Frank Klopas

Quote Sheet: Fire vs. NE

Quote Sheet
Chicago Fire 2 - 1 New England Revolution
Toyota Park - August 18, 2012
Frank Klopas - Chicago Fire Head Coach
Comments on the match...
“When you win, the result is the most important thing in the end. But was plays talk about playing good soccer and the result being disciplined. At the end of the night, I didn’t think that we were particularly good with the ball. We had a lot of turnovers and were sloppy with our passing. On the other hand, we created a lot of chances. Even though we were ahead in the stats in possession, we were not sharp. We need to finish our chances. It’s great that we’re creating, but we need to focus in the final third and put teams away. The longer you keep it tight like that...New England has a lot of quality players. It was a great win but we need to keep working. We found a way. The guys were committed until the end. A very important three points.”
On the chemistry between Sherjill MacDonald and Chris Rolfe...
“Really well. You can see his ability to play it to his feet or to space. He will still get sharper. They are both smart players. They look to combine. Tonight when you have combination play, we worked on diagonal runs the whole week. I thought at times it was on and we didn’t make those runs. The relationship is good. It’s easy to play when you have good players around you. It’s good but can always get better.”
On Sherjill MacDonald’s strength in play...
“Physically, he’s very strong. He’s comfortable with his back to goal. His timing is very good. He can protect the ball. He also makes good runs down the channels. Now he needs to keep pushing himself in games to get fitter and sharper. There is a lot of room for improvement. I think we need to be smart in the next couple days. I felt that there are some heavy legs out there. We need to be smart with the training, especially with a crucial midweek game. We need to stay really focused. In soccer, life, and in sports, things can turn around pretty quickly. We can’t get comfortable. We haven’t really achieved anything. We can’t relax.”
On Patrick Nyarko’s play...
“He’s been fantastic. He’s been a game changer for us coming in in different games. That’s what we have now-some depth. Marco [Pappa] played a little bit longer than I wanted to with the national team. We were hoping for him to get 45 minutes. Now we feel good with the depth that we have. Videira came in and did a very good job. Patrick’s got some issue with his back so that is why he came out. He pulled his back so we have to assess that. When he gets opportunities, I think he can be even more dangerous with finishing plays off. With his ability to take players one on one with his pace, he creates a lot. He’s very dangerous and has been a difference maker for us not only tonight, but throughout the season. He’s consistent.”
Patrick Nyarko - Chicago Fire Midfielder
Comments on the injury...
“It’s my back and my hamstrings. They shift and I’ve been having problems all season. The last couple weeks I have not played 90 minutes, so it has gotten better. In the first half, I stretched for the ball and I heard it just pull a little bit. I don’t think it is a pop or anything. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing that I’ve not had before. It’s mostly precaution.”
On the injury being the cause for not starting as often...
“I think that and the fact that we have extreme depth. I think the midfield is our strongest spot on the team. We have a lot of depth. Frank mentioned that we are going to try to do a rotation to keep everyone fresh.”
On creating so much space and setting up goals...
“I was fresher coming into this game since I’ve played less minutes in the past couple weeks. Also, we were determined to get off on the right foot after going down a goal so often. It was important to be aggressive from the start. Great movement by Chris. As soon as I saw the space, I knew that he was running in behind. The ball was played for him and he was smart enough to take the contact. I love playing with him, it’s unbelievable how good of a player he is. I was trying to be aggressive all night. The coaching staff has been encouraging me all week to play aggressively. I knew Kevin Alston is fast and I know his weaknesses and that’s why I’ve had success.”
On Chris Rolfe’s progress this season...
“I talk to him all the time. In the first couple weeks, he kept saying that he needed to get his feet under him. In three years, he had not played a lot. I thought he looked great in training. He didn’t think he was at his best. Having played consecutive games and getting back in game shape, now he seems to find the right spots. We know what he can do when he is in the right spots.”
On Chris Rolfe’s positioning...
“Nothing more than he is supposed to do: be aggressive in the final third. We have not required him to do a lot of defending, which is best for us and him. When he stays fresher up there, we know what he can do. I think that is the most important thing, him not having to defend a lot and staying high up the field.”
Chris Rolfe - Chicago Fire Forward
On playing with Sherjill MacDonald...
“I think we’re playing really well together and it is only going to get better. We’ve had two and a half games together and two weeks of training. I love the way he plays and I’m only going to learn more as time passes.”
On the new players adapting...
“It’s a difficult situation for the new guys to come in and jump right in. Especially two out of our attacking four. I think they’ve done a great job and should be commended for that. They understand the game and know how to play which makes it simple for the rest of us.”
On the hard work this season...
“These guys are sticking after, taking care of their bodies. Sherjill is working hard to get fit. These guys need to be commended for that”
On the goal...
“It was a good play with Patrick. A great pass back to me. My touch lead me into a defender. He went down early. It was pretty easy decision after that. Matt [Reis] was close and made a good effort, but it was mine for the day.”
On meshing well with the team lately...
“A combination of a lot of things. Putting a little more time with the guys in training and the additions that we have made have made it easier for me.”
New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps
On the back and forth scoring in the first half:
“Penalty called, they scored.  We fought back and then we gave up a goal on a throw-in. “
On the second goal:
“I didn’t see it.  I was writing a note down and didn’t see the play.”
On the substitutions made in the second half:
“I thought Jerry Bengston did a nice job coming in, and he held the ball up.  I think at the critical time I think our passes were a little off.”
On facing Chris Rolfe:
“I thought we dealt with him well at times.  We didn’t deal well with him other times.”
On not starting Jerry Bengston:
“He had tired legs because he had been traveling quite a bit.

