Coach's Corner, with Storm head coach Steve Morris
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - Coach Steve Morris discusses the Storm's first win against New Jersey and a challenging exhibition week against the AISL's Rockford team.
- Question: Going back to the team's most recent MISL win against New Jersey, was there an emphasis on creating high-percentage chances and patience with the ball? Because it appeared there were a lot of both.
- Coach Morris: I thought we moved the ball well against New Jersey. We created some good scoring opportunities and we were pretty sharp around the gall. That gave us the lead early, and we were more comfortable. I think that's one of our sharpest games we've had offensively.
- Question: The team spread the field nicely, as well. That certainly added to maintaining the pace and execution of the match.
- Coach Morris: Yeah, for us to play at our best, we need proper spacing in the final third. That opens up space for our targets to play into them.
- Question: In the postgame interview, you might have listed about 15 or 20 elements the team battled, from illness to injury. Is it just one of those puzzling things that the players were able to play so well under those circumstances, yet could not do the same the day before on the road in Baltimore?
- Coach Morris: Yeah, I don't know if there's an answer to it. We have the ability to show so much character, and at times the players are disillusioned. It's all a matter of trying to get them to realize that they're capable of playing that way under any circumstances.
- Question: You've talked about Chile Farias these past two games between the New Jersey match and the exhibition against Rockford. Is he realizing that if he's not in a position to score, that he might as well create for everyone else around him? He's been very effective of late.
- Coach Morris: We've had a little heart-to-heart talk since the Milwaukee game. He understands what we're looking for on this team as a player. And he's worked very hard to try to not change his game, but add to his game. He's worked very hard on playing defense. When he plays defense, we have no problems with Chile. And when he defends, it opens up scoring opportunities.
- Question: What was your overall impression of the School Day Game? It gave the kids and chaperones something to remember.
- Coach Morris: Yeah, it was a great experience for the kids. For them to see us in our work environment as opposed to a school assembly, I'm sure it was cool for them. The game itself, it was competitive and Rockford played well. It was highlighted by their goalkeeper (Dimitri Meletis) early on, making 10 to 15 saves early. I was pleased for them, and it goes to show you that there are a lot of good soccer players around this area.
- Question: Against Rockford, we saw Stephen Brust (the Storm's third-round 2008 MISL College Draft pick) for the first time in a game setting. Gabriel Cigliano had a goal. Did you have any first or second impressions from some of the team's newer guys in the exhibition game?
- Coach Morris: I was very pleased with Stephen, off his two days of training. He's a good kid who already has graduated (from Bradley University). And if he continues to show us this effort the way he has in the past week, who knows, he may be on the roster before the end of the year. He did some good things, and there are some nuances he still needs to learn and understand. But his athleticism, energy and commitment were fantastic. ... Gabriel, he's getting more comfortable as he continues to play. It was another important game for him in the defender position, trying to break him in. And now to give him a full game was beneficial.
- Question: This Saturday is another exhibition, this time near Rockford. Talk about the importance of this phase in terms of broadening the scope of the Storm's presence.
- Coach Morris: Yeah, I think it's very important as a franchise. Rockford's only 45 minutes from the Sears Centre, so it's a doable market. We haven't pulled in as many fans from that area, and we hope we can put on a good show, do the right things on and off the field in Rockford. We'd like to build a solid presence there, and we have a camp up there. It's an important weekend, but for us, it's also important to continue fine tuning our game.
- Interview conducted by public and media relations director Charlie Corr.
The Chicago Storm are members of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Storm offices are located at 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., in Hoffman Estates. For more information on all aspects of Storm soccer, including season tickets, group outings, birthday parties and more, call (866) STORM-81, or visit ChicagoStorm.net.
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