Frank Klopas
USA Today Sports Images

Quote Sheet: Fire vs. Orlando City SC

Quote Sheet
Chicago Fire vs. Orlando City SC
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal
Toyota Park – June 26, 2013
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On the win and how the team did today
“These games are never easy. You can’t underestimate anyone and I think we came in with the right mentality. You could definitely see some guys were still a little bit fatigued with the amount of games and travel. It’s been a long week for sure but hats off to the players, fantastic performance, and to the fans that came out their support was great. It was a big game knowing that now we can host the semi-final now so hats off to the players, their performance was fantastic, the effort. And to fans that came out, their support was huge.”
On switching Nyarko and Duka
“I think Dilly was [tactical]. I didn’t feel the other side with Patrick [Nyarko was]. I wanted to get him more in the game. The one thing we did talk about was try to attack more [towards] their outside backs, the ability to switch play because with both O’Connor, who came out early in the game, and Pulis they sit very deep and the spaces would be out wide. We knew we could get the match-ups 1v1 with Dilly or Patrick. I felt Patrick wasn’t in the game the first 15/20 minutes. Dilly started really well. I just wanted to switch play when I feel it’s closer to me and I can yell a little bit more I can get them [going]. More than that I wanted [Patrick] closer to me. You try some things, because I thought Dilly started really well and Patrick looked a little bit tired so I wanted to get him that switch and then I switched them back in the second half.”
On the importance of Chris Rolfe’s goals
“I think that confidence goes a long way for any player on the field and I think that every time [Chris] is on the field he gives everything for the team. When you do score a couple goals it helps also with your confidence. When you don’t do that, I think he’s been the guy that finds ways that he makes an impact on the team, he’s been creating chances, and it was great for him to score a couple goals. Both goals were fantastic. The first one was a great ball by Dilly and the finish and even the second one [was great]. It’s great when he gets rewarded for all the hard work. The most important thing is that he played his part. The team had a great performance and we won and that’s the important thing. But I think the goals will help from a confidence standpoint for Chris.”
On the concern for his players when the game got chippy
“It’s a game, things are going to happen. I think both teams competed hard on the field. I think there were some late tackles, but not because guys tried to hurt each other. You go for the ball, your timing is off a little bit…it was a hard fought game and I think both teams left everything on the field so that’s just part of the game.”
On if everyone is healthy, despite the rough play
“Pat [Nyarko] was a little bit bruised up but with Pat, that is the case. The minute he seems like he’s dead, he finds a second wind, he sprints 50 yards, beats a guy, and scores a goal. There’s always the enigma with Pat that the minute you feel like something is wrong it’s like he’s got a second burst of energy.”
On the next match-up with DC
“At this point you are going to play good teams. The good thing is that we are at home, that’s the match-up we wanted. DC [United] is a very good team, regardless of how they started the season. They have quality players and I think New England is the same thing. They are both good teams. At this point, the [Open Cup] semi-finals there are no easy games…there are no easy games at all. The thing that we are happy about is that we can be home and hopefully Toyota Park will be full with our fans because that’s something that we need for games like that. It goes a long way for the players on the field and having even on a Wednesday, the atmosphere we did tonight was huge for our players.”
On if Orlando could join the MLS
“They have an excellent coach. They are a very good team. From what I saw, I think they are a quality side and they have an excellent coach. So, why not?”
On the lack of schedule coming up since the next Open Cup match isn’t until August
“It’s weird with the schedule. There are a lot of games coming up for us also this month and next month. Even when we play that August 7th game you are playing Saturday, Wednesday, and then you have another game [Saturday] so it doesn’t get easy. It’s just a matter of managing guys. I think that some of the guys gave everything but their recovery was not where it should be, but the important thing is the win. The schedule doesn’t get any easier.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper
On his game:
“In any game, a goalkeeper just wants to keep his team in it, and I think I did that tonight. We have a lot of games in a short amount of time, we have heavy legs so we just wanted to get through this game with a result and that’s huge.  I’m just trying to do whatever I can do to help the team.”
