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Chicago Fire FC took away a critical three points from Saturday night's meeting with Inter Miami CF in a 3-1 in at SeatGeek Stadium. Forward Jhon Durán scored twice, and was joined on the scoresheet by Xherdan Shaqiri, raising both players' goal tallies in 2022 to five apiece. Following the match, Shaqiri and Durán were joined by midfielder Mauricio Pineda and Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson in delivering their thoughts on the performance to media. Read their postmatch quotes in full below:

Chicago Fire FC Quotes

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson

On how happy he was with the win...
“Well, we're very happy because we had to win it; you know, we're at home. Coming into this game, there were 15 points out there to be had. We knew if we can get all 15, we put ourselves in a good position. We knew we couldn't get all 15 tonight, but we wanted to make sure we got all three. Getting through tonight was a must as far as keeping some momentum, keeping some confidence going forward to the next four. And we just told them to play freely, play without fear; don't worry about anything, just go out and play a game. 

And they're a very resilient bunch, you know, they're very, very resilient to failure. You know, many times this year, these guys could have cashed it in, you know, and say your season's over and they didn't. Coming into these last five games, we told them, guys, this is a challenge. But we can’t back down from it, you know, we're going to face it. A lot of these teams that we're going to play are fighting to do the same thing that we're trying to do: that's get into the playoffs, get above that line. So let's fight with them, you know? And tonight they came out, the first half, and we played our game. We always want to play the front half. We want to pin the opponents back with the ball, possession, moving the ball from left to right. Everything that we work on in training, they did it tonight and that's good to see. You know, that's always the way we want to play. The rest of the games are not gonna be easy, but I can tell you these guys are gonna put up the fight. And then at the end of the regular season, we'll see what happens. But we're not gonna go out without a fight.”

On feeling frustrated at missing similar performances throughout the season...
“Frustration, I don't know, but I'm happy because it's what we work towards. And, you know, sometimes it can be frustrating. But even the last couple of weeks, you know, the three games against Philly, New York and Montreal, we knew those were going to be tough. We tried but we just didn't match up with those teams. It was difficult for us, but going on the road against New England and Columbus and coming up with a couple points there, two ties, two shutouts, you know, you can feel like the confidence is starting to build again. So I kind of expected a good game from us tonight. And our backs were against the wall, we had no choice but to come out and face the situation that we're in, you know? 

But the confidence within the team stems from us knowing that throughout the year, a lot of these games that we lost was all an undoing of ourselves. So it's easy for them to be confident knowing that if we play our game, stick to our game plan and what we train on, we'll be fine. We'll keep ourselves in more games than not. And they came out tonight, like I said, that first half was probably one of our better first halves; we were able to pin them back, keep possession. 

The one thing we talked about at halftime that we had to worry about is them on the counter. Because we were so opened up keeping the ball sometimes; when we lost it, they would go on a counter and with (Alejandro) Pozuelo and (Gonzalo) Higuain, you never know what can happen. But make sure that in the second half, we seal that up a bit. We had to make a couple of subs tonight, some guys who were having really good games in (Brian Gutiérrez) and (Mauricio) Pineda, just because Pineda was sick today. 

Speaking of Pineda, I mean, this guy is a warrior. You know, 101-degree temperature today, earlier on today and he found some way to give us, you know, we thought maybe he could give us 45; he was able to give us 60. You know, Guti has a groin [injury], thought he could just do 45; he was able to give a 60. So I gotta take my hats off to those guys, you know, because we were banged up and those guys found a way to put in the time tonight. 

So all in all, as a team it was a great win, but we know we still have four games to play. And we got to go out and continue to play like this and improve and get better as a team, because I've seen it many times, you know, teams get on a good run at the end of season. You get into the playoffs, you never know what happens and that's our goal. We gotta keep fighting, keep getting better, keep playing good football and, you know, see what happens in these next four games.”

On what was lacking in the last few matches...
"I think one of the things we did tonight that we were lacking, especially these last five games, I mean, it shows on the sheet, you know, we haven't scored. A lot of times we create chances that we're not taking, you know, we haven't been very efficient all year in the final third, as far as putting balls in the back of the net. So that's something that we’ve got to continue to do these next four games, because we've shown that we can sometimes keep a clean sheet, sometimes one, two goals, but we're missing on that other end, you know, putting the ball in the back of the net. So that's something we got to improve on, because for a team with 12 shutouts, we should be higher up the table. That has a lot to do with us not taking our chances when we had them. And sometimes, especially on the road, when you don't take those chances, you end up losing those games. 

