous.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire midfielder
On the importance of advancing to the semi-final:
“Advancing in the tournament is absolutely 100% important for us. It was one of our goals coming into the season, to win a trophy. This is the first trophy we can win. We made it a point to play everyone and not rest anyone. I’ve been to the final a couple of years ago and we want a better result in the final this time, we want to go all the way and the guys are committed to that. There are two games remaining and we’re lucky that the next one is at home. But we need to play better though if we’re going to go all the way.”
On playing with a lead:
“It kind of felt like we were down a little bit when they scored that goal. We didn’t have that energy. To make it through this game we needed to improve our energy. We needed to do better holding the ball in the 18, luckily we were able to turn it up a notch to move forward and advance. For the rest of the season we need to increase the intensity and play better.”
Chicago Fire 5 – 1 Orlando City SC
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko (Joel Lindpere 66’), Alex (Daniel Paladini 54’), Jeff Larentowicz ©, Dilly Duka, Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe (Maicon Santos 80’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sherjill MacDonald, Wells Thompson, Michael Videira
Orlando City SC: Miguel Gallardo ©; Yann Songo’o, Bryan Burke, Luke Boden, Rob Valentino; Anthony Pulis (Dennis Chin 65’), Adama Mbengue, James O’Connor (Christian Duke 4’), Kevin Molino (Jean Alexandre 87’); Dominic Dwyer, Long Tan
Substitutes not used: Jonathan Kempin, Oumar Diakhite
CHI – Chris Rolfe (Dilly Duka) 6’
OCS – Rob Valentino (unassisted) 51’
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (unassisted) 59’
CHI – Chris Rolfe (Jeff Larentowicz) 64’
CHI – Mike Magee (Maicon Santos) 83’
CHI – Joel Lindpere (Mike Magee) 90+’
OCS – Christian Duke (caution) 21’
CHI – Alex (caution) 24’
OCS – Yann Songo’o (ejection) 71’
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution) 73’
OCS – Bryan Burke (caution) 76’
OCS – Adama Mbengue (ejection) 86’
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistants: Jason Cullum
Fourth Official: Jason White
Fourth Official: Jason White