Chicago Fire 1 – 1 Houston Dynamo
Toyota Park – April 15, 2012
Mike Matkovich – Assistant Coach
On the game:
“Obviously we’re a little disappointed that we didn’t get the game in its’ entirety, but we can’t control the Lord above. It was a difficult night to play… rain, wind, starts, stops… the one key thing is, we were down a goal, we had a good response, we scored within three minutes to tie it. I felt that if the game would’ve went on, we could have pulled three points out of the night. But I give our guys a lot of credit. They fought hard and there was a lot of adversity. I thought our focus was good. The guys came out and kept their focus to try to get three points. Unfortunately, we ended up in a draw, but we will reevaluate and get ready for Toronto.”
On whether he agreed with the decision to call the game?
“Yes, if you looked at the radar, there was not much we could do. It was moving from the South to the North… you have a difficult situation. I think the league probably made the right decision. And with the new rules and the lightning detectors, you have to wait every thirty minutes if there’s a strike. We had one at 9:05, I think Leo was watching the radar. So you wait thirty minutes, and there is some more instances with the village as well, as to how late you can start the game. So I think it was probably the right decision.
Leo Percovich – Assistant Coach
On creating more goal scoring opportunities?
“We had good chances tonight, we have a lot of mobility. The team tried to play great soccer for the first half, I guess the wind… their goalkeeper made a couple good saves. We missed a couple passes at the end because the field was so wet. Houston tried to put good pressure on them, but Grazzini made a good opportunity to score. I think we were very aggressive. If we kept going in this game, we would’ve won this game. You can see in the second half, we wanted to play. Houston had players falling down. We had good chances in the first half against the wind and then more for sure in the second half.
On Arne Friedrich and his first regular season game with the Club
“We were so happy. The whole team is happy that he is here. He didn’t play for a long time and he did a great job for us in the first game. He is going to get better and better but his talent quality is not limited to a soccer player. He is another player that has come to help this beautiful group we have. And now that Cory has this injury, we miss him too, but the most important thing is that Arne will play more and will have more opportunities to help the team.
Logan Pause Chicago Fire midfielder
On his goal:
“I was trying to get away. I’m chalking it up to old age and not being able to get out of the way of Pavel’s (Pardo) shot. Patrick (Nyarko) and I are on the inside of the wall to add more of a visual block for the goalkeeper, but the ball came right at me. I tried everything I could to get out of the way, but it tagged me in the back and went into the goal.”
On the result:
“The frustration tonight comes from the fact that we were right there – pushing for three points. I don’t think it’s something that’s building. We’re excited to get back into a routine of games on the weekend. If you talk to the group I think we’re all happy with some of the moments in the first half – as a group we were really on the same page, were very dangerous and organized. It’s disappointing at home to let two points drop, but it is what it is and we need to move forward and get ready for next weekend.”
On what went well:
“Tonight you could see how well guys were moving and the simplicity of getting the ball on the attacking half. It allowed guys like Saba (Grazzini) and Marco (Pappa) to be creative, and defending you saw everyone working extra hard at home and really competing. There were times in the first couple of games where guys would get frustrated with the how things were going or whatever, and I think today we were a lot more patient as a group.
Play has really improved because the guys are getting into the routine of what it takes week in and week out, and also getting more familiar with each other.”
On losing Cory Gibbs:
“Cory has been a big part of this team and club, and it’s not easy losing a guy like that on the field and off the field. But injuries happen, that’s why you have thirty guys on the roster, it’s not the first time it’s happened. We’re just fortunate to have Arne (Friedrich) here and healthy - he’s adapted and fit right in. Of course we’re wishing Cory (Gibbs) a speedy recovery and look forward to his return.”
Arne Friedrich, Chicago Fire defender
On the result:
“It’s not good because we lost 25 minutes, and one point is not good at home – we should have won today. It’s sad, but we cannot do anything so we need to turn our focus to next week.”
On refocusing after the severe weather delay:
“I have never seen this before. I don’t know if this happened before in America, but both teams had to deal with it. I guess for both teams it was not easy, but for me it would better if we could played the last 25 minutes."
Pavel Pardo Chicago Fire midfielder
On coming back from the severe weather delay:
“This is hard for us. It’s the first time I ever saw this in my life, and it’s hard. They stopped the game, we were delayed for a long time, then it was delayed again and finally called. It’s hard also because we know we are a good team at home, and when we play at home we are very dangerous. It’s difficult because it’s like they are taking two points from us. It’s hard for us to accept this, but these are rules. “
On the Fire goal:
“I hit the ball and then it stuck him (Logan Pause) in the back and went in. It was good because the goal tied the game, which was good for us.”
Houston Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear
On what he said to the team during a 53 minute lightening delay:
“I just left them alone, and gave them updates about the timeline. When we first came in, we talked a little about what we saw on the field, what we need to work on, and we’ll give them updates about when the game will resume. I didn’t want to get them going or pump them up; just wanted to leave them alone.”
On pushing aggressively into the Fire’s half:
“They like to play in the middle of the field and we were just hoping to play wide and attack those areas. I thought when we did do that, we opened up some decent gaps and scored a really nice goal tonight. We haven’t given up the best goals this year but that’s the way it goes. We wanted to come in here and not sit back-the Fire have a lot of talented players, like Pappa, Grazzini, Nyarko that if you give them time on the ball they’re going to hurt you. Some of the other things you can try to do is make them defend deeper and if they get the ball, they can’t hurt you as much as they possibly could if they were playing forward.”
Houston Dynamo Forward Will Bruin
On his goal:
“Brian and I combined, then he played me a great ball in, and I really didn’t think about it, I just tried to finish it, be composed and keep it on frame, and luckily it did.”
On taking advantage of the rain delay to regroup:
“Obviously you don’t want to stop in the middle of the game, because then you have to go back and warm up, and you might get tight but we came in, we talked and regrouped because we really didn’t start off with as much energy as we wanted to so it gave us a second chance to go out and make a better statement off the bat and we did.
On the momentum Houston was building right before the match was stopped:
“We were starting to get things going a little bit with the last 5-10 minutes [before the game was stopped]. We had a few chances before and then the storm came in and it is what it is.”
Houston Dynamo Goalkeeper Tally Hall
On his team’s performance after the first rain delay:
“I think it wasn’t our best start to the start of the game, but after the lightening delay, we said we needed to do a better job coming off the start and this will give us an opportunity to have a better start. We came off playing well, and came out well coming out of the halftime break. It was a tough start to the game for us, but I think we came back and fought well. It’s another deflection goal against us, which is very unlucky but at the same time you can look at it as we didn’t give them many clean chances. I thought it was a great performance by us, a good fight. We’re on the road against a very good team and realistically a one-one draw coming out here-I am proud of the guys.”
On whether he is disappointed leaving with a 1-1 draw:
“It was disappointing because I thought the team was playing its best soccer when the second lightening delay happened, so it was unfortunate that’s when we started feeling our best and when Calen [Carr] came in and within a couple minutes he was very dangerous. We were on our front foot, game stops and so be it. We didn’t have enough time to win the game but like I said, Chicago is a great team. They’re so dangerous attacking and I think it’s a good result for us.”
On whether he was screened on the goal from Pause:
“I read the initial shot well, I thought it was going to be not a standard save, but low to my left and I thought I was going to collect it and the ball travels ten yards and does something different. It’s always hard to readjust and I felt like I got close; it’s a save I want to make. But when it’s a deflection it’s hard but it is what it is. I am proud of the guys to limit the team to the few chances they did have says something about the quality of our organization because Chicago is a dangerous team all the time. You can never take a break, they’re too good.”