Fire 3, United 0 -- quote sheet
CHICAGO FIRE 3, D.C. UNITED 0
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH DAVE SARACHAN
On the match and the Fire's largest crowd of the season (25,810):
"It's a great day for me because it's my daughter's birthday. Two years ago [the U.S. national team] beat Portugal on June 5, so she's a good luck charm. Today was a good day against D.C. United. Overall I felt we were in good control today. A good solid team performance, especially in the second half. Obviously the finishing from [Damani Ralph] was outstanding. We did well at home for our Soldier Field crowd - it was a great crowd today."
On whether this was the Fire's best performance of 2004:
"When you add it all up, it probably was. One of the things we've heard a lot from the media is the concern about scoring. I think we've created chances each and every game, but today the difference was we finished chances, and maybe could have done a little better on a few others. From the back to the front, and with Henry getting another zero, I thought it was a very solid day for us."
On the success of striker Damani Ralph:
"He's a very confident kid when he's in and around the box ... he can pull a rabbit out of a hat. Sometimes it's frustrating for the coaches and players because maybe sometimes he doesn't see the next guy, but it's not for a lack of trying. He strikes the ball great with both feet and he's a powerful kid. When you add all that up you're going to get goals."
On Freddy Adu's performance:
"I watch my team more than them to be honest. It was a tough day for D.C. United. You'll have to ask Peter [Nowak] for that one. We really minimized chances, and that's a credit to our team making it hard on D.C. United, so Freddy didn't have much going."
On his player's national team commitments:
"We've got a deep team, and we added some new players to the team today and they did fine. We lose four players (DaMarcus Beasley, Chris Armas, Damani Ralph and Andy Williams) next week due to national teams, so there will be some changes because we have to, but I feel confident with the guys we have."
CHICAGO FIRE FORWARD DAMANI RALPH
On his goals and first career hat trick:
"They were all from acute angles. As coach said sometimes I overdo it, but the confidence I have once I get in the area, if I hit it good enough I'll have a good chance of scoring."
On the Fire's attacking pressure:
"They played three in the back and you look at Ante (Razov), me and Beas (DaMarcus Beasley) - that's a lot of running for those back players. I give credit to the midfielders for finding us in open spaces and playing us balls behind the defense. It made it easy for us. Overall I thought it was a very good day and I give a lot of credit to my teammates."
On whether there was a different feeling playing in front of more than 25,000 fans:
"Not really. I'm just glad the crowd came out, even if it was for 'Adu Fever.' But it's always exciting when we can get a crowd out and feed off their energy."
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER HENRY RING
On his MLS-best sixth shutout of the season:
"This was a nice one because we actually put three in the net and I was able to relax a little bit. In the first half their 'keeper was making some big saves and they kept it tight. I thought it was going to be one of those games, but I was able to make a save or two at the end of the half. In the second half I thought we really locked them down and made them shoot from distance."
On the Fire remaining in first place:
"It's a long season and a lot of things can happen, but we're really happy with how we played today. We've had some ups and downs throughout the season already and I'm excited to see how we come out in the next game."
CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER ANDY WILLIAMS
On the secret behind his league-leading four-game assist streak:
"Good forwards. They're making good runs and when you're a midfielder and you have those guys making runs that like it makes it a lot easier."
On the hat trick from fellow Jamaican Damani Ralph:
"It's about time. Last year I don't think he had any games when he had two goals. It was going to come. He had one in the first half where he should have tried to play it to Beas (DaMarcus Beasley), but he learned from that. If you give him time in the box, he'll finish them."
On his contributions to the Fire's recent success:
"As long as we're winning the assists don't matter. We're playing well and hopefully over the next two weeks the guys can pick it up for the national team guys."
D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH PETER NOWAK
On his team's performance:
"I don't appreciate the way we lost today. I still feel like the Fire didn't win the game; we lost this game because of our performance today. We had a chance in the first half to tie the game, but we can't make mistakes like that."
On returning to Soldier Field:
"It's still the same, it's still a great atmosphere. I just want to thank the fans and all the friends I have in Chicago - it's great to see everyone again. I hope that next time there are going to be better circumstances."
D.C. UNITED FORWARD FREDDY ADU
On the match:
"We felt coming in here we had a chance to beat this team at their home field, but we didn't come here and execute today. They came in and scored and we got punished for it, so we've just got to go back and try to work on things we did wrong and try to correct them.
"We did give away the game. We haven't played this bad this whole season. We just came out here, and just something was off. We basically just gave them the game."
On Damani Ralph's game:
"The guy's a finisher. Give him two yards and he'll put the ball in the back of the net. We knew coming into the game, Peter said it and told the guys that we can't give him any space to score and I don't know what went wrong, but he came away with the space and just finished."
On the physical nature of the game:
"It's always that way wherever we play anywhere, that's just how it is. That's just part of the game and you've just got to deal with it."
On his own performance:
"I felt I played all right. I created some chances and we just weren't able to finish them, and some days that's what happens. You get days where you finish and some days you don't finish them."