CHICAGO (Wednesday, June 18, 2014) – The Chicago Fire defeated USL PRO’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1 Wednesday evening in the fourth round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Fire led the Riverhounds 2-1 courtesy of first half goals from Grant Ward and Mike Magee before the match was officially called in the 49thminute due to inclement weather in the Chicagoland area.
The Fire will host the fifth round match against the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Park.
Single game tickets are currently on sale and available via Ticketmaster, www.Chicago-Fire.com, at the Toyota Park Box Office and by calling 888-MLS-FIRE. Fire Season Ticket Holder tickets are currently available on Account Manager. Group tickets are also available at a discounted price by calling 888-MLS-FIRE.
The Crew advanced with a 2-1 overtime victory over NASL side Indy Eleven on Tuesday, June 17 in Akron, Ohio.
MATCH REPORT: http://bit.ly/1inkH58
Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop
On the weather delays
“We were looking at the weather patterns. Obviously, lightning was the problem. Then, basically as the big storm is coming through, the referee said to me that they’re going to try to play it, continue the game. If there’s any endangerment to the players, then they’re going to call it. So, they told us that sort of in the break. So we came out for our warm-up, started the game again in the second half, and then I think there were a couple flashes of lightning, and that was it. The next time there’s any kind of lightning in the area, or if he saw it or g0ts a wind of it, then the game was done.”
On getting a win
“It is good to get a win. It’s been a while, so yeah, obviously these games are never easy. But I thought we went about the game in the right manner. I thought it was good. We moved the ball pretty well in the first half. You know, against any opposition it’s difficult to play good soccer, and I thought we did create some good chances. Disappointed with the goal we conceded, we seem to struggle to keep a clean sheet at this point, but nice to get a win, nice to get through to the next round, and now we can look forward to next Wednesday, which is an important game in quest for the Cup.”
On keeping the guys focused through the weather delays
“Yeah, we had the break, and you know, you want then to relax a little bit, not to be too into game mode because they burn off a lot energy that they’re going to need in the game if we do go the full 45 minutes for the second half, so just relaxing. They’re pretty low-key guys, anyway — just sort of chatting and walking about, there’s a little bit of food to eat, hydrating, and stuff like that, but you know, once we got ready to go for warm-ups, we made sure that they were ready. I said ‘you have to expect to play the game, you shouldn’t hope to get the game called off. We should expect to play the next 45 minutes and win this match, so go out in the second half expecting the game to continue.’ And I thought we did. I thought they did a good job for, I don’t know how many minutes that was, but first five minutes or whatever it was.”
On playing against Columbus next week
“Yeah, I mean, different competition, different circumstances. I’m excited to play against Columbus next week, and I’m sure it will be an entertaining game, but one that we’re trying to win, and try to do well in the Open Cup, so we’re fully loaded and ready to go. And hopefully, we can get a good result.”
On discussions of possibly moving the game to the next day
“No, not that I heard of. You know, because everyone’s here, let’s try and play it. Let’s try to exhaust everything before we call it off. So, the grounds crew here did a good job at making it playable because the rain was coming down. And if you look at the first half, it was good conditions to be honest. And both teams did okay on it, so there was no thought to do it tomorrow right away.”
On potentially having Mike Magee play for full game
“I have no idea, to be honest. Because we could have been 2-2 and he might have come off. I don’t know. Mike’s doing okay though.”
On concerns over injuries
“You’re concerned with injuries of players, not so much because of conditions, but because they’re coming back from injury, I want to make sure I’m not pushing them. But Mike’s trained well over the last week, and he’s looked good and sharp. And he feels he wants to get some minutes under him and really get going, and I thought he was sharp tonight, played well. He scored the goal, had the chance in the second half, so you know… He’ll be back to his best I’m sure pretty soon.”
Chicago Fire Midfielder Grant Ward
On getting the first goal with the Fire
“It was great to get my first goal. I had a few shots, hadn’t scored yet; but it was good today, to score my first goal.”
On the goal
“All I remember is, I think someone might have headed it to Quincy. I saw the defender was proper tight on me, and I was quite wide and deep, so then I just saw space, and I just ran into it, and Quincy saw me.”
On difficulties with multiple delays
“It’s never easy, because that messes up your routine. Like, we have to eat a certain amount of time before the game; but then, obviously it’s longer, so then you have to eat, you have snacks in there. And then you never quite knew when it was going to restart, if it was going to restart.”
On prior delay experiences
“Only in a reserve friendly, after 20 minutes, because the rain was just coming bad. But you have to get on with it.”
U.S. Soccer Match Commissioner Nate Boyden
On the decision to call the game
“Our decision was to terminate the match in the 49th minute due to weather. We did everything we could to try to play the game despite multiple delays, but we felt it was best to terminate the game due to player and fan safety; and that’s the reason why we terminated the game in the second half. Many thanks to the people who were running the event, the players, and the fans for trying to get this game the full 90 minutes; but unfortunately, we had to terminate due to inclement and dangerous weather.”
- With his appearance in tonight’s match, Logan Pause surpasses C.J. Brown to move into first place on the club’s all-time U.S. Open Cup appearance chart with 26.
- Since 1998, the Fire have compiled a 34-11-4 record in Open Cup play and are 22-1-1 in matches played in the state of Illinois,
- The match was officially terminated in the 49th minute due to inclement weather in the Chicagoland area.
Chicago Fire 2 – 1 Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Matt Watson, Patrick Ianni, Bakary Soumare, Greg Cochrane; Grant Ward, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Logan Pause, Harry Shipp; Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa
Substitutes not used: Kyle Reynish, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Steven Kinney, Alex, Benji Joya, Chris Ritter, Juan Luis Anangono
Pittsburgh Riverhounds: Hunter Gilstrap; Robert Vincent, Brian Fekete, Andrew Marshall, Sterling Flunder; Alfonson Motagalvan, Kevin Kerr, Daniel Earls, Matthew Dallman, Jose Angulo; Collins John ©
Substitutes not used: Michael Lisch, Michael Green, Mike Seth, Joseph Ngwenya, Seth C’deBaca, Anthony Obodai, Anthony Arena
CHI – Grant Ward (Quincy Amarikwa) 22’
CHI – Mike Magee (Jeff Larentowicz) 40’
PIT – Andrew Marshall (unassisted) 41’
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistants: Andrew Bigelow, Brandon Rinkenberger
Fourth Official: Miguel Panduro Jr.
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.