Chicago Fire FC were 3-1 victors against Orlando City SC on Wednesday night courtesy of goals from Boris Sekulić, Robert Berić, and Chinonso Offor as well as a pair of assists from Àlvaro Medrán. Read the takeaways from the victory from head coach Raphael Wicky, Sekulić, and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth below.

Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Raphael Wicky

On his satisfaction with the team’s performance in the last three matches…
“Yeah, I'm obviously very, very happy about the performance of the team over the last three games, creating and scoring a lot of goals, but also, yeah, having a good structure defensively. Even today, we had a great goalie who saved us in difficult moments, but I think that's needed in games. You see that the EUROS at the highest level, that's sometimes needed.

But overall I'm very happy with the performance and the performances of us over the last three games. And I think, of course, like we always said, winning gives you the most confidence. I think we have to build from that. We have to keep working and believing in what we do, and we know that we can beat a lot of teams in this league. We know that.

But it often depends on the little details and on really making this extra step and really working for a teammate and I think that's going to be the base for these next three, four months.”

On Ignacio Aliseda and Mauricio Pineda’s injuries and Robert Berićs goal...
“Yeah, so Aliseda, I don't have the exact diagnosis, but it shouldn't be that bad. It was an ankle problem, and he felt precautious, and he wanted to come out because he couldn't do any more of the same effort that he did, which is very smart from him to actually say so we can bring in fresh legs.

Pineda I think it was a knee-on-knee. That should hopefully not be that long or that bad. Yeah, but overall, we will see tomorrow in training how they feel. They come in. They will have treatment. The doctors will be there and look at them, but hopefully it's nothing bad.

And yeah, for your other questions, obviously I'm very happy for Robert, that he scored. I'm happy for Chino that he scored. You know, strikers need goals. Strikers need goals. Robert did a great job against Atlanta in pulling away defenders and creating spaces for Frankie and for Nacho to run in there, but a number nine wants goals.

Even we always speak to him as a staff and we tell him to keep going and to keep believing he will always have chances and he will always score goals, but for a player I think it is quite hard when you don't score for so long. I'm happy for him, and I guess he's obviously relieved as well.”

On whether he found the formation with which he is happy…
“Yeah, look, it's always a question of finding the right balance of a team I think, and the system is not really that important. I think we have found a shape right now where the team feels confident but I'm pretty optimistic that we can play in a back four or a back five, but it's about the mix, the mix which players play together, and that's something as a coach you always try to find.

And I think, yeah, we have found a good mix. But we have guys coming back, Gastón came back, we have players from injuries coming back, hopefully Carlos Teran, Stani (Ivanov Stanislov), those guys come back, and then we have a lot of competition on the team, and then it's exactly the same. Sometimes you cannot put all your, let’s say, best players together on the field. You have to find the best mix. But that's a good problem to have.”

On Álvaro Medrán taking on more of a leadership role within the team...
“Yeah, look, that's the thing which makes me the most happy. He becomes a leader. He takes responsibility. He does very good defensive work. We all know that Alvaro is a great player. He's a fantastic footballer, but I actually feel he plays more simple and secure in our own half, and then when he goes forward he has the quality to give assists or to play passes.

But overall in the last three games, again, I think his defensive performance was actually quite good, and that's what a centermid also needs. I'm happy that he accepts his role and I'm happy that he -- yeah, he's willing sometimes to also do the dirty work. Because defensive midfielder or center midfielder need to do dirty work for the team, and that's a point we spoke about.

And yeah, happy about that, but again, no time to relax. Being happy, happy about the performances, but we need to keep that consistent.”

Chicago Fire Defender Boris Sekulić

On the team scoring nine goals in its last three games…
“What can I say, especially when we play at home, we want to win and score as much as possible. So (the) last three games we were also, a little bit, I'd say lucky, but overall we played much better than at the beginning of the season. So in the end, I think it's deserved, seven points from the last three games.”

On this stretch becoming a turning point for the season…
Well, yeah, that first game against Philadelphia, really, really strong, physical team. I think that point was very important. Though in that moment, we wanted to win. But in the end, I think it was maybe that turning point, but we will see, (it’s) just seven points. We still have 20, I don't know how many exactly games, so we are still far from (a) playoff spot. So I think we should be happy but calm and we should try to win in the next few games, also.”

On his goal giving the team confidence right before halftime…
“It was like maybe perfect timing for us. Also, we were a little bit lucky (in the) first half because they had two or three very good chances, so I think that goal was really important. And then in (the) second half, we looked much, much better, and I think it was (a) deserved win in the end.”

On how the team rates this three-game unbeaten run…
“I think it was not bad considering how we started. Before this national team break, we had a home game against Montréal; we lost. I think it was a bad game for us, bad result for us, but we didn't play so bad. So I think our last three games, we were also a little bit lucky. But for sure it can be better, but we can be happy I think.”

Chicago Fire FC Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth

On the offense emerging...
It's been awesome. It's been a boost of energy for sure. We knew that if we just kept the faith here and kept doing the right things, and you know, keep working hard in training, working on things that we're working on, improving on things that we need to improve on; hopefully if we're doing all those things, things will start to turn a little bit.

I think over the last two or three games, we've seen that a little bit and I think it's something that we need to continue to do and not rest or relax now. We need to keep pushing forward and keep trying to get points.”

On how he feels heading into the next match and then returning home…
Good. I think obviously we'd like to take more points at home. We never want to lose any points at home. That being said, it's been a tough start to the year for us, and to get two wins in a row going into our next away game is big, and we can keep that confidence and try to use that momentum, try to get points on the road and then comeback home and try to get points at home again.”

On the organization on the back in the second half…
“Yeah, a lot. I think it's been really, really good over the last two or three games, and communication has been brilliant. We're picking up really good spots. We're limiting chances. I think it's been much improved, and you know, hopefully something that we need to continue to do, and like I said, we don't need to relax for one second here. We need to keep going. We need to keep pushing forward and keep trying to get points.”

On the character of this team…
Yeah, I mean, I think those things obviously are easier and easier to respond to when things are going well, and we're winning games and we’re up in games. That being said, it's something that we've tried to do all season, and you know, it at times hasn't gone our way. We've put ourselves in bad positions but also had a little bit of bad luck, as well. I think at the moment right now, we are picking up better positions. We're listening to each other and nobody is taking anything personally and everybody is responding in a positive direction that's putting us in a better place to win games, block shots, win corners, all those little things that add up to points.” 

On Orlando’s offense and how the team controlled them in the second half…
Yeah, I mean, they are a good team. They are up high in the table because they are a good team and have good players and good attacking players. I think out wide, they have good players that can go one-v-one at guys in isolation.

At halftime we went over things and tried to change a couple things. Kept people in better positions, when they try to overload one side, slide people over, communicate better, and something in the second half we definitely did better. And then obviously they made some changes and picked up a little bit of momentum at the end of the game. But we weathered the storm there and scored another goal and see it out.”

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