Chicago Fire midfielder Przemysław Frankowski delivered a Man of the Match-worthy performance in Saturday night’s 0-0 draw at LAFC, his first start since a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on March 30.
Frankowski had been given a pair of quarter-hour cameos in the two matches prior to Saturday’s draw as he worked his way back from a groin injury picked up in early April. In his first 90 minute outing in over a month, Frankowski helped stifle the league’s most potent attack en route to the Fire becoming the first team in 2019 to leave Banc of California Stadium with a point.
Frankowski accounted for 24 successful defensive actions (defined by Opta as clearances, blocks, interceptions, recoveries, and tackles) while limiting LAFC designated player Diego Rossi to zero shots on goal. Rossi currently has the second-most shots on target in MLS (16), behind only teammate Carlos Vela (24).
Ahead of the Fire’s upcoming two-match home stand – which begins with Wednesday night’s visit from the New England Revolution (7 p.m. CT, ESPN+) and leads into Saturday night’s meeting with Minnesota United (7 p.m. CT, ESPN+) – Chicago-Fire.com caught up with the 24-year-old to talk (via translator) through his recovery, his performance in LA, and his outlook on the home stand ahead:
Chicago-Fire.com: For starters, how did it feel to be back in the starting XI again?
Przemysław Frankowski: “It’s obviously a totally different feeling when you get to start the game as opposed to subbing in at a later point in time. You don’t have to warmup on the side. You’re part of the action from the beginning. It’s much easier to execute the game plan that the coach set out when you’re in the first eleven. I was excited to be a part of the team again.”
C-F.com: You’d played only 29 minutes in five matches prior to Saturday’s trip to LA while working back from a groin injury. What was your recovery process like?
PF: “The recovery was difficult, but I wanted to get out on the field as soon as possible. There’s actually a saying that the injured player works harder than the player in the squad. It was a lot of hard work, but it was great to be back in the first eleven.”
C-F.com: You delivered one of the top individual performances while deployed in a more defensive role against LAFC. What was your approach to that match?
PF: “Preparation wise, I was approaching it just like any other game, but I knew we were about to face our toughest opponent yet. They are currently the best team in the league and they have a lot of quality. On the pitch, they were the best team we have faced so far. So preparing for the game, I definitely studied a lot of film and listened to the advice of the coaching staff. They really helped me prepare for this game. They told me what my movement should be. They showed me film of Diego Rossi, who I would be tasked with defending. As far as experience in that position, obviously it’s not somewhere I play on a regular basis, but there were times in the Polish League where I had to play as a right back so I have experience in doing so. It was nothing new to me, it was more about the actual preparation against LA and making sure I watched enough film and listened to the coaching staff.”
C-F.com: How are you and your teammates working to get back on the scoresheet ahead of this week’s pair of matches at home?
PF: “The way I approach it is you should not think about the past. The more you think about what happened, the more it sticks in your mind. The approach is to forget what happened. It’s not just to the players that play offense, it’s the entire team that should be thinking about scoring goals. It’s just a matter of time. The goals will come. The players, the quality are there. It’s just a matter of time before it starts clicking.”
CF.com: How are you assessing New England and Minnesota as they prepare to visit SeatGeek Stadium this week?
PF: “First things first, we’ve got to take care of New England. I’m not even looking towards Minnesota. It’s a home match, so the team has to perform. Not putting too much pressure on the team, but everyone knows this is a crucial three points. We need to take care of things here first on Wednesday."