Frank Klopas
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Quote Sheet: Fire vs. Crew

Quote Sheet
Chicago Fire 2 – 1 Columbus Crew
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round
Toyota Park – June 13, 2013
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On how the club did today
“A great win. I think being here all night for both teams, waiting and cancelling the game and then coming back in the morning, I think that affected both teams. For the start, obviously, I thought there were good moments in the first half where we got in a good rhythm and then, obviously, there were moments where our decision-making wasn’t great. I think it was back and forth. We had momentum a little bit I think they had a little bit of momentum, but then we had some chances we never gave up, we tied the game, and then we found a way in a difficult match. The Open Cup is a special tournament and these games are never easy, but we found a way to play good soccer. We had good moments the second half and found a goal from very nice combination play and it was just a fantastic win. And it was great to see our fans back today supporting the team because obviously being at home, the one thing you rely on is your fan base. And I saw a lot of Section 8 supporters and our fans being out there and that was great to see. I think they lifted the team late in the game. A great victory, heads up to my players. They did a fantastic job and now we have a couple days to regroup and focus on Colorado coming in town here next Wednesday. We have a lot of games coming up in a row so we have to be smart about the training and all that stuff.”
On the team’s improving offensive play
“Even from the beginning we’ve created chances. It hasn’t been any different. You look at games in the beginning of the season where we lost some close matches. There wasn’t a lack of opportunities created by us. Now those chances are going in. I think we are creating chances now with [Mike] Magee and the guys we’ve got. I think it has given us a lot of confidence, group confidence. I think if we keep creating opportunities, and if you keep doing that with quality players, you’re going to put them away. That’s the positive thing. I think defensively as a team in that phase of the game we’re always working to be better. We’re a team that’s going to be very compact, keeping that line really tight and short on the field and making it difficult for teams to play through us. It’s a commitment by everyone. You got to put a lot into the game to win and these guys know the most important thing is the team and they have to put everything into it on the field that they have. Opportunities are being created and now they are going in which is great to see.”
On yielding the first goal again and this time on a set piece
“Obviously the one thing we knew from our size that we knew would be an issue was set pieces. We talked about limiting their opportunities and we didn’t do a good job the first half. You can see how many set pieces we gave away and that was a mismatch for us. We knew that would be an issue throughout the game with our size and stuff. And just being smart [was key] because not only now we made some silly fouls and gave them opportunities, but also in the run of play when we had opportunities to hold the ball and play more simple and keep it, we turned it over and now your under pressure again. That part has to get better because, when we get it, the key is transition. In transition, when we have the ball, to be able to be good in transition and hold it and relieve pressure. We don’t do that and then the ball gets played back in our own half. That’s the one thing we keep working on and we got to get better. That definitely was an issue in the game today and you talk about marking and being tight on guys but, you know, it’s the responsibility with the guys on the field to make sure that everybody is focused and alert. Sometimes, look, you get beat on stuff. Guys jump in front of you, it’s one inch, the delivery is good and that happens. The good thing is we found a way to score two goals. We keep working with that on the pitch in training and addressing that but definitely we knew there was an issue today because of our size on the field.”
On absorbing pressure instead of pressing in the beginning of the game
“Our initial line of confrontation is ten yards on top of the center circle and that’s pretty offensive pressing. We don’t really drop our lines and we invite the other team. We feel that’s offensive pressing. And then the other thing you have to be aware of is that you have a guy with [Dominic] Oduro who has a lot of pace.  If you play really high up the field you concede a lot of pace and depth. If you don’t pressure, if there’s no pressure on the ball, our ability now with the back line, you can’t really push that high up because you’re giving a lot of space to a guy that’s pretty fast and that’s his weapon. We started off ten yards in front of the center circle and that’s offensive pressing. If we needed to, if we were losing, we would probably push higher towards the end maybe three quarters—ultra-offensive pressing. But we never drop in our own half except when the ball is played obviously you stay compact as a team but our initial line when we start our confrontation in ten yards in front of the center circle and, for me, that’s pretty offensive pressing.”
On why Dilly Duka left the game
“He got hit and he was dizzy so we had to see. That was one of the issues. He came in and he wasn’t feeling well, he wasn’t seeing clear and we took him out. That was the main reason. He got hit in his face, I don’t know if you remember the play, and it was one of those things where he was playing well and he just didn’t feel well so we wanted to make sure his safety was the most important thing.”
On Chris Rolfe being moved to outside midfield permanently
“We’ll see. I think he gives us flexibility because he’s played out wide and he’s a guy that likes to cut in and he’s pretty dynamic and dangerous so I think he just gives us flexibility. I think most of our guys are able to play different spots. In that situation, Dilly came out and, you know, [Rolfe] has played there before, he played there in Europe when he was in Denmark. We have trained with him in training at times were we put him out there wide. So it just depends on the game, but he is definitely comfortable in either spot.”
On playing Orlando City in the next round of the Open Cup
“Yeah, you see these games, they are never easy. They are difficult matches. I tried to watch a lot of the [Sporting KC vs. Orlando City] game, we have it on tape, and [Orlando City] it’s another team that has a lot of talent. You see they went into Kansas City and beat the champs—the Open Cup champs. It’s a difficult place to play in Kansas City and to pull away with a win. They scored early in the game so it’s a good team, talented players. For us, we feel good that we are home but we know it is going to be a difficult match. It’s never easy and especially you see what happens in the Open Cup with opportunities that teams like Orlando get. This is the match for them of the year so we respect them. It’s a good team, and listen, we are gonna make sure that we don’t underestimate them because it’s gonna be a difficult match and we have to be at our best to win.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire Forward
On coming back for the second consecutive time to get a result
“Obviously, we want to correct the fact that we’ve had terrible starts in the last couple games, but all that matters is winning.  The sooner we put together a full 90 minutes we’re going to be a hell of a team, I think.” 
