CHICAGO (Aug. 2, 2014) – The Chicago Fire (3-5-13, 22 points) played the Columbus Crew (6-7-9, 27 points) to a 1-1 draw Saturday evening at Toyota Park. Mike Magee converted a penalty kick in the 37thminute to give the Fire the lead but Federico Higuain scored a 46th minute equalizer as the two sides split the points.
Next up the Men in Red host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. CT (Univision Deportes/My50 Chicago/TWCSC Wisconsin/La Ley 107.9 FM). Tickets for the match are available via Ticketmaster and www.Chicago-Fire.com.
MATCH REPORT: http://bit.ly/1ketY0l
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: http://bit.ly/1rYAojr
Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop
On talks with Jermaine Jones
“I actually spoke with Jermaine yesterday and I wanted to put forward our club and what we thought of him. We'd love him to join us. I've done that. He has an offer, it's not officially turned down because we have not heard anything back. We are still waiting. I think it was a big offer. Andrew [Hauptman] stepped up and put out a good contract offer. I think he's thinking about it and we will probably find out in the next couple of days. We have a few guys we have, sort of, a domino effect, lined up if you like. If one doesn't go, then we have to move to the next one. The closer it gets to the end of the window, those guys decide to move on and we are scrambling. But, we have some interest in some players and I'm sure we will get something hopefully done in this window for sure. I'm hoping it works out.”
On Jermaine Jones' interest to join the Fire
“He's a nice kid, he's receptive, he wants to play in MLS. He's coming from a big contract and I think that anytime you have that in your background, if you want to come and play somewhere then you have to commit yourself to do that and it's maybe not as much as you like, but, it's the market value we have in this country and I think if he comes to the understanding that it can work out, and it's a good offer. It's pretty much up there for us and for the league. I'm hoping he thinks about it and takes it, but, again I'm not Jermaine and he's going to decide. We're just waiting to hear back.”
On transfer talk being a distraction to the team
“No, not at all. Unless a player arrives or we sign him then it's more of a talking point. Speculation is speculation. We have no idea if he's going to sign with us or sign with somewhere else. Until you get a contract signed, like I said a couple days ago, you don't know what's going to happen. They have options, good players have options. I said it to my staff earlier, we can sign bad players because it's easy, but to sign good players it's difficult because everyone wants them and that's our issue. We are trying to get the best players we can for the club, we obviously need help in certain areas. If you go into the game tonight, it's sort of déjà vu. We've all sat here before and said the same thing: it's frustrating, maybe we didn't play great, we could have maybe gotten something more out of the game but didn't. Again, I'll say we are not quite ready to get over the hurdles of winning games and dominating play. But, it will come, we are working on some stuff, and we are trying to build for the future, which is important.”
On the frustration of giving up a goal
“Your whole talk at halftime is to see the game out, let's try to get a second goal. All the things you talk about as a team to make sure they don't get into it. I thought we did a nice job in the first half. It was an even-ish game and I thought we shaded it to get the goal. It's just one of those nice professional performance. Second half and from a long ball with a broken play and boom, boom, boom, here goes [Federico] Higuain and he scores. You know right after halftime, is the worst time because the tactics you talked about three minutes earlier are useless. Now we're depressed again and I don't think it got into our guy's mind to get urgent and get moving forward. We still had a couple of chances, but I didn't think our urgency, and it's not from a lack of effort, it's more like a lack of knowledge I think a little bit to go and our urgency to go and try to win the game. I think we were trying to protect what we had and maybe go and see if we can win it. When I wanted us to go out and try and win it.”
On the possibility of acquiring players from within MLS
“We don’t have much to trade. That’s an issue when you’re trying to get people in the league. We have a first round draft pick, but sometimes that’s not as valuable as you think it is. But we’re always looking to improve the team. When you have a window coming up, and have one or two spots we can focus on, it sometimes becomes who’s the best player. And if we’re getting Jermaine Jones, we’ll take him. For sure. He makes us a lot better than we are. If we want to get a certain player, a forward or attacking midfielder, or whatever we’re trying to do, we’re trying to get the best available. But, again, it’s a domino effect. It’s not easy. It would be nice to get some more options. I see a team, our guys, I love them to death; they try hard, they’re desperate to win, they’re very frustrated when they don’t. But I think it’s where we are: we’re not quite good enough to get over the hump and dominate games. It’s up to me to make sure that I get players in that can do that. Whether it’s in this window, I’m trying my best to do some moves that will really benefit the team. But I don’t want to panic, because I think the club has done that in the past, and now I’m paying for that a little bit from last year, to be honest. But I want to make sure we’re building for the future, and make sure that come this window, the next window, and the next window after, that we make some solid, clean, good decisions that build the team from the back up. I think that that’s my big focus right now: not to panic, and just build, and make sure we’re solid.”
