Arne Friedrich
Brian Kersey Chicago Fire

Quote Sheet: Fire vs. HOU

Quote Sheet:
2012 MLS Cup Playoffs
Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Houston Dynamo
Toyota Park – Oct. 31, 2012

Frank Klopas – Chicago Fire Head Coach
On the players being nervous at the beginning of the match…
“I don’t know. I didn’t see that. I think we have guys there that have a lot of experience on the field. We gave up a goal. Things happen in a situation where one of our players slips. It was unfortunate and then they scored. I just felt that in these last games we really haven’t gotten a break. We’ve gotten in good positions and in good spots but it just seems that things don’t go our way – where we could get one of those bounces to go in. So obviously they get a goal like that and we start the second half in the worst way. We gave up a goal in 30 seconds when they pressured. It’s a 50/50 ball that goes their way and we give up a second goal. But we made changes. The guys came in very positive. We took risks. We were playing with three guys in the back and we did that because we had confidence in the group. We pushed the game. I saw a group that was fighting until the end. There was a belief within the group. That’s all you can ask for. It’s just unfortunate. I felt towards the end now we just haven’t been able to get the breaks.”
On making the substitutions…
“We needed to push the game. We were losing and obviously we wanted to come in and push the game. We had our tactic to get on the ball, to try and move the ball forward more. It kind of sucked because we made the change and gave up the second goal right off the bat. So it took awhile for it. And when you are two zero down you need to push the game and we did. For Alex I was looking for him to get on the ball and be a guy who would be able to get the ball forward, make the passes, and shoot. And he did.”
On looking back at the tone set by the first 25 minutes…
“We got in good spots in the first 25 minutes. How many times did we get in the box wide and we just couldn’t deliver that final pass? You push the game and then a guy slips and you give up a goal. What are you going to do? I mean, it’s part of it. We had the right shoes on. We had studs on. Sometimes the game is a little bit cool but we pushed the game. Hats off to our guys because they pushed it and left everything on the field. That’s all I can ask for.”
On whether Houston having had rested their main starters was a factor in the match…
“I don’t know. Sometimes it’s good when you’re in a rhythm when playing. The only guy I was a little bit concerned with was Pavel because he had missed six weeks and he had played a full ninety. I think he felt a little heavy legged and we so we made the sub. And Patrick, because he’s been playing all these games with some issues, hats off to the guy. We were looking at taking him out but when you’re down two zero we needed to push the game and keep all of our attacking guys on the field. I feel it’s better to get into a rhythm with playing. We played Saturday and Wednesday so for me that’s not an excuse. I feel like it’s better to be playing. We were still at home. The trainings were light. I felt we had the energy. I think maybe there were a few 50/50 balls where we could have done a little better.”
On the last few games leading to the playoffs…
“The tough one was with Philly. Because then we went out on the road and we won. I felt we had a good record on the road with six games. I think we had a good record at home. You’d like to go undefeated. But you go to New England and you play on turf and it’s a different game. I just felt we had opportunities we just didn’t take advantage of. We couldn’t get some breaks to go our way. But it is what it is. I felt the guys pushed and gave everything they had.”
On the team’s reaction to the second Houston goal…
“I thought it was positive. It’s too bad we gave up the goal so fast. I think it really didn’t give us an opportunity with Alex coming in. One zero is a different game than two zero. But then we got the goal and they felt a little bit of pressure. We actually got into some good spots but it just wasn’t meant to be this year. I know the guys gave everything. The effort and the attitude was great. But the most important thing now is to not to forget this feeling. Because when you work this whole season to prepare for this moment and you lose, it hurts. It doesn’t feel good but you can’t forget. You have to work even harder and come back next season. It’s about being consistent. That’s what it’s all about. Now we have to take the next step and move forward.”
Logan Pause, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On the team’s performance tonight…
“In the second half we really tried to push numbers forward and create some scoring chances. I am incredibly proud of this group in their fight tonight and all season. It is always tough to swallow a loss this late in the season.”
On if the team was nervous going into tonight’s match…
“I don’t think there where jitters tonight. This group was more than ready and focused for tonight. It comes down to a game of inches whether it is for or against you. It is tough fighting from down two goals. We made a push in the end and got one back. You have to give the guys a lot of credit for fighting out there.”
On the team’s “tough luck” that past few matches…
“We still feel like we were creating enough chances to score but sometimes you need the ball to bounce your way. In the middle part of the season when we were going on that good run, we were getting some fortunate bounces.”
Arne Friedrich, Chicago Fire Defender

