Connor v. CHI

Post-Match Quotes: Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire - Aug. 31, 2019

HEAD COACH CALEB PORTER

On what he saw on the Chicago Fire’s goal

When it’s 1-0 the opponent is always going to have a push, but we have to be better. This is too many games where we’ve had the same situation. We have to be mentally and physically stronger late in games to win [more] games, and we have to be smarter as well. The second goal was there, time and again, and we didn’t finish it and we lost the ball too much, and obviously you can’t give up easy looks as well. So, it’s the combination of those things, and it’s not the first time, it’s not the second time. We’ve dropped two points and three points, eight, nine, 10 times. We’re right there every game, I’ve said it, we’re right there every game. We do so much good, but we have to be better in the latter stages of games when it comes down to it. As I always say, making the plays we need to score, making the plays to stop the goal.

On whether he planned for Crew SC to shoot mostly from distance

I thought we had quite a few shots that were inside the box. I mean you look at Youness’ [Mokh-tar], G [Gyasi Zardes] […]. We had a few, but we had a lot of good ones inside the box too, I think if you re-watch it. The second goal was there [...], but how many times have I said that if you don’t score the second goal you have to see the game out. We obviously have a couple guys at the back that are young, and I thought that they played a great game – that’s the disappointment – is Bouba [Aboubacar Keita] and Alex [Crognale] overall, Connor [Maloney] all did well enough to win.

On Eloy Room’s performance

Yeah, absolutely. He’s playing well and a lot of guys played well today. Pedro [Santos] was exceptional today. Artie [Artur] was the man. The guys at the back did well.  Wil [Trapp] is always steady and Luis Argudo. We had good performances today and that’s why we were in position [to win] and that’s why we had a ton of chances to score – but we have to be, for me, more ruthless just in general. Scoring a second goal or seeing the game out. For me, it’s collectively but also individually in those moments, and we haven’t shown that consistently enough this year.

On whether there has been extra emphasis on winning at home

That was a big motivation today, last two games [at home] to get three points in both. It’s nine games now and we’ve only lost one and we’re playing really well. But if you think about the draws [in that run] it’s the fifth draw and really three of those draws should’ve been three points. That’s six points that we dropped with not being able to close out games […].  We’re going to look at the film again and we’re going to keep working to correct it.

DEFENDER CONNOR MALONEY

On the offensive play that led to hit shot tonight

I saw Luis [Argudo] hit the ball in the pocket –  I knew I had to take off just to keep them honest – hit the rightback just to make [the] decision [of] either go [to] Luis or go to me and then have their outside mid[fielder] trek back. I saw the outside mid[fielder] trekking back, so I cut in on him so he couldn’t put the ball away and I just had the shot. I looked up had a shot and it went a little wide, I was a little bit disappointed in it. I just have high expectations for myself and I feel like I should’ve at least got on the goal. Had the goalie make a save, we just got to look on to the next game and just learn from this.

On Eloy Room’s performance and whether Room deserved a shutout

Yeah, he deserves a shutout and that’s us that’s got to give it to him. Like I said, we have to learn to manage the rest of that game and he’s and unbelievable [goal]keeper and we’re happy to have him back there, he’s such a security. We need to get him that shutout and that’s completely our fault that we couldn’t get it for him, I feel terrible to be honest and think the rest of the guys do too.

On his personal assessment of his performances in the last month

I’ve gotten a lot of confidence over each and every game. That’s what the coaches have given me, that confidence, and the players as well. Each and everyone has my back and they just saw me going in there and doing my thing, and my thing is my mentality is just go-go-go. I work as hard as I can, give the best I can and just give an honest effort. I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing these past couple of games and I’ve gained confidence from each and every game and I feel like I go in playing leftback now, it’s just the same as playing rightback, Just go in there play your game and do what you can to help the team win. 

MIDFIELDER PEDRO SANTOS

On what has led to giving up three stoppage-time goals this season

It’s mental. I believe its mental because we play to not concede and we are afraid to concede a goal. When we play like this, we give power to the other team. We need to play to win the game, not to lose or to tie the game. Last minute we dropped too much and we left space for the other team to play their football. So, I think we should keep playing to score a goal and be confident and strike and score a second goal, so you don’t leave a chance for the other person.

On whether he felt he had to get the shot that led to his goal quickly before the defense closed on him

No, I dragged the ball and I was waiting for the moment for my teammates. But when I came close for the goal, I saw the space inside and I just believed in myself and I’m happy because I scored a goal.

On if he knew it was going in after he hit it

No, I felt it was a goal because, when I shoot I look to the ball, and I saw the ball going behind the goalie, so I knew it was a goal.

On his recent goal-scoring form

I’m happy because finally I’m playing my soccer. I know the supporters want to watch me play like this, so now I’m happy because I’m giving my best and the supporters are happy.

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