|Major League Soccer|
· Int'l Soccer
Saturday, March 24, 2012 (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia (0-2-0) at Chicago (0-0-1), 8:30 p.m.
Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Fire escaped Canada with a draw in the Montreal Impact's home opener last weekend, and will try to add to the Philadelphia Union's early-season woes Saturday in their home opener.
Chicago tied Montreal, 1-1, in front of almost 60,000 fans at Olympic Stadium, and will try to continue a surge that started late last season at Toyota Park against winless Philadelphia.
The Fire (0-0-1) are one of just three Eastern Conference teams without a loss after the first two weeks of the season. The Union (0-2-0) are one of three in the East with two losses after two games. Chivas USA is the only two-loss West side.
Chicago closed last season with seven wins and a draw in its last 10 games and the draw to open this season on the road was another positive result.
Dominic Oduro scored off an assist from Sebastian Grazzini, as the club's main threats continued to produce for manager Frank Klopas.
Oduro led the club with 12 goals last season, and Sebastian Grazzini has five goals and five assists in just 12 league appearances.
"It was great for him to start off the season with a goal for his confidence," Klopas said of Oduro. "He worked hard for it. But we all worked hard. Even the guys who came off the bench played hard."
Chicago remained solid defensively, something Klopas emphasized last year, and Oduro is confident positive results will continue this season.
"It will work, it worked last year," he said. "We still had defenders sitting back. We believe on our team, we believe in our system.
"No matter what adjustment teams make, we're ... going to stick to our plan."
Chicago lost goalie Sean Johnson to the U.S. Under-23 side, but Philadelphia is without more firepower with Freddy Adu and Sheanon Williams also with the team in preparation for the Olympics.
In addition, defender Danny Califf will miss the match, adding more concerns for a Union defense that has leaked five goals in just two games.
The Union lost at the Portland Timbers to start the year, 3-1, and lost to the Colorado Rapids at home last week, 2-1.
Philadelphia coach Peter Nowak used a lineup with three defenders last weekend but there is still some adjusting to do for the Union to make the setup work.
"I think we have a lot of work to do," Union forward Danny Mwanga said. "But where we started since the preseason to now, I have no doubts that we are moving in the right direction.
"We attacked more and we created a lot of chances. We definitely got some good things going. We've just got to make sure we keep doing what we're doing and move forward."
03/23 19:25:42 ET
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