Chicago Fire vs. Colorado Rapids | MLS Match Preview
CHICAGO FIRE vs COLORADO RAPIDS
TOYOTA PARK, Bridgeview, Ill.
June 19, 2013 (WEEK 17, MLS Game #142)
7:30 p.m. CT (My50 Chi; Altitude)
The Chicago Fire put their undefeated run on the line when they continue their Toyota Park homestand on Wednesday night by playing host to the Colorado Rapids. The Fire made it three league games without loss in their last match, coming back for a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers 10 days ago. The Rapids saw their six-game undefeated run put to an end last weekend in a 2-1 home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.
REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 58 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 6; pens: 7
DISABLED LIST: COL: Jaime Castrillon, Diego Calderón, Matt Pickens
SUSPENDED: COL: Atiba Harris (through June 19)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: COL: Hendry Thomas
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHI: Daniel Paladini … COL: Shane O’Neill, Dillon Powers
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CHI: Victor Pineda (USA U-20) … COL: Shane O’Neill, Dillon Serna (both USA U-20)
ALL-TIME (37 meetings): Fire 17 wins (0 shootout), 60 goals … Rapids 12 wins (1 shootout), 48 goals … Ties 8
AT CHICAGO (19 meetings): Fire 14 wins (0 shootout), 40 goals … Rapids 3 wins (0 shootout), 18 goals … Ties 2
LAST YEAR (MLS)
4/1: COL 2, CHI 0 (Cummings 58; Hill 92+)
- The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
- The Rapids have never won at Toyota Park. Colorado’s last road win against Chicago came in 2004, at Soldier Field. Since, the Fire are 5-0-2 in home games in the series, including a 2-0 win in the last meeting in Bridgeview in 2011.
- Colorado’s 2-0 win last year at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park snapped a three-game winless streak in home games vs. the Fire. They had last won in Commerce City in the series in 2008.
- Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. COL: P2 W1 L1 D0 … Oscar Pareja vs. CHI: P1 W1 L0 D0
The Chicago Fire stretched their modest undefeated streak to three games, coming back for a 2-2 with the Portland Timbers in their last league match, June 8 at Toyota Park. The Fire are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points from 13 matches.
- The Timbers opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Diego Valeri collected a flick-on by Frederic Piquionne at the top of the box, carved out some space then beat Sean Johnson from the top of the box.
- The lead was doubled just before the hour mark when Ben Zemanski scored his first goal of the season, finishing off a nice team movement with a blast from well outside the area that slipped inside the right post.
- But the Fire pulled a goal back in the 68th minute. Alex played a through ball to Mike Magee in the box, and after defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste couldn't clear it, Mike Magee finished with an easy tap-in goal.
- The leveler came eight minutes from the end. After some sustained Chicago pressure, Magee earned a free kick that Daniel Paladini bent around the wall and beat Portland goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
- Fire head coach Frank Klopas made one change to the team that knocked off D.C. United 2-0 at Toyota Park. Dilly Duka came into the side with Joel Lindpere away on international duty.
- CHICAGO FIRE (4-2-3-1): Sean Johnson - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Jeff Larentowicz (Daniel Paladini 70), Alex - Patrick Nyarko, Chris Rolfe (Maicon Santos 64), Dilly Duka (Sherjill MacDonald 71) - Mike Magee.
- After scoring just two goals over a five-game span from April 20-May 25, the Fire have now scored two goals in each of their last two league games.
- “I’m thinking about how this is probably the best feeling tie I’ve had in a long time. Its kind weird to say getting a tie at home but for some reason it feels good just the way we fought and responded down 2-0,” said Mike Magee. “Something like this can turn your season around.”
- Magee scored his second goal in as many league games for the Fire, and now sits in third place in the MLS Golden Boot standings with eight goals, two behind leader Jack McInerney of Philadelphia.
- “I think the two moves that we made, you can see the big difference on the field already. We’re not that far off,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “I do feel we need to add a couple more pieces but Mike [Magee] and Baky [Soumare], you can see the impact they’ve had on the group and the difference they’ve made on the field.”
