Head Coach Caleb Porter
On fighting back for the draw
“It feels like a win but it’s not though, it’s a draw. If we were in a good run of games this would be a great result. So we can’t lose sight of that, even though we’ve been losing games. It’s a great result. Under normal circumstances, we would take it every day of the week and I thought we showed a different mentality today. In that second half we kept fighting and we kept swinging. There are still some things to clean up - that second goal was pretty avoidable. It’s a situation we talk about almost every week, it’s a pretty easy rotation. So we got to look at that and still clean that up. The first 20 minutes was excellent and I thought he second half, overall, was very good.”
On the game being a spark for the season
“Yeah, I think so. I think, again, the most important thing is that we’re improving. I thought the last two games were very good. Our mentality was good, we're executing overall. We’re still making a few mistakes. Obviously, we had some key guys out today as well, with Jon (Jonathan Mensah), Josh [Williams] and Gaston [Sauro]. Alex [Crognale] and Bouba [Aboubacar Keita] hung in. They weren’t perfect but they hung in. We got some pretty good performances out of [Eduardo] Sosa and [Luis] Argudo. And then for Romario [Williams] and Luis Diaz to come into the game and create that goal, that shows what quality they have and why we brought them in.”
On Romario Williams opportunity and late equalizer
“I kept telling him “you got to get in there and score the goal”. I kind of held him back, held him back, and wanted him to feel the game a little bit. We wanted to go to that 4-4-2 [for the] last ten minutes, [but] you can’t open yourself up that way too early. We had a good kind of flow, so I waited. I thought it was a good move to keep Luis [Argudo] in the game and move him central, and then obviously go to 4-4-2. We felt like Pedro [Santos] and Luis [Diaz] would get crosses in the box. It paid off and I think it was the first time this year where really we got a push off the bench, where a guy came in the game and pulled off a play for us. We haven’t had that all season long. So that’s why we brought Romario here, to do that for us.”
On getting a result and playing the next match back to MAPFRE Stadium
“I said that to the guys, obviously this is not a win, it’s a draw. We can build on it and we did show improvement today, [and] last week. We had to pick ourselves back up, go again. We owe our fans a win, we have been getting far too many losses. If we get a win on Saturday, now we start to put together a little bit of a run and we get some momentum. It won’t be easy. We’re playing Montreal [Impact] and Montreal didn’t have a game tonight. So we need to recover mentally and physically and we need to show up again with the same mentality. That mentality in the second half, we played to win. That’s key. There have been a few games where we played not to lose. When you play not to lose, you are tentative and you make mistakes. It was great to see that they finally just played to win.”
On defensive mistakes and needing to find goals to get results
“We’ve got Bouba [Aboubacar Keita] and Alex Crognale in there. We’ve got three starting center-backs [that are] out, so what do you expect. It's not going to be perfect. I thought overall – over the 90 minutes - those two guys did okay and were solid. When you have new guys in and guys that aren’t starters you know it’s not going to be perfect, but you just hope you can get a result. In the attack for sure, I think you saw what you’d expect from a top team. You serve the ball, the guy’s in the right spot, the guy’s at the end of it and he scores a goal. Those are routine.”
On not liking the response to the Chicago Fire’s first goal
“It will come. It takes time to develop a winning mentality, it takes time for me to put my stamp on the team. They are still figuring out my passion and my competitiveness. I want guys on the pitch that bring that. I want alpha dogs. We have a group that I think are emerging with that type of mentality, some guys aren’t. But I think you’re starting to see the guys that will play more and more will be the ones that have that winning mentality and find a way to win games.”
Midfielder Wil Trapp
On getting a late equalizer from new club members
"It's important that they get time on the field like we talked about last week, but then also to contribute, I think, was really important. You see Luis [Diaz] with a great ball in to Romario [Williams]. I thought he was bright from the second he got on the field. I think that was important, and it's important for the rest of the group to understand that they can come on and be a help to us."
On if this result feels different coming from behind to tie the match
"I'm not sure yet. I think, like I said, the most important thing is how we recover and get ready for Saturday. Ties are good when you come from behind but they only really matter if we start gaining points if we win. So it's a big opportunity at home on Saturday."
On whether he sees an opportunity to get the chances to earn three points every game
"I think that was a moment in which we had two crosses and two goals. We have to look at how and why we generate those chances. What about our play opened them up in a way that we could find space to cross the ball in to get these guys in good spots. It's not always going to be that easy, it's not always going to come off perfectly but I think a big part of it is just finding how and why it worked out for us."
On whether he feels the team played a full 90
"No, I thought the game was too open. I thought there was a lot of back and forth. Look at the end of the game, it was very stretched, right? We were still tied. We have to be better with our defensive shape. We have to be better with maintaining possession and finding ways to score goals outside of just like, broken plays. You know what I mean? Because I think we get into good spots and for lack of awareness or quality in that moment, it falls apart. And that's not good enough for us. I think we have to maintain control of the game more."
On adapting to Head Coach Caleb Porter's style and going through rough stretches
"Look, it hasn't been easy. Anytime the results aren't there, it's easy to get down but I think for the most part, our group has done a good job of sticking together and continuing to just work and try to find solutions. That's the pursuit of a professional. You're always trying to adapt and learn and get better. When it's difficult, when you're losing, it can be easy to just stop doing that. Credit to a lot of our guys, they haven't done that but I still think we can take it to another level in terms of now really using positives we are seeing on the field and evolve upon them."
On using the come-from-behind draw to use it moving forward
"It feels good that there is a point. I think we can't rest on anything. We have to push.”
Midfielder Luis Diaz
On notching an assist on his first appearance
"First and foremost, I thank God and also my teammates for giving me a lot of confidence going into the game. I just wanted to show that."
On the role he is trying to fill as a new member of the team midseason
"I am doing everything I can to help support the team and play to my strengths. That's why I was brought here.”