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Chicago Fire FC came away with a 1-0 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Union on Saturday night, courtesy of a Federico Navarro finish in the 68th minute. Following the match, Navarro as well as Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson, defender Jonathan Bornstein, and goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina spoke about the team's performance in the win. Read their takeaways in full below

Chicago Fire FC Quotes

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson

On the mood of the locker room following a home win...

"Well, they're very happy. You know, we found ourselves in a position now that we need to win our home games. What we spoke about before the game is that this is our fortress. We're going to make it as such and come out every game and play as such. Again, just like the D.C. game, they came out and from the start, these guys were up for it. You know? That's not an easy team. You know, that's the first-place team in our conference. Everything we gave to them, they put up a fight. But finally, we were able to break through with Fede's goal. I'm just happy for the guys because, you know, we just got to keep playing and keep pushing like this. You know, we've had some unfortunate losses, some unfortunate ties, but these guys have never given up; they've given me everything they got every game and we just got to find some way now to be more consistent from game to game."

On possessing the ball against a team like Philadelphia...

"Well, it's a big part of what we do. You know, we're not a team that is going to kick it long and chase after it. That's not our style. We like to play, we like to keep the ball and you see what happens with Shaq is on the pitch, guys. You know, it helps us play our game. The premise of our game is to play in the front half, you know, pin the opponent's back by being relentless by our possession. And that's something that we thrive on. But when you don't have your maestro, so to speak, Shaq, on the pitch, then it becomes difficult because he's just so good of a player, and tonight, he helps that. He just helps us get up, up and down the field. And with the ball, he's just amazing, he finds passes, he unlocks defenses. And now, we just got to finish some of these opportunities that he's putting guys in one-v-one.

It was good to have him back and it was good to possess against a team that's very, like I said, very hard to play games. There's a reason why they're first of all conference right now, they showed it tonight because they put up a fight. Every time we punched, they stood up; they punched, they stood still up. I believe for us, we were able to get that final punch in and score that goal."

On the development of Gabriel Slonina...

"He's a very good keeper, but he's a young keeper; he's inexperienced so there's a lot to work on. But, you know, he has all the tools, he has all the right tools. But he's improving daily. Adin Brown is working really, really hard with him and from preseason to now, we've seen some improvement. You know, it's easy sometimes when you don't face a lot of shots in the game, you're not active, to fall asleep, to go in a lull as a goalkeeper. But he finds some way to still be active and when he does get called upon, he answers. Sometimes, maybe it's not a shot, sometimes maybe it's just organizing the back four, or maybe it's a cross coming out and punching it, and he's been very good at that. So, you know, there's still more to work on but he's on the right track and headed in the right direction. I like his progression."

On the performances of Federico Navarro and Boris Sekulić...

"Yeah, well, these are two guys that we expect to show up game in and game out. A big part of possession, and I speak about us wanting to be the team that possesses the ball a lot, is that ability to recover the ball when you do lose it. Because as much as you want to possess it, you're not going to have the ball for 90 minutes. And what Fede does for us is, when we do lose that ball, it's amazing how well he can win that ball back. So, he's a big part of that. And then going forward, he also knows how to break lines, you know, switch the point of attack, some of the things that we talk about in training and stuff. So, you know, he helps us with our possession in that whenever we lose it, man, he's the first one on the ball trying to win it back. Nine out of 10 times he's winning it and we're able to keep possession, and that wears a team down, when you're able to win back with that immediate chase like that just keep the foot on the throat, so to speak. But Fede is very, very good at ball recovery and keeping us on the front foot.

And then Boki (Boris Sekulić), very good player. He's been performing well and we need that from him. We need that every game. But that's the thing with everyone on the team, with the entire team; we just need to find a way now to be more consistent. And that's usually the last part of when you're trying to change the culture of a team, change the mindset of a team. First, you're faced with some resistance because no one likes change, you get guys out of their comfort zone. But then once you get past that and change, if you try to change things and you're not getting the results in a team setting it's hard to explain to a team that okay, this is the right thing to do. This is the right direction to go in when the results are not coming. So now if we could get that consistency, which is the last part of changing a mindset, having these guys believing that we are a team that is going to be there come October, you know; after the regular season, we're gonna continue to play. No matter what it looks like now, if we continue to play and continue to grow and continue to show the progress that we've been showing, we're going to be fine. So now, hopefully we get that consistency and not just from game to game, but within games, we need to be more consistent within games; not get into that five- or six-minute lull because, most teams, when you get in that lull, they take advantage of that. I think we faced a little bit of that in Houston last week; even though we were playing well, they get two crosses and they're in the back of the net. So, we've got to find ways now to be more consistent within games. I think they're getting the hang of it and I'm happy for the boys. Like I said, the effort is always there, the consistency will come and the success will come after that. You just have to remain disciplined, remain consistent, and the success will show."

On the performance of Kacper Przybyłko...

"He didn't score tonight, but his hold-up play was very good. There's a lot of things he does defensively too also, because we're a team that, when we defend well as a team, and that means from the forwards to the back four, it's very hard to break us down, and he's a big part of that. If we're not getting that pressure on the ball, especially with a team like Philly that likes to go long, it becomes very difficult for the back four and very difficult for the team to defend. So, he was very good at chopping the field, keeping them to one side and making it predictable for the guys in the back. I would have liked him to get that goal, especially that header maybe, but what he did on the pitch for us tonight and even in the run of play, the hold-up play, playing guys in, getting us up the field, I thought he did really well tonight and I was proud of the way he played tonight."

On the status of Miguel Navarro...

"As far as Miguel, you know, Miguel is no longer quarantined. He's testing negative, he's out of protocol. So, he was out to dinner with a friend last night and it wasn't a big deal because it's not like he's on the protocol. He's been quarantined and he's out and about. It's just the doctors advised that we keep him out of training and stuff for another week or so. But he's fine. He's negative. And that's all I'm gonna say about that."

