Postgame quote sheet: Fire 2-2 Union

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes from John Hackworth, Zac MacMath, Leo Fernandes, and Maurice Edu

John Hackworth
Thoughts on the match:

It was a crazy MLS game. Really. As a coach, those kinds of games are really hard to participate in. Pretty helter skelter. I would say that the field condition really disrupted either team from playing so it was a hard game because neither team could get a hold of the ball. It just becomes balls in the air and defending and competing…one in a knock down. Clearly Chicago threw everything they could to get back into the game, and full credit to them. I am not pleased with our team at all, and the way we dealt with that. Some really silly decisions that led to the goals, and led to a penalty kick at the very end of the game, and then Zac saves us. It was one of those games where you shake your head at some of the decisions we made and then at the end, Zac saves us and we walk out of here with a point.

On Leo Fernandes’ goal:

Happy for Leo. We’ve been working on those set pieces a lot, and finally we got one right. We got a couple right today. But good execution on that one.

On the field conditions:

It’s awful. It’s bumpy, you can’t roll a ball on it. The ball is going everywhere. I don’t want to make this about the field conditions, but it really affected the way that you could play soccer. We couldn’t play. We tried to play a possession oriented style and that was very difficult to get a hold of the ball in those conditions.

On Casey’s return from injury:

It was good for Conor to get back. He did a lot of work today, to help us. Unfortunately I don’t think we provided him the type of service that was necessary. That was tough because we are not a team that likes to play and dump balls into the box so we are trying to play. We were successful at times. I thought we got back into the game, back playing soccer by doing what we do well. Got the two goals in the first half; great but then I can’t recall very many plays in the second half were we made the right play.

Zac MacMath
On the team’s reaction to the result:

It was a back and forth game, but I think it was a game where I think we deserved three points. Obviously we were fortunate to leave here with a point, but it’s a game where we needed to leave with three points. It’s disappointing. It’s two games in a row where we’ve given up a goal in the 80th-plus minute, and it’s something we need to continue to work on and going forward, we cannot give up goals like that.

On the Magee penalty kick he saved:

We scout all the pk’s in the league, and I had a good feeling he was going to try to go to the right, and thankfully I was able to get a hand on it. (On the second save) Honestly, I just threw my body at him just hoping that it would hit me and thankfully it did.

Leo Fernandes
On the match:

Disappointed we could not get three points. We were fortunate to get the one point at the end. Zac made a huge save. It was a good performance overall but we have to learn how to hold on to the lead. It is happening too often this early in the season.

On his goal:

It’s a free kick we worked on in practice all the time. We try to put the ball in between the six yard box and penalty spot and put the ball in dangerous areas. Good things happen.

Maurice Edu
On the match:

We gave up a goal. The first half of the game was sort of choppy on both sides, not much in it. Then we get the goal and I thought we showed a lot of character getting back into the game, then taking the lead going into the half. We talked at halftime about finishing off the game, getting a third goal and pushing off from there. Created some chances in the second half, but we didn’t finish and we let ourselves down a little bit by giving up that goals towards the end of the game. We just have to pick ourselves up and we have to focus on the next game now.  We go back home, we have a game there, and now it’s about reactions. It’s how you react, it’s how you respond to these kinds of situations, these kinds of games. Obviously everyone is a little bit down now because it felt like a game we should have won but now the reality is that this is behind us, and we have to learn from the mistakes we made in this game. Try to correct them at home next weekend and look to finish the game off there. Hopefully get a win there, do the things we did well in this game which was create chances and score some goals. Hopefully minimize the errors and not make the same mistakes we made today in this game.

On scoring more goals on the Fire than any other MLS team:

Hopefully we play them a lot this year. I was fortunate today to find myself in the right place at the right time. Vince [Nogueira] took a shot for himself, and it took a deflection and I found myself in the right spot. I just took a shot. If you don’t shoot, you don’t score.  Fortunately for me, it went in today. Something I think not just for myself, but for all of us to do is try to get some more goals. Take some pressure off the strikers if we can get some more goals from midfield. Leo did well with his free kick and I think there’s a lot more goals in this team in general. Hopefully we will see that next weekend.

Chicago Fire postgame quotes from Frank Yallop, Mike Magee, and Jeff Larentowicz

Frank Yallop
On the response by the team to a tough draw

Obviously very disappointed to not come away with 3 points today, especially going 2-1 down in the game, fighting back to 2-2, and having a penalty kick with no time left; I think it was almost storybook, but it would’ve been great for us to win the game in that manner. Having said that, for a neutral, great game to watch; you guys are watching it, it’s a difficult pitch, we need to sort that out. Other than that, I had a talk with the guys at halftime. I questioned them a little bit about ‘Did we really want to win? Did we really fancy our chances to come back into this game?’ I thought we responded well, I thought we showed heart, and that’s all I’m asking for, and we had a chance to win the game. So, disappointed we didn’t win it, but all in all, maybe our luck could turn in the next game.