On subs cont:
“A few of the decisions were tactical, and others were just trying to get the best players on the field.”
New England Revolution Midfielder Ryan Guy

On the team’s performance tonight:
“I saw a lot of grit, I saw a lot of fight.  A lot of desire.  But sometimes that’s not enough.  Our coach was saying the devil is in the details, and that was certainly the case tonight.  I think two mistakes, not necessarily mistakes, maybe one mistake in the penalty, and then one decently worked goal.  I think we did well to come back quickly and get one back.  They did well in their own final third, and we were there trying to break them down and couldn’t quite do it.  I think second half we came out and really fought hard and showed a lot about ourselves.  We’re in a rut right now, that’s the bottom line.  We need to do whatever we can to get out of it.”

On the team’s mentality after giving away the game winning goal:
“Because of where we are in the season and where we are in each game, or where we have been, I think it’s one of those times where you say, you know what, we got to get on with it.  These things are happening to us instead of getting down on ourselves, it’s more like, you know what, let’s test ourselves here and come back and really show something of ourselves.  I think we did that, but unfortunately the only thing we can do is score a goal and we needed to.”

On what he saw in the second half:
“I think we got stretched a couple times.  They got a couple counter attacks but that’s always going to happen when you’re trying to win, when you’re trying to push forward.  I think we did well with most of those for the most part.  I think we got a couple chances in-some things go our way, roll of the ball, hit the post, I don’t know.  Something like that.  But maybe we could have done it; unfortunately it just wasn’t our night.”

On looking forward to Columbus:
“We need to change the little things.  The little things are going to be the difference. A positive season and one we’d rather forget.”
New England Revolution Defender Stephen McCarthy

On the team’s performance:
“It was tough.  First half didn’t go as we would have hoped but we had a good spell I think in the middle of the first half.  We put some great passes together and went forward well.  It’s kind of the same story, you know.  We make two mistakes and we get punished hard.  We just have to keep moving forward, I guess, and stay positive.”
On whether the second Fire goal took a little out of the team’s sail:
“It’s always tough when it goes back and forth like that.  You’re really happy when you score and it comes back, and you get scored on like that, it’s real tough mentally.  I thought after their second goal we didn’t fold but we probably should have been a little stronger mentally.  So, it’s tough, but we have to be stronger mentally and play better.”

On facing Sherjill MacDonald:
“Oh man, he’s good.  He’s real strong, he’ll back into you hard and he knows how to do that well.  We did pretty well with him, backing into us and he got one.  But besides that play, we dealt with him pretty well.”

On dealing with Chris Rolfe:
“[MacDonald] and Rolfe have a really good connection.  It’s tough, you have to decide whether to step or hold and it takes a lot of communication.  Sometimes we got it perfect and sometimes we didn’t.  We need to be perfect.  That’s what Jay’s harping about in the back-to be perfect.  That’s how we are going to win games.  Has to be a little better.”

On fighting for wins and moving forward:
“We aren’t going to give up.  I know that much.  We have ten more games.  We have to give everything we have.”