Patrick McLain

QUOTE SHEET | Toronto FC 3:2 Chicago Fire

HEAD COACH VELJKO PAUNOVIC
Thoughts on today’s match:
“I want to congratulate Toronto and wish them good luck in the future, in the playoffs. About the game, basically I have nothing to say. For me the most important thing right now is that the season is over for us; 2016 was a year where we worked hard, [and] I’m really proud of all of our players. The commitment and the attitude they had throughout the whole year was fantastic and I’m really proud and happy that I worked this year with them. From now on we are turning to the next season and we are starting to work toward being better next year.”

Looking forward to next year:
“The whole year was a buildup for us. The whole year was a process where we were getting better. We started in a difficult spot, and I think we did a huge job [to improve]. Again, huge credit to our players and also to my co-workers and staff; it was a very hard year for us, and many times we were challenged, but we were capable of sticking together and working towards our goals – to be successful in the coming seasons.”

Polster’s injury:
“Right now we don’t have any exact information, so we cannot say what the recovery time is. For sure we will have it in the next couple of days.”

On core group of players:
“I think this is not the right time and moment to talk about it. We have to do our [end-of-season evaluations], and once we are ready to give our opinion about it we will do [that].”

CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER ARTURO ALVAREZ
On the team’s character:
“We are professionals and we are going to play hard until the last minute of the final game, and I think that’s what we did. We wanted to push for at least a tie and unfortunately we didn’t [get that last goal]; we saw some close chances in the end. I think in the last half of the season, the last part of the season, that’s what we showed; we showed resilience, and we wanted to make sure that it was tough for teams to come in and play against us and I think they realized that. It was never an easy win against us.”

On Toronto FC:
“They have good players in each of their lines. They are an experienced team, which I think in the playoffs can go a long way. They have a good team and, to be honest, they are going to be a tough team to beat – especially at home.”

On first season back in MLS:
“I was happy to be back in MLS, the league that gave me the opportunity to live my dream when I was 17 back in San Jose. I went to Europe for a few years, because I wanted to experience that as well. I’m happy to be back. I came to Chicago trying to contribute in any way possible, and I would like to say that I worked hard every day in training and I think it showed in the games.”

CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER PATRICK MCLAIN
On the game:
“Obviously things could have been better from the team’s perspective. It would have been nice to close the season out on a victory away but I think if a few moments go differently, you’re looking at a different score line. But that’s football.”

On Toronto FC’s attack:
“They [Toronto FC] have a lot of big guns out there, and it consumes a lot of focus. I think [it consumed] a lot of focus from the guys in front of me as well, but they were spot on. It was a great effort by [our backline]; it just would have been nice to close it out with a win.”

On getting the start:
“It’s nice. I’m just happy to contribute to the team, and this time it happened to be out on the field. I’m very thankful for that opportunity.”

On the team’s character:
“I don’t think anybody can question this team’s character. I think we have a fighting spirit, and I think there are good things to come from our squad.”

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