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Postgame Reaction

Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach

On improvements other than win:

“You gotta understand what we’re playing against. We put a very good challenge. For me, more than anything is that we made the game competitive and we have our midfield. And more than anything I wanted to make sure that every time we step on the field we try to improve and get better as a team. Look, in the final third we still need to be working on stuff, the decision making, the final pass, those are things that we, over and over again, gotta keep doing. On the other hand with a good team like this one there were opportunities. I was very, very happy for my players.  And it was great. We had an opportunity like this one to get on the field. Some guys were on the field . …. Get opportunities like this. Manchester United in the home city in front of a sold-out crowd, an atmosphere like this, I was very happy with the game.”

On Fire’s exposure to broader soccer audience:

“We wanted to step on the field and really play with confidence. I thought we did that for the most, sixty-five minutes of the game. It’s a great opportunity. In the second half, we created some chances, which was positive. I wanted the players, more than anything, to step on the field and play with confidence. It was a great opportunity. There are a lot of fans that maybe do not come out to Toyota Park and watch us play. Makes us feel good with the result, even though we lost, I thought it was a very positive result. We played some good futbol, soccer. I think fans will come out and watch us.

Positives to take away from the game:

“There are some good positives for us. Obviously there are things that we need to work on. We need to look at this game, some areas that we need to improve on. For sure there was a lot of positives. We walked away with no injuries, we were able to get Grazzini in there for 30-35 minutes. It was good.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager

On win over Fire:

“Those were difficult conditions there for soccer, very hot. We had to work hard for the victory, and I think once we equalized we were always going to win it then. It was a good run for us, Chicago played well. They played very good attack, fierce up front. They gave us some problems. They could’ve scored two or three more. It was a good ball game from us. I managed to use most of my players. In that heat you had to make changes. There’s no way you can ask a player to play eighty minutes in that. It’s very difficult.”

On David de Gea’s performance:

“I think when he has to do something, he comes along. He’s technically very good, and that was impressive I thought. Always handling shots, saving well, technically good. When they scored the first goal I thought he could have come out more, but when I see it again he had absolutely no chance to come out on it. He was great today.”

On Phil Jones debut:

“At first he had some physical problems. But he got better and better as the game went on. And I’m pleased with that. He’s only 18, going to improve all the time. I’m pleased.

On Sean Johnson:

“He had two or three good saves. We had some very good counter attacks against him and great positions, but we could not finish them off and he had some nice saves.”

On the way his team second half surges and how seriously the players are taking these games:

“Well, we do not like being behind. We find ourselves in situations where were behind, but we do not panic. We just play our game and eventually we get our chance to get back into the game. I think it was a perfect ball from Ferdinand , but it was a difficult chance to take with the goalkeeper rushing out and the defenders chasing back at him. I thought it takes a good deal of skill to control in that position.”

On evaluating the team going into their first game:

“What we need to do in the next three or so games coming up is have players who can play the full 90 minutes. We need to do that against the MLS All-stars, Barcelona, and at Manchester United community shield. We need to be ready once the season starts.”

On Fire players that stood out in particular:

“I thought up front they were a handful. They did very well in the first half and their strong right is very quick. I think they all had a very well first half performance. I thought they did well”

On Javier Hernandez’s next season:

“It was tough for him the last season, but we think that over time Chicharito will mature and get better. He’s technically improving and it’s a good season behind him in a tough division. We expect similar goal scoring. We’re setting targets for him. We thought he would get to 20 something goals and he did. He might even have a better season that this one.”

On adding or subtracting players from the central midfield:

“Well, we’re always looking for good quality players. We started the season with the players we have and  I am satisfied with that.”

On if they are looking or not:

 “We’re not looking at the moment, but we’re looking at combinations of central midfielders now at the club.”

Cory Gibbs, Chicago Fire defender

On scoring a goal against Manchester United:

“For me it was a good experience, it was a good goal.  I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t come away with the win.  I was saying to the boys before the game that we need to play responsibly and to come out and win and not just for the experience.  The goal feels great, but I’m disappointed we didn’t win because we had a lot of chances.  The small things make a difference when you’re playing one of the best teams in the world.  When you make small mistakes it they capitalize, which is unfortunate.

“It was a good experience for the younger players and we just need to build off of that and see what more what Man U did well against us and pick up some ideas for the rest of the season.

Logan Pause, Chicago Fire midfielder

On playing Manchester United:

“It was a fantastic event, obviously we’re not happy about the result but we knew it was a big hill to climb.  It was fantastic for our organization and the city of Chicago for MLS to bring a team like Manchester United in.”

On the focus after the break:

“We need points.  We get a couple days to get away from the game and recharge the battery.  When we get back we’ll be looking to get some wins.”

Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper:

On playing against Manchester United:

“For me this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to play against team like this, a team of their caliber.  We were able to go up 1-0 early in the first half then we kind of locked it down which allowed us to take a lead into the half.  For the rest of the game I thought we did alright.  The scored a couple of goals, but at the end of the day I think we will be happy with the effort.”

On what the Fire can take away from the game:

“If we learned anything it’s just to be more organized, to stay compact when we go forward to hold our shape in the back and prepare for counters.  It was definitely an experience we can take many things from.”

Manchester United midfielder Ji-Sung Park

On the heat…

“It’s not really for us but not for our opponents as well. When it’s hot, it’s always difficult to play well. We played our style and we won 3-1.”

On the 61,308 in attendance at Soldier Field…

“It was unbelievable. I wasn’t expecting it, even if it was very hot they cheered on our team. I’m very happy with that.”

Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs

On goalkeeper David de Gea’s play in his debut…

“He did well. His distribution is good  and he’s confident. I don’t think he had any chance on the goal. Obviously he wanted to keep a clean sheet but it wasn’t for today.”

On his time in Chicago…

“I enjoyed it for sure. It’s my third time here, second time in two years. I’ve always enjoyed it and it seems like we had a good crowd. It’s gotten bigger and bigger each year.”

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck

On coming back from being on loan at Sunderland…

“Last season I was at Sunderland. I enjoyed it, loved it – it was the best thing for me to go out on loan. I’m definitely better. I think physically and mentally as well. I went to play as a boy but came back as a man. I really look forward to the season.”

On staying with the first team this season…

“I’m just looking forward to getting back there, getting back on track with preseason and getting fit and hopefully see how it goes from there.”

On the heat…

“It was so hot but Sir Alex [Ferguson] told us to keep it up. Forty-five minutes was quite a lot of work but I knew I was going to be switched off as well so then everyone came on to sub.”