Sounders Insider

Fire coach: Clink 'not an easy place'

Here's some Chicago reaction to the Fire's 2-0 loss to Seattle in the U.S. Open Cup final tonight:

Frank Klopas - Chicago Fire Coach"First I want to congratulate Seattle for winning a third U.S. Open Cup, so congratulations to them. The game, obviously, didn't turn out how we wanted it to, still very proud of the effort our guys put in. We knew that it was going to be a difficult match, for sure. It's not an easy place to come and play. I thought the first half we had moments where we had some rhythm into the game, but never got anything going through the midfield or with our front-runners. I think the second half, we talked about that and tried to get the midfield involved more, develop some rhythm in the play, get our front-runners with their movement to work a little better together. We gave up the set-piece goal, then we tried to push the game and obviously at that point it was late and we were pushing forward and they scored a second goal. I'm proud of the effort from our group, obviously disappointed because we put a lot into the game. We just have to focus on the next game coming up in the league against Dallas at home."

On Seattle winning the home-field advantage in a blind bidding process) "What can I tell you? That's the way they do it, maybe if they find a better solution when it's a neutral site, I couldn't tell you. It was an opportunity. I know that we did everything we could to get it. It would have been great to play at home, but regardless it's a final, and things that aren't in my control I can't worry about that."

On why they weren't able to get any rhythm) "I think they did a very good job defensively, for sure...I don't know if our movement off the ball wasn't great, I don't know if they threw us off a little bit, I don't want to use excuses. I just think we never got rhythm. We had a little bit of a momentum change in the first half then it just seemed that we didn't get that back and our front-runners didn't seem to work well off each other."

On what he can take from the game) "I liked the effort of the group. I know we felt good coming into the game. We were in a rhythm, we were playing well. Every game is going to be different. I liked the attitude of the guys going in. I know they competed hard and they left everything on the field, but we still have to keep working now for the guys to be gelling more on the field. In situations like this, I can find better solutions to get more involved in the game. There's always going to be positives." Logan Pause - Chicago Fire MidfielderOn the game...) "It's disappointing. We came here to win. We were under the gun all night. They're a great team, one of the best in the league. It was a great atmosphere and home field advantage. The better team won tonight unfortunately."(On what the team's overall issue was tonight...) "We struggled to get things going offensively and struggled to create chances. You end up defending for a good portion of the game, which is what it felt like we were doing. They hit the post a couple of times and we dodged a few bullets. On the set piece, we know they're dangerous. They got a knock down tap in and from then on we had to push the game. Then they got the second assurance goal at the end."

On what the team needs to do in its final MLS games in its push to make the playoffs) "We need remember what the last five or six games have looked like, and the results that we've gotten, and try to carry that momentum. As a group, we're not happy with the result. We wanted to win and hoist that trophy, but at the end of the day, we now have to refocus. We know we have a couple of teams to catch so we have to take care of our business and need wins at this stage." Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire GoalkeeperOn the game) "First off, caps off to the Sounders for playing a great game. We came into the game knowing it would be a battle. We fought hard the first 45 and kept it close. In the second half, they had a bit of fortune on their side. They got open on the set piece and (Fredy) Montero was able to finish it off. To cap it off, the last goal by (Osvaldo) Alonso out there was world class. I'm proud of my team for the effort we put forth. It's never easy coming out of a game, especially a championship, with a loss, having worked so hard to get here. We have to look forward now. We have three games left in our season so we have to finish our season strong and try to push for the playoffs." On if the pressure was increasing as the second half went on) "The longer it went scoreless, given the circumstances, the better for us. Pressure, I didn't really feel pressure in the game to be honest. There was about a 15-minute period where Seattle really pressed and I think at the end of that period they got their goal. There are no words to explain going down off a set piece and then trying to push forward to get a goal. We left ourselves open, but you have to take the chance - it's a championship game. It was a hard-fought game and I'm proud of our team, proud of our effort. We'll try to look forward now." On the team struggling to find its rhythm in the first half) "We did seem a bit disconnected going from defense to midfield then midfield up top. We were able to get out of the half 0-0 and that's the most important thing. When you're not playing like you want to you try to do the best you can and just work hard to get out of the situation. I thought we came out in the second half and played a lot better. They were just fortunate to go up a goal and then we were pressing, pressing. They were able to finish the game off with the late goal." On what was missing tonight) "To be honest, it was just one of those nights. Everybody fought hard. You'd have loved to get up and score early on team like this, especially away. We were confident going into the second half. I thought we played a bit better and picked it up a bit. All I can say is, on the night, we played hard and just came up a little short."

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