Chicago Fire 2 – 1 Toronto FC
BMO Field – Sept. 12, 2012
Frank Klopas- Head Coach- Chicago Fire
Big win for your team on the road tonight…
It’s coming down to the end. Even thought this is a team that if you look at their record, doesn’t reflect really much of their play. I think when Paul came in it really chanced the mentality and the attitude of the group and we new that going into the game they are not a team that reflects their record. They are going to come in with a good mentality and push the game. We started the game really well, we got the first goal and then for the next fifteen to twenty minutes a lot of the guys thought that the game was over and I think they took control of the game and pressed. We got the second goal off a set piece which helped and obviously we had some chances to put the game away and in the end we knew that they were going to through a lot going forward, they pushed up with numbers. We had chances to put the game away and when you don’t you give up goal from two-zero, momentum shifts and the pressure is on us. In the end we just had to defend well. Give credit to them, they pushed to the end. For sure it was a great effort, a very good result from a difficult place to play on the road. We will take it, we have to regroup and get ready for another tough game on Saturday against Montreal at home.
Your defense did a solid job containing Eric Hassli tonight…
I think the thing is, he is very dangerous if he posts up and you get tight with him because physically he is very strong. I think it’s just about positioning and being in a way that you can attack the ball. Once you get behind him and he gets a hold of you he is physically very strong and you are not going to push him out of the way. Initially, it is just putting more pressure on the wide players and denying him the initial pass.
Chris Rolfe- Forward- Chicago Fire
You have four goals and an assist in the past five games against TFC, what is it about this team that you find this success?
I wasn’t aware of that, but that’s pretty good. I don’t know I think we show up for these games and I do find a little bit of space against this team at times. I’ve been pretty fortunate I guess.
With seven attempts on goal, what was your strategy today against the Toronto defence?
I was just trying to find space in front of the centre backs and in front of the holding midfielder. I think our guys did a good job of finding me in those spots and for the most of the time when I take the zone I shoot.
Talk about what a win like this does for team morale?
You know it’s a big win for us, any point on the road at this time of the year is great. I don’t think we played well enough though. I think we have a lot of things that we need to address from this game in both boxes, offensively and defensively, because going forward, as the season gets a little bit tighter and we get into the playoffs we are not going to create the same number of chances and if we give up the chances the other team is going to punish us for it so I think there is a lot that we have to address.
Alvaro Fernandez- Midfielder- Chicago Fire
Can you talk about your goal tonight?
It was a good buildup play on the right side Pavel (Pardo) hit the post and found me with a cross.
You gave the Toronto FC defence a really hard time throughout the game, what was your offensive strategy for tonight’s game?
The earlier goal that we had definitely helped. Once that happened they (Toronto FC) started to pushing with numbers and that left a lot of space behind them that we were trying to take advantage with the counters. We had many chances to end the game and to put it away earlier but we didn’t finish our chances and we let them come back into the game with the chances that they had.
Talk about what a win like this does for team morale this late into the season?
It is very good that the team is playing really well right now. We have a lot of motivation and right now we have another game and must keep going forward and win as we keep getting closer to the playoffs.
Paul Mariner- Head Coach & Director of Soccer Operations- Toronto FC
Paul has there been a worse start to a game? What was the problem?
I’ll tell you what the problem was, its all about being a professional in every single aspect of the word. Were at the bottom of the table. We haven’t won in two months, apart from the Champions league game and that’s the type of performance that you get. As group there is absolutely no excuse for that first half. They played as individuals, they didn’t play as a team. Everything we spoke about today was about we have to be together to get a result and we were slow in all departments we didn’t stay with our runners, our passing was poor and there’s no excuse.
Paul can you share what you said at half time to the players, or what kind of delivery it was?
Absolutely… it was on the top note. There was a few words about the players. My first statement was that we were their best player. If you want to give teams a two goal stand then carry on, but we’re not that good. We were the architects of our own downfall. Playing ridiculous balls in the wrong area of the field. I thought we eradicated that, but obviously some of the lads that have been in the squad haven’t been listening.
Darren O’Dea- Defender- Toronto FC
Where do you begin assessing that performance especially the first half?
You can get away from it it’s not good enough. For awhile I think we’ve played quite well in games. Certainly for large parts of that game we were poor. Where do you start I don’t know. But we certainly need to get together and figure it out because we are so far off anyone’s standards.
Is your knee ok?
It was not my knee. I just got a clash of legs really and I just couldn’t run it off. The last eight minutes we didn’t have a sub so I just on. I imagine I’ll be fine.
Luis Silva- Midfielder- Toronto FC
Paul Mariner said it was the first 45 minutes he’s seen as the coach of this team. Did you respond better in the 2nd half?
Yeah I mean, it’s no secret we keep doing the same thing. I think we start bad and we try to finish well and it think that’s something we have to change. We had our chances, if only we could put one away. It’s the same thing, the same mistakes in the back and its costing us and its been costing us the whole season. The seasons going to be over and it’s still the same.
How much is it for you and a lot of the people on the team a matter of experience?
We have the experience already. I’ve played enough games and other guys have played enough games. I just think it’s a matter of individuals being prepared, being mentally prepared and we just have to stop making little silly mistakes.