SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2004 - CHICAGO FIRE 1, METROSTARS 1
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH DAVE SARACHAN
On the match:
"This was a very good performance by the Fire from start to finish. I was extremely pleased with the commitment and the effort of the team. It's just frustrating that the MetroStars get out of here with a point because we put a lot into it and deserved three points tonight."
On the handball foul called on C.J. Brown:
"In the 85th minute, on a play like that, for [the referee] 40 yards away to call a handball which was dubious, it's just very frustrating because my team deserved better tonight."
On the changes to the Fire lineup:
"We put together an 11 that we felt could be effective tonight, so it was a blend of youth and veterans. We had three fresh sets of legs in there tonight, which helped, so it was a good, solid line-up."
On whether the same 11 will line up vs. Columbus on Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup:
"We've got to see where everyone's at physically and take a look at Columbus's lineup and make adjustments. We still feel we have the depth, regardless of whether or not we use this group or make a few changes, that we can put together a good lineup."
On the possible transfer of DaMarcus Beasley:
"Every day we wait for news. We'll just wait together."
CHICAGO FIRE FORWARD DAMANI RALPH
On his eighth goal of the season:
"Chris [Armas] played a nice ball in and I saw a little room behind the 'keeper and I just tried to work in behind him."
On the match:
"It was a tough one. It's disappointing, but from the team perspective I think we had a lot of positives. It's been a tough season but there's still time left, so we just have to keep our heads up and keep fighting."
CHICAGO FIRE DEFENDER C.J. BROWN
On the play of the Fire defense:
"I think we played well, the whole team played well defensively. We got a good effort from everybody. The movement was good, the covering was good and the even the play of the ball out of the back was pretty good."
On what the Fire must do in next Saturday's return match at the MetroStars:
"We hope we get an effort like we did today. If we do that, we'll have a good game."
CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER DAMARCUS BEASLEY
Overall thoughts on the match:
"I think it was good, I thought we played hard. We were unlucky we gave up the penalty kick at the end, but we played a good game, especially in the first half. It was tough to not get the win after we haven't won in six games, now seven. But we'll just come back next week and try to improve on what we didn't do today."
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER HENRY RING
Overall thoughts on the match:
"Throughout the game we felt comfortable and we put away a goal. There were a few mistakes made, but I thought I made saves when I needed to make saves. The penalty kick was tough; it was a tough time in the game to give it. We hope that in the future we can put one or two more away."
On weather the Fire will approach Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup match differently:
"I think we're really going to have the same mentality. After the game at Columbus and a couple other tough performances, this is the type of team, the type of force, we wanted on the field. We all recognize that and want to bring out the same intensity in the future."
METROSTARS HEAD COACH BOB BRADLEY
On the team's play in the first half:
"The first half was weird, because Cornell had a great chance, before they had a chance. Really prior to their goal there wasn't much going on. They caught us with a long ball. I just don't think that we were sharp enough going forward on a few of the plays in the first half. It was hard first half."
On the play of Mike Magee and Joselito Vaca:
"I though that Mike and Joselito made a big difference for us tonight. They came on, and we started to put more soccer together. We were able to get at them a little bit more and to create some good scoring opportunities off of that. So it was definitely positive to see the contributions of those two players coming off of the bench."
On starting Kenny Arena in the midfield:
"This was a game where we figured that early in the game it was going to be a battle. The idea was that by playing Kenny in the middle, it would help us win some 50-50 balls and some of the headers. The feeling was that this way we could feel out what kind of game it was going to be, and that by using Kenny we could also free up Amado [Guevara] and Eddie [Gaven] to get into the attack."
METROSTARS GOALKEEPER JONNY WALKER
On the difference between the first and second half:
"I think that anybody could see that there was a major difference between the first and second halves. In the first half we were very sloppy all over the field, and our attitude wasn't very good. Things turned around in the second half though and we got our heads into the game. We were fighting and scrapping for balls, and we really showed more character out there."
On what the team has worked on to sure-up the defense:
"Every time we receive a goal it is off of a counterattack, because we are really the team that usually controls the run of the play. So we have really worked on a lot of things lately that are allowing me to see the shots better. There is less space between the shooters and our defenders, and I am not being screened as much."
METROSTARS MIDFIELDER JOSELITO VACA
On his performance tonight:
"I am really happy with my performance here in Chicago. It is very hard to play the Fire at their home. It has been a very long time since we have beaten Chicago, and I am happy that we almost beat them today. I think that we have to be happy taking a point home today though."
On what helped him play so well:
"I think that coming off the bench fresh gave me a big advantage when I came in the game today. It helped me to be faster, and when Chicago started to open up and give us some more space, we were able to take advantage of it."
METROSTARS FORWARD JOHN WOLYNIEC
On the ball that resulted in the penalty kick:
"We got the ball in the middle of the field, and Amado [Guevara] saw me and played the ball to me. I saw Eddie Gaven on the far post and I was just trying to play a ball to him, and C.J. [Brown] jumped up and blocked but it got a piece of his arm, and we won the penalty kick."
On the team's inability to put away chances in the first half:
"It's frustrating when we created some chances, and we weren't able to put them away. But we stayed with it, kept fighting, and we got our chance in the end."