On Orlando’s offense:
“I give a lot of credit to Orlando; I think they are a quality team.  They put the pressure on us from the opening whistle.  They were able to create chances and we were able to sustain the attack, go forward and score our goals.  I thought it was a good game all around. They’re a quality opponent. You can’t overlook them because they are in a lower league. They gave us a game tonight.”
On the result:
“We were up for the challenge, came away with the result and that’s what we came out here to do.  We got the job done, now we’re on to the semi-finals and are one step closer to the Cup.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire forward
On advancing in the USOC:
“It’s the first trophy that you can win, it’s a big deal.  It’s nice if you can win this cup and add some meaning to our season and give us some confidence going forward.  I’ve never won it before, but I’ve seen a lot of other teams have fun winning it, so I’d like to be part of it.”
On the energy level of team:
“I think our problem tonight is that we were sitting back.  Sometimes mentally it’s hard to get into these games because you see that they are third division side and you obviously take them lightly.  They’re a pretty well fashioned team believe it or not even for some MLS teams.  Once you take the game on your heels it’s hard to get that momentum back no matter who you are playing.  When they scored that goal we had to wake up.  It kind of lit a fire under us and the rest is history.”
On Chris Rolfe scoring two goals:
“This is huge for him.  I’ve been there many times [in a scoring slump] and the goal just keeps getting smaller and smaller the longer you go without scoring.  For him to get two is huge.  It’s the second that really gives you the confidence, so that was massive.  If we can get him going we’re going to be a lot more dangerous.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire midfielder
On the importance of advancing to the semi-final:
“Advancing in the tournament is absolutely 100% important for us.  It was one of our goals coming into the season, to win a trophy.  This is the first trophy we can win.  We made it a point to play everyone and not rest anyone.  I’ve been to the final a couple of years ago and we want a better result in the final this time, we want to go all the way and the guys are committed to that.  There are two games remaining and we’re lucky that the next one is at home.  But we need to play better though if we’re going to go all the way.”
On playing with a lead:
“It kind of felt like we were down a little bit when they scored that goal.  We didn’t have that energy.  To make it through this game we needed to improve our energy.  We needed to do better holding the ball in the 18, luckily we were able to turn it up a notch to move forward and advance.  For the rest of the season we need to increase the intensity and play better.”
Adrian Heath, Orlando City SC Head Coach
On the match:
“I’m really disappointed with the result.  I thought five to one score line flattered them.  I thought between both boxes we played the best football tonight.  We knew that their two front players, Rolfe and Magee would be a problem for us, and that proved to be the whole evening.  I think that when I look at the game as whole, I was pleased with a lot of things.  But obviously not the final score, but the difference between the two teams was both boxes.  They took chances when they created and we gave away two or three poor goals.  We gave ourselves a mountain to climb.  When I look and reflect on the game, I think I will be disappointed with both final thirds of the field.  The middle, I thought we played some good stuff.”
On taking their win against Kansas City and translating it to a win against the Fire:
“Well, obviously conceding a goal in the first few minutes was difficult but on the whole, we got ourselves back in the game.  At one-one, I honestly thought we were going on to win the game. “
On the second half play that lead to their goal:
“I told the guys they have to believe they can win the game.  I honestly thought up until maybe the third goal, I thought we were the better team.  And then I thought we could have actually won the
game.  The score line flatters them a little bit, but both boxes were the difference. “
On building the Orlando City SC franchise:
“This [loss] won’t change and we will continue to drive to the MLS.  We believe we will be there in 2015, and obviously tonight is a disappointment but that won’t derail what we are trying to do long term.  I’m pleased with a lot of aspects of our play tonight and there’s one or two things we need to tidy up.  But we were aware of that before, but it was probably amplified a little bit today.”
On whether the Open Cup has opened other people’s eyes:
“We are opening eyes of people around the league that we play good football.  I think the biggest compliment I can pay them is that most of the Fire players came up after the game and were really complimentary of the way that we played.  We gave away a couple of really sloppy goals and when we were trying to chase the game at ten men and then down to nine, so I think the score flatters them a little bit.  But my fears about the Fire’s front two were sound and proved to be correct.  Mike Magee will be a huge loss for the Galaxy but a great pick up for the Fire.  I always like Rolfe. I think Rolfe is a more intelligent player and I think if they had played for us tonight, the result would have been different.”