BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Saturday, August 10, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (9-9-4, 31 points) defeated the Montreal Impact (10-7-5, 35 points) Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire went up early in the first half with goals from Joel Lindpere in the sixth minute and Dilly Duka in the 23rd. Montreal got one back in the 57th minute courtesy of a Felipe Martins strike but the Fire were able to stand up to the late Impact rally and Chris Rolfe headed the ball off the line in the 93rd minute as the Men in Red earned the full three points at home.
The Fire hit the road next to take on the New England Revolution at Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9).
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On the win today
“All the credit to my players. I think everybody had written us off for the start but it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. Early on things didn’t go our way, obviously we had some injuries but this team has never given up on our goal, on our focus. This was just a massive game. We’ve been in this spot before and obviously we didn’t take advantage of it to be .500 and now you’re running out of games and they’re massive games, we need points, we are right there and I give all the credit and commitment of the group that in the difficult moments, which are always important because those are the moments that you learn not when things are going your way. It was a massive, important, huge win. Credit to my players that have never given up and that never will until the end. Now we just have to move ahead, it’s a good feeling but the commitment has to be even more from everyone in order to reach our goal.”
On the importance of the early goals, even with the top Fire players out
“If you look at the statistics, when we score first we are a difficult team. Not just us, but on the road. We are playing against a very difficult team especially defensively and I think we scored some very good goals early on but I think if we were a little bit better with the ball, because we did get in good spots, I think we could have been a little bit more dangerous. I think that in transition opportunities we needed to look to play forward. We addressed that at halftime and look, third game in 8 days. You saw the guys that a little bit maybe second half there were moments when they were running a little bit out of gas but it was their will that got them through and stuck together and being at home with our great fans obviously that was a huge help. The two goals did help for sure. Our goal was to get a clean sheet and it didn’t happen but Sean made some big saves in the end and we defended well.”
On the forward combo of Anangono and Alex
“They were very good. That’s where Alex is more comfortable playing a little bit higher up the field. Juan brought something different. I think physically he’s suited for the league. He has pace, he looks to run behind, we did a lot of stuff in the final third with him and Alex as far as the movement we needed from the forwards. We had a little bit of trouble in the midfield, they were dropping [Hernan] Bernardello deep, we had to address that issue but I thought it was good. They created chances, they were dangerous, and it’s the first game, it’s only going to get better. We have some depth there and that’s good when you miss some key players. It’s about the team coming in and winning a massive game.”
On if the Fire are peaking at the right time
“We definitely have the quality and the depth in the team. I think last year, when you look at the playoff game it came down to little things and I think now all these game and the experience we got last year in those playoff games those little things really matter. Now everything gets a little bit tighter. With the addition of, Juan is going to help, but also a guy like Rios. He’s an unbelievable quality player and it speaks volumes of the commitment. Everybody can talk shit and everything about the commitment of our owner, excuse my language, to bring a guy like that at this point because this is a world class player and I can guarantee you a lot of teams, a lot of teams, would not have made that commitment but it’s all about winning. He’s been there, we haven’t always gotten it right. This guy’s a world-class player. We made the commitment we said ‘this is the guy, bring him’ and he brings depth, leadership, and all that stuff so that’s what it’s all about. We’ll see, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we definitely have the quality right now and the depth to make a strong push. I know the group is committed and they are going to leave everything on the field, and that’s what it’s all about. At the end of it it’s a game and we have to enjoy it too.”
On Dilly Duka’s injury and how it affects the team out wide
“I think with him and Patrick [Nyarko] obviously the pace and our ability to go one-on-one just create so many opportunities because when you look at the game its basically you’re one-on-one duos. Can you create advantage? I think those guys with the ball at their feet can a lot of times create those advantages because they’re so good one-on-one, they have pace, but it’s about the depth. Joel, again, when he’s called to step in he’s done great. He scored a big goal, worked hard defensively. Look, we have to rely on everyone but the good thing everybody is healthy and is ready. I mean, not everyone is healthy and ready, but I am going and keeping my fingers crossed.”
On what happened to Duka’s leg
“It’s his ankle, we will see better tomorrow. I think he rolled it, he was icing and stuff. I don’t think it’s serious, but with the stretch of games you’ve got guys with tired legs and it is what it is. Massive win and we will deal with the injuries.”
On what Magee’s status is
“Day by day. Day to day. I think he has a calf strain and we will see how that feels. So we will see, its day to day with him.”
Gonzalo Segares, Chicago Fire defender
On Anangono’s start:
“I think he was excellent today - he was putting pressure on Alessandro Nesta and [Matteo] Ferrari causing trouble and winning a lot of balls in the air, holding the ball and creating space to move the lineup. For being his first start, I thought he was great.”