We have to continue to get better in the final third, and not just in the final third but in transition, from mid third to the final third. Sometimes, we defend really well, we win the ball and we don't keep it. So, past couple of practices, we talked about our transition, from when we win the ball, getting into the front half, getting into the final third and then being efficient there, being effective there. And I thought tonight we did that. That third goal was a very good example of us winning the ball, transitioning and getting Jhon in one-on-one with the keeper. So I think for us it's just scoring our goals, taking our chances, it's gotta be the focus these next four games. Because we're gonna get chances, but we’ve just got to be efficient in what we do with them, because we've shown that we can be very good at keeping teams off the scoresheet."

On Xherdan Shaqiri's significance to the team...
“Yeah, well, Shaq is a big part of our team. He's a big part of what we do here as a team. The results show. When he's on the pitch, I think, when he has been on a pitch for 45 or less, we've won one game all year. So him being on the pitch is a very big part of what we do. We're a team that wants to possess the ball and he helps us with that. You know, if we can keep the ball as well as we did tonight, with his help, it becomes so much easier for us to play our game and play our style of play, the way we want to play. 

So he's a very, very big part of us being successful. And you know, he's still carrying a little slight knock on his thigh but he was able to play 90 again tonight. So we expect him to continue to be one of our leaders, on and off the field. When he can get goals, it's even a plus for us. But his ability to help us keep the ball and progress up the field is very, very important to where we want to play as a team.”

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Mauricio Pineda

On Ezra’s comments that he was giving 100% to this game despite feeling sick … 
“Yeah, it was just a little bit that I was struggling with last night. I don’t know if it was the flu or something like that, but obviously I had a high temperature and energy levels were low. But I wanted to play so I found a way to get through it and did as much as I could today.”

On what was different with the team to earn a 3-1 result following two tied games…
“Yeah, it was great. In the past games, I think we kept the zero in the back. I think it was just a matter of getting some goals and in the opponent's goals. So we're happy we did that today and got the three points.”

On filling Gaston’s position …
“Yea, it’s good. He's obviously a great player. It sucks not to have him with us on the team. But it's always the next man up and that's how a team works. If one guy is out, the next person has to step up and be ready to do as much as possible to help the team. That's why we have more than 20 guys on the team. So I think it's important for guys to step up and it's not only me, I think it's in a lot of positions that we're needing players to come in and we're doing a good job with that.”

On the fans that come out to the games…
“It was good, all the people that came to the stadium today. All of the results haven’t been the best in these games, during the entire season, but they’re still there, supporting like they always do and I’m very grateful for that.”

Chicago Fire FC Forward Jhon Durán

On what it was like to score the goals…
“Work. We had worked hard to score. I think God is our witness of everything we do during the week to get the three points. Well, today we had the opportunity to get the three points and score two goals. It was a lovely experience and, well, we keep working so that we can get more.”

On how it felt after scoring two goals…
“I felt really good. Well, hard work, we have to keep working. The truth is that today the team was excellent. We were compact in all the lines. Well, at one point we were kind of getting kind of tied up, on the 2-1, the penalty, but we were able to manage that and we carried the game forward, which was the important thing.”

On playing in front of more than 15,000 fans today…
“Before anything else I want to thank all the fans for always supporting us. I think that as we move things forward, we’re able to have more people at our games. At the end, we’re going to get to a point where nobody else fits.”

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri

On what this win tonight means for the team with scoring goals…
“Yeah, it was important first of all to win because the few games we didn’t win, we didn’t score. And we play and try to win every game, the last five games now. And every game is like a final because we need it if you want to go to the playoffs. You need any games to win. And then we see in the end what happens. But it was a good game from us, it was an important win.

On if the team was able to unlock something different that wasn’t discovered in the last few matches…
“Oh no. We need to be more ruthless in front of the goal. And need to understand each other better, the last pass needs to be better sometimes. This is the thing that we need to do and what we need do better. Because we need goals and we need three points. But we need to score goals and this is the point that we need to understand each other better and when you see a better player standing there to play and then we score. Sometimes we are too selfish, let’s say like this. But today was good, three points, that was the most important thing.”