FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (July 12, 2014) – The Chicago Fire (3-4-10, 19 points) earned an important 1-0 road win against the New England Revolution (7-8-2, 23 points) Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Quincy Amarikwa scored the lone goal of the match in just the third minute and Sean Johnson tallied seven saves including a stop on Chris Tierney’s penalty kick in the 85th minute as the Men in Red earned the shutout.
After three consecutive matches on the road, the Fire return home and host the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/TWCSC Wisconsin/La Ley 107.9 FM). Tickets for the match, presented by Cricket Wireless, are available via Ticketmaster or www.Chicago-Fire.com. The first 5,000 fans in the stadium will receive a free Fire flag.
“No, it was not easy to get this result. We played against Kansas City on Sunday, went to Atlanta for an Open Cup game a couple of days later, and then came here for a tough league match. To get two wins and a tie out of these last few games is fantastic. We went to the quarterfinals of the Open Cup where we saw some great competition and then came here and got three points. I would say this has been a successful week.
Sean (Johnson) has been outstanding these past four or five games. He’s a young goalkeeper and he’s finally starting to have really good performances and he’s also starting to look the part. Things like this make the difference and it was the reason we won tonight. Although it was a great penalty that was taken, Sean also made a great save that was able to keep us ahead in the game.
I don’t think we deserved to draw as many games as we have. When we drew against the Revolution at home we missed a penalty like you guys did tonight. It’s a great thing for us to win tonight, in conference, because of the tough week we had, but we did very well. I was proud of the way we played, even though the second half was a little bit ugly and they were all over us. In the end, we were able to seal it out and get a win. We got it done as a group and that’s what is important.
My philosophy is to start quickly and try to score first. If you can do that, I believe that you can usually get a draw. My big thing is to get after it in the beginning, and we did. Mike [Magee] and Quincy [Amarikwa] were really lively in the first half and it went well. I thought we could have scored more goals, but you know, that’s how soccer is. I’m happy we got the win.
Quincy did the same thing against New England at home. He’s a very strong player that knows how to use his body the right way. Along with that being said, our squad was rotated a lot during these past three games. Everyone performed well. I tip my hat to them because the full squad of 18 has been doing well and it’s shown in our results.”
Chicago Fire forward Quincy Amarikwa
“It’s really important, especially if you can come away on the road and get a win and get three points. I mean that’s huge, especially in this league. We’ve just been right on the cusp of breaking out this year. We’ve got a lot of draws but that just means we’re hard to beat, as proved by tonight. And hopefully it translates into more wins and we jump to the top of the table.
Everything is about building momentum. I think we’ve been doing the right things. We’ve been working hard as a unit. We’re really sacrificing ourselves out there and it translated into three points tonight, and hopefully we’ll carry that into our next game.
I was hoping to catch them flat-footed. I think there were two or three opportunities where I picked the back line or their holding defensive midfielder and I don’t think they were ready for it. Luckily, we were able to capitalize early and prevent them from scoring.
Sean made a huge save. We always like our goalies to save everything they’re supposed to and save at least one or two that they’re not supposed to a game. Sean came out on top doing that big time for us. I think that will further boost morale and keep us going in the right direction.
I’m more trying to predict at what speed and strength [the defender] is going to be coming in, and you lean in one direction to compensate for that so that by the time he hits you, he’s kind of hitting you upright. It’s a balancing act. You learn the strength of each player on the field as you’re playing. You try to – almost like a chess match – you try to outplay them.
I think though I make runs in behind and I get runs in behind, I’m fairly decent at my hold up play and most people might not think that, thinking of my size. I think it plays to our advantage, because defenders don’t know if I’m going to hold it up or if I’m going to run in behind. Hopefully we capitalize on that more throughout the rest of the year.
[My partnership with Mike Magee] is good. It’s developing. We’re always looking for each other. We’re usually involved in each other’s goals in some capacity and hopefully it translates into more goals and more assists and more chemistry.
Especially with three games in the short period of time that we had them in, I was going to have to sit some minutes. Unfortunately, [last game] was due to yellow card accumulation but the guys showed up in Kansas City, got our point on the road. It shows our depth as a team and this is probably the biggest week we’ve had all year especially in terms of results. That’s three road games in a very short span of time and we came away with seven points so these are positives to build on and hopefully they carry out throughout the rest of the year.”
