Post-match quotes: Crew vs. Fire
COLUMBUS CREW INTERIM HEAD COACH BRIAN BLISS
On getting the early advantage:
Yeah we did [talk about it] but it didn’t work. They were on us the first 8-10-12 minutes and then I think the game settled in and it was kind of tit for tat after that but we meant to go high and go hard early, I think the words were let’s make them feel like they’re in our house type of thing and it didn’t work. You know, we have to look at it and go back and replay that a little bit but at the end we got the right result but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way, so were okay with it.
On how the early goal changed momentum:
It swung the momentum big because I think they had a little bit better of the play in the first 10-12 minutes. Like you said we scored in the fifteenth with Dominic [Oduro] and it certainly wasn’t off of a great build-up it was off more of a counter attack because they probably had a couple too many players forward and we beat them up the field but that certainly swung the game for them because they were probably feeling pretty good about themselves in the first 12 minutes and rightly so.
On regrouping after halftime:
We marked it down in the notes that I write on the sideline and it was the first thing we hit at halftime, was from minute 28 to minute 40 we lost our way and I think in those last 4 or 5 minutes of that half it was pretty even. We made note of it, brought it up to the players attention that we need to do a couple different things to right the ship, I think the guys responded well and I think you saw in the second half we had a lot of possession, rightly so with a man up, but they were executing what we asked them to and it led to two goals.
On Jairo Arrieta’s performance:
We were saying on the bench: should we take him out, leave him in? And we wanted to reward him so we kept him in there longer because he was a part of all those goals, especially the first two, drawing the red card and then drawing the PK, very active and the back line had to contend with that all night.
On playing a man up and capitalizing on it:
It’s tough, I mean go back and look at two games ago where Montreal played in New England, with a PK and a red card in the sixth minute and New England with a man down, took it to Montreal for 25-30 minutes, and you say how does that happen? I can’t explain it but our guys, we challenged them at half time and I think my words were “guys, should I go ask them to put another player back onto the field? Because we’ll probably play better.” Because it’s tougher to play a man up; sometimes, it is. Obviously I was being facetious when I said that to the guys but it is true, you have to play harder when you’re playing a man up.
On scoring three goals:
Obviously scoring goals is the toughest thing to do in a game, at home it’s more enjoyable and we got two of the three down on this end where our Nordecke fans are and I’m sure they enjoyed that. Somebody brought it to our attention that we’ve scored more goals on the road than at home, if that’s the case, I hope we rectified it tonight.
On [Matt] Lampson’s speed of play:
That’s the way I like to play the game, we all coach the way we played. I like to play a high-tempo game and for me that’s high tempo when the goal keeper gets his hands on the ball and he can sling it out left and sling it out right and we end up with the ball in possession at midfield, half our job is done because we’ve covered half of the field with the pass and I don’t want to have that minced with lumping the ball over the top it’s just a different way of playing and something I prefer to play like and the guys can do it well, Lampson can throw the ball, you saw it.
On the necessity of the three points earned:
They’re [Chicago] ahead of us in the standings, they’ve beaten us three times this year, two other league games and the Open Cup so it was a little bit of pay back. We owed it ourselves, not necessarily to Chicago, we owed it to ourselves to go win the game and I think that served notices to Chicago and the other teams that are ahead of us in the playoffs, that there are a few games left and we are coming hard.
On the relationship between Dominic Oduro and Jairo Arrieta:
When one guy is scoring goals and one guy is not, the other guy wants to be competitive in that situation he wants to score as well and sometimes you start pressing and making decisions with and without the ball that don’t lead to a great harmony at times. At the end of the day, when you have thirty guys you don’t have to love everybody, but you have to respect them and you have to play with them and at the end of the day I think that is what matters most, that they have the respect of one another.
COLUMBUS CREW FORWARD DOMINIC ODURO
On how the first goal changed the game:
It did. I do not think that it changed the momentum of the game because we started really strong, and pressured them as high as we can. At the end of the day, it helped us moving forward. It gave us the idea that we are doing a good job in terms of pressuring high. That was the whole point of the game. To press high and try as hard as we could to get an early goal. We did that, and that kept the momentum going forward.
