Chicago Fire 0 - 1 Aston Villa
International Friendly presented by TrueCar
Toyota Park - July 21, 2012
Frank Klopas - Chicago Fire Head Coach
Comments on the match...
“I got what I wanted from the game. An opportunity for some guys to continue to have some rhythm since we don’t have a league game this week. An opportunity for some other players to get minutes in and make sure that they’re in a position where they are ready to help out. I’m happy with the effort of the players. We walked away with no injuries. I was pleased with the effort. Obviously we always want to win, but the players gave everything they had.
On giving a variety of players time on the field...
It was an opportunity for both goalkeepers to get time. I was pleased with both keepers and guys like Hunter [Jumper], Corbin [Bone], Dan [Gargan]. So that was good. We wanted to rest certain guys that were carrying knocks. It was a good game and we played a very good team. You can see the certain qualities that they have. It was good for a lot of the younger guys to play a team like this.
On Steven Kinney’s presence on the bench...
Going into it, we felt that the opportunity to get him in may be there. In the end, we felt it was better to get his first game in during a reserve match.
On the team’s movement off the ball...
The team’s movement off the ball can always get better. That’s the most important thing in soccer. I think that Dan [Gargan] talked about it. Their movement in transition is good. It’s something we have to keep working on and getting better.
Dan Gargan - Chicago Fire Defender
Comments on the match...
It was a great opportunity to test ourselves against an EPL team. I think that one thing that I noticed was the quickness in which they shifted from side to side. They played a compact midfield but could cover well when the ball was switched. I thought there were certain stretches where we moved the ball well. We certainly controlled parts of the game and that’s a good sign.
On whether there is a team in MLS that compares to Aston Villa...
They kept good possession and you look at teams like San Jose and Salt Lake that hold possession as well. There are some teams that we play against that are similar, but that’s a different side.
Patrick Nyarko - Chicago Fire Midfielder
It’s great, you can see how good they are with movement and positioning. I’m glad that a lot of the young kids got to play today. If they can play decently against an EPL team, it gives them confidence. We lost, but they had fun. A couple of them played well, so hopefully it can transition into MLS play.
On enjoying the match...
I did, I did. I’m a huge fan of the EPL. I watch very EPL game that I can. I was hoping that Darren Bent would play, but he did not. But Agbonlahor played and he scored and that’s what he does in the EPL. It’s amazing being on the field with these guys.
On the rookies learning from the match...
It’s a lot quicker with positioning. At one point, Aston Villa was just playing through us in the midfield. I was telling them that we needed to step to guys quicker. If you allow them space then they will just play through us quicker. Putting a lot more pressure on them. That communication and that exposure gives them confidence. They will learn from game to game. No better game to learn from than a laid-back friendly.
Aston Villa Manager Paul Lambert
On the match:
"It's great for us, it's another win. It builds confidence.
On his first few months on the job:
"You're never quite sure, when you get a new job, what people are like. You don't know the character [of the team] or the way they play. But I've got nothing but praise for them... the way they train and the way they play. I'm more than happy."
On the success of American ‘keepers in Europe:
"I don't know. You're right, the three lads that you mentioned [Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Brad Friedel] have been great in the Premiership."
On whether he expects Guzan to compete for the starting job with Shay Given:
"Yeah, I've said that right from the off."
"I think [he'll be out] about a couple of weeks... I didn't really get much chance to speak with him just yet. I've spoken to the medical people, and they think it's not too bad."
"I thought his all-around game was excellent, and I thought the team was very good."
On injuries in friendlies:
"That's football. [In] football, there's contact. Sometimes you get into the most stupid of challenges, and you don't get hurt. And when no one is near you, you can [get injured]."
On the defense, and Eirc Lichaj specifically:
"I think as a group they defended really strongly. Not just the back four, the midfield players are working really hard as well. Eric has come in and done really fine at left back... as a group I think they've been excellent."
Aston Villa FC Defender Eric Lichaj
On whether it feels good to be back on the field:
“It felt good. It felt good to play in front of my parents and my brothers who haven’t seen me play live in front of a crowd, especially in Chicago – it was a good feeling. “
On how he felt the game went:
“I think the way we played, we were going to dominate. We maybe should have created more chances but it’s all right. The good thing is we got the win and that’s what we wanted. “
On his off season:
“It was good. I stayed back with my parents and just chilled with my brothers and stuff. It was good to be back home. But now I am back in England and training for the rest of the year and playing – that’s my job and I enjoy it very much.”
On how it feels to get back into it:
“Yeah, after about a month, you get itchy just to get back so it’s good to be back and playing. “
On last season:
“It started off badly. I had my hip injury but then ended up pretty well. I played a stretch of maybe nine or ten games I did well on and hopefully I can continue that in the beginning of the season.”
Aston Villa Goalkeeper Brad Guzan
On his return:
It’s good to be back in Chicago, to have a game like this. There’s definitely a lot of family and friends out tonight so it was a good evening for everyone. “
On showing his teammates his hometown:
“Yea, I think all the guys enjoyed it. I’m sure some of them got some shopping done, things like that so, they definitely enjoyed the city. I spoke very highly of it and I am sure someone will be back to visit. They definitely enjoyed their time in Chicago.”
On facing a MLS team in the preseason:
“It’s important because obviously they’re in the midst of their season. They’re fit; they are kind of flying on all cylinders, where we are just starting so it’s a good test for us. I think tonight was a good game. It tested our fitness and pushed us a bit. At the same time, I think to have a club like that, to be able to come to the city of Chicago, and play against a team like the Chicago Fire, it’s good for everyone involved. “
Aston Villa Midfielder Fabian Delph
On whether he’s delighted to be back:
“I’m delighted to be back. It’s my first preseason in three years. For me to start the preseason with the boys is which I haven’t done through injuries, well, I am just delighted.”
On the importance of going through a preaseason:
“Yeah, definitely, it’s was my main aim. Obviously, I got injured at the end of the season, for me to start preseason was crucial. I’m buzzing. This is the best I’ve been involved in and for me it’s just great.”