Postmatch Quotes -- Fire 3:1 Independence

Frank Yallop, Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer

Thoughts on the match: 
"Obviously great to get through into the next round, coming from behind is always important as well. But I probably think the highlight of the game was seeing Patrick and Mike being back on the field and contributing to us. Very happy for the team and those two guys as individuals. It's being a long way back for them. Happy to see them on the field, very proud in the way the team kept going and got the result. I thought Sean Johnson was outstanding also."

On what was said at halftime to change the tempo of the game
"Yeah, I would say the first twenty minutes were edgy, and we didn't really have any confidence, as we know in sports, is everything. We didn't go out with any confidence to start the first half, we looked nervous and edgy. Then we started coming to it towards the end of the first half, and obviously got the first goal. So, I said we just got to up the tempo, I liked from the outset we pushed on. After halftime we kind of allowed them to play and I felt we weren't too bad going forward at the end of the first half. I felt we allowed them to play too much and giving them too much respect on the ball. The demeanor was a lot better the second half but they created some good chances for sure. It was good tonight, we weren't our best against them but thing is here is having your goalkeeper play well. And finish off chances and both boxes have said it enough, we were pretty good in both boxes tonight." 

On Mike Magee's return
"Mike gave everything he had. He still has a little bit of a catch up but I think after he scored the second goal, he went over to our fitness coach Adrian Lamb and gave him hug because he worked very hard to get him back to this point. When you have surgery, you think you're going to get back pretty quickly but you realize it is 9 months and it's a long time. I think he is very appreciative from the work he put in himself and the staff we have here to get him to this point. I'm pleased for him and I think he showed tonight, took three shots and scored two goals. His ratio is pretty good and he's got to keep that up. Its nice to have him back, we obviously got through this game and need to get our team together. I thought Patrick looked outstanding in only 10-15 minutes, you miss guys and when they are on the field, you realize how good they are. It's not in training, it is actually in play, in the proper game. I thought Patrick looked great, I thought, and obviously Mike's goals were great. Very happy for both guys and pleased to have them out there."

On the play of Lovel Palmer
"I wanted Lovel to get himself forward and get back to the old Lovel, where he use to bump forward. Especially last year we kind of free front and I have not played him as right back a lot so maybe it has not been his fault all the time. He is very good going forward and I said go on please, and express yourself and do your thing. Obviously a great long range shot and great ball from Mike for the goal, so he had a good night. Has a little bit of a tight groin but we will see how he is doing but hopefully he is okay. I thought he had a good game tonight."

On missing Joevin Jones and potentially Jeff Larentowicz for the Houston match
"It was a tough turn around, but Houston is playing as well tonight. It is just an injury problem and it does weaken you a little bit. Again, our guys got through this game tonight and do we play particularly well at times? Probably not. But did we do good stuff going forward and were dangerous? Yes we did, and I think and hope this is the turning point. So we can come out with a good result on Friday, it's a tough game, but we will just see how we are tomorrow. We will see how Lovel and Jeff are, and both David and Shaun are definitely out. Lovel is a slight risk with coming off with an injury but it is what it is. It's a squad game and we have lost four in row in our league play, which is not good. So we got to go down there and try to get a result and then look forward to the next few games we have at home."

On facing Orlando City in the next round
"I think the context of it, you're playing against players you don't really know. I felt they came out pretty strong and energetic and did well for 30 minutes. Its always that way, its very easy to sit and say we should win 4-0 because we are a MLS team and they are USL but they beat New England away and they are not bad. They proved that tonight, they had some good chances but we had the better of clear cut chances but it was still a dangerous game. We've just got to get our guys back on the field and look forward to the next game versus Orlando, which I am looking forward to. It's a great tradition of this club to do well in the Open Cup and I am no different to that. I want to do well for the club, the fans, and everyone involved and do well in this competition."

On looking towards the next transfer window
"It is still undecided in how it is going to look, and we are still waiting on the final makeup of how that sort of mechanism is going to work to have players. I  can't really comment on what is going to happen but we are actively looking and it is nice to have Mike and Patrick back, those two spots are covered in the attacking core. So, we will look at it closely and we will have a meeting tomorrow and go over our wants, needs and hopes and the list of players we have targeted in different spots and see what we come up with."

Mike Magee, Chicago Fire Forward

On scoring twice upon his first start of the season
"The first goal was great, and tying the game in the first half is not all that glorious. But in the second half, I'm ten times happier to see Pat on the field, first of all. Then, for him to give me a lay-up, it feels pretty similar to how it was two years ago, when we had that great run. He's brilliant over there, and for some reason, he always seems to give me the easy goal. So, thanks, Pat Nyarko."

On playing a full 90 minutes
"That was huge. Adrian Lamb, our fitness guy, many people haven't seen the work we've done together, and more importantly, the work he made me do. Probably half the time, if I was trying to quit, or trying to give him a better idea of what I thought I should do, which was half of what he had planned for me...if it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't be playing tonight, let alone finishing 90 and playing well."

On being named captain for the match
"When you wear the captain's armband, you feel a sense of pride that's kind of hard to describe. Jeff's an incredible captain, so I'm in good company when I put it on, but it's a surreal feeling, especially for your hometown club."

On the victory serving as spark for the rest of the season
"I hope so. There was definitely something a little different in the group tonight, the way we got after it. We kind of had the sense after the game, and even before the game, that we were ready to fight for each other. First of all, we need to get everyone healthy and on the field; once that happens, I truly believe the sky's the limit."

Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder

On returning from injury
"It feels good. It's been a long road. All the rehab, all the tough days waking up and trying to get back. Once again, I appreciate the patience of the club, waiting up on me, being patient with me to take as long as I can to come back stronger. I still think I have a little bit to go to get in tip-top shape, but it's a good start. I think the guys worked their ass off today to get us the win, and I'm glad to win."

On his first touch leading to goal
"I'm not quite that good, but surprisingly, me and Mike [Magee] had talked about it; the celebration was going to be, he was just going to tackle me, and I was just going to run off, out of the tunnel, but I think it didn't come to that yet. But we definitely talked about me coming in and setting him up for a goal, for sure."

On his and Mike Magee's return serving as a spark
"Surprisingly, I think we've been okay. It hasn't been as bad as the results or the positioning in the league table seem to suggest. We've been in games, we've been in leads, we've given up leads and stuff like that. I think we just have that edge to win games, and everyone needs to learn how to win games, it becomes a habit. I think the results haven't been there, but I believe in us. As you guys might know, we've had some slow starts here in the past, and besides last year, we've actually kind of picked it up towards the middle of the season, towards the end of the season. So, I'm hoping for that. Obviously, Mike was a huge loss, and now he's back; look at what he did today. I think we're going to count on him, he's delivered for us, and he will keep delivering for us."

On the emotional meaning of his return from injury
"Like I said, I just appreciate the patience the club and the fans have had. They deserve better for all the support they've given us even in the bad times. Mike is a huge part of the club, he's going to lift us big time; I'm going to chip in and do the work I do, and hopefully it turns around. I think all the guys are on the right path; it's just that little bit, the young guys learning how to win in this league, it'll be a huge boost in the second part of this season."