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Chicago Fire FC kicked off the holiday weekend with a 3-0 victory against Atlanta United at Soldier Field on Saturday night. Midfielder Ignacio Aliseda netted a brace in the first half, and Przemysław Frankowski capped scoring by finishing off a slick team sequence in front of the home fans. Head coach Raphael Wicky, midfielder Álvaro Medrán, and Aliseda recap the performance below.

The Fire return home Wednesday night to take on Orlando City SC at 7 p.m. CT.

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Raphael Wicky

On what this victory can do for the season's momentum…
"Yeah, it was obviously a very good game from our side. After the positive game against Philadelphia, having this well-deserved win, I think, it always gives you confidence. Results give you confidence but I think the way the team played, the way the team worked together should give them, on top of the result as well, confidence. And we're taking that; we have been in tough places with a lot of losses so obviously these results, these points, we take them; they're good for the team, for the morale. But at the end of the day, I told them, be happy tonight and proud of what they've done tonight because it's not an easy situation. But then we have to keep working. Tomorrow, we go back to work and we prepare for Wednesday. You know better than I, who have followed this league for many years, every game is tough in this league. So very happy tonight, we're going to enjoy tonight and then tomorrow, we go back to work and prepare for Wednesday."

On winning despite Atlanta's greater possession…
"Yeah, I knew that, and we knew that going into the game that we're not going to have that much possession. Atlanta is a team in this league who out-possesses almost every single team, every single weekend or every game. We knew that going into the game and I said, that's fine, we don't need to try to change that. We prepared well, we defended well, we knew how they wanted to attack and I think the team did well in defending that. We also knew, when we have the ball, what to do with the ball, how to create opportunities and I think that's more important. They did a good job and obviously we were quite clean in finishing chances tonight."

On playing with three center backs going forward…
"It's definitely an option for us and I have played like that last year as well. I think the team feels comfortable in that, always depending on which players are here. But in these two games, I think the team defended well and it's definitely an option going forward, we'll see. I always want a team who can play a back-four and back-five and I think that's what we have right now, then we will see going forward what we will choose, what we will do. But in the end of the day, that's a shape, that's a system; in the end of the day, you have to put the discipline in, the work rate, the hard work and I think that doesn't really depend on a back-four, back-three, or back-five, the way you want to call it. So I think today, the team was very disciplined and did a good job defending the spaces and did a good job in being aggressive."

On Ignacio Aliseda's big night…
"I think, obviously very, very important and it's very good for him. He's an offensive player; every offensive player lifts from goals and assists and offensive actions. I'm very happy for him as well that tonight, actually, he showed this determination to go towards the goal. That's something we were talking with him (for) a long time, even in the offseason and start of preseason, that we want to see more determination from him going into 1-v-1s, going towards the goals and I think both goals showed that today and other actions as well. I think it's important for him; it was a tough year for him, we spoke about that already, I think, it was a tough year for him. But at the end of the day, it was important for him that now he got that feeling how it is to score goals because he can do it."

On three goals following a scoring drought....
"I don't know, I don't know. I don't know what the reason is when you don't score for five, six games, I told you that already. Sometimes, that's football and sometimes little things may click and then the ball goes in. You asked me about certain players, when they don't score, I don't know sometimes why they don't score. When you ask the top strikers in the world why they have a stretch where they don't score, they say, 'I don't know,' So we just have to keep working. I'm happy that we obviously score goals. We always created chances. We had a few games this year when we didn't have many chances, but overall we are a team who often creates chances. So I know that we will create chances and it's just in the end of the day, the players have to keep going, keep believing, keep working, and the next chance will come. So that's where we are. But I'm also very, very happy that we actually didn't concede a goal. They had, in the end of the game, a few chances, Bobby made some great saves. But overall, I think our defensive performance was very well and that's another thing which is important going forward."

On talks with Álvaro Medrán…
"It's my job to have talks with the players. It's my job to tell them when I'm happy with things and when I'm not happy with things. It's my job as well to try and make them better. With Alvaro, we have a good relationship and I sat down with him, I don't know, three or four weeks ago, and I told him these points that I'm not happy (about) and you have to do better there. There was also two matches where he sat on the bench. In the end of the day, I try to give the player something, and the player then has to react and work on that. In the end of the day, we're all on the same boat, we're never against the player. And then, he took that well and then I think these last two games especially, he was very, very good. He showed a lot of personality, he showed a lot of character defensively and with the ball, and that's what I want to see from him."

Chicago Fire FC Forward Ignacio Aliseda

On scoring twice in the match…
“This year has been a little bit difficult as was last year not having my family here in Chicago with me. They gave me strength from far away from where they are. Last night, I fell asleep knowing that I would have the strength and confidence today to go out there and I know they are with me wherever I am. I was really happy with my goals and I was really happy with the results and the team’s performance today.”

On playing in the middle of the field…
“First of all, I do enjoy playing in the middle more because I’m a little bit behind [Robert] Beric. Today, I played a little bit out on the left, a little bit in the middle behind Beric or out on the left with [Przemyslaw Frankowski]. I think you always have to be ready to play any position [Wicky] puts you in and do it the best way possible.”

On this being a breakout game for him…
“I hope that it’s a great start for me. I think a game like tonight gives you the confidence for what’s coming ahead, which in this case is Wednesday’s game. I think you always have to keep working hard and working the same way that I’ve been working before. I think last year wasn’t my best year necessarily but coming in this year and having the injuries and overcoming that and seeing the confidence and feeling the confidence from the other players and from my coach makes me want to look forward and gives me the confidence to look ahead and keep working hard to work better for the team.”

On overcoming a difficult season last year…
“Mentally I’ve been preparing and working hard to just push forward. I’m alone at home but I always try to be close to my family. We have phone calls, I talk to them, we’re always together. I always feel them close (by) and it was my mom who told me to forget about everything and just go out and do what I like to do best, which is play football. So I feel their support and I’ve been working harder than I’ve ever worked before, harder than normal. I always feel the support from my family, which is the most important thing.”

On the atmosphere in tonight’s match...
“The atmosphere is beautiful. I love to play in this stadium and I love to play in front of people. I think my capacity and my type of game is something that is better in front of people. I think they like to watch the way I play. You could always feel them even when the results weren’t going so well. They said people weren’t enjoying it but you could feel them there. They were demanding more from us. I hope this game serves as a jumping off point for us so that we can keep pushing forward and have a streak of victories.”

Chicago Fire FC Midfielder Álvaro Medrán

On building from tonight’s game heading into Wednesday’s match…
“Well I think that before the team had been a little bit down given the previous results but we have been working together, working hard and building on that same dynamic that we had before. We’ve been training really well the last few weeks, especially this past week. I think we have been training well and I think that when you get together and all the players and the coach have the same vision in mind you can see the results on the field.”

On Ignacio Aliseda’s performance and how he can be consistent moving forward…
“I think Nacho, like me, we’re kind of here by ourselves. We’re alone. So sometimes when things aren’t going so well your confidence lacks a little bit and you’re feeling a little bit down but I think he’s been doing a great job taking care of himself. All of us, we’re working together to take care of him as well and he’s been putting in his work in the gym and taking care of himself in training. I think that when you really want it you put in the effort and the hard work and you can see the results later on on the field. We’re working together and he’s working on it too. He’s an important part of this group.”

On playing the same system and maximizing his skills…
“It seems that the tactical change suited the team really well, but more than any tactical change, I think the change in attitude has been what’s really made the difference. When all the players are together it makes a difference whether the players who are playing and the ones who aren’t playing, collectively as a group, it makes a big impact on the field. As for me, I feel good. I’m training well and I’m doing well but I had a talk with coach and he asked me to give a little bit more of myself, to put in a little bit more effort and to give more Álvaro. I took that to heart especially against Philadelphia and now I need to give the best of myself. For the individual results maybe but more than that the collective team itself.”

On keeping the confidence for upcoming matches…
“I don’t want to talk about things going from positive to negative. I think that the team is concentrated. We’re together. We want more. I mean, we only have eight points so we have another game to keep looking forward to. We have another game on Wednesday here at Soldier Field. We have to be ready for that. We have a goal as a team, collectively as a group we want to make it to the playoffs and we know that it’s going to be difficult. We wish we could win here on out but if we just had to take what we have and if we do get another loss then we can’t let ourselves fall either. We have to work hard and look forward to get the maximum points possible and try to get our objective and meet our goal.”

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