On conversations with Chicago Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman
“I’ve spoken to Andrew for the last week every day for at least half an hour or forty five minutes. He’s completely on board. Whatever we want to do, he’s completely put up whatever funds we need. Obviously, there’s maybe a little bit of a limit, that we’re not going to go crazy with everything, but real substantial amounts of money, Andrew’s ready to pay. He’s determined to let me do my thing, and let me and Brian [Bliss] get after it. I said to him last night, ‘it’s not easy to do; it’s not a quick fix, you have to make sure that you’re building in the right direction, you have to get everyone on board, you have to see what you have to start with, and then you can start to piece together what you think is right.’ And it’s a little unfortunate we haven’t had more results to help that along and not make it desperate. But, I think we’re in the right direction. I feel good about some targets we have right now, in this window, and moving forward in January. End of the season will give us a little more scope to do some stuff too.”
On Harry Shipp’s absence from the Starting XI
“I honestly thought the team played well enough to win the game against Vancouver, and I wanted to reward that group that went out there. In our game tonight, we go a goal up, and we did ok; I wouldn’t say we were dominant, and completely outplayed Columbus tonight. For the first half, I thought it was pretty even. I go back to Harry, he’s in his rookie year where it’s not easy, it’s tough, it’s a lot of games, a lot of minutes, a lot of training. He’s taken more photographs now than he ever did, and everyone’s filming him. That wears on you. Once he gets back to playing soccer, he’ll be okay, but just a little tired right now.”
On Patrick Ianni’s performance with Jeff Larentowicz in defense
“I thought he did well again tonight. I could look at the goal again; it looked a little disjointed and sloppy. I think Jeff missed, not missed a header, but this fella flicks it on, and I don’t know what happened. I haven’t seen the tape, I have to look at them. But I feel pretty comfortable with those guys there. I think they work pretty hard, work well together. I think Jeff’s a solid influence back there, and whoever he plays with will be okay. But I’m pleased with the two performance. They didn’t give up a lot of goals and a lot of chances, and I think that’s good.”
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson
On having to make multiple saves in a short amount of time
“I think in those moments we were really pushing to get the go ahead goal – it’s what the game needed. As a goalkeeper, I just have to be alert in those situations and not switch off – anything can happen – especially when you’re pushing for a goal. I’m going to have to come up and make saves when we’re going to try and find a goal for the lead. It’s just one of those things. On the night, I think we were the better team, we were just unfortunate.”
On the draw:
“It was a disappointing result having been up 1-0. You always want to go out and win the game after being up. You don’t want to let it slip away, especially at home. It’s a tough spot in the season for us. We’re tying a lot of games, we’re not playing badly but need to find it within ourselves to go out and do what’s necessary to win games. We haven’t found an answer yet, but obviously by the results, but we have to keep searching. Once we do find it, we really have to buy into it and keep that going for the rest of the season so we can make a push for the playoffs.”
Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares
On play of the back line
“I think we’re doing fine. We had a clean sheet the last game and this one there was an unfortunate bounce or we could have had another one. It’s frustrating because we’re fighting every game, and then we have a situation like that. But we’re doing fine, Jeff’s a guy with a lot of experience even though he hasn’t played there much he feels comfortable and we both have done well. I think he’s adapted pretty quickly and done a great job.”
- Mike Magee’s penalty kick in the 37th minute was his sixth goal of the season. Magee sits tied with Quincy Amarikwa and Harry Shipp for the team lead in goals scored this season.
- Fire Homegrown rookie midfielders Harry Shipp and Chris Ritter depart Sunday morning to take part in the inaugural 2014 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game on Monday, Aug. 4 in Portland, Ore.
- Midfielder Benji Joya departs Sunday morning for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team training camp in Nassau, Bahamas from Aug. 3-7. Joining Joya in camp is Homegrown midfielder Victor Pineda, who is currently on loan to NASL side Indy Eleven.
Chicago Fire 1 – 1 Columbus Crew
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Lovel Palmer, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Patrick Ianni, Gonzalo Segares; Grant Ward (Harry Shipp 57’), Chris Ritter (Logan Pause 81’), Matt Watson, Alex (Razvan Cocis 63’); Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa
Substitutes not used: Kyle Reynish; Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Matt Fondy
Columbus Crew: Steve Clark; Waylon Francis, Tyson Wahl, Michael Parkhurst © (Eric Gehrig 91’), Giancarlo Gonzalez; Ethan Finlay, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp, Ben Speas (Justin Meram 66’); Federico Higuain, Adam Bedell (Aaron Schoenfeld 66’)
Substitutes not used: Matt Lampson, Bernardo Anor, Chad Barson, Kevan George
CHI – Mike Magee (penalty kick) 37’
CLB – Federico Higuain (Ethan Finlay) 46’
CLB – Giancarlo Gonzlez (caution) 50’
CLB – Waylon Francis (caution) 69’
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution) 75’
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistants: James Conlee, Mark Cahen
Fourth Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
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.