SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2005 - CHICAGO FIRE 1, KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 1
CHICAGO FIRE HEAD COACH DAVE SARACHAN
On the game:
"It's a quiet locker room and it's a tired locker room. We don't make excuses, but the reality is it's the third game in seven days. I think the second half of that caught up with us today. Again, we had the lead 1-0 and you hope to protect it and maybe get the second goal. That didn't happen. For the most part, we have no real issues with Kansas City and it's disappointing on an attacking corner that they come down on a counter and equalize. We're a little frustrated, a little disappointed and certainly tired."
On the Fire's defense and Kansas City Wizards
midfielder Preki's goal:
"We always keep extra numbers back. It's not like we risk things with one-on-ones. We should have had the numbers back. I think what our backs decided to do was try to step [Preki] offside because he was so far forward up the flank and one or two passes found him."
On the Kansas City Wizards:
"Teams that are behind put in fresh players to make a push. Here's Kansas City with a week of rest. They've got fresh legs and they're coming at us a little bit. It's a management issue. The reality was we did lose our legs a bit. But no excuses on that end; we've still got to find a way to keep the ball better, hold the ball better and manage the game better."
CHICAGO FIRE DEFENDER JIM CURTIN
On his goal:
"Any time you can contribute, it's big. [Midfielder Tony Sanneh] did a good job of knocking the header down and luckily it was kind of the right place at the right time. I was able to get a foot on it and it went in. But it was all kind of for nothing really."
On the game:
"We wanted to get three points today in the big division rival game. It's kind of disappointing. It's a tail with two heads really; I thought we played good in the first half, really moved the ball. We had a chance to maybe get up 2-0 and we didn't. It's kind of the way things have been going lately. We haven't really buried teams when we've had the chance and to [the Kansas City Wizards] credit, they came out the second half and played pretty good. They had us on our heels. We kind of were bad in the second half, I thought."
On the Fire's second half performance in recent games:
"We talk about it every halftime in the locker room: not coming out flat. And we've done that. You can say three games in three weeks, but we're all pretty young professional soccer players. You have to be able to deal with it. It is a little tiring physically and mentally for the guys but that's not an excuse."
CHICAGO FIRE MIDFIELDER CHRIS ARMAS
On the game:
"It's just really two halves. A tale of two halves. First half, we stuck to our game plan, passed, moved, created chances, got a goal. Second half, as we knew we would, three games in a week, we were tired a bit. Obviously, they're down a goal, they're fresher than us. They throw everything at us. We dealt with it for pretty much the whole time, except with all their pressure, and everything, we really didn't give many clear-cut chances. You almost say, look, we're just going to roll up the sleeves and the get the result. But, disappointingly on an offensive corner kick, we give up a goal. They come down on a counter, and we had numbers, and we did not deal with it well. So the ball finally got into Preki's feet, and he knows what to do with it from then."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS HEAD COACH BOB GANSLER
On the match:
"I thought we started out well and then we neglected the attacking part of the game a bit. With the exception of the goal they got on their restart, I thought we defended their restarts pretty well. [The Fire] are big boys. They've got quite a few good guys. Again, I thought we could have done a little more on the attacking side in the first half. We talked about it at halftime and I think we went out and did ourselves proud on that side of it."
On the Fire's previous perfect home record against Kansas City:
"The ideal situation is three (points). That's what we came here for. As far as how many points we've gotten here before or haven't gotten, that's of no consequence. This is our team today and their team today. Had we swept them the last five years before, I don't think that would have impacted today. What we have done in the past five years didn't impact today. We just went in and played today."
On Preki's insertion into the game:
"Preki's been practicing a lot and you applaud his daily toil, his daily effort. It's huge. The fire isn't out, no pun intended. He's still churning. He needs to compete and he needs to excel. We obviously felt this is an ideal way to use his talents. He loves a fast-playing surface. We felt that we might need him today, and he came through."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MIDFIELDER PREKI
On his goal:
"It feels great. We scored a goal in a tough place where we really hadn't had a lot of success in the past. It's a good feeling."