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Postgame Quotes - Chicago

Columbus Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha

On the match today:

“Two-zero down on the road is tough to come back.  Obviously the red card helps but I think tactically in the second half we were trying to do the right things but I think we were on the ball too much.”

On whether the early goal set the team back:

“We lost the ball four times in the first minute.  We couldn’t connect two passes together.  We paid for that.  Was there a reason? I’m not sure what the reason was, but after that I thought we played very well. “

On the team’s six game unbeaten streak coming to an end:

“I think Chicago is a good team.  Sooner or later you’re going to lose.  Happy with the road performance so far.  Apart for those first few minutes, I thought we had a good game.”

Columbus Crew Midfielder Tony Tchani

On the match:

“It was hard.  After being a man up, and scoring, then it’s two to one, we felt like we can come back and win it.  But after coming up short, it hurts.”

What was said at halftime:
“We just said we wanted to put high pressure on them.  Obviously they were trying to drop, and just sit there and absorb all those crosses.”

On whether the team started to play better after the second goal:

“We felt we were, yes.  After coming on strong in the second half, we felt like we could get one, or possibly go in for a second one.  But we came short.  Coach talked to us about putting pressure on them.  Sometimes we pushed too much because in the second half they had a few good chances and our goalkeeper came up big.”

On his goal:

“I think our right back had the ball and he chipped it to the right wing.  I made eye contact with him, and tried to convey to have him pass a hard ball on the ground to me.  I went for the ball and tried to open my back, and the Fire midfielder, Pardo, was following me and he thought I was going for the ball.  So I faked and just opened my body and touched it in with my left foot.  Sean [Johnson] came out, I saw him leave his spot and give just enough space on the near post and I slipped it in.”

Columbus Crew Midfielder Chris Birchall

On his first start:

“It was nice.  I’ve been here a good four or five weeks now.  I had to go back last week for my wedding.  But I’ve had a reserve game under my belt, and the gaffer knew that.  I really wanted to play and he put me in.  I was kind of pleased; I got my first assist.  I felt my fitness is getting there, it just needs a couple more games I suppose, but I am disappointed with the result.”

On the team’s slow start to the match:

“The worst thing is, when we came to the stadium, we were watching the Philadelphia game and they went down one-nil after one minute, and we were thinking let’s hope we don’t do that tonight and then we went out and did the same thing.  It was tough.  We gave the ball away in the midfielder early on and all I remember is [Pappa] having a shot from outside the box and it just went flying into the top corner, and you’re thinking, let’s just not concede another one.  And then we did, being two-nil down.  Then we started playing after that.  They went down to ten men and we got a goal.  Coming in at halftime, we thought we could get back into the game, but we just didn’t cause them enough problems.  We had possession but we didn’t cause too much of a threat in the box with shots on target.  Disappointed with that but we just have to bounce back next week.”

On the team’s preparation for Salt Lake:

“We just have go out and be confident.  We’re playing well at home.  We were on a six game unbeaten streak, but it’s come to an end.  We just have to play the ball the way we’ve been playing and cut out the silly mistakes, especially in the first ten minutes.  If you do that against Salt Lake, you’ll get punished as well.  They are a great team.  But we just have to go out and try to be confident and be wary of them.  I don’t know how they did today, but they were coming off a loss against the Galaxy, but we’ll be going into it trying to win three points at home.”


Frank Klopas - Chicago Fire Head Coach

Comments on the match:

“It was a great win overall for the organization. I’m proud of the guys and the way that they competed, not giving up. We started off well, then things turned for the worse. It’s never easy playing shorthanded, and obviously, we gave up that goal. We wanted to go in at halftime with a clean sheet. I thought our will not to give up and pull away a win was fantastic. I’m proud of the guys. For me, that’s the difference - successful teams have the will to win games. All the work we do every day showed today. We enjoy the win tonight, we have to regroup, and now we have a tough stretch of games on the road.”

On Gonzalo Segares’ red card:

“I have to see it again. I don’t know if Gonzalo’s cleats were up or not. They are pretty hard on those calls. On the other hand, I think there was a handball in the box in the first half, and for me clearly Oduro gets taken down, which I think is a PK. Over the long run, everything evens out. The call was disappointing because we had control, we had chances, and then things turned around with us playing shorthanded. We could have been better with the ball. We were dropping too deep. I’m proud of the guys and their will.”

