Steve Clark CHIvCLB 3-19-16

SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER

On being happy with this result on the road...
I think so. Given how the game went, we could live with it. We still need to be sharper on the ball. Give Chicago credit, they defended with a lot of guys. That’s what’s happened. Teams are making it tough on us, even at their home. We have to deal with that, and we are in the process of overcoming it.


On being pleased with the shutout...
Yes, that was important. We didn’t give up - [they had] very few quality chances that we gave up. We created some ourselves. At the end of the day we are happy with the point. It’s the first point of the year, and we can take some consolation in the fact we got a shutout as well.


On being surprised Chicago defended with so many...
No. If you watch what Portland did, the defending MLS champions, they did the same thing. Philadelphia did the same thing. It’s a decent blueprint. It makes it much tougher on us. We have to be much more precise. We are lacking that precision right now. It’s a way to try to keep us off the scoreboard, and it was effective. I think a lot of credit goes to the coach and the team.


On not creating more chances given the amount of possession the team had...
It’s frustrating. Like I said, they were compact. I didn’t think we did a good job of overloading the wings and getting opportunities in the first half on the right side of the field. Second half, we didn’t do a good job of executing that. We had a couple good shots from distance; but overall, I think we lacked the precision in front of the goal in which ended up making it easy.


On Ethan Finlay’s 100th game...
I think he was active today. This was his best game so far this year and he’s getting into form. That’s going to be important for us because he is so valuable for us. And what he gives us is a work rate; he gives us great timing of runs right in front of goal and very good execution. So we are proud of Ethan, we’re proud of everything he’s accomplished so far in his young MLS career, and I’m excited to see what he continues to do.


On Meram’s first start...
You could tell he was a little uncertain. I told him as he is coming off the field that what I’m most happy and proud of is his work. He gave everything he had. It wasn’t perfect. You can see he’s a little rusty. He’s getting back into form. His effort was exceptional. I’m happy about that.


On the need to hammer home the need for shots on goal and scoring goals...
Listen, it’s the hardest thing to do in soccer: score goals. It’s going to take some time. When you have guys that have different circumstances, with Justin coming off his surgery, some other guys like Emil having an injury -- we are trying to get these guys up to speed. We only have one forward on the roster right now. All that is coming. You get a shutout on the road; it’s important. I’m happy with that.


On having a bye week...
If you look at last year where we were, we have three points after three games. We had five points after five.  So you put it all into perspective, I think we’re fine. It’s a long season. It’s finally starting to sink in how teams want to play against us, and how hard each win and each point is going to be. And that’s our reality.  And that’s fine and we’ll deal with it and we’ll move on.


DEFENDER MICHAEL PARKHURST

On raising the players’ individual efforts...
I think that overall defensively, it was our best game of the season. Offensively I think we are a little bit sharper than the other games. We created a few more chances. We had a couple chances today that we could have done better with. I think overall it’s a positive result and it’s a good point on the road. We would have of course loved to win it, but we will take this and build on it.


On not capitalizing by the pressing the flanks so much today...
We had our possession from about 30 yards out from their goal. We could go side to side, but we needed to be a little bit more patient and suck them out a little bit. Ethan [Finlay] got in behind a couple times in the first half; Harrison [Afful] was close. We need to be better when teams pack it in against us because a lot of teams do that. It’s something that we are working on and being more patient with. But we’ll take the result today.


On encouraging more individual effort to break through a packed midfield...
It’s part of the game for sure. When guys can make something happen individually, it’s very good but we are more stressing one-twos and creating two versus ones on the wing, and getting in behind them and getting the ball in the box. That’s what we do best. We have a couple guys that can make things happen one on one which is always helpful when teams pack it in. If somebody is able to pull something off, sometimes you need that. We just didn’t have that tonight.


On looking towards the next two road matches...
A victory. Good performances. We have a couple weeks to get ready, and a few guys are going to leave us but we will put in a couple good weeks of work and try to get a win on the board.


GOALKEEPER STEVE CLARK

On tallying a point on the road...
It’s our aim to win every game. We are happy with a shutout and we’ll take the point, and continue to develop.


On the team’s defensive performance...
I thought they were fantastic. I thought it was a good team defensive performance. Michael [Parkhurst] and Gaston [Sauro], Harry [Afful] and Waylon [Francis] were very good.


On facing Montreal and FC Dallas in the upcoming weeks...
We have some time to just work, and we need to work. We need to develop. We have two weeks of training and the aim is going to be better at every aspect of the game, and we can.

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