Postmatch Quotes: RBNY 2:1 Fire

Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls
Oct. 25, 2015 – Toyota Park

Brian Bliss, Chicago Fire Interim Head Coach

Thoughts on the match
“I mean you guys saw it. You get one restart goal, and in a roundabout way a penalty kick is a restart goal, an earned penalty, not going to debate that. But of the run of play, there isn’t too much to be ashamed of. We battled; we fought, and got back in the game in the second half. We just couldn’t turn the tide. The ‘keeper made a couple of good saves down the stretch. It’s a good team, no mistake about it. The Red Bulls are a good team. That is why they are Supporters’ Shield winners. They can weather the storm and they played good soccer to keep us off the board. They were able to keep possession and ride the clock with a 2-0 lead. It is a good team we faced. My guys fought and battled and it just wasn’t enough at the end of the day.”

On if getting a goal back serves as a moral victory
“It is always a moral victory to get a goal and reenergize the troops for the last 15 or 18 minutes or whatever was left on the clock. In the end, moral victory would be getting that second goal or possibly even a third to win the game or tie it and send everyone home happy. At the end of the day, we were not able to do it.”

On bringing David Accam on off the bench
“We talked to David earlier in the week and based on what we saw and what we witnessed in the D.C. away game. We felt it was better for him to come off the bench and he came in and gave us some spark, some life, and reenergized the guys in there.”

On the youthful squad
“Sometimes youth comes with naivety at times. I think some of the players out there tonight, the Homegrown kids Doody, Shipp, and Ritter went down with an injury. Ritter looked engaged in the game for the short amount of the time in there. Kann was a little bit jittery as a young guy in there and he settled in after first, call it a mistake. There are some guys on the club that can play, no doubt, that should bode well for the future for them and our club.”

On the season overall
“When you get off to a slow start, you are chasing points right from the beginning. It is unfortunate but losing can become a habit just like winning becomes a habit. We lost a lot and it was becoming common place. We just have to change the mentality a little bit. Changes are warranted. I am sure we will make some, but I have said before I don’t think we are ten pieces away. I think it is more like three, four, or five, in order to stem the tide. We lost Shaun Maloney midway through the year. We can all debate on Maloney in terms of, “was he playing to a certain level? Was he an average?’ When you lose a player at least of his quality it puts a chink in the armor a little bit from an experience side of things. Also, injuries to the back line down the stretch. We are piece mealing a little bit. Some of the guys that stepped in and played more minutes than maybe we thought of at the start of the year showed us they can play.”

On Patrick Doody’s performance
“I thought he was very good. He battled down that side. I don’t think much was coming down his flank and causing us any problems. His contribution going forward, winning his duels, and all that stuff that goes along with playing down the flank. I thought he was spot on. I think the minutes he got early in the year in the USL, I think it was 19 or 20 matches, prepared him for this. Just like we went on the road to start my tenure when I took over, we did not hesitate to put him in those two games on the road. He did well and he did well again tonight.”

On the effort from the players
“Yes. It was pretty unfortunate that Chris Ritter got out early because we wanted to see how he could go. He hasn’t had a lot of minutes this year or as of late obviously. Unfortunate that he could not complete this game, but we saw what we were looking for. We can go back and evaluate it and use it as we go forward.”

On the next steps moving forward
“Well, obviously there is going to be the end of the season evaluation look at the not just 5 games, but the whole package of 34 games. We have to evaluate where we need the pieces. I have my opinions. I am sure Nelson has his opinion. Hopefully between the two of us there is agreement on a lot of it. When there is not an agreement that is okay to because having more than one opinion is always a good thing. That is the step. If we can obviously put some pieces together now rather than later, too get us moving in the direction and change is coming. We can start earlier rather than later is a good thing.”

David Accam, Chicago Fire Midfielder

On the team’s final performance of the season
“Of course, we wanted to give the fans something to cheer about for our last game. Today, it didn’t happen, we didn’t play well. As usual, we were terrible in the first thirteen or fourteen minutes, we conceded. But I think the team has started to take shape, and there are a few changes coming to the team, so hopefully, next season will be much, much better.”

On his own performance this season
“For me, I don’t think I had a great season. I came in injured, really tired from the AFCON and a long season in Sweden, so I didn’t really have a good preseason. That contributed a lot to my injuries, and not having a good season this year.”

Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder

On the meaning of a loss to end the season
 “It’s really tough for me. If not for anything, for the fans, we feel really bad for them. We feel bad for ourselves. Ending the season on a good note is a confidence-builder for the next year, especially if we got a good result against this team, knowing we can play against the best teams, and something just went wrong this year. I think it was a mentality we just couldn’t get out of for all the season. We just need to go look at ourselves and figure out what exactly went wrong. I feel like the mentality once we start losing a few games just failed us. There’s a lot of young guys in here, and we all just couldn’t get out of it. But you go back to the drawing board, that’s tough, but that’s the only thing we can do; just go back, look at ourselves, and ask ourselves if we gave everything to this club to make it successful. Then we come back next year and try to make it better.”

On his plan for the offseason
“I’m really concentrating on getting healthy, stronger this offseason. The goal for next year is to avoid any sort of injury, and be available for selection every single game. It’s been a tough couple years. I’m lucky and glad I was able to come back from this terrible injury. I feel stronger, I started feeling really fit, 90-minute fit towards the end of the year. I didn’t get into a run of games where I played full games and stuff like that, but I’m happy I got there. I’m not going to stop so I lose the fitness; I’m going to keep working in the offseason and build my strength, and keep improving the strength of my knees and whatever little injuries I have. I’ll be ready for next year, and I’ll be ready for a full year.”

On how different the offseason will be
“In all my years, I think there’s only maybe two years that I didn’t have something going on in the offseason; in those years, I played every game in the season, because I was ready and prepared and worked hard in the offseason to be able to do it. I don’t have any injuries, it’s all about building and maintaining the strength as to avoid injuries. I’m going to turn it an injury-prevention offseason for me; hopefully, we can accomplish that and be ready to go.”

On new Chicago Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriguez
“He started work this week, so none of us have us been able to talk, but we have scheduled meetings coming up. I’m interested in what he has for us, what he can ask me, what he can take away from me, because I feel like he really has a lot of positives in mind. Hopefully, this offseason is very crucial to turn this club around. This club deserves to be turned around; hopefully, they have some plans in mind.”

On what the team can do different next year
“I just feel like, first of all, everyone needs to look at themselves and ask if they gave everything. As players, there’s always questions, everyone can give that little extra to help this team win. We kept fighting, this group, we gave our all but it just wasn’t enough. Hopefully, everyone improves on every deficiency they had. The most important will be the mentality; maybe us veterans need to do a better job of guiding those young guys in terms of building a winning mentality. I take some of the blame; hopefully, I can be better. Obviously, starting preseason with them would be better for me, because I didn’t start preseason with them last year, and so it was hard to come in and be the voice. Hopefully, the leadership can get better, and all of us can help the young guys improve in that mentality.”

On the youth of the team 
“They are hungry. They want to play, they want to make an impression. We didn’t show that in D.C. Brian was right to bring in, make those changes, and send a message. We gave up a couple bad goals today, but overall, I think the effort was great. We pinned the best team in the league in their own half for the longest time; we were just unlucky to not get the result. It’s a good start; you get these young guys believing that they can play in this league, and it’ll be great for them to gain that experience and come in next year and be ready to compete and actually play.”