Arne Friedrich
Brian Kersey Chicago Fire

Quote Sheet: Fire vs. DC


Quote Sheet:
Chicago Fire 1 – 1 D.C. United
Toyota Park – Oct. 27, 2012

Frank Klopas – Chicago Fire Head Coach

On the match…

“We wanted to have this last match at home. It was a great situation for us. We started well scoring an early goal. I thought we started the second half a little flat but we picked up our momentum a little bit. In the end it’s about the opportunities that you create and putting them away. You know games like this are going to be tight. I thought we created enough chances but you have to put them away. You definitely saw the effort was good from the group. We had a great atmosphere from our fans. Sometimes things like this happen. You get the opportunities but don’t put them away. Sean Johnson made some very good saves and we did well as a whole. We are still hosting a game here so have to move on and get ready for that game.”

On the last few minutes of the match …

“Guys were making good runs. We felt good about all the chances we created but you have to put them away. Even if you make it 2-0 early on it can change the game. This game came down to us. We took some chances knowing that the advantage in the midfield would cause problems for us. This game is behind us now and I know the locker room is a little quiet but we have to move on. I think we are still in a very good spot. We are in the playoffs and hosting a game. It is an extra game but we will be ready to go.”

On changing to more defensive tactics are scoring the goal …

“I don’t think we changed anything. I think they were playing five guys in the middle with one on top. It was important to stay compact. You saw the opportunities that we created on the break. We should have made it 2-0. They pushed numbers forward especially with their wide guys and backs. Our keys were to be good in transition. We were very good and created a lot of opportunities. I don’t think we sat back. They played with an extra guy in the midfield so it’s a give and take. I didn’t think they were dangerous when they had possession of the ball. When we went one up we knew they were going to commit numbers forward so we wanted to hit them in transition. We did it is just unfortunate that we did not score.”

On wanting a clean sheet …

“You always want a clean sheet in the playoffs and late in the season it comes down to small details. Obviously if we have a clean sheet we win the game. Going in to it we put a lot of effort into playing defense well as a team. Having said that we gave up one goal but had the opportunities to put the game away. We did not do that well but hopefully we can in the playoff game.”

On not being able to secure second place …

“The conference was very tight and this is not the last game for us. Unfortunately New York Red Bulls had more goals then us so they are ahead. I am proud of the group, they have been consistent all year long. They put everything on the field today. We are in the playoffs and we have to get ready for the next game. When we are at home we always want to win and we have the same attitude on the road. Our first priority is to get three points and the guys put in that kind of effort today. It is unfortunate that we did not put some of those chances away and we are also up against a good team. You have to give credit to them for defending well and making some good saves.”

On the short turn around …

“I want a week to prepare for sure, it would be a lot better than a quick turn around like this. The good thing is that we are at home and don’t have to travel. We have to get ready to play a very good team. They are a very different team to the one we played today. So we have to get ready and organized. The goal from the beginning was to be in the playoffs and we are. Did we want to finish second, yes we did. The commitment was there and the guys left everything on the field. For me, I thought that we prepared well. It thought the attitude, effort and commitment was good. It sis not go our way with the chances we created so we have to go back starting tomorrow to get ready for the next match.”

Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder

On the result:

“We had a couple of chances that we should have put away, but we just have to keep our heads up and get ready for the next game.  The season is still going so we have focus on what’s ahead and getting wins.”

On giving up the lead:

“I think we sat back a little too deep.  They are a very good team and a good passing team, we needed to put more pressure on them - there was just no pressure on the service which lead to a nice finish.”

On not being able to win when they only score one goal:

“I think we can shutout teams.  It’s just a matter of keeping our concentration.  We made one mistake early in the second half, but if we keep our concentration we can shut teams out 1-0.”

On the midweek game:

“It’s disappointing we have to play because we had the opportunity to win this game today and opportunities in the past to clinch it as well, you never want to have to play that extra game.  I believe that no matter where you start from, if you work hard come the playoff you can win a MLS championship.  It’s just one extra game and luckily enough we get to play at home which is nice because we don’t have to travel.  Starting with the next game we start fresh with a clean slate – we’ll take care of Houston and then move on.”

Sherjill MacDonald, Chicago Fire Forward

On putting this game behind them:

“I’m not sure how we put this game behind us, I guess we just have to prepare like we always do.  We prepare the same way every week and sometimes the ball bounces the other way.  We just have to forget it and look forward to the game later in the week.  I’m still positive; we have another game this week.  There’s no point in being negative, we earned a draw even though we had enough chances to put it away but we have to move on and look forward the next game.“

On short rest:

“For me that’s the best solution.  If you play a game like this, you want to have another one close so you can bounce back, immediately instead of having to wait a whole week. “

On how missing chances:

“Of course players always want to score, but for me the game is another day and another chance to score, so I’m not really concerned about it. “

On the New York final:

“Our goal was to win today, regardless of the Red Bulls score.  We were up 1-0, but unfortunately we let ourselves down by not finishing our chances today.”

