Frank Klopas
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Quote Sheet: Fire vs. D.C. United

Quote Sheet
Chicago Fire 2 – 0 D.C. United
Toyota Park – June 2, 2013
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
Overall thoughts on the win and the team’s performance
“Yeah, definitely, I think it’s obviously a great win for our team, it’s very important game. I think that both teams were in a situation where we needed points so we came into it prepared really well. You know we had a mid-week game the Open Cup match but I think we did a good job just making sure the guys were fresh and ready to go knowing that this would be a very difficult match and it was. I think we got that goal early on, an own goal, and I think that was good but the first half I think we weren’t very good in our possession game, especially with the players we had out there. I think the key was our initial pass in transition wasn’t great. We chased the game a little bit. I felt we had some good looks in the final third, and then obviously in the second half, we created chances again and it was great to get the second goal and get the victory. It was an important victory for us. Now, second week of the Open Cup in a short time and an important match here. So an important game, we are feeling good and now we just got to put this game behind us, enjoy tonight, and then regroup and get ready for the whole week we have in front of us. We have another difficult match against Portland at home.”
On how important Magee’s second goal was
“The second goal its always important because when you get chances you need to put them away and put the team away. Even though DC, with their record, they are a lot better than their record shows, and they have some quality players there. I think when you get chances in matches you’ve got to put them away and I think that (the goal) took a lot of pressure off the players. We created chances again in the second half but it was good, you know, to put that second one away and enjoy the end of the game a little bit more.”
On the Fire’s defensive play
“They did well. I think the first half, you saw we had a little bit of problems, when  (Dwayne) De Rosario was dropping in between the lines and he was finding the ball. We talked about it in halftime where one of the center backs had to get tight and deny that ability of him to get the ball, find the space, and turn and I think we did a good job. I mean, Baky (Soumare), and the rest of the guys have been playing better and better and I think that it takes some time when you do bring new players in to kind of adjust and fit in, but I think Baky is an experienced player and I think overall as a team, it starts defending with the whole group, it starts with the forwards and their willingness to work very hard off the ball and they did. We got the victory and the clean sheet, which is always important.”
On how set he is on the current line-up
“I think, you know, with the two players we’ve added, quality players, I think that there is more depth in the team. There are a lot of games coming up, with Open Cup matches and league matches that are important, and I think it gives us an opportunity to be able to put quality players in and not miss a beat. I think we have depth in certain areas and that’s good and its going to help us throughout the season.”
On Mike Magee and his leadership role
“I mean what can you say, I think that you saw the quality that he has, his leadership that he brings on the field, but he’s just very smart. The way he moves on the field, he wants the ball in difficult spots and he always seems to be in the right moment, at the right time. I think, look, he’s a quality player that’s going to make our team, obviously, better. You saw a little bit tonight and I don’t know if you watched the Open Cup match but I know that as he gets a little bit more familiarized with the group of players that we have, I think it’s even going to be better. So, yeah, he’s got a lot of quality and we are lucky to have him in our group, on our team.”
On the play of Alex
“We wanted to get better possession and have someone obviously that can be another guy that can, from deep spots, support the forwards and Alex has a lot of quality. He’s a player that wants the ball in difficult spots, he can beat players off the dribble, he can create opportunities for himself and that puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenders, and I think he’s getting better. I thought he had a good game today where he picked up the ball in difficult spots and made things happen and I know he can play a lot better. But we have players with different qualities and I think with different games we can bring different characteristics and players and that can help us.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On playing with Mike Magee
“It’s a little different.  We got our first taste of it mid-week in Charlotte, and the first impressions of Mike [Magee] are that he is such a smart player.  I catch myself looking at him and his movements as a play develops to see what he wants me to do with the ball, he leads us to the next play. You can see that he’s smart, very experienced and has played with some great teams, so I’m very impressed.  But we can’t jump for joy after one week, we need to continue with this and it will be very good.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire Forward
On scoring the second goal of the match
“It’s huge.  I think the biggest thing when you’re not scoring is just to create chances, which is what we did tonight. Obviously it’s good to get two goals, but if we’re a little better we have four. But just creating chances gives you confidence, so the second one put them away.“
On working with his new teammates
“To start the game, in the first half, we weren’t great – we didn’t get much possession in the final third but we had a good regroup at halftime. The second half I thought we were great.”