On having an aggressive mentality:

“The most important thing is the mentality, that all of the guys are focused in one direction. We brought the guys together in preseason and set our goals. We have good guys and also good characters. Everyone wants to be a part of this organization. Everyone is honored to put that jersey on. That means a lot and it shows on the field. Creating that mentality is the hardest thing to do. When you bring good players and good characters and everyone is focused on working toward our goals, that is the kind of group we want.”

On the chemistry of the team:

“Playing at home we came out and pressured the game. It’s great to be home with our fans. The one thing we talked about in the break is having consistency, having good starts, and finding ways to win games like this. Not dropping points, even with ten guys. I think it’s a credit to the group. We just have to keep working. It’s just one game. We haven’t achieved anything yet. We need to keep an even keel; we can’t let it go to our heads.”

On Arne Friedrich’s appearance and the overall defensive play of the team:

“Yesterday we wanted to have another week of training before he was ready to go. Today he told me if there was an opportunity to get him in, to get him in. His experience obviously paid off in the end. Coming into the game today, he told me he felt great. Plus, his ability in the air helped because the changes they made showed that they would be playing direct at that point. Our ability to compete in the air is not one of our strengths with the size of our team.

And I thought Sean was fantastic today with his presence in the box, coming out and reading the game, and his maturity level.”

On how much confidence this match builds going forward:

“It’s amazing. At the beginning, you felt that maybe it would be a game that we could relax. But you’re playing a very good team and little things change the game. You know which guys you can count on in the good and bad moments. I think games like this tell a lot about the players you have and their character. The support from the fans also helps too.”

On Grazzini’s shirt, which said “Thanks Chicago,” and possibly being his last game:

“He loves Chicago, you know. He loves the fans. I told you guys what I stated the other day - it’s the club’s option. Why would he say goodbye? I think he was saying, “Thank you Chicago, I love the fans here.” You have to be crazy not to want to be part of this organization and the city and the fans that we have. His performance was very good today. He made some very good plays. Obviously, you have to make sacrifices in a game like that. We didn’t go defensively, though. We brought Chris Rolfe in, another fresh guy, and I thought that helped a lot.

It’s a nice shirt. I want to borrow it next time, because every goal I can lift it up and say thank you to the fans.”

Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper

On the result:

“I think we did a really good job tonight, especially going down to 10 men.  It says wonders for the character of our team, how we were able to battle through with 10 men and keep the lead.  Hats off to the guys in front of me to grind it out, I know it’s not easy to run back and forth for the full 90 minutes.  All-in-all, it was a complete performance, we wanted to put two wins together and we were able to do that tonight.”

On the importance of getting three points against Columbus:

“Separation at this point in the season is massive, especially when playing a team in your conference.  Games really matter now, it’s do or die time and I think we are stepping up and getting the results that we need to go forward. “

Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire midfielder

On the result:

“We started really fast.  We wanted to control the game.  Even when we were up by two goals we were trying to put it away.  Unfortunately we got that red card and tonight the team was committed to not relinquish that lead.  They scored their goal right after we got the red card, we thought we gave up that goal too early and too easily.  We couldn’t wait until halftime to make some defensive adjustments.  Fortunately the guys were able to hang in there and concentrate for the final 45 minutes and capture the win.”

On scoring first:

“It’s important, especially at home, to score first.  We need to step up and pressure the opposing team, plus we’re at home and people should fear us playing here.  I think we did that last game too; we made it a point of emphasis to come out and pressure the team and get them out of their element.  Fortunately we scored really fast which unsettled them and we got control of the game.  We took a two goal lead then got the red card, but we’ve been there before so we knew what it was going to take to win.”

Arne Friedrich, Chicago Fire defender

On his first appearance since injuring his hamstring in May:

“I told Frank [Klopas] if he needed me for 20 or 30 minutes, I’d be there, but for a longer time I’m pretty tired and still need some training sessions.  The muscle is good, which is the most important thing to me.  Today it was important to get in the game because we were under pressure playing with 10 men.   I’m very happy that we won the game because we were playing a conference opponent and we could get some space in the standings.”

On playing a man down:

“The team did very well.  We were playing under a lot of pressure following the red card, but the reaction of the team was great and it was a very important game to win. “




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