CHESTER, Pa. (Saturday, August 3, 2013) - The Chicago Fire (8-9-4, 28 points) defeated the Philadelphia Union (9-7-7, 34 points) 2-1 Saturday evening at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Patrick Nyarko opened scoring in the 9th minute before the Union’s Sheanon Williams found the equalizer in the 60th minute. Fresh off an appearance at the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, Fire forward Mike Magee tallied his league-leading 14th goal of the season in the 75th minute to give the Fire the full three points on the road.
With the quick turnaround, the Fire host D.C. United at Toyota Park in the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Advance tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com or Ticketmaster. Parking will be free to all Fire fans who attend. The Fire will also be discounting hot dogs to just two dollars.
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On differences between team now and in May
“I mean obviously in the beginning we had a difficult start. I think the slow start did hurt us early on. I think the additions with Baky (Soumare) and Mike (Magee) have helped a lot and I think in time, their ability to gel with the rest of the guys has helped. We knew there were a lot of important games coming up and we dropped a lot of points on the road early on so all these games are massive right now and we felt that we played well last time against Philly at home and they scored the late goal with Jack so it was a difficult match, but I give all the credit to my players, they came out, they competed, everyone left everything on the field and we got three points in a difficult place.”
On Mike Magee’s performance since joining the Fire
“We knew he was a quality player but you see a night like tonight, and that is what a forward has to do. He gets that opportunity, is very composed, he waits for the keeper to go so it was just a class goal. Patrick (Nyarko) made a great pass, but when you get him in spots in front of the goal it is just very good He has been huge for us, but I think more than anything it has been the whole team that contributes and it is all about the team, the mentality is good, everybody is putting everything forward for the success of the team and I think that is what it is all about.”
On the turning point in the game
“Yeah we knew their ability to do set pieces with Williams with the long throw, they have scored a lot of goals. It is easy to talk about it, but in a game you have to avoid situations like that. They put a lot of pressure, they had a lot of set pieces late in the game, open field crosses and there was some moments late in the game that were not so easy for us, but we knew that going up they were going to push the game and we would have opportunities in transition. We weren’t as good in certain moments to capitalize on that. We had our chances and in the end it was an exciting game, both teams left it all on the field and I just give a lot of credit again to my players in a difficult place against a very good team to come and get three points, it was huge for us.”
On the playoff race
“It is exciting. It is going to come down to the end, there is so much parity in the league. I think it is going to be exciting; I think there is going to be a fight all the way until the end and I think you couldn’t ask for anything else. Look at this game, how exciting it was, three goals in a game. Both teams up and down created chances and made very exciting for the fans and the atmosphere was super here tonight.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder
Thoughts on the game
“We knew it was going to be tough. Their team is a very good team, they are playing very well, their confidence level is through the roof and we knew it was going to take a special effort to get a result here. We made it a point to get a good start and we did that. We sat back a little bit more and made them come at us for a long period of the game. As a home game with how confident they are playing, they got lucky on the goal, but they are always bound to score if we drop off on them and we did that. We wanted to win here so after they got the goal we decided to push on and luckily we got a second goal and we resisted their attack for the last period of the game.”
On the magnitude of this win
“They are a team we are chasing and we could not let them get away from us. We kicking ourselves in the teeth, we made two errors and they beat us, they took six points out of us. If not for that we are closer to them and we made it a point to get close them in this game.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire Forward
On what made the difference in the game
“It wasn’t our best game we obviously gave away a lot of set pieces, which we didn’t want to do, a lot of throw-ins, but we found a way to battle. Sean had a great game and our back line was good and obviously the difference was scoring more goals than them.”
On his mindset for scoring
“To be honest my mindset is just to always try to get wins. We are on the outside looking in at the playoffs and that is the only goal. The best part about tonight is getting three points.”
On his mindset going into his first game in Philly as a Fire player
“I have played here before with LA. My mindset is trying to change the culture and try to get in the habits of trying to win games. I think there was a point in the 65th minute where we had been getting pummeled the whole half and we all kind of looked at each other and said this game is there for us to win. They were sending a lot of guys forward and we pretty fortunate not to give up a goal in the beginning of the second half. I think once we weathered that storm the soccer Gods gave us a chance and luckily I buried it.”
- With the win the Fire move to 4-5-1 all-time in regular season play against the Union, including a 2-3-0 record in matches played at PPL Park.
- This match marked Bakary Soumare’s first game back in Philadelphia since he joined the Fire in a trade with the Union on May 23.
- With his game-winning goal in the 75th minute, Mike Magee moved into sole possession of first place in the tightly-contested MLS Golden Boot race.
- Patrick Nyarko’s goal in the 9th minute of the match was his fourth of the season. Nyarko tallied his third assist of the season with his helper on Magee’s game winner.
- Joel Lindpere’s assist on Nyarko’s goal is his team-leading sixth assist of the season.
- Sean Johnson notched four saves in his first match since returning from competing in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup with the United States.
Chicago Fire 2 – 1 Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Alex (Daniel Paladini 74’), Joel Lindpere (Dilly Duka 67’); Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe (Quincy Amarikwa 67’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Maicon Santos, Logan Pause
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath; Jeff Parke, Raymon Gaddis (Fabinho 46’), Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo; Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 83’), Brian Carroll ©, Michael Farfan (Leonardo Fernandes 73’), Sebastien Le Toux; Jack McInerney, Conor Casey
Substitutes not used: Michael Lahoud, Kleberson, Aaron Wheeler, Chris Konopka
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (Joel Lindpere) 9’
PHI – Sheanon Williams (Sebastien Le Toux) 60’
CHI – Mike Magee (Patrick Nyarko) 75’
CHI – Jalil Anibaba (caution) 16’
CHI – Alex (caution) 40’
PHI – Antoine Hoppenot (caution) 85’
Referee: David Gantar
Assistants: Phillippe Briere, Daniel Belleau
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga