Alvaro Fernandez
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Quote Sheet: Fire vs. New York

Quote Sheet:
Chicago Fire 2 – 0 New York Red Bulls
Red Bull Arena – Oct. 6, 2012


On the match:
We played very well I felt. I felt that the first half we could’ve been better with the ball. I thought we had opportunities to play and keep the ball and that’s the one thing we talked about and then we gave up some opportunities through some overall mistakes. But I felt the team played very well, 90 minutes we defended very well as a team, we created opportunities. It’s just a big win, it’s very difficult to play in New York. There’s a lot of quality in their side and you knew it was going to be a big match at this point in the season, there was a lot on the game. I’m just very pleased with the way my team responded.

On the Arne Friedrich-Thierry Henry matchup:
Probably we’ve seen it before with the national teams but not here, that’s for sure. Listen, Henry a lot of quality but Arne Friedrich tonight, just his ability to lead in the back, to calm the team down and to be very composed under pressure, he was fantastic. But the effort from the whole team was fantastic. The matchup was good; it was great for the fans to see high quality players, both of them.

On Sherjill MacDonald’s play:
We knew about his pace. I felt that I think he’s still a guy that, a lot of the guys that come really you’ve got to see them at 100% from last year  to preseason because they missed a lot of games. I felt that he played well in other games but his ability today to be able to hold the ball, and to be able to make good runs, timing runs. Also, you got a guy like (Chris) Rolfe and other guys and (Daniel) Paladini that can play those through balls. Look, obviously you’re one up and they’re pushing the game and we just have to be smart with the ball. But he was super tonight in a big game and made a difference.


On his matchup with Thierry Henry:
It was a very important game for us because we played two times in a row very bad and we had some pressure. We kept losing a little bit the shape. So for me it was not that special today and I guess the same for him. We are opponents and he’s a great player obviously. You just have to cover him very hard because if he gets a chance to hit the ball then it’s always very dangerous.

On his role in Chicago versus when playing in Germany:
It’s my responsibility to lead the team and for today I guess it went very good. We did obviously better in the second half obviously to let the ball flow. In the first half we were a little bit scared because of the lack of confidence over the last two games. In the first half we defend very well so we got a little bit confidence back. I try to lead the team, I try to help where I can and I try to talk to people. It’s my job, it’s why I’m here.

On the importance of the win after losing two consecutive games
We came together a little bit in the last two weeks. Before it went perfect, we won almost every game, then we lost two times in a row and maybe it brought us a little bit closer. I’m happy that we lost before the playoffs start because in the playoffs there’s no room for losing games.


On the match:
Today we kept the zero for a very long time. Then the game opens up. I got some good passes from Daniel (Paladini) and (Chris) Rolfe as well. We did a good defending job today as a team and that’s why the spaces opened up at the end and you get the chance.

On his fitness level:
My stamina is getting better because I played a lot of games in a few weeks. Of course, the field was also a little bit heavy so around the 65, 70th minute I started to feel really tired but we played very close to each other as a team so it was easier.

On the importance of the win:
It was a very big win because we lost the last two games. We talked in the team, we talked to going back to the basics and defending well and we did that today so I’m very proud of the team that we kept the zero.


On the match:
We controlled the possession, We had our chances before they scored. We closed them down quite okay, of course (they) caught one on the break, and we definitely didn’t take our chances in the first 25 minutes of the second half.

On losing two out of three at home:
The wrong teams to (play) against, Kansas City and Chicago, definitely. I don’t think it’s a lack of energy. I think we started a little bit slow with the first 10 or 15 (minutes), but after that, I had a great feeling that we were controlling possession and also creating two, three really good chances before they scored. So it’s small margins. They took their chances.

On Chicago defender Arne Friedrich:
I think it suits him very well when a team sits. I think perhaps in a high pressing team it’s not the same, but when a team sits he can play with his experience in a quite small area and things like that. And I think it works very well to organize the back four.

On if Thierry Henry was injured, and on why he brought Rafa Marquez in for Heath Pearce:
For Thierry, no injuries on Thierry. Rafa, from the back four, can jump into the midfield, so we could push Tim Cahill up higher on the pitch. And also with his precise passing game, final passes when we were losing one-nil.

On Sherjill McDonald’s two goals:
Normally I need to see the replay to be one hundred percent sure, but you can see in a way that it’s a little bit too easy to run in behind with one final pass. You get a little frustrated and annoyed when it’s those types of goals, but normally I’d like to see the replay before I analyze.

On how frustrating it is to miss scoring chances:
You know that teams always, whoever you play, will pick up some chances during a game. When you don’t take your chances, you know (the opponent) will get one or two hundred percent scoring chances, whoever you play. They were very effective of course, McDonald was very effective of course. It’s very frustrating that we don’t score earlier in the second half.


On Chicago’s two goals:
Looking back on both goals, we had a break down in our back four and those are type the type of goals that we need to avoid if we really want to make it into the playoffs. I’d have to look at the replay the first one it looked like a tough call, maybe he was offsides, but he did well, he finished well. And then the second one, I mean that can’t happen, it’s just the way it is.

On Chicago as a team:
They’re a solid team. No doubt about that. They didn’t make any mistakes in the back today. They get forward fast, the get numbers up quick. To their credit, they put pressure on us and they made two goals there. They’re a solid team.

On if he thought Chicago was offsides on their second goal:
Of course it goes really fast but when a guy is that wide open behind the line, you always have to check. But it still doesn’t matter. I think the communication thing that happened there, two guys went for the same ball, and we just have to be better than that. We can’t be giving up goals like that this late into the season.


On the match
We tried to go high into pressure to kind of a more fresh start then we have had the past couple games, and everyone was trying to pressure them high.  As I said I kind of felt like we didn’t have the energy it took today, and we knew it wasn’t going to be a tough game. I just feel bad right now because I know we’re not performing as we normally can. And especially at home, it’s just frustrating as the game goes. I feel like we created chances in the fist half, in the second half I felt like it was a battle out there and neither team was creating many chances until they scored the first goal. And then we kind of kind of totally tell that I feel like we didn’t have any energy to deal with it and try to chase that goal.

On Chicago’s goals:
When we let in a goal like that, I have the ball up front and try to create something one against one and lose the ball too easily, and they take advantage of it and go into a counterattack, and we’re not as organized as we should be when they score the first goal. It’s kind of like, this is a typical game that’s supposed to be 0-0. because both teams, it’s not a high energy game. It’s a tough game for both teams and when we let in easy goals like the two that we did, it’s one of those things that shouldn’t happen but unfortunately did today.


On the match:
It’s pretty crappy. You have a big opportunity here to clinch a playoff berth, but we came out and just didn’t get what we were looking for. We’re pretty disappointed.

On coach Hans Backe’s instructions to him when he brought him on at halftime:
He just wanted me to come on and provide some energy, get up and down the flank and be solid out there and be disciplined in my play. Just have to be better the next time.

On if the front office changes this week impacted the team:
I think as a player you can’t focus on those things. It’s a change and you have to adapt to whatever is thrown at you during the season, there are a lot of ups and downs, and you can’t let anything affect you on the field. It’s not an excuse for the way we played tonight or the result we got, it’s just a change for us.