On Philadelphia’s second goal and set pieces

Well, I think the set-up, to be honest, a very good service, it’s set up to do that: you’re aiming for the back post, you’re getting runners across the goal and goalkeeper. It either bounces and goes in the far post, or someone gets a touch, so it was a great service. We’ve been really, really poor; and I wouldn’t say it’s just individual stuff, but really poor on set plays generally, conceding goals. We have to clean that up, and it’s something that we’ve been working on, we’ve looked a little bit better at it, but it’s still something that’s hurting us, so we need to address it and keep going. Again, I go back to the last 10 minutes of the game, and we’re pushing to try and get something out of it, and I’d like to say I’m proud of the guys, the way they kept going in a difficult match, and didn’t lie down and die, didn’t accept the tie. We tried to win the match, and you’ll be talking to Mike [Magee] later on, he’d love to have that back. Listen, penalty kicks are difficult, it’s a precious situation, and sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. I just saw it, and the kid [Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath] made a great save on it, so, tough.

On the issues behind set pieces

Second balls. We talked about it, we’ve shown them, we’ve worked on it in training. You can’t force us to be like that, but you can make habits out of it, so we’ll just keep working on it. We’ll address it again on Monday, we’ll go over video, we’ll go over it in training, we’ll talk about being alert when the ball is bouncing about, getting to errors. It’s dangerous, it’s not always about staying with your guy, it’s about heading the ball out, and I think we kind of get a little bit caught with ‘I’ve got my fellow, but in the end, you could’ve helped out and cleared the ball.’ So, good service, I thought it was a good service by the fellow [Philadelphia midfielder Leonardo Fernandes], and I think that in the end, we couldn’t deal with it; but it was a pretty good goal on their behalf.

On the performance by the Fire midfield

I really think, and I’m not blaming the pitch, but we couldn’t really get into rhythm, especially in the first half, to play any stuff we wanted to. I went with Matt [Watson] and Jeff [Larentowicz] because I felt the center of that park is strong with Maurice Edu and [Brian] Carroll, so I wanted to match up with them, and I thought Patrick [Nyarko] would be a good matchup for anybody wide…I thought he had a good first half, he’s not played for a little bit, and I thought he did well. I thought the matchups were good. Young Harry [Shipp] plays a little bit inside, so I wanted to maybe have a little bit of balance. I thought we played great for 20 minutes, to be honest…we scored a goal early, we could’ve gotten the second one. All in all, formations are formations. What I will say, is that subs made a difference again, and that’s why they’re there; like I always say, it’s about guys that don’t play, or substitutes in the match, to be ready to go, because you are the difference in the match. I thought Dilly [Duka], Juan [Luis Anangono], and Alex made a difference, I think that in the end, it’s not just the 11 starters, it’s everybody that contributes.

On learning more about the team and looking for the right team to field

I think so. We’ve played preseason games, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter, there’s nothing on those games. These are the games, four points, that matter. I’m still learning about a lot of players, I’m still learning about the squad. We’re unbeaten in four, by the way, so that for me is always a good thing for a coach. We haven’t won in five, which is not a good thing, so I try to look positive; we have to look for the next game. I thought we did enough to win this match today; I’m not saying that Philly weren’t very good or anything, which they were, but I felt in the end we pushed, we had two really good chances to score late, Mike having both of them, the penalty kick and the left footed shot. I think it would’ve been a deserved win. We’re not far off, we have to keep going and not worry about not winning, because if you start worrying about it, you won’t play well; so, it’s my job to make sure that they don’t worry about it, take the pressure off them and just get them to play, and the wins will come once we get that.

Mike Magee
On what he saw on the penalty kick:

I saw the goalie save it, which was unfortunate, and then I tried to tap it in and it was saved again. Obviously it was more his moment than mine.

On his goal:

It’s hard to talk about that to be honest. It’s good to get the monkey off my back, but the only thing on my mind is not winning.  I had a pretty sweet opportunity to be the hero, but it wasn’t meant to be I guess.

On another draw:

We want to win, and we need to win at home to be a successful team. I hate to lose more than I love to win, which is pretty cliché, but as long as we’re not dropping games at home I feel like we’re heading in the right direction. Sometimes when you squeak out games you don’t deserve to win its unjust, but tonight we deserved to win and we deserved three points. We’re not getting it but I feel like it’s going to translate.

On the importance of getting the first win:

The first one is the hardest. I feel like the longer you go without winning, your confidence goes down, plays become harder and you over-think everything. Sometimes when you’re winning, plays become easy because you don’t care if you lose. The first win would have been perfect for us tonight. The stars were aligned for it and it didn’t happen.

Jeff Larentowicz
On midfield’s performance:

It’s another example of how we’re not getting beat in open play. I think we had a very solid scouting report coming in and I think we did well to shut it down. We gave up some fouls in dangerous places and they scored on restarts.

On playing his partnership with Watson:

It’s good. Matt’s an honest guy, he’s going to run all day long and he’s been fantastic since he’s gotten here. He’s playing right back where he’s never played before. We put him in the midfield, where he’s more natural, and he’ll run and cover ground and do all those things. Whatever the coaches decide going forward, its good, if it’s Matt, then great.

On what the team needs to do to get a win:

Once we get a lead, we need to hold onto it. I think every game we’ve tied, we’ve been ahead and we haven’t held on. It’s all about having a consistent performance the whole game. In the first half we played well, then we had a lull and gave up goals.

On the emotions on how the game ended:

There’s no catharsis. We continue to seem like we’re there, but we’re not. You try and pick a bright side and say we’re not losing, we’re coming back, we’re fighting, the substitutes are making a difference, new guys are coming – there are a lot of positives but in the end there’s a hole, there’s not a win, there’s not three points in the standings.

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