Victorious Fire Doesn't Fret Nowak's Comments

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Byline: Orrin Schwarz

Fire officials seemed unperturbed by comments Philadelphia coach Peter Nowak made after Saturday's game.

Nowak, a member of the Ring of Fire, said in his postgame news conference that he was surprised and disappointed that his former team played "with 10 guys in the back, behind the ball," adding, "I believe that in our league this kind of stuff is not supposed to happen. ... We have to work on how to break teams down who just rely on some individual's one maybe lucky shot."

"All the matches are different," Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos said Monday after practice. "Philadelphia is a good team. Peter is a very good coach. We need to add points. We need to be smart to play. I think in this last match we were very smart to play. Our team played very compact, very solid. We deserved the win."

Fire technical director Frank Klopas noted the Fire had more shots on goal -- 6-2 --than Philadelphia. The Fire won 2-1 on goals by Baggio Husidic, set up by a Patrick Nyarko sprint toward the goal along the endline, and Marco Pappa.

"Everybody sees it differently," Klopas said. "Our approach is always to play good soccer, but it's not always possible to do that. But we had a good game plan and you can see, even switching Patrick on one side, we wanted to expose his speed against their back line. The first goal you saw, Patrick used his speed and went by."

To Nowak's comment that Pappa's goal, which came when Philadelphia failed to clear a rebound of a Justin Mapp shot, was a lucky goal, Klopas said, "There's no lucky goals."

Veteran midfielder Logan Pause also preferred to let Nowak's comments go.

"That's fine," Pause said. …