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Chicago Fire FC fell 3-2 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night at Soldier Field. Following the match, Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson, midfielders Chris Mueller and Jairo Torres, and forward Jhon Durán offered their takeaways from the performance. Read their quotes in full below:

Chicago Fire FC Quotes

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson

On what this result says about the team’s mentality...

“Well, it just shows that, you know, what we've been seeing recently is not being able to finish games, not being able to be consistent throughout a game for 90 minutes. Such a good first half and then to come out, they get a little bit of the play and you know, everything they put to us, we didn't fight back, right? We didn't fight in the second half at all, you know, we just laid down and let them pass right through us, run by us, don’t run at them with our guys. And when you do that, teams punish you. But, absolutely no excuse to lose again at home like that, up 2-0 at halftime and all you have to do now is just manage the game; make sure the team doesn't score and you win the game. But they came at us, punched and we didn't punch back and, you know, they got the victory.”

On who bears responsibility for a second half comeback...

“Well, you know, there were a couple of wingers on with pace, but we have pace on the wing so that shouldn't happen, that shouldn't be. But those guys were very effective, they changed the game, Luis Diaz and Etienne. We just didn't match up well with them, we let them run by us a little too easily, we didn't close the gaps that we needed to when the ball was deep in their midfield. We just kind of backed up a little bit, you know, we didn't push up like we did, defensively, in the first half. Teams are gonna get a better part of the play at times and when that happens, you know, you guys just make sure that they don't score, and we didn't protect our home turf, we didn't protect our lead and we didn't protect the game, and we end up losing it. When that happens like that, I guess, I have to take the blame because I know I can't call the timeout and change things around, but I told them to expect these guys to come on in the second half because I knew they were on the bench, I know these players, I was with these guys for two and a half years so I knew it was coming. We just didn't deal with it properly, as we should have. Because they change the game.”

On the decision to take Xherdan Shaqiri out of the match...

“Well, Shaq is carrying a slight injury to his thigh. He asked to be taken out because it started to hurt, it was starting to hurt. So that was him asking to be taken out.”

Chicago Fire FC Forward Jhon Durán

On his thoughts on tonight’s result…

“Well, I think we had the game really controlled until the 70th, 75th minute until the mental lapses started to show up. We’ll have to come into practice to talk about what happened and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

On getting more minutes and the team having confidence in him to play more…

“Like everything, you’ve got to play when you’re put in the game. I am very happy to come in and help the team. I hope to keep going like this and give everything I have for this team. 

On what he took away from tonight and how they can respond following the result…

“Well I know that we’ll talk about it, and like I said, there were mental lapses that everyone had. We have to stay focused for 90 minutes, give 100% so that these lapses don’t occur at the end of the games.” 

On what were the errors for the team tonight…

“Well I believe that for the first half, we were always on top, we played for the win. And I believe that we were buying in, we scored two goals very quickly and that made us turn it down a little bit. The second half, we came in a little differently. But we have to move forward playing like we did in the first half because we played very well and we need to play every half that way.”

On if he exchanged any words with Cucho Hernández…

“No. I didn’t exchange any words with him. He seems like an excellent player and had very nice goal.”

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Chris Mueller

On if anything seems to be lacking on the team front… 

“I obviously don't think it's good enough right now, giving up three goals in the second half when you have two goals and are in the lead at home, and with the three points as crucial as they were for us. I don't think any of us think that was good enough, so it takes all of us to come together and turn it around for the next game, it's a quick turn around.” 

On what changed in the second half following such a dominant first half…

“We were not picking up the second balls, we lacked energy. I think it's been a problem for a bit now, we could see it in the last couple games. San Jose we let up a goal pretty early in the second half. So I don’t know what it is, if it's just a switch and not coming out with enough energy in the second half. I mean we come in here at halftime and try to hype eachother up, and then we go out there and sometimes it just seems flat. Something we obviously need to sort out ASAP.”

On if he thinks there’s something missing that may be intangible 

“You know, not really. I feel like when you look across the league at the teams we played against so far, we've competed. When you look back, at least since I've gotten here, we should have won without a doubt in my mind. We've played better football than 90% of the teams we've played and sometimes it is a mentality thing, where something slips. Today we just lacked fight. It wasn't a lack of quality. I don't lack belief in this group at all. Now it's just about us coming together as a team when times are hard and trying to pick eachother up and move on. 

You can control your fight. It definitely sucks to be losing games in areas you can control and the goals we let up have often been soft and it's costing us crucial points.”

On the adjustments Columbus made in the second half…

“They took off one of their central defenders and put on two wingers that we knew had pace and brought a bit more of an attacking threat. That was something we obviously were aware of seeing them make the changes and seeing them make the shift around the back. I think it was just a lack of intensity and energy, not sure what it was, but it obviously wasn't great.”

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Jairo Torres

On his thoughts on the match…

“It’s a victory that hurts. I was able to get into the game and unfortunately the goals were scored and that makes me even more sad because of the performance we had in the last 20 minutes. I think we got down a little bit after the first goal but we have to get to work and keep working hard because we have two important home games coming up and we need to get points.”

On how he saw the match change after the first half…

“As I said before, I think the first goal changed everything. For them, they went up, and we had a bit of a lapse and I think that was the key. They took advantage of the momentum and won the game.

On how he feels, physically, and whether he’s at 100 percent…

“Yeah, I still feel a bit out of rhythm, right, because I hadn’t been training for two or three weeks but little by little I am training and adding more training sessions because even if I’m coming off an injury, I’m not feeling completely recovered, little by little I am recovering in order to be on point.”

On his expectations for Wednesday and Saturday…

“We expect to earn points, especially because we’re at home and we are determined to play well, to win and to get the three points at home. 

On whether he was surprised by the result tonight…

“Yeah, as I had commented earlier, the result was unfortunate. We had been playing well, going up 2-0, but as they say, 2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline. We had a lapse and the first goal fell, and they went up with that momentum.”

On how he compares Liga MX with Major League Soccer after playing several games…

“Cleary, it’s a very competitive league here. I think the league there and the league here are very similar. This one is much faster, much more physical and the one over there is a bit more tactical, but they have many similar traits. And, well, I just hope to recover to 100 percent so I can be well and help the team the best way that I can.”