Chris Rolfe, Chicago Fire Forward

On missed chances:

“We had a several opportunities to score, you’re lucky sometimes to get that many chances in a month.  This time a year you have to finish those chances.”

Arne Friedrich, Chicago Fire Defender

On the result:

“We had a couple of chances to score, and I’m very disappointed that we gave our playoff position away.  However, we are still in the competition and I hope we have a good game against Houston.  We don’t have a lot of time to recover, but everyone is a professional and we will be ready on Wednesday. “

DC United Head Coach Ben Olsen

On the flurry of shots by the Fire at the end:

“It always is.  When a team has nothing to lose, and they are throwing that many people at you, they’re going to get some looks, you know?  They going to get balls within – I think we dodged one or two but we had some chances throughout the game.  You take out that period at the end where they were throwing a lot of numbers, and I felt we played very well.  I thought our possession in the first half, the way we moved the ball side to side, was very good.  It was probably one of our better possession games of the year.  Give a lot of credit to Pajoy, he missed his chances, he doesn’t get frustrated, and he finds a way to get us the goal.  I thought Marcelo [Saragosa] and Perry [Kitchen] did a good job, I felt the center backs were sharp, Andy as well.  It’s really the team and in particular, the second half I thought everyone looked pretty sharp.”

On the gratification of finishing second after all the tribulations of this year:

“I suppose.  When you’re in the heat of this stuff, it’s tough to look back what you’ve gone through.  You want to look forward and to the next task.”

On playing the Red Bulls:

“That’s it. That’s going to be a lot of fun I think for both organizations.  I will think about that Monday.  I want to try to unwind and relax tomorrow, and then we will get to work on the Red Bulls Monday.”

On avoiding the Wednesday game:

“We are now one of eight teams in the playoffs.  The other two have to go through a playoff, and that’s a big deal, playing back to back.  It will start to take its toll.  But it’s certainly doable, but we wanted to avoid it.”

On Bill Hamid’s play:

“He’s become a guy with real presence in there.  I’ve talked about his growth, Pat’s talked about his growth and as long as he can continue and stay at this level, be consistent and improve, he’s got an unbelievable future.”

On Hamid’s save in the 20th minute:

“It was huge.  Two-zero is tough.  The elements played into it today.  The wind in the first half was tough to get out of our end, and that fortunately for us, in the second half, we really had them pinned in for a good while.  We got our goal, and kept stepping and I thought the elements actually helped us in the second half.  But Bill was great then and he was in the right spot for a lot of other shots.”

DC United Midfielder Nick DeLeon

On the match:

“It definitely was a playoff match.  That’s what it felt like.  In the first half, I felt like we really controlled the game.  They had that one opportunity, good brilliance by Nyarko and it was a good goal.  But our game plan in the second half was just keep playing, keep playing.  We knew our chances would come and it did.  From then on it was about minimizing their chances and team defending, busting your butt for everyone on the team.  All around, it was a good result and a good team ‘win’ for the guys.”

On equating a tie for a win for this game:

“Exactly.  It kept us in second seed to get that home field advantage and it was a big result for sure.”

On what was he was thinking when Hamid made the breakaway save in the 20th:

“Playoff match, man.  That what was going through my head.  These games are very intense and Bill has to come up big for us.  Huge credit to him.  He came up big time for us today.”

On facing the Red Bulls:

“I feel like I’m ready.  We have a week to prepare for the match.  I feel like we will be ready and it’s going to be a dog fight.  I can’t wait.”

DC United Midfielder and Captain Chris Pontius

On facing the Red Bulls:

“This is what I wanted, to be honest.  You welcome the challenge.  In playoffs you going to have to beat tough teams so why not do it early.  I think it’s a good match up.”

On avoiding the Wednesday match-up:

“Yea, just like last game, when we came in here one-zero down, obviously it was a great goal that Nyarko scored, but we didn’t panic at all.  We came out, we played the same style of soccer; we didn’t start throwing numbers forward.  Then we get the goal and I thought the guys kept their heads in the game, and just didn’t panic.  We kept possession and we just got our chances and put one away for us.”

On Bill Hamid’s play:

“He came up big for us, especially in the later stages of the game.  When he made that save, laying his body out, that was huge.  That was a priceless save for us, and keeps us out of a game on Wednesday.”

On the team’s play in the second half:

“In the first twenty minutes of the second half, I thought we were very good.  Then Chicago, they had to get the win obviously, started throwing numbers at us.  It‘s a hectic game at that point.  And then it’s survival mode.  Obviously the game switches and I thought the guys handled it pretty well.  They had a couple good looks but thankfully they didn’t put one in.”

On picking up steam at the end of the season:

“I think the team is peaking at the right point and guys are playing for each other.  Guys are wanting the ball, we had great possession today and we have good team chemistry right now.”