Postgame quotes: Fire 1-1 Union

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

On the team’s third match in 8 days

Third match in eight days but we also had some built-in rest with some red cards with our team, so we had fresh legs in the center of the field. That was the idea for the day. We were organized, we didn’t give up a lot of chances in the run of play [during the whole game]. The only thing they had was set pieces —the two corner kicks where Larentowicz got free and scores one of them and gets a free look on the other one, so I was happy with the team defensively. I think we created enough chances to get a result tonight. It took to the 89th minute and got a fortunate penalty kick call but we will take it.

On grinding out a road tie

Any time you get a goal in the 89th minute, you’re happy with that. You take the point and you move on. Again, disappointed that we gave up a goal because I didn’t think in the run of play that we didn’t give up a whole lot of chances. I thought we were organized, we created enough to score ourselves but I am proud of our guys. They fought hard, third game in the week. It is a good result on the road.

On the team being frustrated Larentowicz slipped his mark

It’s something we’ve kind of harped on and [needing to] improve our set pieces defensively. We have given up too many goals on that. So we will look at the tape but it was a free header from Larentowicz. I don’t know if there was a pick or anything, but guys got to fight through and communicate, or change guys, or sort it out quicker. It was such a free header that Jeff got a lot on it and you’d like to see someone jump with him.

On facing Kansas City next

They’re the champs. They are the team that’s in great form and they are a top team in the league, and they are coming off a good win against the Galaxy today at their place which is a very tough place to play. It’s a place that we went in last time and played there and we beat them. We are a confident group right now, we are on a good run. It’s been very positive and the guys in the locker room are happy. We are excited.

Sebastien Le Toux

On the match

It was not the best game in soccer, but it’s a result. I think the guys did a good enough performance, especially defensively. We knew we were going to be tired playing every three days, from, I don’t know, three weeks. I think we had a good first half and we had some chances but unfortunately we didn’t complete our chances but on the corner kick where they scored, it was a set piece…I don’t know exactly what happened but we will watch again. Unfortunately they got a lead but it was a good reaction for us. Luckily we got a penalty kick at the last minute, and we got the tie. We will take the point and keep our good week against New York last Wednesday, and this tie, and it keeps us going and helps us.

On his 8th goal of the year

It’s good. I’m lucky because of penalty kicks this year, I scored some of those, but to score for the team, it’s good, and I hope to continue score, and I just want us to win games. If I score, I think it’s a good thing.

Zac MacMath

On the match

It wasn’t the prettiest of games but I think we are happy to get out of here with a one-one draw, by getting a penalty kick late in the game, we’ll take it. The game was pretty compact, not a lot of offense going on. A lot of defensive plays, and I think credit goes to the guys dealing with Magee and Amarikwa up top.

On facing Kansas City next

Hopefully we can take this defensive effort and take it into Kansas City again. It’s been a place where we’ve played pretty well in the past, and hopefully continue the momentum for the second half of the season.

On the Larentowicz goal

I haven’t seen the replay yet. Obviously he was free on the header and he put it into a great spot where Sebastien [Le Toux] and I couldn’t get to it. Credit to him.

Chicago Fire postgame quotes

Frank Yallop

On Matt Watson’s performance

I said to Matt today, “there are spaces to run into.” So, I thought he played great tonight, I thought he had a terrific game, very forceful, ton of work. I thought he played really, really well, and he picked the times to go forward, obviously, marauding forward, Mike slots into that little area where he leads. I wanted a lot of interchanging of positions. I thought, to be honest, if you look at the game, I thought we did enough to win the match. I thought our defenders and our defending tonight was excellent.

On the penalty call at the end of the game

I just saw it. One of the worst calls I’ve ever seen, to be honest. To be honest, his arm was against his body, it hits Gonzo [Segares] in the arm on his chest, not away from his body. I just don’t understand how he can call that. I really don’t. Especially that, I gotta tell my guys, “nice try, unlucky,” and what do I say next? I’ve nothing to say to them, because they gave everything they had, I thought we were excellent tonight. Tough game, divisional game, I thought we fought; a little flat first half, whatever, I thought we pushed the issue the second half. We’re trying our best, the guys gave me everything they had, everything they had; and the referees decide the game. Unacceptable, to be honest, unacceptable.

On the performance in the first half

I think you don’t want to go a goal down. We’re at home, it’s an even game, you had a couple half chances first half. I think both teams looked like they wanted to possess the ball a little more tonight, and didn’t really venture forward too much. It wasn’t an end-to-end match, so I was quite pleased with general possession first half and general chances. I can’t remember, someone had a really good chance, I think Alex cut in a couple times, lately he’s quite dangerous. Sometimes in cagey affairs, we’re dying to win the game; but we didn’t want to give the game away, and I think that showed a little bit in the first half. But for the second half, we come out and try to get at them and push it; and we talked at halftime, “it’s our game to win.’”Although it was a set play, we deserved to go ahead. I think we had a lot of opportunities, and again, just frustrated we didn’t win.

