NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
We keep saying the same things every week. The effort, endeavor, the spirit, you can’t fault that. But in the final third we just don’t have the quality required. Tonight it stares you in the face. The final third – whether it’s the final ball, whether it’s the finish – we had some chances. Zack (Schilawski) had his header, probably should have scored. Sainey (Nyassi) scuffed a ball wide from the middle of the goal on a free shot at goal. Kheli (Dube) had a chance with a ball into the box. Taking chances like that change the game. You can’t fault the effort and the commitment, but the quality at the end is just not there.
Our problems are pretty obviously. We are not as good as we should be in the final third. That’s the bottom line … we’re doing all we can to try to change that.
When you’re getting into the last 10 minutes of the game and their sitting back and we’re getting desperate, we’re basically hoping Shalrie (Joseph) can get on the end of something. I’m not sure if you asked their back four they wouldn’t want to see Shalrie up against them if a ball’s in the box. But whether it’s Shalrie or anybody else, we need to get them better service in the box to give them a chance to get on the end of it.
Whether it’s been the service into the box, or the finishing in the box, that’s where we’ve let ourselves down. When we do get a chance, we can’t finish it.
He had no chance at the goal. The goal was a classic case of what some of our problems are at the moment. That goal is so avoidable, it’s frightening. All it takes is a bit of communication to pass a man on, and that the guy doesn’t get three days to line it up and bury it. It’s a great finish, Matt’s (Reis) got no chance, but it’s so avoidable with someone opening their trap. We do ourselves again. We certainly deserved something from the game.
I don’t think there’s been a game this year, really – maybe Seattle, we weren’t good in Seattle – we’re not getting run over by teams. We’re constantly contributing to our downfall by making a bad decision, or giving a bad ball in the wrong place. Like the goal tonight: all it takes is someone opening his mouth. So, all these things are preventable and we’re going to try to do something about it.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION CAPTAIN SHALRIE JOSEPH
We started well. We tried to push the ball up farther and get the ball in their half offensively. We gave up one of those weak goals and we didn’t communicate and it came back to haunt us tonight.
It was an act of desperation on our part and we tried to pump the ball the ball in the box and create chances but it just didn’t come for us tonight. We got one or two chances in the first half to equalize and we didn’t finish it and it comes down to how much we want it right now. It seems like from my leadership point and coaching staff, that we’re not doing the right stuff to make it count on the field. We work hard in practice all week to get here and it feels demoralizing and really bad because we just can’t get the win.
Salt Lake is going to be tough, going to play there in that atmosphere because it’s going to be crazy and we need to get some points and find some way to get goals and create some chances.
We can’t blame Matt (Reis on that goal). We have only ourselves to blame.
We had a lot of set pieces and its good we created chances, but we have to score. We just had a lot of set pieces that we had and had some chances to score. It seems like all season we have had chances to score but we haven’t had goals but we just need to continue to find our chances.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER PAT PHELAN
We didn’t give up an early goal, which is a bright spot. But it’s really frustrating because that goal came from us. (Marco Pappa) hit it well and you can’t fault Matt (Reis). It’s pretty disheartening to work that hard and to chase the game like that. We dug ourselves in too deep of a hole and didn’t put chances away early. At the same point, it’s our job to come out and establish our game plan and to go at them, especially at home and we don’t do that.
I think we’re too anxious. We’re not a very good team when we lump it forward and pray for the best and luck doesn’t come our way. We push guys forward and we still need to play soccer instead of going route one all the time. We had some chances and they could have countered … so we were lucky in that respect, but we also had some chances that didn’t go our way.
I think that everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves. We’re not making a whole lot of mistakes, but we’re making the same mistakes and each person needs to look at themselves and it just can’t happen.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER JASON GRIFFITHS
I was kind of nervous coming in losing 1-0 and I was expecting an attacking player to go on but it was great to get on. It was a disappointing score but the boys tried hard and we can push on for next week and get a good result.
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH CARLOS DE LOS COBOS
They play very good now. This is the level that we needed. Every time that we have a strong defense, we will have an opportunity to win matches. They need to play all the time very concentrated. We have an objective and want to qualify (for the playoffs). This is a very difficult season. And today, the whole team not only the defensive line, was involved in this objective.
We had many corner kicks, and our results were very good. In this week and in the last weeks, we trained on all the concepts on defending well. It was because of that reason we lost points. I think that today, all the players tried to help each other. I think that this is the reason why we won. Not only did we have a good defense, but we created good opportunities, and fortunately, we had luck and we scored one. In all of our matches we create opportunities, and winning 1-0 was good.
I was thinking of starting (Justin Mapp) in this match but yesterday in the practice he felt something hurting in his hamstring. But (Mike) Banner did very good work. This was good for our team because we don’t depend on only one player. I’m excited because other players like Matt are now playing. Last season they played a few minutes, now they are maturing with the time, and this is very good for the club.
CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER PATRICK NYARKO
A total team effort. Coach stressed on the fact that we should communicate in the field, talk to each other, let the person know where your mark is and stay on your mark. I think the guys stayed concentrated throughout the game. We got the lead, we had some pretty nervous situations but we dealt with it confidently...We call this a new season for us after the break and it started really well and hopefully we can keep it up throughout the remainder of the games. If we play like we played tonight we’ll be among the best in the league."
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER ANDREW DYKSTRA
As far as the effort, as far as being tuned in for 90 minutes -- which we haven’t had -- I think it was great. Phenomenal. It was a boost for all of us.
CHICAGO FIRE DEFENDER CJ BROWN
Definitely very encouraged about the effort on the road, on turf to get a good win on the road. The guys bunkered in, we got the goal, we did what it took but we definitely still need to play better soccer towards the end of the game.