On this match being the breaking point of a better season...

“Well, you hope so, you know? As I spoke of earlier, we hope now that we can build this into a more consistent effort from game to game, because you just beat the first-place team in your conference, and that gives you a little bit of confidence, and hopefully it gives us some momentum going into the rest of these games. But the games are gonna come quickly and we just got to find a way of being ready game in and game out, and just showing that consistent effort as we did tonight. And I think if we do that, I think we'll be fine. So, hopefully, this is a confidence booster for the guys because being in last place, it's really hard. It's really hard when you're in every game but you somehow come up short. But I think tonight, we stuck with it even when it looked like they weren't going to back down, they weren't gonna give up. They're gonna continue to fight because they're a good team. We just kept fighting and kept fighting and kept pushing, and finally, the dam broke and we were able to get a goal.

I told them at halftime, I said, guys, they're not going to score against us, all right, but we just need to score on the other end, we just need to finish. If we just scored one goal tonight, we'll win this game; and I'm not Nostradamus or anything, but that's what happened. But it just felt like, we weren't gonna give up a goal tonight but we just needed to score one because we didn't want one point, you know, we wanted all three; we're at home, we wanted all three. We're going to try to get all three at home every game we play, I think we have maybe nine more home games, and then pick up as many as we can on the road, you know, hopefully some wins. But this definitely is a momentum builder for us. And we are just gonna to keep plugging away and keep trying to be consistent and give this kind of effort every game going forward.”

On identifying flaws in Philadelphia's game plan...

“Well, from watching them, we knew that being a 4-4-2 diamond, where the spaces are, in between that outside midfielder and the outside back on both sides. So, what we're trying to do is get it to one side through the middle and then out to the next side because they shift as a team. And we're able to do that. And when we were able to do that, we had a good run of play. So, we'd go from maybe the right side, through Shaq or through Gaston or Fede, and over to Chris Mueller, or going the other way over to Fabi, and wherever to get at them. And also bringing our wingers in off the line, which made their outside backs have to make a decision: either to come with our winger, which released our outside back to go forward, or if they stay, we just find a weakness in the pocket. So that's what we were trying to do and we were successful doing that a lot tonight. The guys stuck to the game plan, and hopefully I don't give secrets to the other Eastern Conference teams and get them chances to get points against Philly; but we stuck to the game plan and it was good to see. When we do that. we're really good. We were really good.”

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Federico Navarro

On his reaction to scoring his goal and today’s result…

“Honestly, very happy with the result, getting the three points here at home that we really needed to get. And really happy for the team because they played well, other than winning, we played well. We were superior to the rival and we're leaving tonight really content with that.”

On being more active in the attack and more aggressive in the box…

“No, for the most part Gastón (Giménez) and I have the liberty to go and keep on playing the box when one stays and the other goes, and well, the coaching staff also asks that we be the first to pressure after losing the ball I feel that because of that, well, I got to score the goal, which is unusual for me but thank God it went in.”

On how it feels to score given that it has been a while since his last goal…

“Yeah, to be honest, for me it’s always new because I don’t even know how I celebrate a goal. But yeah, I’m really happy for the team.”

Chicago Fire FC Player Gaga Slonina

On if he has a specific role model..

“I think I try to learn something from every goalkeeper, you know, I try to adapt to the modern game, which is, you know, obviously a lot of a lot of times now the goalkeepers are the eleventh player on the field. So I think the more that I can adapt to the modern game and continue to get these game minutes, I'll continue to improve.”

On his reaction to win at home after the loss in Houston…

“Yeah it’s huge, man. Obviously I’ve put a lot of emotion and passion into the game. So I think keeping a clean sheet. That's my job. That's the defense's job. So I think the whole team put in a shift and we got one at the other end so I’m super happy. But we just gotta keep going now, keep working and focus on the next match.”

On how much pride he gets on getting clean sheets…

“It’s part of my job to keep the ball out of the net, So anytime we can keep the ball out of the net it’s big for us and our entire team. So I think the more we can keep clean sheets the better chance we have at getting better results.”

On what keeps him going..

“It’s the whole team. Obviously when we see that our first defender, which is the striker, if he's defending it adds motivation so I'll send it back to contain the ship and continue to move our lines and obviously a lot of it goes into the communication organization. But it all starts with training. So I think the more we can train it and the more we can put it into the game then the better we'll get at it.”

Chicago Fire FC Player Jonathan Bornstein

On how much is coming from Gaga to the team…

“You want to give him the credit because the goalie doesn’t score goals and doesn’t have that opportunity. But it’s definitely due to him, the defense and the team. It’s due to all of the work that all the guys put in on a daily basis. But I love giving him the credit because like I said he’s never gonna score goals but that’s his stat that he can build. But he would also say it’s a team thing.”

On Gaga’s talent level at 18 years old…

“I’m not surprised by the work ethic that he has and the work that he has been putting in over the years. He is a very special player. A player like him comes along once in a very long time. He is young, he is still very humble and works hard everyday.”

On his thoughts on the turnaround after losing 2-0 in Houston to come home on a quick turnaround and win at Soldier Field…

“We always talk about how Soldier Field is our fortress. We have to make it a fortress. We can’t lose points at home and anytime we find ourselves in Soldier Field we need to be the ones bringing the game to the other team. Obviously Philly is a good team, they are first place in the Eastern Conference. So to be able to beat them at home after coming off a loss, it shows a lot of character about the team and it shows how we’re never going to give up. We’re never gonna put our arms down. And I think that’s the mentality that we have to go into every single game whether it's at home or on the road.”