On the defense’s performance in a possible clean sheet

You make a good point with that, it should have been a clean sheet. I thought the back four was excellent tonight. I thought they battled, they fought, they worked together. Philadelphia scored three goals in the last game, I think three before that; they’re free-flowing, they’re good, they’re active. I thought we did a nice job on them tonight. I thought we deserved to win the match. But again, I’m sitting here, we tied again. And I’m just really upset for the guys, because they deserved more than they actually got tonight.

On the shape of the squad

We’re still looking for players, and helping out in certain areas; we’re still on the lookout for certain areas and players to help us out in different spots. I’m not going to say which ones, but we’re trying our best to round out the squad, and make sure we have a rounded, good squad going into the second half of the season. Again, I feel for our guys tonight, it was a tough one to take.

On frustration about missed calls

The thing is, frustration comes out with not getting calls when we should. I’m not going to just lambast the referee, but it seemed a little bit one-sided at times, most of the game. But Mike [Magee] sort of got on with it; we talked about it a lot, he gets frustrated with certain calls. I don’t think it’s one isolated play where he could’ve kept going. I think, I didn’t see the play, I haven’t seen the replay, whether he handballs or not; Mike felt he did, so he stops thinking the referee saw it, but he didn’t see it. But he missed the handball at the end too, which wasn’t good.

Sean Johnson

On the defensive performance

I think the defensive performance was great. I thought we were extremely unlucky. We played a solid 90 minutes defensively and we defended well. Baky [Soumare] was excellent. Everybody in front of me worked hard for 90 minutes, and it’s tough when a call like that late in the game takes points away from you when you’ve worked so hard. It’s a really tough one because the past few games we’ve put together some good performances. There’s only so much we can do, it was out of our hands. That game was in the hands of the referee, and that was the decision he made and unfortunately we ended up with a 1-1 result.

On playing a game on short rest after this result

We’re going to have to put it behind us. Everybody is still a little emotional about the game and emotions are running a bit high, but I think that we’re going to have to really look at the positive side of things. We don’t have time to dwell on a decision that was made or points that were lost. For me, we played well, you can only do what you can on the field. Looking forward to San Jose, it’s a quick turnaround, we’re going to have to do regen and get ourselves prepared physically and mentally to get out there and battle. We’re right there. We hate to say it week in and week out, but we’re not in a bad spot. With a win on the road and win in our next home game we’re right in a playoff spot. For me, it’s just staying mentally sharp. As a group, we can’t let decisions like these or results like these gets us down. We need to stay strong at a time like this.

Jeff Larentowicz

On his goal

The coaches do a good job every week of setting set pieces up, this week was no different. I had a similar opportunity in the first half. Harry’s service is consistent — it’s always there, it’s always good. I was lucky that I got a second chance.

On PK call

I was behind Gonzalo [Segares], I have to see it again.

On missed opportunities

Frank [Yallop] said at half time when the score was 0-0, that when we get the lead we have to finish the game out. Unfortunately, we left it in the ref’s hands and we don’t finish the game, we don’t get the second goal and we don’t push to win the game. You have to go and win the game, you have to win the game at home, you have to get the second goal. Unfortunately, calls are always lurking in the shadows — you never know when they are going to pop-up. If you give the ref the opportunity, or you give the other team the opportunity to get a point out of the game, it can come back to get you and it did tonight. The chances were there. Technically they changed a little, they threw more guys forward —  it’s the same story, they began to serve the ball into the box, but we dealt with it. You can’t just run up the field and allow numbers to accumulate and think that the defense is going to deal with everybody. You have to sit back, you have to mark everybody up so, technically, we still had opportunities to get a second goal and we didn’t.

On the defensive performance

We’ve done really well on defense. Tonight the guys in the middle did a really good job of handling Conor [Casey], he’s a big guy and they didn’t have much down the left side, a few crosses on the right, but really not much. They did a good job. It’s unfortunate that in the 90th minute we lose the lead in the game.

Gonzalo Segares

On the PK call

The result was very frustrating because I thought we deserved more, we were the better team. We all make mistakes and today the referee made one — we are all humans. I don’t need to see a replay to know that’s not a PK. Hopefully the referee union will look at it and there will be a suspension for the ref, and we’ll move on. It’s tough to swallow, but we’ve got an important game on Wednesday against San Jose in which we’ve got to go there and get three points.

On the defensive performance

I think defensively that the past couple of games we have done well. We’ve been pretty solid and haven’t given them many chances. Today was the same, but unfortunately the only one they had was a PK, other than that we were able to contain them. We have to keep improving because we’re doing well.

On what happened on the play that lead to the PK

I really don’t know why he called it because I think he hesitated a lot and I don’t think he had a clear view. If he had a clear view he would have seen that hit me right on the arm that was tucked in to my chest. Things happen, but like I said, we all make mistakes and now we figure out how to deal with it. It would have been nice to have the three points, we only got one of them. It’s frustrating, it’s tough to swallow, but we have to keep moving forward and working hard. We’ve done well lately and we need to keep same intensity and the same tenacity that we’ve been showing the past couple of weeks.

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