PRESS CONFERENCE: Jesse Marsch | 04/21/18

Q. What happened today, was it because Schweinsteiger was in the back line or just was it a combination of didn't look like the guys were ready to play today?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I think, well, first of all, I want to thank everybody for doing this quickly.

Yeah, I think a number of things. Chicago should take playing against us personally, right and I get that. Like when you get knocked out, when you've had challenges against certain teams, then it builds more competitive fire. So they came out and they won a lot of duels in the first half, aerial duels, tackles. They fought, they battled, and then they caused trouble on our back line.

You know, we're trying to build more into our team with the ball. We're trying to build more into making our team better here as we go along, and I would describe today as a little bit of us trying to do some more things to move ourselves along, and then not quite being effective enough at it, and then we wind up going down one, down two, and then we start to, then we have to chase the game.

So in some ways, it's very normal, because we've had to, you know, accelerate our team in a lot of ways, and then I've said this: We've skipped steps along the way, so we are not quite what we need to be, which is normal for me, and now we've got to find ways to look at things carefully, get better, work on things in training, and we'll have the opportunity to do that. We'll have more and more regular training weeks coming up in the next couple months, and the key now is for us to get better and better every week.

I would argue that this was similar to what first half looked like against Montréal, you know, which is lack of urgency, lack of sharpness, lack of clarity in terms of how to be effective with the ball and aggressive to get at the other team. We probably created a few more chances in that game, but I think Chicago is a better team than their record.

So you know, in the end, we don't look the way we want tonight, and we're going to find ways to improve on it.

Q. Did it appear to you perfect your vantage point that it looked a little more personal to them?
JESSE MARSCH: I even talked about some of their quotes in the press, their coach, their players, and we weren't up for it. We weren't up for it. We thought that the game was going to be about passing and football, and it was more about like a team that's desperate; that needs points; that has a point to prove, and they showed it. So, you know, good for them.

But our little bit naiveté and inability to understand what we were in for meant that on the day, we came in second most of the day.

Q. You touched on things you tried to do. What are some things you tried and didn't work out? And Danny, he started the year out well with that diving header in Champions League and since then, seems like he hasn't been able to make a difference and he's gotten some bad luck, as well?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I mean, one of my assistants when he hit the corner of the crossbar and post said, "What's he got to do to get a goal?" It's been that kind of start the year for Danny. When you're an attacking player and a scorer, you've got to work your way through that, and there's going to be moments where the goals don't come as easy but you've got to just keep playing, keep fighting through it, keep finding ways to get chances and eventually they are going to go.

That's certainly what the message will be for Danny and he's got to try to continue to move anxiety and know that it's going to eventually come.

Yeah, then, you know, some of our -- we're just trying to work through some of our ability with the ball to now build out, to command moments with possession, to still find ways for that to lead to penetrating plays and be dangerous, and still not get away from what we want to be, which is our pressing and our running at times and our being very aggressive without the ball.

So you know, it's a difficult balance to get right but we've got to work through some of this now so that at the end of the year, we're better at both things.

You know, I've got to look at the video and now figure out ways to help the team understand their roles in some of these moments a little bit better, because even then, when we had the ball, our whole tactical arrangement was too loose and it meant that when we lost the ball, we weren't able to win it back right away.

So, you know, we've got things to work on.

Q. Talking about Danny again, what was the play there when they wiped out his goal?
JESSE MARSCH: They called off-sides on Etienne I think. I didn't see it. They said they looked at it again and thought it was off-side. I don't know. You guys might have seen it better.

Q. On the JumboTron -- it was a little bit off?
JESSE MARSCH: It was off? That's what J.C., the fourth official said.

Q. How frustrating, just a little off, on some of those?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, in some ways, it's normal. We've been thrown into an early-season grind, and you know, in some ways, I think we just need to keep working, right. It's still early in the year and we need to just keep working and keep developing better understanding and keep integrating Kaku and keep getting this team so that it's really all on the same page.

So it's normal for it not to be perfect right now, and you know -- but we've got to have urgency in the workday and the work week and especially now our schedule gets tough.

So dropping this puts a little bit more pressure on the table and the points and that kind of stuff. So, you know, but we'll manage it and we'll find ways to get better.

Q. In the attacking third, was it a lack of ideas or is it just sharpness? And it seemed like a lot of times when you were trying to hit that long ball out of the back, they did a good job of picking that out.
JESSE MARSCH: I was a little bit perplexed why we all of a sudden just started trying long balls. Some of it is, okay, we're trying to play in their end a little bit, but I thought we were too anxious when it was 1-0 in the half to feel like we had to get the goal right away.

It's a young group, still. It's a group that's coming together. So the maturity of understanding what games are about and how to handle moments and make sure the belief and understanding that it's going to come together; we showed it last week, which was a good step. This week, not as much, and there's still more to work on.

Yeah, and that being said, you know, if we handle certain moments a little bit better, obviously the result could have been different. But credit to Chicago. They came with a real edge and went after it.

Q. Defensively, you guys have been pretty strong throughout this first two months of the season. You haven't given up many chances today and they did a good job of exploiting you in open space. Why was that today that today you guys didn't do as good of a job at closing down the counter?
JESSE MARSCH: I thought first half, our -- like our man marking in the back was terrible, and it was because there was no communication, no alertness, no urgency.

And then, you know, they also arranged themselves to sort of be wide so that when they did win balls, they would pull our team apart and challenge us to mark them, which is a good tactic. And then, you know, like the first one comes off a corner kick; the second one comes off of a play where Aaron gets beat and now they are in on goal. We have to do better on those moments and we have to do better on set pieces. It's a number of games now where off of set pieces we have not been good. So work to do.