MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013
(All times Eastern)
New England (10-10-7) at Chicago (10-11-6), 8:30 p.m.
Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Fire are in desperate need of a
victory on Saturday when the club hosts the New England Revolution at Toyota
The Fire currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference on 36 points,
but a three-point effort on Saturday would vault the side ahead of New England
and into the playoff picture.
Chicago had a prime opportunity to jump the Revs in the standings on Wednesday
as they took on bottom-dwellers Toronto FC at BMO Field, and they grabbed the
lead early in the match when Dilly Duka scored his fourth goal of the season 20
minutes into the contest.
But they failed to hold the lead as Toronto answered back just three minutes
later when Robert Earnshaw found the back of the net off a nice feed from Bobby
Convey and the sides settled for a point apiece.
Saturday's match will also conclude a busy stretch which saw the Fire play
three games in eight nights. They drew the Houston Dynamo by a 1-1 score on
Sept 1, then fell by a 2-1 count against Seattle six days later.
"I think against Seattle we played well. It's unfortunate to drop points. I
thought we started the game really well, we got the goal but a silly play, a
mistake, and they got momentum and we allowed them back into the game a little
bit and it became difficult," Fire head coach Frank Klopas said.
"We were not able to get on the ball and calm the game down a little bit and it
became a little bit more of an up and down game. I thought we had
opportunities to dictate the tempo better and hold the ball and then we just
forced it. In the second half it was wide open a little bit. The last ten
minutes I thought, with the changes, we got into the game and had some
opportunities, we pushed the game. We knew that out of the two games that we
needed points. Saturday is going to be a big one -- we need to get the three
points at home."
Chicago will also have some reinforcements back into the squad as Designated
Player Arevalo Rios and midfielder Joel Lindpere have returned from
international duty and will be available for selection on Saturday.
The Revolution find themselves in a slightly better position, sitting in fifth
place in the East with a chance to put some distance between themselves and the
clubs below them.
New England will need to put last week's 4-2 loss at the hands of the
Montreal Impact in the past quickly if they hope to steal a result on the road.
Things went south for New England almost from the outset against Montreal as
goalkeeper Matt Reis was shown a straight red card for a challenge in the box
on Marco Di Vaio and the Impact were also awarded a penalty kick on the play.
Reis was replaced by Bobby Shuttleworth, who was powerless to stop the spot
kick from Patrice Bernier as the visitors took the early lead.
The 10-man Revs fought hard as Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe scored, but they
were unable to keep up with Montreal.
Revs head coach Jay Heaps was less than pleased with the match-altering call
"I had no interaction with the referee at all," he said. "I felt that there was
no explanation and it was disappointing. That's what I think was the most
disappointing, just the overall demeanor toward us. That's what I feel upsets
us the most."
09/13 20:51:58 ET