Chicago Fire FC fel 5-1 on the road at Nashville SC on Saturday night. Hear Frank Klopas and midfielder Gastón Giménez's takeaways from the performance below.
Chicago Fire FC Assistant Coach Frank Klopas
Overall thoughts on the match…
“Listen, right now at the moment, I think the first thing that's on my mind and the team's mind and the whole club and organization is with Rapha and his family, and our thoughts, our prayers are with him. So that's just the first thing that's going through my mind right now.
And then the second thing is, look, I think when I look at this game, you cannot have a start like that. The first 15 minutes, I thought the game was over. We had a poor start, we go down 2-0 and you get a red card. That's the difficult one.
But the second half, I felt if you can take positives away from this game, I felt that we drew the second half with a man down and in the end I felt that the guys really never gave up. They fought hard to the end. Those are some of the positives of what I'm thinking right now in my mind and the other positive is that you have to regroup right away because we play a game on Wednesday and that's always a good thing is not to dwell on this too much.”
On what the team needs to work on ahead of Wednesday’s home match…
“ Yeah, you regroup, I think you have a couple days, two days, I think to go back and refocus, reorganize, put this behind us and look at some things that we need to obviously correct. It's about the next game and you have to move on, and obviously learn from this game and the start that we had, because, you know, the way we went into the match was not the attitude or mentality that we needed to have. I think that has to change, the players know that, and we have to regroup. We have to have a good game plan going in and have a couple good days of preparation and put this behind us and just have another game. I think all the players are eager to get back on the field and put the game behind us by the performance and the result on to the next one.
I also wanted to add that the fans were fantastic again. It was great for us to walk out and see the support from our supporters group, coming out and supporting the team. That's always a positive, and I know that's always a tough one for all of us, because we always feel -- not that we lost but also that in a performance like this, you love the fans that traveled so far to be with us, but they were fantastic. They stayed, and we went out as a group together, and the support from them was great. And I know the players, all of us cannot wait to get back home to Soldier Field in front of them and be a lot sharper than we were tonight.”
Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Gastón Giménez
On his takeaways from tonight’s match and what the team needs to do to regroup...
“The truth is that it was very difficult, but what did we take away from it? We take away that we're a team who needs to be focused from minute zero until the very end. We can't start off the game sleepy like we did today because that's something that we pay for dearly, which we have seen before and we certainly saw tonight.
So we need to be completely focused from minute zero, from the very first minute, until the very end, especially because the game that's coming up is also a very difficult game. It's going to be a very physical game, and we're going to be home, and so we need to win.
And we just need to go in and keep focused, keep concentrating because we are going to be at home, and we just have to keep believing in what we have been doing.”
On what it meant for the team to see so many traveling Fire fans at the stadium...
“It's always a great thing to see the fan support in the stadium, whether it's at home or at an away game, and it's just great to see everyone there and see how they are supporting us. We always try to go out there and leave the fans with a good feeling, which is pretty hard to say tonight, especially since we are coming off a pretty bad loss.
But we know that we are out there and we're working hard and we're working as hard as we can because we want to always have a good feeling with the fans. There are always things that can be improved; even when you win, there are always improvements that could be made and we have been improving and we have improved a lot over the last several games.
So we just want to keep on that pathway for our fans and also for our family who also suffers watching us play and supporting us.”