Unbeaten RSL visits winless Chicago
Bridgeview, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Fire is one of only two teams in MLS that is still waiting to claim their first win, and Saturday's visit from unbeaten Real Salt Lake doesn't figure to offer the club a great chance at three points.
In fact, both teams have become quite familiar with sharing the points in recent games as the Fire has drawn an MLS record six straight contests while RSL has three draws in its last four matches.
After losing to Chivas USA on the opening weekend of the season, Chicago has played to six successive draws, which head coach Frank Yallop feels is a bit misleading.
"No, the performances have been there," Yallop said when asked about the play of his team so far this season. "It's a funny game, soccer. You can play poorly and win or play great and not win. Our performances have deserved more than they've got, and while we haven't been fantastic, we haven't been bad."
Two weeks ago, the Fire took a 1-0 lead against New England through a 16th- minute goal from Quincy Amarikwa, but gave the goal back 15 minutes later as Lee Nguyen leveled the contest for the Revolution.
Amarikwa has been one of the pleasant surprises for the Fire this season, leading the club with four goals while also chipping in an assist. But he will be suspended for Saturday's match, which will make the contest more difficult for the hosts.
Salt Lake was disappointed not to come away with three points from its last match after the club took a 2-0 lead at Vancouver in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Joao Plata and Alvaro Saborio both found the net for RSL to put the club in a comfortable position, but the team was unable to close out the match after giving away late goals to Nicolas Mezquida and Sebastian Fernandez.
"The energy in the first half was awesome," RSL defender Chris Wingert said of his team's performance against Vancouver in the opening 45 minutes. "Our forwards were working so hard, defending too - they were incredible. We were firing on all cylinders and putting them under pressure knocking the ball around. We had two good goals and we were playing like how we like to play."
But the key for Salt Lake is to become better at closing out matches, with the Vancouver game marking the third time this season that RSL has given up the equalizing goal in the 90th minute or later.
05/02 16:51:22 ET