On tonight’s match…

“Everyone has to keep their heads up. We have played throughout the season with very young players and they did very good. We should learn from this season and the playoffs. Today you saw that the opponent was a little smarter.”
On moving on into the offseason…
“The games are over but we have to get right back to practice. I am really disappointed from today because I saw that we have a good team. We need to get a little more experience and learn from these situations. In these playoff games it is do or die. We played at home in front of a wonderful crowd. We appreciate all the people who come out and support us.”
On his plans to come back next season…
“Yes, I feel very good here but I can’t say for sure because nothing is done so far. We have to come together to talk about but I can imagine myself staying here. This is a wonderful club and everyone here is very professional. I like this city so if I play one more season I would like to play here in Chicago.”
Chris Rolfe, Chicago Fire forward

On team’s performance towards the end of the season…
“When we kept giving up the first goal it was not easy to come back, especially when you get in to the playoffs. When teams score in the playoffs they drop back. They are a smart team with an experienced coach. If you give them chances like we did it is going to be hard to beat them.”
On the team moving on to next season…

“I think that these guys have done a great job. I was lucky to be a part of it this year and come in at good time. I know these guys have been working hard for a couple of years now and they should be proud of the steps they have taken to get here. Tonight we don’t feel great but in the weeks and months ahead we will see how good of a season this was.”
On the second Houston goal …
“It didn’t take the wind out of our sails because I think we responded well. When you give up one goal it is hard enough but when you give a second you are really behind the eight ball. We made the best effort and pushed a little bit but giving up two goals in a playoff game is tough.”
Houston Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear
On beating the Fire for the first time in a few years:
“Oh, I didn’t know that.  It’s a great thing to go home to.  Coming here we knew it was going to be a tough night.  It’s a good team we are playing.  To get the first goal was real big for us and we played well in the first half.  Then to get that second goal to start off the second half was a dream start for us.  We played well, and we knew they were going to make a push, which they did, and got themselves a goal and there were some scary moments there.  But all in all, it’s the playoffs in the MLS and we are glad to be moving on.”
On the second goal being the key to the game:
“It was because we won by the second goal.  But you knew no matter whether the score was one-nothing or two-nothing, they were going to push and try and do something about the game, which they did.  Tally [Hall] made some good saves and had some good last-ditch defending.  We broke well and we could have had scored a couple more times down there if we had taken care of the ball a little better and if we had gotten a couple fouls.  That’s the way it goes and like I said, it’s a happy locker room for good reason.”
On matching up against Kansas City:
“Not looking at it now.  We’ll get on the airplane to go home and take a look at it then. It’s one of those were we have to take it step by step and this is the first step.  Let’s enjoy it for a little bit.  There are no easy games and we knew if we won this game we were heading towards Kansas City.  They are a good team.   It’s going to be a tough test for us.”
On Will Bruin’s goals:

“Yea, he had a great header.  It’s just a way he took the second goal was excellent.  He and Calen [Carr] had some good plays tonight.  They ran well off each other.  But Will, twelve goals [in the season] and then two goals to start the playoffs is good for him.  He does a lot of things right up there.  I think hitting the target was good for him tonight.  The first one gave him a ton of confidence.  The second goal kind of fell into his lap and he had to take it well and he did.”
Houston Dynamo Forward Calen Carr
On his combination with Will Bruin:
“I think we did a good job of complementing each other tonight.  We were very busy.  We knew we wanted to come in and try to make them have to worry where we were and where we were popping up.  We were also able to press them too and get into some good spots.  Will took his goals really well.  He’s obviously an emerging star in this league and deservedly played great tonight.”
On Bruin’s second goal shutting down the Fire:

“We felt really good about our first half coming in at halftime.  We felt like we put together a good run and we wanted to come out.  They made a change at halftime and wanted to push numbers forward by putting another attacking guy on the field.  We wanted to come out and dictate from the whistle and I think we scored within the first minute and it really came from just pressing in their own back line and we were able to get a turnover and a quick goal.  Obviously that ended up being the winner.”
Houston Dynamo Forward Will Bruin
On his goals:
“Brad [Davis] played in a good ball from the corner and I was able to lose my marker and finish it off.  The second one, Rico [Clark] had a great tackle in midfield and dropped to Calen and he played a great ball into me and I was able to finish it off.”
On working with Carr:
“We are starting to gel.  At training this week we were clicking and starting to figure each other out.  I think people could tell tonight we were playing off each other, we were talking, we were making runs and it worked out.”
On having a solid season and scoring two goals tonight:
“Yea, it’s awesome.  Honestly it’s been such a long season that it’s nice to kind of get that mojo back come playoff time.  Yea, I want to get out there, I want to get out there and play.  It was fun and hopefully there’s a lot more to go.”
On facing Kansas City next:
“It’s always a battle when we play them, I think.  It’s turned into a pretty fun rivalry.  I’m sure they are going to be out for revenge but we want to keep going so we’re going to keep battling.”