POST-GAME QUOTES: UNION VS FIRE

Peter Nowak, Philadelphia Union Manager

 

On the match:

 

“I think we were surprised from the minute the game started. The team that is supposed to play attractive soccer, attacking soccer at home played with 10 guys in the back, behind the ball. I think we expected something different (with them) playing against an expansion team... I believe that in our league this kind of stuff is not supposed to happen. But it’s a good lesson for all of us. 

 

"We have to work on breaking teams down who just rely on single individuals, or maybe on one lucky shot. I believe that we tried to open them up. We tried different things -- overlapping over the wings, trying to break them down the middle. Like I said if you set 40 yards with 10 people it’s very difficult to open them up. As I said, this is a good lesson for all of us. We have to work on that because this kind of stuff could happen along the way. I think that the people will start to open their eyes about our team and on the way we play. That’s probably the way the teams will play against us, so we have to be ready for it.”

On putting Torres in:

 

“We know that at some point we have to measure the speed from Nyarko and shut the wing down and open them up from overlapping runs and different angles so we moved the formation. It was a little adjustment, but it was still an offensive adjustment, not just waiting for something to happen. I think the second goal was a lucky goal, it brought us down. I believe if it was 1-0 at the end of the day, we would’ve tied the game or won it. But that’s how it is and as I said, from the beginning, this is team that I’ve watched and played in and I believe that the passion and the way the Fire play, it was not even close to what we’ve witnessed tonight.”

On the second half: 

 

“We tried different combinations. We looked at the angles to change a bit just to see how they’d react, but they didn’t whatsoever. I think that’s their philosophy behind this game and behind the games they played lately. We’ve watched a lot of their games. We know (playing defensively) would happen against a team like AC Milan, but not against an expansion team. As I said, we were surprised, but that’s my job; to give those players enough experience and knowledge to know how to break things down.”

On what he wants to do during the team’s break:

 

“Work. There’s no such thing as being on a break. I believe that we still have to develop the good players. We need to give them the knowledge and everything that they can face along the way. Some of them could make it to Europe so there’s no such thing as being on a break. Of course, we need to look at this but we will train during the break as well and come back before the home opening on June 27, and spend a good amount of time talking and working on some of the things we’ve faced in the past nine weeks.”

On Danny Mwanga’s improvement in the last couple of weeks:

 

“In the last three weeks and even before that, he’s been working very hard. He’s realized that it’s not college ball and that it’s now the professional league; the defenders will make his life difficult. The windows in which he scored the goals, (against) Dallas the window was 6 or 8 inches. The goal in Houston was the same situation. Today, when combined with Sebastian the window was pretty small. He has pretty quick feet for a big man to dribble between them and score a very good goal. 

 

He’s capable of doing these things. Most of these guys are still very young and inexperienced, but they start to believe in themselves. When you believe in the work that you’re doing then the results will come. At some point the good work will pay off.” 

 

Danny Califf, Philadelphia Union Defender

 

On Patrick Nyarko’s play:

 

“I think he was definitely the most dangerous player for Chicago tonight. He did a good job with the space that he got; he just kind of sat out wide and was able to have some space. He’s a good player one versus one. He got to do that quite a bit tonight.”

On the heavy travel:

 

“It’s just week after week, getting on and off airplanes. It alters the training during the week and we can’t get into a routine. But I hate to use that as an excuse. Obviously it would be a lot nicer to have had some more home games sprinkled in here but the fact is that we’re letting in too many goals. 

On whether or not there was a lack of team energy:

 

“No, not at all. I think we were good, I think we came with intensity. We maybe lacked a little in the final pass, in the final third but Chicago packed it in. I think we defended almost the entire game in their half. It’s hard to break them down when they do a good job keeping every single player pretty much behind the ball.”

On taking advantage of the World Cup break:

 

“I think we need to continue to do what we have been doing. I think tonight it was a 2-1 result where we had a lot of good chances and we’re doing the right things. I think we need to continue to believe and believe in the system the coaching staff has set out. Things will turn around. I’m confident in that. We’re a good team. We’re a much better team than we showed. 

Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia Union Forward 

 

On the goal: 

 

“It was difficult because we were playing really well. The ball was skipping very fast, it was kind of hard to get in good position. At the end we just tried to pass simply and we got a goal.” 

On the match: 

 

“There’s a little bit of frustration. We had some good opportunities, I had some in the first half. I almost scored in the first half after five minutes. We got some chances again and we played some good balls in but unfortunately we didn’t score.”

On his 40-yard free kick on goal:

 

“I’ve been working on my free kicks since the beginning of the season and I’ve had lots of free kicks like that. When the ball is very soft and very light it’s a bit difficult for the goalkeeper to see the trajectory and I got a good shot. It came close tonight.”

On playing so many road games:

 

“It’s not easy, we didn’t choose for our schedule to be this way. It’s a part of our season. We can’t use these types of excuses, we have to play the same game away if we put ourselves behind in it.”

Carlos de los Cobos, Chicago Fire Head Coach

 

On the win:

 

"It was a very difficult game. I’ve never played this team before; they are a very dynamic and accurate team. The most important thing aside from the result and our performance was that we played with order and a solid defense. It’s very important to try and win. I spoke to our players before the game and told them it was necessary to add points and now we’ve taken three points. I’m happy for our fans because I think they’re enjoying themselves after our win... I think tonight our team deserved to win because tactically they performed very well and they worked hard the full 95 minutes.”

On what he expected from Pappa on the right and his position:

 

“Well last season, Marco Pappa played this position several times from the right. He’s a lefty but he feels comfortable. During the week, we spoke to Marco and told him that I was thinking about putting him in that position again. I think he had a good performance and it was a very good night for him, not only because he scored but because he understands he needs to play for the team. He works very hard defensively by returning to help Dasan Robinson.”

On what is expected of the Fire in the future:

 

“Well, one would also want to have control of the matches but it’s not possible. I really liked that the team was organized tactically and defensively as well as compact. This would be great if we could play like this 20 or 30 meters further on the field.”

On the past draw results and how important it was to get a win:

 

“For us it was very important to win because we’re playing for points. We didn’t have many chances tonight but we were very efficient in finishing. I wish we were always were in this situation. We speak to the players before the game and tell them it’s necessary to take away three points from these two matches at home including the game next Wednesday. We have to think about winning. They deserved it because they played with order. But of course, we won’t always be able to get a victory.”

On the situation with Collins John:

 

“During the week, Collins wasn’t feeling well, he was sick. The doctors took some tests, which is the reason why he hasn’t played with us. He can’t train all week; he stays at home because the doctors told him to. I want to know where the problem is exactly, but this is all the information I have.”

Baggio Husidic, Chicago Fire Midfielder

 

On scoring his third goal of the season:

 

“When we play five in the midfield it gives me more freedom to attack from the middle. The ball was being played along the side and I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. All the credit goes to [Patrick] Nyarko for setting the play up; he had an overall great performance tonight.”

On winning at home:

 

“The fans were great tonight. We haven’t been rewarding the fans the way they need to be rewarded and tonight we took care of that. It was huge to get the three points, especially since Philadelphia is right behind us in the standings.”

On controlling the game:

 

“We started the game slowly for about the first ten minutes, we wanted to play smart and not play the ball back every time. Once we scored the goal we settled in and started playing our game.”

Brian McBride, Chicago Fire Forward:

 

On getting the win:

 

“It was a very important win for us. We talked about it in the locker room about how important it was to get a win. For us a win is crucial, no matter where it comes, but it’s nice to win at home. We definitely want to win games here for our fans, our staff and everyone who is involved with the Fire.”

Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder

 

On winning tonight:

 

“We came in tonight knowing that anything other than a win is a failure. Points couldn’t be dropped, so we came out with the mindset that we had to win. We stayed disciplined through the entire game until the last couple of minutes when they scored the goal. But the important thing is that we got a win.” 

Justin Mapp, Chicago Fire Midfielder

 

On the win:

 

“We needed the points, it’s simple as that, especially at home. It’s been a number of games since we’ve won here and we needed the three points. I thought we had some good moments, we took our chances at the right time and defended well up until they scored the late goal. It was a weird game, but we did what we had to do to get the win.”