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Chicago Fire FC fell 2-0 to CF Montréal on Saturday night at Soldier Field. Following the match, Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson, midfielder Fabian Herbers, and forward Jhon Durán discussed the result with members of the media. Read their thoughts on the match below.

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson

On the status of Xherdan Shaqiri and Rafael Czichos...
"Well, I can't tell you anything definite as far as a return. But Shaq was a little tight in the quad and Rafa, something with his patella. I don't think it's anything serious but he didn't feel like he could continue. So, hopefully it's nothing serious with both guys."

On what didn't work while playing a man up...
"Well, we didn't take advantage of that extra man because we moved the ball too slow. We got away from moving the ball quickly. We talked at halftime, if we move the ball quickly, because we have an extra man, there will always be an open guy. But still, we were getting the ball and taking three to five seconds on the ball instead of moving the ball. And so that killed us. Yeah, we created some chances, but not enough. The ball didn't move quickly to take advantage of that man, being a man up. And so that was disappointing. You know, I felt like guys were still holding on to the ball a little too long; we had balls we couldn't cross or we decided not to cross, even when we got two forwards up there, you know? So, these are things that we have to look at and be better at, because we had an opportunity for over a half to get back in the game. But we didn't. That's disappointing." 

On aspiring for the MLS Playoffs...
"Definitely. You know, right now, we're going through a bad patch. We knew coming into these past three games that it would be difficult, the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. But we felt like, especially with the two at home, we could come away with some points. And so, it's very disappointing that we were not able to do that. And tonight, two really beautiful goals but still, there are things that led up to those goals that we could avoid, you know, and so that was disappointing. But our aspirations are still to make the playoffs. We have seven games and we just need to get as many points as we can out of the 21 possible, because it's starting to get a little tough now."

On what went wrong in the first 25 minutes...
"I'm not sure. I thought we actually came out a little bit well tonight. We got an opportunity, we got Jhon (Durán) in a one-on-one with the keeper. But then after that, we just weren't technically sound. In my best Spanish, there's a saying, 'sin técnica, no hay táctica.' It basically just says, if you're not technically good, then your tactics, it's very difficult. That has to do with missed traps, which slows the play down; people hold on to the ball and not playing quickly; all of that just kills what you're trying to do tactically. And even with the man up, we still slow the game down more than we should have, we should have been speeding the game up. We knew their pace would be a little issue to deal with tonight. But you know, being man up, we should have taken advantage of the situation. We just didn't because we didn't technically or tactically execute tonight."

On what the team has learned over the last three games...
"Well, the biggest learnings are that, you know, we've improved a lot. We showed in the previous five or six games before these last three, but there's still a lot more improvement that needs to be there. A lot more maturity. For instance, tonight, just knowing how to take advantage of a situation that we got ourselves in tonight, as far as getting an extra man, them being a man down. We didn't execute how we should have to take advantage of that. We found ourselves on the opposite end in Orlando earlier this year; they were able to get that one goal that they needed to win that game. We needed two tonight; we could have gotten two because even with their pace and everything, being a man down is difficult if you move the ball quickly and you take advantage of that extra man. But we didn't do that. So, a lot of it has improved. We've made some progress, but we still have a long ways to go. And we got to continue to strive for that improvement to see what we can do in these next seven games."

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Fabian Herbers

On the team’s performance…
“Obviously you can’t start like that. I mean, the first five minutes were actually pretty good, I thought. We had a good look with Jhon Durán, a good chance, but then after that I thought Montréal was the way better team. We gave them too much space in the midfield. I think (Djordje) Mihailović and (Joaquín) Torres found so many open gaps in the pockets there and were always able to turn and go at our defense and to be fair, we could've been down three or four to zero in the first half so I thought we lost the game there, but it was only 2-0. Obviously, then the red card and the game shifts and then we're up a man, and we tried to go for it. We had the bulk of the possession but I thought the team didn't move the ball fast enough from one side to the other, you know, to really shift Montreal from left to right and then maybe on the right side is no on and you go to the left again and you have open spaces to play through. We just held on to the ball too long and created a few opportunities, way too few to be dangerous to beat this team, obviously. So yeah, the lesson is, we have to start better and don't give the other team so many open gaps in the midfield in the first half because I think we lost the game in the first half, not in the second.”

On the possibility of making the playoffs…
“Mathematically it's still obviously possible, but we have to come together. It's not going to be like today, how we played today. If we play like this, we have no chance. We don't even have to talk about playoffs, you know, it's not possible. We have to come together as a team and play better. Obviously, it's still possible mathematically but the chances have slimmed down and we dig ourselves a bigger hole every time.”

Chicago Fire FC Forward Jhon Durán

On tonight’s result…
“Well we worked hard until the end, but things didn’t work out for us. Two early goals and we stopped, we couldn’t respond to the goals they scored, but like you saw, we gave it our all, we had a few chances. We just have to keep working and move onto the next game with the same desire, if not more.”

On how he felt playing at the striker position…
“Much better, it’s always nice to come back and start. Now I have to keep working so I can get the next one and score because that’s why we’re forwards. Keep on working so I can keep creating opportunities.”

On the advantage of playing with an extra man on the field…
“Obviously you can have an advantage [playing with an extra man], but you also have to know how to make the most of the advantage. Tonight we couldn’t take advantage of it, but playing against a team down a man one is always going to have superiority and I believe that playing with an extra man provides the possibility to tie or win the game always. It’ll always be like that.”