Postmatch Quotes -- RSL 2:1 Fire

Quote Sheet
Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Real Salt Lake
Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.
MLS Regular Season

Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer

On the Fire’s play today
“I wasn’t happy with the first half performance. I thought we had chances, and limited them to not much, but I thought our energy wasn’t there like we’ve had the last three home games. I told them at halftime that we have to pick it up, and felt like the effort was there in the end but it was kind of too late. I think we didn’t really make that final pass again, and not just the final pass, but the calmness to finish too. They maybe had three chances, we probably had similar, four or five chances, but they had two goals and we don’t get any. Kennedy looked dangerous and had a couple of sniffs, and had one good chance when JJ clipped him in. Quincy and Guly didn’t get many looks, in general it was a disappointing afternoon but I’m not going to fault the group, we didn’t cave in and maybe could’ve gotten something at the end, but our first half performance was quite poor.”

On Michael Stephens not being in the 18 today
“It was my decision, he hasn’t trained too much. He’s come back from his ankle injury and was still sore about a week ago, so he’s had about five days of practice. Just decided to not dress him today and get him ready for any games coming up.”

Joevin Jones’ play today and continued development this season
“He’s played very, very well this season. He’s a very naturally gifted player, calm, inventive from the left back spot. Hopefully there’s more to come from him but today was a very good performance by him, he set up some very good chances. He seemed to be the one that was really getting the job done in that department with creating chances. Sometimes it’s a little easier coming from the back but he sees it and does it well.”

On the lack of goals today
“It’s frustrating. I was a weird one, you look at the game as a whole and you say ‘did we deserve to win?’ Maybe not, but did we deserve to lose with the general play? Maybe not. It’s a game of goals, only scored one from a penalty kick and we just got to keep going and not lose faith  in what we’re doing. We’re getting in certain spots on the field well, I think we’re overlapping well, our switching of play was good, our general play was what we talked about but just that final play, that cutting edge and confidence wasn’t there. We’ll keep going, the chances we created were quite difficult to get to that point but we didn’t finish it off. That’s the disappointing part that sort of sits with us.”

On moving Shaun Maloney outside and pairing do Prado and Amarikwa up top
“Quincy is a central striker and Guly is better centrally as well, Shaun’s played a lot of his career out left. He does quite a bit of his stuff with us even from a central role drifting left and cutting in and doing his thing from there. I tried to get a team that would be attacking and do well. It always seems so much better on paper and in your thoughts than what we actually ended up playing like. Again, you have these games where you’re not quite on it and not quite at the races. It was one of those games where it was just a bit off, I think I said in the telecast in the 65th minute we just weren’t quite at our best and got punished with some chances that they had and that’s football.”

On locker room leadership
“They’re good, we’ve got Jeff and he’s been around the block a lot. He’s very positive, he’ll come out of this game with positive thoughts and we don’t get too high when you win and too low when you lose. People like Jeff will realize that it was one of those games were we couldn’t just get it together, we lost, you got to pick yourself and get ready for the next two games, which are away from home and that’s always tough in our league. Funny things happen, we’ll have two games away and maybe get a result like Salt Lake did to us. Leadership is not an issue with our team; it’s been solid and good.“

Thoughts on Kennedy Igboananike’s performance today
“He was good, a good spark off the bench and he had two really good chances, the header is more difficult than it looks and the volley off the great ball by Joevin is pretty hard to take too but he did well, hit the target with power and Nick Rimando makes a good save. A good gauge of our game is when Guly gets in and Nick reads the pass across and it’s a very good read by him, sort of sums up our afternoon, we couldn’t get that last ball in. I thought Kennedy did well though. “

How do you feel at the team at this point in the season?
“Topsy-turvy. We tied a ton of games last year; I would’ve taken a tie today for sure. It’s still in the making a little bit, we’ve not been dull, and that’s for sure. We just have to figure out as a group, and I’m the leader of that, just of getting a way of grinding results and getting back into games, and not giving up goals when you’re kind of on the front foot, I think we did that today. We’re pushing a little bit and then giving up the goal, and we did the same in the second goal. So, up and down, but we’ve proven that we can win, and that’s good. Just got to figure a way to make sure that we grind a few results out and get enough points to make the playoffs, which is our big plan and hope.

Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago Defender and Captain

On the loss
“In the first half, they scored against the run of play. I think that there were definitely opportunities for us in the box, and we had the ball inside of their box several times in the second half. But they scored the goal in the second half, we gave up the second goal, and we were throwing everything at them.”

On what is missing on offense
“It's the final pass, as we said at the end of last week after the KC game. There were times when we were getting into good positions, we would get to the byline, it's just picking someone out, finishing our shot. They had that in the first half, then they have one good play, and they score, that's the difference.”

On morale lowering after another loss
“I don't think so. The belief is there, the result and the product isn't. I think that at times, we're a little naive in thinking that we're better than we are. But we're playing better, together as a group, this week and last week, there are lessons we have to learn to move forward. At times we're a little naive, I think that there's times when we feel like on top of the game, we take our foot off the pedal, and we don't score that goal. You have to reward yourself when you're on top of the game, and we haven't done that.”

