Promising Chicago Fire performance undone by set pieces

The Chicago Fire were left ruing their set piece defense, while the Houston Dynamo players we pleased to have earned a point.
BRIDGEVIEW, Il. – Following a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park, Chicago coach Carlos de los Cobos repeated much of what he said last week against the LA Galaxy. Unlike the home side Saturday evening, Houston Dynamo players were quite pleased with their efforts given the amount of time they had left. Here’s what they had to say:

In Chicago’s press conference with Carlos de los Cobos, he first and foremost addressed the ability of Houston to attack on set plays.

“We know Houston has a good coach and they’re very good on free kicks and corner kicks. We prepared all week long for this but it’s a shame we let in a goal so late in the game,” Cobos said.

He also mentioned his intentions when explaining why the big difference in the starting line-up this week.

“Dominic (Oduro) is a fast player, and I brought Baggio (Husidic) in to help Logan Pause control the midfield and distribute the ball well,” said Cobos.

Captain Logan Pause well understood the value of the loss and commented, “One of the things that makes this team so successful are set pieces. We worked on them all week and it’s a bummer to see the ball go in. It was my man (marking) that scored the goal so I am responsible for what happened,” said Pause.

When asked Marco Pappa about the influences Dominic Oduro’s speed has on their game, he commented, “We’re all trying to get better playing with each other. We’re finding out how he moves at training and how he likes his balls played.” Pappa’s main concern was that the team chemistry is not yet solidified amongst the Fire players. Much needs to be done to match that Chicago Fire of 2008-2009.

Turning to Houston, Danny Cruz seemed to be quite pleased with the way the boys performed, saying, “We knew what we had to do in the second half and that was to create and attack until we finally got a goal. Our performance in the second half was a bit dull but we recovered and got it done in the second half,” Cruz said.

The Fire avoided a fourth consecutive defeat but still remain winless in four matches. Collecting only a point out of a possible twelve, the Fire are sitting in the deep bottom of the Eastern Conference. As for Houston, the tie extends their unbeaten run to four matches now, placing them third in the East.

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