Quote Sheet | Taillandier, Nesci and Prpa Discuss Defeat at Toronto FC II


CHICAGO (May 21, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC II suffered a 3-2 defeat on the road against Toronto FC II Sunday night at York Lions Stadium in Toronto, Ontario. Harold Osorio scored his third goal in as many matches and recorded an assist on Michael Nesci’s first professional goal. But a brace and an assist by Julian Altobelli led a comeback effort that resulted in Toronto’s second win of the campaign.

Head coach Ludovic Taillandier, forward Michael Nesci and midfielder Luka Prpa offered their thoughts on the road loss following the conclusion of the match.

Chicago Fire FC II Head Coach Ludovic Taillandier

On the difference between the two halves…

“It’s a game that we feel we controlled pretty well in the first half. Probably could have scored a little more than one in the first half and I would say, logically, we are one goal up with good stuff. Again, very good first half. We started strong, we were able to dominate this team. They wanted to play it from the back, we were able to press them so they didn’t, they weren’t able to complete their plan. And again, that was a good first half, I would say, except that maybe we could have scored a little more. That’s what I think about the first half.

What I think about the second half is, we started pretty well, I would say. In general, it was still OK, we were playing pretty well in the game. We score our second goal and that’s when, probably, we disconnect a little bit and we lose a little bit of focus. Their first goal, when we’re 2-0 up, their first goal is an addition of things that we definitely should do better in terms of focus. We should not concede this corner kick – it’s an addition of fatal mistakes that show that we didn’t totally respect the game, we didn’t stay focused as much as we should have. 

And of course, they come back 2-1 and now it’s a mental switch for them. They start believing; we start maybe getting a little bit worried and maybe we drop a little bit. And when you drop a little bit, the way we play, we are not meant to play too low on the field, even though that’s something we need to do better and work on, obviously. But it’s definitely not our style and we lost total control of the ball, and we lost the possession and they started playing their game. They’re a good team, they’re a good team. I’m not too surprised that as soon as we were not able to press the ball too much, they were able to develop a very, very nice style of play. 

Again, that’s a good team but very disappointed by the second half, where I felt at 2-0, we definitely lacked focus to stay in control of the game.”

On Michael Nesci’s performance and first goal…

“That was the first time he started with us this year. I think he’s definitely a player that finds the goal, very good at scoring goals. That’s what he did during his Academy years, so I’m not too surprised with him scoring. I thought he was pretty good [with his] back to goal in the first half. It was a little surprising that he was definitely focused and he was in a good mood, he was able to play with confidence. 

The goal he scored was a pretty, pretty good goal. There was a lot of composure in front of the goal, which we know he’s able to do. The fake shot, come back to the left foot and a beautiful goal. Very, very happy for the kid, he deserves it.”

On what can be taken away from the result…

“The takeaway is that we need to respect the game. Respecting the game is, when you have an opponent and you’re 2-0 up, you need to do even more: you need to attack even more, you need to press even more, you need to stay on their side of the field even more. You need to have a focus level even higher than the opponent, not getting comfortable too much from 2-0, because 2-0 is a very dangerous score. At 2-1, the psychology of the game can change completely and that’s what happened today.” 

Chicago Fire FC II Forward Michael Nesci

On scoring his first professional goal tonight…

“Harold set me up on the side of the box and he played me and I did a little rollover, hit it into the corner. It was exciting to get my first start and my first goal. Overall, it was an exciting moment.”

On playing alongside Harold Osorio since his arrival…

“Coming in, he had a little injury and he got his pace. He’s definitely made a big impact on our season so far.”

On how important the press was to the success of the team…

“I mean, we work on it almost every single day. We’re a pressing team and every time we get the opportunity in the front half to win the ball off a mistake or a tackle, it gets us chances and goals, so we gotta keep it going.”

Chicago Fire FC II Midfielder Luka Prpa

On wearing the captain’s armband and his message to the team after a tough result…

“As you can see in this game, there’s no easy games. Soccer is an unforgiving sport and I think nothing comes easy for us, nothing comes easy for anyone. It’s up to us to pick ourselves up and keep moving. No one is going to help us out, it’s up to us to turn it around and keep going forward.”

On what worked well in the midfield for the team…

“I think we worked well finding spaces for each other. Playing one or two touch and moving the ball quickly but I think it was the whole team honestly. Everyone worked hard and we were really clicking. Second half, I think they pressed us a little more, we lost our way, and we struggled. 

On looking to get out of the winless streak…

“Like I said, I think we have to keep putting in the work. We’re doing the right things, we work hard every week. Unfortunately the results haven’t gone our way lately but it comes down to us, like I said, no one’s going to help us out. So yeah, we gotta get back on the pitch and keep moving forward.”