On the effect of David Accam's absence on the game
“I don't think it has anything to do with David. We knew from the 86th minute or whenever it was last week that he wasn't going to be playing. Everyone knows he wasn't going to be there, so whoever is on the field has to step up. We didn't do it, we weren't fast enough, they were quick in the first half to score that one goal. A team that's played three games in a week to get a goal and go into halftime 1-0, you know they're feeling pretty good. It wasn't what we wanted, it wasn't what he had hoped for, and we paid.”

Shaun Maloney, Chicago Fire Midfielder

On the game
“I think, when they scored the goal, there was much between the sides to start, they possibly were better at possession than us. [Kyle] Beckerman was getting on the ball too easily in the first half. We seemed to get in the final third, and then we just quite weren't creating enough.”

On Jeff Larentowicz being the Fire's leading scorer
“It tells you that probably a few of us have all scored, rather than one main person scoring five, six goals. It just basically means we are lacking that person that is prolific. If you look at each of the teams or other teams in the league, there's generally one person that has five, six, seven goals. I think one of us in the forward areas is going to [be that player]...that player is here, we have Mike Magee hopefully back training next week, so we have good enough players, it's just not going out and doing that.”

On Kennedy Igboananike's performance
“Kennedy showed up right when he came on. He's obviously had limited chances, but I think he just has to dig deep and try and bring as much as he can when he comes on the pitch, and fight for a starting spot.”

On the absence of David Accam
“I think David's one of our best players, I think it does make a difference when he doesn't play, but that's football. You get suspended, you miss one. We changed the set-up a little bit, I played wider, we created all our chances, we just didn't quite score. I think it's probably been the story the last couple weeks.”

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On getting two goals:
“It feels good.  It feels good to have the lead, manage it, minus the penalty kick call at the end, I thought we had a nice control of the game.  We weren’t panicking, so I’m extremely pleased.”

On being patient for the goals to come:
“Yeah, you have a game plan and you have to stick to it.  All the credit to the players.  We knew what was going on.  We knew that we were really close and if we keep doing the right things, the results will come.”

On the midfield’s diamond formation:
“It’s really a personnel thing.  Having the right personnel.  I thought it was important that we have two forwards up there because it gives us an opportunity to hold up the ball.   In the midfield we needed a bit more possession to dictate the game.  I still think in any formation that ball is still important and if we can get better in both formations, now we can be a threat for teams.”

On the last 10 minutes being competitive:
“Yeah, credit to Chicago.  They saw that they had to push, I thought we did a good job of both dealing with that, and then maybe…you can’t leave the ground, but our camp’s thinking that he didn’t get him on the penalty kick.  But he did leave the ground, which leaves it open for a choice.  Overall, unbelievable effort from our backline, especially coming off a game on Saturday with tired legs.  I thought we had a mature game tonight.”

On keeping the same lineup as last game:
“It was such a positive result for us, a positive way we play, that we wanted to keep that continuity going forward.  We knew we had quality on the bench to finish out the game in different fashions, and it worked well.”

On the play of Jordan Allen:
“A young man who plays like a seasoned veteran.  He’s really impressing us, not just with the ball, but without the ball.  That’s extremely important and I know he is going to be representing our country well in the under 20 World Cup.”

Real Salt Lake Captain and Midfielder Kyle Beckerman
On breaking the winless streak:
“It was just a really good fight, good effort by all the guys.  Guys that came in, guys that started.  Just wanted to hopefully give us confidence in the rest of the season.”

On managing the win and limiting Chicago’s chances:
“I think it’s always a thing you’re trying to work on is to keep the other team from getting as many chances, and of course, trying to get chances on your own.  It takes a full team effort from the guys up front to Nick [Rimando] in the back.  We just have to keep working on that, keep practicing and working hard.  We were really working for each other.”

On it being a relief seeing the first goal scored:
“It really was.  It was close to the post, and I kind of had a good angle on it.  It really felt good to see it go in.  Definitely whenever you see one of your forwards scoring, you hope it’s more to come after.  We are of course need to work hard, keep at it, and try to get better, and hopefully the confidence from this game will move us forward.”

On the attack making an improvement:
“I felt like our last two games we created quite a few chances, maybe not so many tonight.  We were more efficient than last week.  Something to build off of for sure.  Keep our head down, keep working hard, get after it, practice and see if we can continue it to next week.”

Real Salt Lake Midfielder Luke Mulholland
On getting the team on the score sheet:
“Yeah, it’s been a while since we’ve scored a goal.  I was happy when Saboria got the goal in the first half.  And then there were moments where I thought Chicago was going to get back in to it.  We were watching the clock and trying to get to half time with a one-zero result, and then recover.  We talked about things that went good, things that we needed to tweak, and I thought we did a good job in the second half the way we approached it, and got the second goal.”

On it being easier to play with a lead with the goal draught that Salt Lake has had:
“Yes, definitely.  You always want to score the first goal.  It’s always hard when you’re on the road chasing the game, especially if you’re one-nil behind.  It was important for us to get our first goal, at the same time, the second goal was the most important goal.  We were just grateful for putting the ball in the back of the net today.  Today was a good, collective shift from everyone.  It was a good fight.”

On the second goal being more than an ‘insurance’ goal:
“Yes, it was a soft penalty.  I think it was a penalty, I don’t think our defender needed to make that challenge, but Nick nearly saves us again.  That will always make for an exciting end to a game.  There’s moments near the end where you thought that Chicago might tie it up.  We are just happy to get our of there with a win.”