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April 10, 2024

Frank Klopas

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Press Conference

Q. I remember last year when we talked ahead of the Red Bull game, we always talk Red Bull teams are always, you know, they have that Red Bull identity on the pitch. I'm curious, you know, in this early buildup to the game this weekend what you're seeing from Sandro Schwarz' squad that's been flying so far throughout the MLS season.

FRANK KLOPAS: Yeah, I mean, I think they are DNA still remains. I know they have a different coach. I think he looks to play a bit more. But I think pressing is for sure an essential part of the game plan. It's a team that looks to be really direct, and you know, I think for them it's about winning the ball, second balls, duels, looking to play forward as quickly as they can, and so I expect a lot of the same thing, a lot of energy into the match.

So you know, I mean, it's no different. We played them in preseason. So I mean, most of the guys, we've been here for a long time with the team, they know what to expect.

It's not going to change. Obviously they have added Forsberg, brings more quality on the ball and stuff, but their DNA, their identity, for me, the game idea remains the same.

Q. Going back to last season, some of these big wins, it's been tricky to follow them up with a consistent run of form. How can you ensure that things are different time?

FRANK KLOPAS: I think we have proven in the past that we can put wins together. The team's performed well. Even in moments this year, it's early in the season, that we -- you know, didn't get the results. I thought there was a lot of -- the team had good games.

You know, we've had a tough stretch with the games early on in the season and I think some really good opponents that are going to prepare us. It's no different with the Red Bulls. You go on the road, it's always difficult in this league. We have proven in the past that we are capable of winning there, and we just have to, you know, prepare. I think the last game, obviously, gives us confidence for sure. It was a good performance from the team, and we need almost the same performance, if not better, as a whole from a collective standpoint, and then individually in moments for guys to bring that extra piece of quality that they have against a team that's playing well right now, like you said.

But it's early in the season, and we know what we are going to expect from them, and we need to go in there with confidence.

And we have a good team, we have quality players, and we need to focus, also, a big part in us. I think that's the important thing.

Q. Good to talk to you. In the last game, we saw quite a few changes and obviously the result very well for you to hold on to the lead 2-1. I imagine we are going to see some changes this Saturday ahead for the game against the Red Bulls with some of the players, too?

FRANK KLOPAS: I think the changes remain. I think the players had a good response. They had a good performance, and I think that's important.

You know, we evaluate the players every day in training and I think that's the thing that people don't see. We have a chance to see how they are training, how they are feeling, how they are recovering, and then we make decisions, what's best for the team in the upcoming match.

But you know, obviously the changes we made last week, I felt the guys came in, the changes we made with the players, I think they had really good performances, and as a whole, it was a really good team performance against a good team, Houston, and huge for us to get the result; a game that we needed to get a result. We needed to get max points.

I think this is also a huge game now to follow up with another good performance because after this game, we have the next three will be at home. So it's an opportunity for us to continue to gain momentum, get confidence. We know we need to improve as a team in certain areas but we need to prepare well and go to New York with a lot of confidence because we have a good team.

Q. Just curious if there's an Andrew Gutman update, if he might be available this weekend?

FRANK KLOPAS: Doesn't look like he'll be available for this game. He's still doing a lot of individual work with the trainers. Doing a lot of running and he's touching the ball, which is a positive.

But I don't think, yeah, for me, up to this point, not being integrated with the team at all, I see it very difficult for him to be available.

Q. So I guess the news in MLS today was that there are going to be some changes to the roster rules with the DPs under 22 and all that. Do you have any thoughts on those changes that are going to be coming up with loosening the restrictions, and how does that impact your strategy for the summer, if at all?

FRANK KLOPAS: I know that there was a board of directors meeting. I think that was finishing today. I think there was -- I think, you know, for me, I don't know all the final details. I just got back from practice.

You know, we have a sporting director and technical director. They are on top of any changes that can impact our team, or changes they can impact, and we have to strategize to see what's the best way to move forward with that.

But I just got back in. I don't -- you know, I'm sure I'll get updated with the changes but our sporting director, technical director, you know, I mean, those are questions, I think for them, and in the end, we'll make decisions as far as players going forward.

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