Chicago Fire FC fell 1-0 to Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday night. Head coach Raphael Wicky, defender Miguel Navarro, and midfielder Álvaro Medrán discussed the performance with media following the final whistle. Read their reactions below.
The Fire next will face New York Red Bulls on August 28 as the Club continues a six-game road trip.
Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Raphael Wicky
On the level of frustration with playing well but not leaving with a point...
“Yeah, big frustration again. Yeah, it's very frustrating because like you said we played a really good away game. I think we controlled a big stretch of the game away against a good team, a team that normally dominates a lot of games. We had our chances and we get punished by one mistake.
So it is a big frustration, but from the effort, from the way the team played, the way the team works together, I cannot say anything bad to the team. There is not a lack of effort or a lack of tactical understanding.
Yeah, it's from that point that I can't say anything to the team tonight. But it is very frustrating because they were two road games where for sure we didn't deserve to lose both games, but we are standing here again with empty hands.”
On the giveaway that led to Orlando’s goal...
“I really haven't seen it after the game. I need to see the game again. I need to watch the situation. Obviously, look, there are moments where a center back has to attack space with the ball when there is no pressure. That's something we want from our center backs. But I cannot give you right now the answer if that was a moment or not. Obviously then the mistake comes, so it probably wasn't the right moment. But I have to watch it again.
I think overall, it's game management. Game management is a big part where we, especially on the road, have to be a little bit better. Have to be better. And there is moments in games where you cannot take any risks. There are moments in games where you can do better and do a little bit more and maybe there are moments where we have to stay more compact and more deep and maybe there's games where we don't have to press that high. Those are things we talk about with the team we want to improve, and we have to improve, especially, especially on the road.”
On the play of Robert Berić tonight and his shot in the 84th minute...
“Yeah, I think he should build from that. I think Robert had a good game in the first half. He was available. He held the ball. He got some fouls, and I think he was in good spots in the first half in one or two crosses, where he was nearly there, and obviously he had his big shot which was amazing, a compliment, as well, on the goalkeeper who made a big save there.
I think he can build from that, and he has to build from that. And yeah, at the end of the day, a striker lives from goals and a striker will always probably build his confidence when he scores goals and that's right now missing. But yeah, I think he can build from this game.”
On Álvaro Medrán returning to the bench but not starting...
“Álvaro flew with us on Tuesday down to Miami and has not trained with our team for the last ten days, and obviously when it's clear that the player didn't train for ten days, or didn't train at all for ten days that he's not going to start these games, of course.
So now he's back with the team. We are very happy to have him back with the team, and I think he had a good entrance today, and we all know how important Álvaro can be for our team.”
On the Club’s new partnership with FC Lugano...
“I mean, I was obviously informed before by Georg [Heitz] a couple of weeks before that there is an interest in doing that. He explained to me a little bit of things, but to be honest I haven't really spoken with him much about this project because obviously we were focused on our games, a lot of games, and Georg obviously went back to Switzerland to help finalize the deal.
So right now, I cannot really give much explanation or much opinion. I think it's a very interesting project, and I think it's interesting to have multiple clubs and maybe in the future being able to either send players there or bring players over, even maybe like other clubs do it in the winter when their winter break is, maybe some young players could maybe go and potentially train there. I don't know. That's just me bringing it up. I'm not sure if that's the plan. But otherwise, I haven't really sat down with Georg yet and gone over everything, so I really don't want to give a big statement.”
Chicago Fire FC Defender Miguel Navarro
On the takeaway from this match…
“I think that we played one of our best games both defensively and offensively. Unfortunately, there was that error that cost us. But I think we played one of our best games, both on the defensive end and the offensive end and we kept going forward, so I take that away.
The attitude within the team, we kept going forward and we never dropped our head. We kept looking to attack and keep going, and at no time did we let up or did we stop. We kept looking to be in the game right until the very end.”
On stating it is one of the best performances of the year despite the result…
“Yeah, we leave with that feeling of having been so close, having been almost there, so close to getting that goal that would have given us a little bit of tranquility and would have given us a little bit of peace of mind. We were there and we're so close, and it is frustrating. But we are going to keep trying and fighting until the end. I think this team has so many things to offer, and we are not going to stop doing that now. We have been showing from the very beginning that we have a lot of fight and we have a lot of spirit, and we are not going to stop that now. We are going to keep looking and keep going forward.”
On keeping the fight and spirit within the team despite the team’s record…
“Obviously it's hard because we have had a long time without winning any games on the road. But we are going to keep moving forward. We're not going to give up. I think this team has shown -- one of the characteristics of this team is we don't give up. We keep our heads up and we keep moving forward. We're going to keep fighting hard, and we are going to keep doing that. That's not going to stop.
I think that faith moves mountains and we are going to keep having faith and we are going to keep working hard and we are going to keep insisting.”
On six straight road games…
“We know it's a little bit complicated and a little bit difficult because all MLS games are complicated and difficult, but we are going to keep doing what we do, which is hard work. We are not putting our guard down. We are not dropping our head. We know that there are still 11 or 12 more games to go, and yeah, it has been a little bit difficult but we can't let our guard down and we can't get down. We just have to keep moving forward and looking forward to the next games.”
Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Álvaro Medrán
On how he feels after being out due to the health and safety protocols…
“I feel good. There were a few days there that were a bit complicated and they felt a little bit long, but the team did a good job and they played well during that time. And I had a good time watching them play and win the way that they did.
And now, I'm ready. I'm back and I'm here to help in any way I can.”
On how frustrating it is for the team to play well but still be undone by just one bad moment…
“I think that we can do better. I think that we have a team that can hold the ball and is ready and able and capable of having possession and keeping possession and moving the ball around. I think we have to be brave to have the ball and keep the ball. I think sometimes maybe we put ourselves in those problems where we sometimes give the ball away or whatever.
But we have to have this personality that we keep moving forward. Sometimes during certain phases we do things really well. Today, for example, maybe it was a mistake from Mauri, but that happened because he was trying to do things the right way. He was trying to do things well and move the ball and look forard and move forward. So I think that that's something that we have to focus on and just keep doing it well and be brave and hold the ball and move forward and play our game. We can't just let ourselves fall back and keep trying to play the long ball.”
On whether changing the formation impacted the team…
“No, we didn't change. I think during this time where we've been playing with five in the back, we played 5-4-1 some games and we played 5-3-2 some games. And I think if I remember correctly against Orlando, last time we played them 5-4-1, the same as today.
So it's something that we do know how to play and we've been playing in that formation before. And I think that just whatever Coach says, we have to take it to heart. We have to play it with personality, have personality to take what he says and put it into action and keep fighting for the victory in any way we can.”
On how much the team needs to get a win on the road to get the stats off their back and have more confidence on the road…
“We simply have to take it as if it hasn't happened. We know we struggle a little bit on the road but we just have to take it game by game and we have to take it with personality and bravery so that we can win on the road. Sometimes we see that, you know, fans come and they come to watch us play, and we just have to go out there. Sometimes we are alone.
But we have to take whatever Coach says and face it with bravery and with personality, and we have to do it without committing any errors, or committing as few errors as possible. Because sometimes we go out there and there's just a little bit, a little lack, and it's costing us goals.
So we just have to concentrate on going out there and putting into action what Coach tells us with personality and with bravery, because if it costs us a goal and we go down, it's more difficult. It's more difficult on the road to come back.”Quote Sheet | Wicky, Calvo, and Gimenez on Wednesday's match against Inter Miami CF