On all the new players coming in:
“Our team’s gotten a lot of new players and we need to get them acclimated to the team as soon as possible. They are quality players and they are going to help us to improve now that we are coming down the last stretch of games. We need to make a great push and it’s going to be important to take advantage of the experience that they bring. They will be great for our team.”
On the defense’s performance:
“I think that even though we didn’t get the shutout that we wanted, the last couple of games the defense has really been holding – we bend, but we haven’t been breaking.”
On hitting .500:
“We’ve talked about that. The main focus is putting pressure on the teams ahead of us like Houston, New England and Philadelphia. With the win tonight we are right there and stepping on their toes. We’re putting pressure on them but there’s still a lot of games left, but the motivation is still high and we need to keep pushing and fighting for a playoff spot.”
Chris Rolfe, Chicago Fire forward
On the result:
“This was a big game for us. We were excited about the game and looking forward to getting a victory after the Open Cup memory and I think we did that.”
Dilly Duka, Chicago Fire midfielder
On his goal:
“I’m not sure who I received the ball from, but I was driving down the field, I was surrounded a bit and then it opened up in front of the keeper and I just slid it in. I was a little fortunate, but it was a big play and it ended up being the game winner.”
On his injury:
“I tweaked my ankle. I planted and he got my planted foot. It’s just tweaked a little bit. I normally tweak my ankles so it’s just a couple days and I’ll be back.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper:
On the result:
“This is one where I was just trying to keep us in the game. I thought we did well pushing the ball out wide and I was able to close the angle and make the plays.”
On the defense:
“The defense was fantastic tonight limiting chances; not only the back line but Rolfe [Chris] clearing on the line was huge, Austin [Berry] making a play sliding in closing out the ball, Baky [Soumare] biking the ball out. I think everyone contributed tonight and that’s why we came away with three points.”
On being fouled by Paponi:
“I think it was an extremely dirty play by Paponi. I made a good read on his touch, I got to the ball and he just went two feet into me – into my knees. I wasn’t very happy about it, but I was able to come away and finish the play.”
Logan Pause, Chicago Fire midfielder
Thoughts on getting his first start since June 22…
It feels great to be back and on the field but most importantly getting three points tonight at home, getting to .500 and continuing to climb up the ladder is the most important thing.
On the work of the team missing Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko…
I think what tonight shows is the depth and quality we have in this locker room and on our roster. The guys stepped up. When guys have been called upon, you see it time and time again and they continue to step up. I’m just proud of the guys and the guys that are shifted around and maybe in different roles. We’re all in it to continue to move things forward and get wins to climb up the ladder.
On coming back from his back injury…
My back – there’s no issue there. Towards the end of the game of course I was a little tired. That’s to be expected and I got through it and I think it’ll just continue to build the more minutes I play.
On the amount of depth the Fire currently have on their roster…
It’s one of the advantages that we have with a deep roster. We sometimes joke we have two starting teams. You look around the locker room at guys that aren’t playing and there are a lot of guys that would be playing on other teams. I think it’s a good thing, it’s a good problem to have for the staff and down the road as we’re going to make a push it’s going to be important.
- With the win, the Chicago Fire move to 9-9-4 on the season.
- Juan Luis Anangono made his first MLS appearance for the Men in Red, starting and going 76 minutes in the win.
- With his substitute appearance tonight, Chris Rolfe moved past Diego Gutierrez into eighth place on the club’s All Competitions appearance list with 198 games played.
- Midfielder Logan Pause returned to the starting lineup for the first time since June 22 and captained his side to victory
Chicago Fire 2 – 1 Montreal Impact
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Dilly Duka (Chris Rolfe 71’), Logan Pause ©, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere; Juan Luis Anangono (Quincy Amarikwa 76’), Alex (Daniel Paladini 63’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Wells Thompson, Michael Videira
Montreal Impact: Troy Perkins; Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Hassoun Camara; Justin Mapp, Patrice Bernier, Davy Arnaud © (Marco Di Vaio 55’), Hernan Barnardello (Felipe Martins 55’), Sanna Nyassi (Andres Romero 74’); Daniele Paponi
Substitutes not used: Evan Bush, Wandrille Lefevre, Blake Smith, Collen Warner
CHI – Joel Lindpere (unassisted) 6’
CHI – Dilly Duka (unassisted) 23’
MTL – Felipe Martins (Sanna Nyassi) 57’
MTL – Daniele Paponi (caution) 80’
MTL – Matteo Ferrari (caution) 89’
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistants: Claudio Badea, Jonathan Johnson
Fourth Official: Younes Marrakchi
Fourth Official: Younes Marrakchi