Quote Sheet | Hendrickson, Slonina on Saturday's Draw Against Columbus


Chicago Fire FC comes away with a point against the Columbus Crew with a 0-0 draw on Saturday night. Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson and Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina spoke to the media following the match. Read their postmatch quotes in full below:

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson

On Gabriel Slonina’s performance and whether he has noticed a change in his demeanor since his agreement with Chelsea…

“Not really. He's always been a confident goalkeeper. He's always been a good ’keeper. Hence, he signed a contract with Chelsea.

But he came up with another great performance again. I think that's his 11th, maybe 12th shutout this year. So you know, we know that he's a good goalkeeper, and has been good all year for us. So we're happy to have him.”

On the team's overall performance and how important Slonina was in getting the draw against Columbus…

“Well, you know, what I told the guys is that in normal circumstances, a point on the road, a clean sheet, it's good. Not that this is not good but we're in a situation now that we need to pick up points.

Tonight I thought, defensively, we did well. There was some miscommunication on some things that they were able to break us down. For the most part, I thought we did well but with the ball, the transition from defending to attacking, again, tonight, was not up to par where it needs to be. We're turning the ball over too much, too easily, sometimes with no pressure, unforced errors. We need to clean that up, but definitely want to keep the clean sheets and be better on the attacking end of things.

Right now it's not good enough. We need to get points, especially at home, coming up next weekend, we have to get the full three points and then still go on the road and pick up three points at Cincy, Montréal, one of those teams.

We definitely kept ourselves in it by not losing these games and picking up points. The key thing is we didn't give the two teams now that we are fighting for a playoff spot with full points at their place, so that's very important. The effort was there, Wednesday and tonight. Tonight I thought we got a little winded, our legs got out from under us a little bit. You know, third game in the last seven, eight days, two being on the road, it's a little difficult. But the guys put in the effort. We have to be better once we win the ball and once we’re going forward.”

On whether the lineup could change again on Saturday against Inter Miami given all the injuries…

“We'll take a look at the squad and what we have and how guys came out of these three games. We have taken some knocks. We are missing some key players here tonight. (Xherdan Shaqiri) wasn't able to start the game.

We have to make sure we heal up a little bit. We don't have a midweek game coming up this week. That helps. We have a good seven days to prepare. Maybe take a couple days off. We've just got to get healthy and hopefully by next Saturday we are refreshed and ready to go again.”

Chicago Fire FC Goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina

On the team earning a point on the road but not seeming very content with the result…

“Yeah, I mean, it's pretty difficult now. You want to get three points. The coach and the coaching staff put in the idea of a seven-game season so we need to pick up as many points as we can every single game.

Before, it would be nice to get a point on the road but now we want more. It's not good enough for us just to pick up one. So we are going to continue to work and focus on this next match at home to pick up three.”

On his individual performance tonight, in which he made a career-high nine saves in a single match…

“At the end of the season, at the end of the day, we want to make the playoffs. So I'm happy for that accolade, but it would be better if I made three saves and we got the win. I think the clean sheet is nice, but obviously, like we were just talking, we want to get as much points as possible. So going for the win I think is the most important.”

On his outlook as he starts to make the move over to Chelsea…

“I mean, for me, it's obviously about giving my best every single game and obviously just staying in the moment and doing what I can for my team to come out and get the three points. I think I'm just going to continue to focus on every single match at hand because I think that will, in the end prepare, me for what's to come.”

On whether the team had a different mentality going into the game against Columbus…

“I don't think anything changed. We always go into a game with the mentality that we want to come away with three points. I think that defensively we fixed a few things, we tweaked what we needed to make sure we were structured and organized.

I think, offensively, I'm the first attacker, right? So we need to do a little bit of a better job at creating those chances and making sure that we can get chances and get goals. I think it's the same. We just buckled down and made sure that we stop conceding goals and then we can work on putting them away on the other end.”

On how the locker room is feeling after the tie…

“Yeah, I mean, we are not happy. We want to -- it's a tie but we want to come away with three points; at this part of the season, I think every point, every minute is vital right now. We are going to see what we can do better and see how we can improve our game for the next match against Miami.”