On the impact of Bakary Soumare’s red card in the 29th minute:
It did obviously. The [Chicago Fire] going a man down. It [red card] gave us time to possess the ball as much as we could. They played well in the first half. In the last fifteen minutes, they tried to pull one [goal] back, but we kept our composure really well.
On how good the Papa John’s pizza tasted after scoring in the 15th minute:
It was really good. I have been planning that [goal celebration] for a couple of weeks. It is unfortunate that I have not scored at home for a while. We have been planning that for a while. I hope the fans enjoyed that.
On the significance of the win:
It is. First of all, I think we are tired of losing to Chicago. Today, it felt good to get a break. I think we are right behind them in terms of making the playoffs. That puts pleasure on them and that is good for us. We are going to keep doing that. We are going to go to Dallas and try and get a result. Like I said, we take care of business and hopefully the other teams will help us out.
COLUMBUS CREW GOALKEEPER MATT LAMPSON
On what win feels like letting Columbus keep up in pace in terms of making the playoffs:
Ever since we had the coaching change, we have been a good team at home. We look to continue that. We knew this was a huge game. It is a six point swing. If we wanted to keep our playoff hopes alive, we had to come out and really get after them. We played a [heck] of a game. From top to bottom, every single player played their hearts out, and we showed just how good we can be. That is what happens when you play at home that well. You come away with a big victory. Credit to Chicago because it is not easy to play a man down for most of the game, but we took care of business and that is what needed to happen. I am really proud of the team.
On finishing scoring opportunities with a man advantage:
It is all a mentality. It is a cultural change that we all needed. At half-time, we knew we needed to step on the jugular. That is exactly what we did, and we responded to what we needed to do. We had the killer instinct which we were lacking in other games where we have been up a man. We know that it is difficult playing up a man, but this time we controlled that second half, wearing them out. That was what we need to do and it frustrated them. And we were able to capitalize on our chances.
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH FRANK KLOPAS
On whether, with all of the chances and the red card, it still seemed like a 3-0 game:
No, not at all. We give up the red card and then playing shorthanded, and the first goal was soft. We were coming from behind. Really, we pushed the game. We had chances to tie the game and it doesn’t go your way and then they got a PK. For me, it’s all questionable, but regardless, the team left everything on the field. I feel good about the group. We have to regroup and get ready for next week.
On whether, down 1-0 at half, Chicago was trying to tie the game or still get three points:
You just have to be smart. We had our chances. I think if we would have scored, they would have been under pressure, but we hit the post, we had some good opportunities in the final third and sometimes it just isn’t your night.
On trying to beat a team four times in a season:
It isn’t easy to beat a team four times in one season, but it’s very difficult when you’re playing shorthanded also. We played for the majority of the game, almost 60 minutes, shorthanded, and the guys competed and left it all on the field. We pushed the game. We took risks because what’s the point? 1-0 or 2-0 you still lose, for me it doesn’t matter at that point. We had the chances and we didn’t get [the goal]. The second goal really kills us, the PK shorthanded, questionable but whatever. It is what it is. We’ve just got to move on.
CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER DILLY DUKA
On the loss:
We have played this team four times this year – you can’t win them all. This is MLS. They scored an early goal, they played well, and we were a little unlucky. Some of the calls [the refs] were making were a little ridiculous. I thought I was fouled in the first 25 minutes in the box. I clearly got pushed. The guy didn’t even touch the ball, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Can’t look back – got to look forward.
On the second half:
We definitely believed we could come back and tie, maybe even win the game. There was no doubt in that locker room at halftime about coming out of this game with a loss.
On ‘new-look’ Crew under Bliss:
I thought they were a good team with Robert [Warzycha]. I think they have good personnel and players, but it was just their day.
CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER JEFF LARENTOWICZ
On the loss:
We hit the posts, we hit the crossbar, we got opportunities – overall though we were just not good enough. But in the end we have five more games left and we’re right there. We have been in this spot before. We knew it was going to be a tough road game coming in, but we have games to play and there is going to be more opportunities.
On impact of second goal:
The next goal was going to be big. We knew that if we could keep it at one to nothing we could probably develop opportunities and create chances. The second goal was one that put the game out of reach.
On difficulty of beating teams four times a season:
We knew that coming in, but at the same time we were focused on the end result. This is a tough part of the year. We are a team that knows we can do things on the road, but tonight it wasn’t our best and when you’re not on your best you get beat.