D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen
On his overall thoughts of the game:
“The scoreline is a big disappointment and I think that’s going to hurt our pride, but overall if we can take a look at the film of this game, I think there will be a lot of good stuff. You still have to make the plays that matter on the defensive end. We gave the ball away pretty cheaply for 15-20 minutes but overall I was pleasantly surprised with our attack except for the ones that matter, which is to score.”
On his thoughts on Perry Kitchen playing defense:
“He did fine. There are some nuances of that position that are new to him, but he’s such a competitor for a young kid that he gets away with it. He would have to play that position a bunch of games to get to where he needs to be.”
On John Thorrington’s status:
“Calf. It’s probably going to be a while.”
On if there was energy carrying over from the Open Cup:
“Yes, I thought there was. Early, there was a lot of confidence on the ball and guys went about it a good way. But giving up two cheap goals, you have to understand there are two sides to this game. Credit to the guy who made a good play on [Daniel] Woolard, but we have to do better. But, offensively I was happy with the way we played.”
On Jared Jeffrey having more chances in the last few games:
“I thought he did fine. [Conor] Doyle had a good night except he didn’t score his chances, and for a forward that’s what you have to do, and he will be beating himself up but he does get in good positions. Aside from the scoring part, which is important, I thought he had a good night too.”
On his thoughts on Sainey Nyassi at fullback:
“He played well in a position he’s not used to and created some dangerous opportunities on the ride side, and I thought he could have even done more in the first half. It’s a tough scoreline and I don’t think it tells the whole story.”
“Our priority isn’t to knock someone off. It’s to win some games and put points on the board. It’s not enough obviously, and we want to put our best foot forward the next couple of days. We’re going to tinker and show different formations and look at things for next year. Unfortunately, we have that luxury.”
D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen:
On his thoughts on playing defense for the first time in two years:
“Yeah, it’s a position that doesn’t require as much running as it does organizing and keeping things in front of you.”
On him seeing the game from defense:
“Yeah, you can see more and everything’s in front of you. You have more time on the ball so it was fine.”
On his thoughts on what turned the game around:
“The goal. I thought we were on top of them and Sean [Johnson] made some good saves and we just didn’t finish our chances. It was frustrating but you have to move on.”
On his thoughts on putting together a game for a complete 90 minutes: “That’s the goal, obviously. It’s easier said than done, but we cant seem to get it done in the regular season, but we still have three big games ahead and these are opportunities to gain points and improve for next season.”
On how the team gets energy to play these last couple games:
“Playing for this organization and these fans we want to make them proud and feed off the Open Cup victory. We don’t want to go out with four losses after a big game.”
D.C. United midfielder Jared Jeffrey
On the performance tonight:
“It’s definitely a huge disappointment. Coming off of that [Lamar Hunt U.S.] Open Cup was such a high. We wanted to win and keep it going and win this weekend. I thought we kept the ball a lot, created a lot of chances. Sean [Johnson] played really well. I thought he made some good saves. I thought between the boxes, we were dominant. In the 18-yard box, both sides, they beat us. I mean, they won and we lost. I thought we played ok, in stretches. There’s no consolation prizes or moral victories. We got to play better and got to score more goals and fix the things at the back. When we play like that, we should be losing.”
On playing teams needing to win:
“Every game we have to get up for. We can play spoiler for these teams, obviously. We talked about that a little bit. The motivation really comes from within us. We don’t need outside influences, it’s on us to get out there and win these games.”
D.C. United midfielder/forward Dwayne De Rosario
On the performance tonight:
“To start, a lot of guys got some valuable experience. Still, another loss at home is disappointing. It would be nice to get a win and celebrate the right way.”
On the early opportunities created:
“You have to capitalize on that, but it is nice to see to see us create some opportunities, but that is the cruel game of football. If you create opportunities and you slip up in the back, you get punished. It’s teams like that, that are playing for playoffs. That’s pretty much been our season all year.”
On having the energy heading into the match:
“Like I said, we created some chances and a very good team like that and they get two or three good chances and they buried them. We got – I wouldn’t say clear chances – I wouldn’t go as far to say that, but I mean a lot of the chances still, we are creating are individual effort. It’s not really a great build-up of play. I mean too many opportunities went by. But, Jared [Jeffrey]’s strike was just individual effort. A couple other chances were individual effort. That’s the thing to work on, team offensively and team defensively.”
D.C. United forward Conor Doyle
On not finishing chances:
“Yeah, I was really frustrated, still am – not to get a goal. We obviously started the game really well, I thought. We played really well throughout and kept the ball, created quite a few chances and [Sean Johnson] was really good. And I was really frustrated with myself not to take those chances.”
