The Chicago Fire were able to come back from a second half deficit of 2-0 to Toronto FC and tie the game for a final score of 2-2. After the game, Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos, Fire players Orr Barouch and Jon Conway, Toronto coach Aron Winter, and Toronto players Julian De Guzman and Stefan Frei all talked to the media and gave their thoughts on the game. Some of their quotes are below after the break.
Carlos de los Cobos
Overall assessment and general thoughts of the game?
In the first half we have some good moments with the ball, in the second half we had control of the game because we kept moving the ball. It was difficult because the field was very wet but the most important thing was the personality of my team, the personality of my players and they did not surrender during the game. For me the players deserved the tie because they played much better in the second half. The game was a good game, we tried to find the spaces to penetrate and my players are deserving of the result with the way we played in the second half and could have won the game we created a lot of options and the goalkeeper from Toronto made a very good save. I'm very satisfied with my players.
Walk us through your first MLS goal and how do you feel?
I saw Corben isolated on the right side, he took his man and I was hoping he would get the ball across and he did. I was ready for it, I slipped and it came of my thigh and it went in.
You guys went down 2-0, what do you think the team did and yourself to turn it around as you really took it to TFC in the second half?
I just tried to come in and give energy, the team looked a little bit down but we when we play hard and move the ball well is when we are at our best. When I came in I just tried to motivate the team and keep us moving the ball, those were my instructions and that is what the team started doing.
Jon, just wondering if you could walk us through what happened on the goal early in the 2nd half?
Sure! He caught it well, it was moving and I tried to do a good job of getting my body behind it. The ball dropped and it got through me and the way these balls move now-a days it is going to happen. But, I did my best to get behind it the ball dropped and it went in.
What do you think your team did and needed to do today to get the game to 2-2?
I thought they showed unbelievable character, we played well going into half time. Unfortunately I gaffed as soon as we came out in the second half but I didn't see a drop in the team and we were able to bounce back and get a result. Technically we probably could have won that game with the chances that we had.
Coach Aron Winter
On what happened in the second half:
I think in the second half we didn't want to play anymore. That's why I think we lost, because in the first half we were chasing up and pushing up and putting pressure in the front. Then in the second half after the second goal we didn't do that anymore, and that's why I think we have given away 2 points.
On the substitution of Joao Plata:
Plata is very young and he played well, and we saw that he was a little bit tired. You have to be careful with the young players, and that's why we changed him, to spare him, because in the coming weeks we are playing a lot of games. The score was also 2-0 at that moment.
On his feeling when the game was 2-0:
I did have a good feeling, but now I have a bad feeling that we have given away 2 points. It's a pity, because in the first half we showed that we were improving every week in our play. So it was a pity that we gave up the 2-0 lead to tie in the end.
On the second half letdown:
I think we sat back after the first two goals after the first hour, then we gave away a reckless foul which I don't know was clearly won on top of the box. That's when they were able to get back into the game, and after that we just sat back too deep, and we weren't the same as we were in the first half. We couldn't take control of the game and go forward with the ball. Every third pass we made after the hour mark was easily given away, or no one wanted the ball anymore. That's why I think Chicago was able to come back into the game, and almost win the game. We had three points in our pocket, it was a terrific opportunity to keep ourselves in the standings, but we blew it thanks to ourselves.
Thoughts on the game:
In general, after about 60 minutes we packed it in and thought the game was over. Offensively and defensively we got lazy. We didn't show for the ball anymore, didn't go for runs, didn't cover each other defensively, just those extra things. We thought it was 2-0, the game is winding down, now I hope everybody knows that the game in 90 minutes, not 60.
On his save on Daniel Paladini to preserve the draw:
It was a one on one situation, and with the weather and how wet it was at that point you probably figure he would try to slot it away on the ground, because the ball is going to be too quick for me to make anything out of it. I just tried to make myself big and react to his decision, and fortunately I was able to make the reaction save.