Sigi Schmid, Head coachGeneral thoughts:I thought we did alright, I thought we played a lot of young players, in essence. I don’t know how many guys got their first MLS start tonight. There’s a number of guys, I don’t know, four guys, who probably if you added all four guys up, they have 200 minutes in the league. A lot of youth out there so we wanted to play well defensively. Stefan Frei kept us in the game with the penalty kick save. I thought we did alright defensively. We were too loose on the goal, obviously, and then we had some chances at the other end but the final passes, the final play, makes it difficult so with all the players that were missing, the difficult part we also don’t have a chance to train. If we could, if we had the same amount of injuries and everything else where we could train with this group for a week, then may things would be a little different. But we’re playing without a lot of important veteran players and of the same token, we didn’t get any chance to train with those players either.
On if injuries and the short downtime played a part in choosing the lineupNo, I mean we’ve had guys out for a long time. Obafemi Martins is out for a while, Clint Dempsey gets suspended, Chad Barrett has been out for a while with the hamstring injury, Osvaldo Alonso has been out for a while, Leonardo Gonzalez is out right now as well so when you add all that up it’s a significant group of players.
On if any of the players getting their first start stood outI thought they all did alright, I thought Oneil Fisher played well at outside back when we moved him over to the left when we went three in the back. I thought Cristian Roldan continues to play well for us also so those guys have been alright. Jimmy Ockford had his first start, we weren’t sure if he could play 90 minutes because he’s been out for a month. He played his first 60 minutes back last week so he hasn’t really been in that group and I thought he did alright.
On balancing the growing pains with the desire to go for the Supporters shieldIf you put a young player out on the field next to a veteran player, it’s a lot easier for the young player. Lamar Neagle has been a dangerous player for us when he is on the field with a Dempsey or a Martins but now when he has to lead the front line and there’s not those other guys to take pressure off of him it’s a little bit more difficult for him, does he have that quality? And for sure if you put a young player out with a veteran player it makes it easier for the young player. When you puts young players next to each other, you know there is growing pains and there are going to be mistakes of youth and of inexperience. We talked about those a little but after the game, in terms of ‘Okay, these are things that we have to learn’ and again, if we had the ability to train for a week then things change a little bit as well.
On bringing on Chad Marshall at forwardWe just, you know, which he did a few times, we hoped that he would be able to flick balls on, cause some danger. We also wanted to get some set pieces like right at the end of the game, Marco Pappa just banged the ball off the guy and get a corner kick. we would rather have that then have the game end with him trying to screen the ball. Those are all little errors. Chad flicked on a few balls for us, he was a target, but that’s not how we normally play. So again, not being able to train with any of that makes it difficult for the team. Its so against out normal style that the guys really don’t know how to play that way.
On if they’ve ever used him in that position beforeOh, I don’t know. Probably at Columbus we pushed him up at the end of the game a few times.
On what he saw on the goal
We gave too much space on the cross. That deep on the field, you have to get tighter to the crosser of the ball and then obviously, I don’t know if it was Jimmy Ockford or Zach Scott, someone lost their marker in the box and I thought our line was too deep, you know, you cant be that deep at that stage.
On Stefan Frei
I thought Stefan has played well. He made the PK save but he also made another save that kept us in the game as well. He’s been a rock for us back there.
On how the attacking game plan changed with all of the absences
Well we only have one forward so it changes your attacking line. You have to play one forward and we’re playing with six midfielders, or you know, five midfielders in essence so we’re asking Marco Pappa to play a different role and play underneath a striker. Does he get high enough, he’s not always comfortable enough in that role. Neagle’s played every minute of every game for us in this run because we haven’t had any other forwards so, in fairness to Neagle, he’s dead on his feet right now. We don’t have Barrett, we don’t have Martins, we don’t have Dempsey obviously and that a lot of quality to be missing.
Stefan Frei, GoalkeeperThoughts on his performanceYeah, I mean, we’re in the game. We had a chance at the end, I think, to get a point out of it. Obviously its tough, you know, we’ve been struggling with some injuries so, also getting our fitness back, making sure we’re healthy. It’s been tough stretches but that being said I think we came out strong and competed for 90 minutes which is a great sign. I think it was a great learning experience for us, especially some of the younger guys getting to start, which is great thing in the long run that is going to go a long way for us. You kind of just have to take those positives out and move on.On if playing with young guys makes it tough to communicate
It’s okay. We train together on a daily basis so we all know what is expected of us. Its just some things you can’t recreate in practice, you know, when things get dicey out there on the field, your instinct sometimes takes over so you need to have some experience so today I think that was great, to get some experience for those guys. Like I said though, I think we did well. We were in it for 90 minutes, had a chance to get that goal back at the end, and we’re fighting for 90 minutes. A lot of people could use the excuse that we’ve been traveling, we’ve had these injuries, we have guys who are playing 90 minute after 90 minute and all these excuses but I think we put in a good shift today and I’m proud of the guys.
On what he thought of the two players getting the first start in the backline
I think they did great. They had some guys who are tough opponents and I think we handled them quite well. They didn’t have too many chances, I think we, even at the end when we kind of changed formation and opened up n the back a little bit, I think we prevented the counter quite well. They did well. I’m happy for them to get the start and also to get that experience.
On if he was expecting the foul call on the disallowed goal
On what he saw on the PK save
We go over PKs all the time. Tom Dutra kind of scouts what the tendencies are and what not. Then it’s just seeing if you have a feeling of what is going to happen and then just try to hold as long as you can and push and I was fortunate enough to make the save but, unfortunately it didn’t matter in the end.
Aaron Kovar, MidfielderObviously it’s just a bigger stage. A good opportunity tonight but unfortunate result. I thought we really worked hard and kind of battled but obviously, this is where you want to be playing and Philadelphia is a really good team. Great stadium, great fans to be playing in front of but just and unfortunate result.
On what Schmid was looking for from him
I think he wanted me to be active near the box, try to get some good services in. I had a good one to Gonzalo Pineda early on but yeah, just kind of be active, be goal dangerous and we had a couple good looks, just unfortunate that they didn’t find the back of the net.
On all the absences and if he thinks he will get more playing time because of them
Yeah, I hope so. I just have to try to take every opportunity possible and keep working hard and good things tend to happen.
On what he can take away from this result
Yeah I mean it was a good experience for me. IT was just learning how small the margins are, especially on the road. I mean we were so close to playing to zero in the back and it s just an unlucky result.
On if he feels pressure to fix the mistakes quickly
I mean obviously we have some key absences in the team but I think everyone is confident that everyone in this locker room deserves to be here. It’s just more of an effort thing really more than a pressure thing.
Jimmy Ockford, DefenderOn getting his first start in front of a ton of family and friends
It was amazing and the support was unreal here. I mean, I’m so happy that I could come back and get my first start here and their support was tremendous. It’s unbelievable, it was awesome.
On if he could’ve asked for a better location for his first start
No, no I could not. I mean, it was cool because the draft was here and they got to see that here and then my first start, first appearance was here too, so it couldn’t have been better.
On what Schmid was looking for from him at centerback
Just be confident, consistent, and just stay calm the whole time and be patient. Just be solid back there.
On what how the goal developed
Well I saw I was split between two guys so I was kind of torn between the first giythat scored the goal and the guy behind me so I mean, they made a great run, it as just unfortunate that he got to it before us.
On what he can use from this game
Definitely getting the first game out of the way was good and I definitely felt a lot more comfortable as the game went on. It’s good that I got it out of the way and I’m looking forward to stepping on the field at CenturyLink.