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson
“It was just instinct. I think when it comes down to those moments, you kind of have to live in the moment. You don’t really think about it too much. You just kind of react and I just got a good jump on that side and was able to save it. I mix it up in the moment. I’ve gone left, I’ve gone right. I mix it up quite a bit so you never know. If the striker makes it difficult, which he did – it was very well struck – but I was able to get a good jump on it. I was surprised to see it bounce backwards because it was on turf. On grass it just stays put. I was lucky to have the post there. Someone was looking out for me there on that one.
This is my fifth year playing. I’ve faced a lot of penalty shots myself. I just kind of develop my own checklist I go through on the day and it’s different every day; depends on what I really think about when I wake up. Just in the moment I was able to save it. I watched it the whole way. I saw the ball the whole way. I knew it was going to take a bounce; didn’t know where it was going to go. I just got on my feet as quick as possible and I just took it off the line; turned around and took it. It’s really great.
This was huge. At a point in the season where we’ve gotten a lot of ties and we needed to really push and get over that hump. I think it really took a win like this – one that took a lot of grit and a lot of fight to really get the result. Three points and a shutout at that. I’m proud of the boys, and it’s just unfortunate to give away a PK when we worked hard. It shows the effort we put in defending and we were able to come out with a victory.
It’s bittersweet. It’s great to get the early goal, but you’ve got another 87 minutes you know the other team is going to press you to equalize, especially at home. To keep them off the scoreboard tonight was just great.
This week in general has been great for us. We’ve had a long week on the road, the entire week, and starting with Kansas City. To grind out a result on the road, and get the Open Cup win down in Atlanta – which I got to play in front of my family and friends in my hometown – is huge. Using that momentum to roll in, play the game on turf—have that experience coming in—we were able to get the job done.
It’s really great. It’s almost a sense of relief. We can’t relax yet, you know just those three points have been so evasive for so long. We’ve tied so many games. It’s very frustrating. We almost tied there at the end with the PK. We’re getting closer and closer to putting together a complete game. This game for us was great. We played well for 80-plus minutes and it’s just really grinding it out to see the game out in full. We’ll get better.
There is a ton left to play for. We had to regroup, starting with the Open Cup. We had two things to focus on: Open Cup midweek and then shift focus back to the league. It’s huge for us to get this result. We want to keep it rolling. We’ve got a lot to play for, a lot of games left, and we’ll get back to training and get better and get back to it this weekend against Philly.”
-With the result the Fire move to 21-17-10 all-time against the Revolution in regular season play, and 9-12-3 in matches played on the road.
-This is the Fire’s first win at Gillette Stadium since June 27, 2010.
-Quincy Amarikwa’s goal in the 3rd minute of play moved him into a tie with rookie Homegrown midfielder Harry Shipp for a team-leading six goals.
-Forward Matt Fondy made his MLS debut for the Fire when he entered in the 71st minute for Amarikwa.
-This match was ‘keeper Sean Johnson’s second shutout of the season and 23rd of his career.
-With his stop on Chris Tierney’s 85th minute penalty kick attempt, Johnson notched his sixth career penalty save.
Chicago Fire 1 – 0 New England Revolution
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Lovel Palmer, Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Gonzalo Segares; Alex (Grant Ward 88’), Jeff Larentowicz ©, Matthew Watson (Chris Ritter 77’), Harry Shipp; Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa (Matt Fondy 71’)
Substitutes not used: Kyle Reynish, Greg Cochrane, Patrick Ianni, Logan Pause
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves ©; Andy Dorman (Scott Caldwell 29’), Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe (Jerry Bengston 65’), Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 75’); Patrick Mullins
Substitutes not used: Saer Sene, Brad Knighton, Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes
CHI – Quincy Amarikwa (Mike Magee) 3’
NE – Daigo Kobayashi (caution) 16’
NE – Jose Goncalves (caution) 63’
CHI – Patrick Ianni (caution) 84’
CHI – Grant Ward (caution) 92’
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistants: Jeff Muschik, Jason White
Fourth Official: Kevin Terry Jr.