WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2004 - COLORADO RAPIDS 2, CHICAGO FIRE 0
COLORADO RAPIDS HEAD COACH TIM HANKINSON:
On the win before the All-Star break:
"This is just the beginning of the fight. It's not a long season at this point; it's a short season. It's down to 12 games, and this thing is just beginning for us right now. Hopefully we can continue to play with this type of continued confidence, and grow from the recognition that we can play good football. Let this be the first of many good matches for us."
On getting a goal from Mark Chung:
"That's his spot, he has hit a lot of goals from that area. It's good to see that that (goal) has given his leg a lot of confidence coming off that quad injury, and he is now back to striking balls hard and on frame. So, hopefully that was the first of a good run for him."
On the timing of the win based on other results from MLS on the night:
"The timing is outstanding for us to get three points tonight. With everyone going on break, they should all come back Monday, ready to go for an ambitious run because we've got three straight difficult road games."
COLORADO RAPIDS MIDFIELDER MARK CHUNG:
On getting three points:
"This win is very important, especially when we win at home. We have to do that. We have to get points at home. If we do that, then we are definitely in the playoffs. It was a good win today. It feels good to win. We really played much better in the way we possessed the ball, and that's the key to the whole game.
On the Rapids performance:
"When we have guys that possess the ball, we have guys that can draw defenders to them, and that is all we need. When we play the long ball we are going to get beaten every single time. Today was the first day that I have gotten the ball in the right place to where I could take a shot."
On getting his first goal of the year:
"Being injured for two months doesn't help things, especially with a quad in my kicking foot so just to get a shot on goal is a good feeling."
COLORADO RAPIDS GOALKEEPER JOE CANNON:
On the importance of winning at home:
"With three games coming up I think it was key that we got this win, and to get some breathing room between us and some other teams in the conference. We are going to get ready for a tough game in Dallas and that is really our focus right now."
On how much it better it feels to go into the All-Star break on a high:
"Going into a break with this win is the difference between night and day. Rather than just winning, I think it is the way we played. I think we played a really good game in the way we possessed the ball. We played some good soccer. And I am excited to see how this team keeps improving."
COLORADO RAPIDS FORWARD JEAN-PHILIPPE PEGUERO:
On his goal:
"He (Antonio De la Torre) is always looking for me on the corner kick, because we are always talking to each other. Every time he gets a corner kick he calls me before a kick. "
On playing the full 90 minutes:
"I tried to help my team. Even though I was sore, I told coach I wanted to play."
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH DAVE SARACHAN:
On the match:
"Tonight the team that scored first was going to have the upper hand because you have two teams that have been struggling to score goals. We felt in stages of the first half we were putting combinations together that could have led us to getting that first goal. Colorado doesn't get many chances, yet they score off the corner and now they have the advantage for the rest of the half and that made us chase the game even more."
On the struggles the Fire has had defending set pieces:
"I don't know how to explain it. We talk about it and work on it in training, but maybe we need to do even more. The little plays that make the difference in these games, like the restarts, are turning against us. If we don't improve then we're going to find ourselves really behind the eight ball."
On the two-week break in MLS play for the Fire:
"What we need to do now is to step away and take stock in the individual performances and the collective group to get back on track because time is ticking. Personally, I think we need to recharge our batteries."
CHICAGO FIRE CAPTAIN CHRIS ARMAS
On the mindset of the Fire heading into the MLS All-Star break:
"Mentally and physically, we need this break. Obviously we have some things to work on and hopefully we'll use this time wisely, take a few days off, come back rejuvenated and get back to the drawing board."
CHICAGO FIRE DEFENDER C.J. BROWN
On the Fire heading into a two-week break in league play:
"It's a well-needed break. Everybody needs to clear their heads, get their minds off of soccer and start over, brand new. We are at the bottom of the table and we need a readjustment, so hopefully this break helps."
CHICAGO FIRE GOALKEEPER HENRY RING
On the match:
"I wasn't that busy until they got that first goal. Then we started pressing forward and once that happened they were going to get numbers at us and get some shots off. [Jean-Philippe Peguero] got away from a man in the box and got open and made a good play on a corner kick and that opened the whole game up."
On preparing to play in his first MLS All-Star Game on Saturday:
"I'd be a lot more excited if we were in a better position as a team. But like everyone else, I think we're going to try to relax and get our minds off this streak. It should be a fun weekend and I'm obviously very proud and, I think, very lucky to be there. It should be a very good experience for me."