On working with Patrick Nyarko and his speed
“It’s hard getting used to speed, I’m not fast so I can’t relate at all. As soon as I knew he was going to get behind I just took off and he played me a great ball. “
Bakary Soumare, Chicago Fire Defender
On his first game back at Toyota Park
“It feels great. It feels fantastic being here, obviously I love playing here. This is home to me, so it’s great to be a part of this organization, and to start with a win and a clean sheet couldn’t have been scripted any better. “
On the play of the back line
“Today was a better result for us. We were getting comfortable with each other, we getting used to playing with each other so it’s been good.  I’ve known Austin [Berry] for a while and I watch a lot of games, so for me it’s an easy transition. This is a team that I follow closely so it’s been great.  I just hope that we can keep it up.”
On the importance of the win
“It was a very important win.  It’s a team we will be fighting against.  We’re both in a similar situation and it’s good for us to get three points, especially considering the results last night. Now we just need to keep getting points to make up for the first 10 or 11 games.”
Ben Olsen, D.C. United Head Coach
Thoughts on the match
“As an individual performance or two on our side I thought was pretty good.  I don’t think anybody had stellar performances…actually, scratch that, I thought Daniel Woolard played a very good game.  Overall it was a lot of possession on our end, and again, we just can’t finish.  They get a break on a set piece, an own goal-that’s how things are going for us right now.  We have to stay together and dig in, and try to get out of this situation.  Not a lot is going our way but we still need to go about this in the right way.  The goals hopefully will start to come and maybe some of the luck will start to change our way.”
On putting the Fire defense on their heels in the second half
“We had a lot of the ball, and a lot of passes that connected.  We talked about going into our forwards, back and wide, exploiting some of their weakness.  I thought at time we did it.  Again, we are still not consistently threatening enough.  That part has to be fixed.  Today we were little bit unlucky I thought.  I thought we defended overall pretty well, but we are stretched in the end and they get a second [goal].  I’m not too worried about that.  I’m more worried about the offensive side.”
Chris Pontius, D.C. United Midfielder
On any positives from the match
“No. It’s another loss. It’s been the most frustrating year for this team.  Nothing seems to be going our way.”
On if he thought the team could come back after the own goal
“Yes, I always think we can come back. It seems to be a lot of balls bouncing against us this year.  But we need to do something more offensively to shut them down defensively.”
On hitting the post
“We were pushing offensively; I would like to see more, myself included.  We give away possession too easily.  I know I’m one of the guiltiest guys on the team of that.  I think that’s just a combination of decision making, position on balls and not playing with confidence.  Because everything it literally going against us this year.  We give them too much time to play, and make it their game today, especially their dangerous players; can’t let Magee, Rolfe and Nyarko get behind the ball and give them time and space.”
On resetting the team after this match
“We’ve been trying to reset ourselves after every game.  We have to figure this out.  We have to figure this out.”
James Riley, D.C. United Defender
Takeaways from the match
“I thought it was a hard fought match between both teams.  I think the first half was even; I thought maybe we even had the better of the chances.  We had that unfortunate goal so we find ourselves in the hole at halftime.  Made some changes [right after] halftime, and thought we lost a little bit of rhythm, we started forcing a lot of stuff and they were able to punish  us a couple times or get good looks. And in the end, it’s definitely an unfortunate result for us again because we thought we can gain some momentum with our Open Cup win earlier in the week and come in here to look to put in a good performance.  I thought there were spots, but for a total game, it was hurting us and that’s unfortunate.”
On building on the bright spots
“I think if you look at the first half, Carlos and DeRo worked well together.  I thought we were getting some guys healthy where we can get a little bit of rhythm and that’s what it takes in this league.  A rhythm with guys that you know, that you can play with and try to put results together.  But now we just have to start trying to put total games together and I think right now we have to take baby steps.  We have a fantastic group here and the locker room is flooded with talent.  We have to get the most out of our roster, and then start clicking and getting results.  Obviously we are gutted right now, and we can just lick our wounds and get back and get on with it.”
On the team moving forward
“It’s tough.  We have a lot of character in this locker room and I think our character has been tested from day one of this season.  I think it’s important to get guys on the same page, guys that start to stray and think we are stagnant, and start to think negatively, we have to pull them back just to keep them on the ship,  and try to right the ship.  Without a doubt, I’d be lying if that wasn’t creeping in, but at the same time, we are professionals and we have a job to do.  It affects everything we do.  It affects how you wake up in the morning, how you feel in the afternoon and the evening, and so on.  It’s important for us to stay positive.  Go home, love our family even more, don’t bring it home with us, and when it’s time to work, you come to work and only ask for effort day in and day out.  Hopefully things will turn around for us.”