On the slow starts
“It’s definitely a concern because you’re not always going to get out of them.  The Portland game obviously we let in two and we dug ourselves out of that, but that was too much work to do a weekly basis.  We need to correct that sooner rather than later.”
On the growing offensive chemistry
“The first goal, I got the tap-in but there was a lot of work done for me to even touch it into the goal.  When we start wanting the ball, and guys start getting around it, we’re so dangerous.  But there’s too many times where me and Rolfie aren’t in great spots, the midfield isn’t wanting the ball, all those little things.  I think the more we create and the more we get around the ball we’ll realize that we can pass better than we think we can.” 
On the difference in preparing for the game with the postponement and early start
“Yeah, I can never eat breakfast so I was forcing pasta down my throat at 9 A.M., which was miserable.  Besides that, I enjoy it, I don’t have to wait around all day, but I like the later games.  I was dead out there today because I feel like I had 3 things of pasta and eight grapes.” 
On the team’s trend since he’s arrived to not concede first
“It’s just mentality, soccer IQ.  There’s going to be times where even if we’re not passing it we can still play up in their end, and even if we’re not passing we’re not passing we’re just playing in their end and it’s easy.  We’re playing in their third.  But we’re losing a lot of balls in bad spots, so, obviously that all transitions into them getting goals.  We have to learn from that because we’re not going to get out of these holes every time.” 
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder
General thoughts on the match
“I think in the 2nd half we started calming down things a little bit.  It’s a play me and Chris have talked about over and over, I feel like I have good leaping ability and I told him whenever he got it out wide just get it to the back post.  On that one it was just a perfect ball, I really couldn’t miss.”
On the momentum from the past few weeks
“Yeah absolutely, I feel like we calmed the group down and decided to take it one game at a time…no actually one day at a time.  In training, pick up every day and try to get better.  As long as we don’t look forward, keep perspective on the next game, then I think we’ll do fine.  We hope to carry that momentum into the next games.” 
On if his defender missed his mark on his goal
“Yeah, as soon as Chris got the ball I drifted to the back post because it’s crowded in the middle.  I think he (the defender) has a tendency as a right back to tuck in so I just drifted to the back post and I was free.  It was actually a perfect ball by Chris, I really couldn’t miss.” 
On if the deficits are a concern
“Yeah, we try not to think about that.  It’s not something we want.  I think we started the game really slow today; the energy wasn’t there from the start.  Different schedule, different routine, stuff like that.   I took a little bit for the guys to get into it, and by the time we got into it they were a goal up and we had to get momentum, we had to get something going.  We hope to change that, it’s really not ideal because sometimes you run out of time and you can’t come back all the way.  We just need to be ready from the start and that’s something we’re working on.” 
Thoughts on Orlando City and their upset against Sporting Kansas City
“I don’t know a lot about them, but beating Sporting KC at Sporting KC, I think they’re pretty good.  It’s not going to be easy and that’s what we keep reminding the guys.  In the Championship you’ve got to go through the toughest teams, whoever they are.  Whether they’re in the second division or wherever, they’re going to be tough to play against.  We’re going to be ready for them, and they’re going to come here with a lot of intensity.  Our goal is to win the Open Cup, it’s been from the start, and we’re focused on that.” 
On switching positions during the match
“No, Frank has kept telling the wingers from way back when he first took over that we keep switching because the wingers we’ve had have the ability to play both flanks.  If one is not finding the game we switch for a little bit, and we keep switching until we create enough.  I think that was the idea, not exactly when Glauber went out.  I don’t think that was in the works.”  
Columbus Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha
Thoughts on the match:
“I think it was a good effort by the players.  We started the game well.  We scored a goal first, and then the game was probably going to go into overtime and obviously the ball crossed in changed everything.  So, I think we had a good game and sometimes the result is just not there.”
Thoughts on the first half and the goal:
“We were aggressive in the first half.  The injury with Glauber put us a bit behind the eight ball, I would say because we had to shift a couple guys on the field.  But overall I think there was good energy and we scored a nice goal.  We had a couple more chances but we have to sharper in front of the goal.”
Thoughts on the second half and conceding the loss:
“In the second half, Chicago basically had more possession and I think both teams were getting a little bit tired, but nothing serious happened.  It was a one goal game and they scored.”
On facing Montreal this coming weekend:
“That is going to be challenging.  We have some guys waiting at home that will hopefully be available for that game and we will try to rest as much as possible and be ready for that game.”
On Glauber’s injury status:
“He hurt his knee and probably will go get an MRI tomorrow and see what it’s going to be.”
Columbus Crew Midfielder Konrad Warzycha
Thoughts on the match:
“I thought we had a really strong first half.  Had a lot of chances, we created and had the run of play.  The first goal was good, a bit unlucky to give one up right before half.  Their second goal in the second half –we fought hard, but the ball didn’t roll our way today.”
On his goal in the first half:
“Wide free kick, and we had a couple set pieces there in a row.  I just kind of got inside of my man and Ben [Speas] delivered a great ball and tried to make contact and put it on goal.  Luckily, it went in.”
On Magee’s equalizer before halftime:
“I think they just moved the ball well.  We got caught ball watching a little bit.  Stepped a little too much and dove in.  They exploited us.  Good play by them, and a little lackadaisical by us. “
On how the Fire looked in the second half:
“With the wind it was a little tough, they were coming at us, and we had to weather the storm there a little bit.  Got a goal off a cross from the right side and so a good finish by Nyarko and credit to him for scoring.”