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May 27, 2023

Frank Klopas

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Press Conference

New England 3, Chicago Fire FC 3

Q. I want to know your opinions about the performance tonight. I know you make a few changes in the lineup, so I wanted to find out what you think about, it was what you expected or something that you need to go for the win?

FRANK KLOPAS: With the changes, you mean?

Q. Yes.

FRANK KLOPAS: Yeah, it's the third game in a week. So obviously like I said before the game, we had to assess certain guys, how they were. You know, we made the changes necessary but the changes were made in a positive way. We came on the road and we scored two goals, three goals.

Yeah, I felt the first 35 minutes into the game, I felt we dominated the game. We had an excellent performance being up 2-0 and then you know, momentum changed, obviously giving up those two goals right before the half.

And in the second half, look, we suffered a little bit, but then we found a way in certain moments to get the third goal and then they equalized late.

You know, they had chances, also. We can't take that away. They had chances the second half. But you know it's a little bit bitter feeling right now because you scored three goals on the road and in the end you look at it and say, okay, with the chances they had, it's a fair result but it's a little bit bitter with the goals that we gave up.

You know, taking a point on the road against a team like this, normally you feel really good, and we still do but kind of feel like we left points here. But in the end, look, they also had chances. So fair result, but kind of bitter.

Q. Did you feel using three mens in the back was good? Supposedly New England was supposed to use three mens in the back, too, but they used three, also. Tell me a little bit about that.

FRANK KLOPAS: It's just the way we wanted to build our play up in possession. They had two forwards. We had the advantage in the back with the three. We boxed the midfield. They were in a diamond in the first 35, 40 minutes. We had the advantage playing out of the back. We always set advantage in the middle with our pivots. When we played that and we switched the point of attack, we always set really good triangles and numerical advantage once we move the ball.

And yeah, it was -- for me, there was no issue with that at all.

Q. His first MLS start, Koutsias, second goal in as many games. What did you see from him tonight?

FRANK KLOPAS: Look, we knew that we'd have opportunities in transition. It's something that we talked about and we prepared in our game plan.

And you know, once we got the ball with Shaq and they pushed numbers forward; and then our ability in transition to break the first line and if we could find Shaq where he was able to turn and have runs behind, we knew we would get opportunities like that.

You know, great start. He had a very good game obviously, and a great finish there. But he helped the team. He worked extremely hard. He's just going to continue to develop and get better and better. We used him out wide almost as a second forward coming in, and yeah, he showed a lot of composure with that finish. You see his pace, getting behind.

So he's a young player that's going to grow and he definitely doesn't lack confidence, like I said, and obviously scored two goals now in two games, his first start. He did really well, and he's just got to continue to push in the right way, and he's just going to get better and better.

Q. Maren has shown the ability to play winger and fullback. Why is he the type of player that can be counted on for both of those roles, and if you can give an update on Pineda if possible.

FRANK KLOPAS: Yeah, Maren has got obviously a lot of pace. He's got the ability to cover the width. At some times, he needs to drop a little bit deeper and that was the game plan because we wanted to force Boateng, Boateng coming inside.

We didn't want him receiving the ball where he can face our back line. Maren being a little bit deeper, forcing him inside in the pockets, he was not a threat at that point because then Kendall did a great job with him picking him up.

Maren also has the ability now when we win the ball with his pace in transition, you have Shaq on that side, their ability to rotate with Shaq comes at times wide. He comes inside in the half channels, and he's just a really dangerous player, a really good two-way player where he does it without the ball helping the team; but then his ability to get forward with pace, he's a very good one-on-one player and has the ability to finish and make the final pass. So it's great for us. His addition has been excellent.

And with Pineda, it's a concussion protocol. I think they evaluate it, the doctors did, and now he's in that protocol. We have to see day-to-day, I don't know what -- how long he's going to be out but just hope it doesn't -- I not that long but he's done a concussion protocol.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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