SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2005 - CHICAGO FIRE 3, REAL SALT LAKE 1
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH DAVE SARACHAN
On the match:
"Obviously, the result was what we wanted, what we expected ... and I was proud of my team on a few levels. One is, we needed patience tonight because we had chances in the first half that we didn't convert and we felt we would get the goal and at half time we just stayed positive. We did get the first goal and then credit to [Jason] Kreis on a pretty darn good free kick. At that point, 1-1, our guys just put the ball down and continued playing and I think we had the confidence that we were all going to create more chances.
"We talk about a complete game. I wouldn't say this was a complete game, but it was as close to complete in terms of concentration, ball movement, guys being active and, obviously, finishing goals. Three [points] at home is important and these are important three points, and so we're pleased and now we look ahead for a quick turnaround for Wednesday's game."
On Fire defender Jim Curtin returning to the lineup:
"We feel from top to bottom, in our roster, we're very deep and there was a stretch early on where defensively we were giving up goals. It wasn't just Jimmy. It was a combination of a number of things. We monitor training, we look at guys' form and we felt that a change was needed at that time. Jimmy never put his head down and worked, worked, worked. He got an opportunity to get back in there because of his form and he's done fine."
CHICAGO FIRE FORWARD ANDY HERRON
On his goal:
"I can't remember, I just remember when Ivan held the ball. He was running forward, and I think Eddie Pope was on my right side, and then I called to Ivan to pass me the ball. He heard me and passed me the ball and I was onside. D.J. [Countess] was waiting for me. I used some skills on him. He was trying to move like, "Where's this guy going?" He stepped to his right side and I touched the ball to his left. He couldn't touch the ball and I finished it. It was a great goal."
CHICAGO FIRE FORWARD CHRIS ROLFE
On his goal:
"Nate [Jaqua] and I have been working on getting the timing down when he goes up, flicks the ball and I go behind him. Finally I got on the end of it, and then the last thing I know, the defender had me pretty well shielded off, and somehow I got my toe in there and knocked the ball to the other side and it went in."
CHICAGO FIRE DEFENDER JIM CURTIN
On his assists:
"Any time I can contribute offensively it's an added bonus. Luckily Nate [Jaqua] got on the end of one of the headers that counted as an assist for me."
REAL SALT LAKE HEAD COACH JOHN ELLINGER
On today's result:
"I guess it looks like it's 3-1. I thought at 1-1, Jason had a great goal, and just thought that, yeah, OK, this is it. We got the goal, and we are at least going to get a result out of this. That's what went through my head on the sidelines anyway. Cameron [Knowles] on the second goal just should have cleared it over the back line. He tried to turn it upfield. You know, you just got to kick it away. Get it over the goal line, I don't care how, just get it out of there. The worst-case scenario happened, he kicked it right at [Chris] Rolfe and he was right there."
On his club's improvement from the beginning of the season:
"I thought collectively we did well the first half. Then we gave up a goal seven minutes again, but the final result is what counts. Everybody feels the same, but it's not like we were embarrassed or whatever else. We knew coming in that Chicago had had trouble late in the games here and so we had to stay in the game. The third goal doesn't bother me because at 2-1, you're pushing and pushing and you get countered and it always happens - it never fails."
On whether his players were fatigued from three games in eight days:
"There's no question they were fatigued, we were fatigued. Humidity zaps you so much."
REAL SALT LAKE GOALKEEPER D.J. COUNTESS
On his return to Chicago:
"Obviously it was a little disappointing. It's one of those nights where you think that you did everything you can and there was a lot of passion behind it for me. But credit the Chicago Fire for good organization. They're a good team - well coached, great players. They beat us tonight. They threw everything that had at us in the second half and they got the best of us."
On his team's performance:
"We put the effort into the first half. I thought we came out with the result that we needed at halftime. I don't know if we fell apart or if we fell asleep or what exactly is was, but they put three in on us. You get three goals scored on you in the second half and obviously it hurts. I'm not too happy about it, but we must come out and get back to work next week, and figure out what the problem is."
REAL SALT LAKE FORWARD JASON KREIS
On his game-tying goal:
"I hit it right where I wanted to. I come up to it with the idea that I'd start it out on the left of the wall, and hopefully it would knuckle. And it did just that. Fortunate."