On if the performance was affected by the high of winning Open Cup:
“No, I thought we played really well tonight. We just didn’t get the goals. I think we were all kind of motivated to get out there and play again after seeing Tuesday’s result, especially the boys who probably didn’t play were probably pretty excited to get some time. But like I said, I thought we played pretty well and we just didn’t score. And obviously, me being a forward, that’s really frustrating on my part, so I feel pretty bad about it.”
On his partnership with Luis Silva and Jared Jeffrey:
“It’s hard to look past obviously not scoring, but if you do look past it, get past the fact that you didn’t score, you look at those things and you think it all worked well. The three of us combined pretty well and we were happy with how it all went down. It was just that final touch or that final thing that was off tonight.”
Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas
On the team’s approach to facing D.C. United and the home side’s high-energy display:
For sure, that was to be expected. Winning the Open Cup is a great achievement and it doesn’t matter what their record is. They have a lot of quality players on their team and obviously coming off that, being at home—we knew it was going to be a difficult match. We had some chances early on—I think they did also, but we were able to finish out chances. I think that was the key in the game. I think, obviously, in the second half Sean made some big saves for us and I think we were smart towards the end to close the game off. We kept our shape really well, we were smart in possession, and we knew, as they were pushing, that there would be opportunities on the break. But we didn’t have to go every time. I think we needed to be on the ball a little bit more, but then again the third goal—obviously, it was great, but I just wanted to keep the ball. We were smart, we kept our shape, we didn’t get stretched out knowing that they had to push. I think when you keep a clean sheet and you put your chances away, you put yourself in a good position to win. We knew it was going to be a difficult match. It’s a quality team regardless of their record, plus coming off that final, you know? They put their emotions into it, and really, they were playing loose.
What did you see on Jeff Larentowicz’s goal?
Just some good ball movement, and obviously, the movement off the ball was the key. You get those chances and you put them away—but yeah, there was some good ball movement and some good off-the-ball movement, and I think the field was fantastic tonight. It made for a good game. You could move the ball quickly and stuff like that. It was a good combination, and guys were rewarded for their movement off the ball.
On Mike Magee’s reduced role on the night:
I think that you need to find other guys. I think Mike, as a striker—I think one of his roles is to score. You give him two or three chances—you know he’s going to do that. But he’s also the guy where it really doesn’t matter. For him, he’d give up the 18 goals if that would mean we have four more wins for the team. That’s the kind of guy he is. It’s good because then, when you—with Juan and Quincy coming in with their ability and attitude—the movement off the ball creates a lot of space for our midfield players. And Mike is smart to find those guys. I think Jeff did a very good job joining in late and making late runs. A lot of times goals follow goals. When you’re on the road and get chances, you got to put them away and you need to be able to defend well and we did, and Sean came up with some big saves.
On Sean Johnson’s performance:
He played well. He made some key saves. We talked about our ability to close games out in the end and how we do it. We didn’t do a good job last week against Montreal. We had the lead up into the final ten minutes and we were pushing the game a little bit and we didn’t keep our shape as we were moving forward—it was almost like we were down 2-1. I thought we were smarter about this—the way we went about this game. We had the lead, and I think we pushed at the right moments, we took the risks at the right moments, but I always know that we kept numbers up in the back. It’s great when you win. D.C. United, like I said, has a lot of quality and it’s never easy for the players to come and play here.
On the team’s mentality entering the final games of the regular season:
We knew we had to win tonight. I saw that Montreal and Houston played tonight and Houston won that game, and there’s a lot of matches tomorrow. We knew that this was a big game for us. We needed to get points. We’re playing four games—three on the road—and we need to find points to be there. It’s never easy. But it’s great that we got the three points here and you can watch the games a little bit more relaxed tomorrow
Chicago Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz
On the team’s performance:
We’re in the playoff race and we want to stay alive. I think last week we gave some points away. Every time we’ve gone on the road and had an opportunity to push ourselves further in the playoff race we haven’t done it but tonight we did it. D.C.’s a team coming off a big win and we wanted to make sure we came in and beat them.
On his goal:
Juan had the ball wide and took a couple guys on. I know that my job is to get in the box when I see a play develop. The ball came to me and I was able to finish it. Juan did all the work and I just kind of cleaned it up at the end.
On the win affecting the team’s confidence in the playoff push:
Yeah, it keeps us alive. I think we haven’t done well on the road this year. To score three goals is great, and to keep ourselves in it is all we could have asked. We get to play next week again in a game that means something. We all believe we can get into the playoffs but we have to make sure we do it when we have the opportunity.
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson
On his team’s start to the game:
It took us a while to really get settled into the game. There was a very high level of play to the game for the first few minutes. It was tough—I’m not going to say it was an easy time. We definitely had to grind it out.
On the effect of the result in the team’s playoff push:
It’s huge. We got three points, and especially in this time of year when we’re fighting for a playoff spot. It’s massive no matter where you are—home or away. I think every point matters, and to come away with three points is a big task and everyone should be happy. Now we can get better and get ready for next week.