- Daniel Paladini scored his second goal of the season, directly from a free kick. It was the first Fire goal directly from a free kick since Pavel Pardo scored last July 14 vs. Vancouver.
- “When I walked up to it, that’s the spot I usually practice from the most,” Paladini said. “He backed up and told me to hit it.” Said Magee: “I wanted to take it. He called it first and I said ‘No, I got it’ and he said it’s from my spot and in that situation you have to give it to him. … Obviously he’ll get free kicks from now on. I won’t argue with it again.”
- Since their last league match, the Fire reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup following a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew. Magee netted a first-half equalizer, then Patrick Nyarko hit for the game-winner in the 77th minute.
- Here’s the Fire team: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Alex (Jeff Larentowicz 81’), Logan Pause (Daniel Paladini 59’), Dilly Duka (Maicon Santos 46’); Chris Rolfe, Mike Magee
- Magee has scored a goal in each of his four appearances in all competitions for the Fire, also netting in each of the Fire’s victories in the U.S. Open Cup.
- There was a welcome return in the Open Cup match as Logan Pause returned to the lineup for the first time since being forced off at halftime of the May 28 Open Cup match.
- “There are a lot of games coming up and I think the ability to have depth in the team and rely on all the guys is key,” said Klopas. “You’re not going to have 11 guys that play throughout the whole season. I think it’s important now in this stretch to have all the guys healthy and ready to go.”
The Colorado Rapids saw their undefeated streak put to an after six matches, falling 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with 20 points from 15 matches.
- The Earthquakes took the lead in the 11th minute. Alan Gordon flicked on a header out of the midfield from a Justin Morrow long ball and Steven Lenhart corraled it, holding up just in front of the area before blasting the ball past Rapids ‘keeper Clint Irwin’s fingertips.
- The home side then went down a man seven minutes later when Atiba Harris came in on a late brutal tackle on San Jose's Alan Gordon, and referee Jorge Gonzalez showed a straight red card.
- The Quakes doubled their lead seven minutes after the break. Rafael Baca’s looping through ball from midfield again broke down the Rapids’ back line, with a wide-open Sam Cronin running in alone on goal to hammer home a rising shot.
- The Rapids pulled a goal back in the 67th minute when Brian Mullan, freed on the right by Martin Rivero, whipped in a cross that found Nathan Sturgis open for a simple header from close range.
- Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Brian Mullan came into the back four in place of Shane O'Neill
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-1-2-3): Clint Irwin - Brian Mullan, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Christopher Klute (Anthony Wallace 60) - Hendry Thomas - Nathan Sturgis, Dillon Powers (Martin Rivero 46) - Atiba Harris (sent off 18), Edson Buddle, Deshorn Brown (Jaime Castrillon 65).
- The Rapids went down to defeat in league play for the first time since their 1-0 home loss to Seattle Sounders FC on April 20. It was just their second defeat in the last 10 games.
- "They didn't have a whole lot of chances other than the two goals and a couple of chances late in the game when we were pushed forward, trying to find the tying goal,” said defender Drew Moor. “The two goals were just bad goals to give away. Unfortunately, it reminded me a little bit of last year. To be fair, both goals were taken well by San Jose, but we need to deal with the goals better than that, and we need to start better than we did tonight.”
- After scoring one goal in his first eight MLS seasons, Nathan Sturgis has scored three goals this season, netting for the third time in the last four games in the San Jose loss.
- “I don’t know exactly what it was but we just didn’t come out very sharp and we got punished with giving up a goal and getting a red card and that kind of put us in a hole. I think after that we played pretty well and overall we can be pretty happy about that besides giving up the second goal,” said Sturgis. “I thought we were playing pretty well and created some good chances. I thought we created enough to get at least one point out of that if not to win.”
- Jaime Castrillón made his 2013 season debut after offseason knee surgery, coming on in the 65th minute in place of Deshorn Brown.
- “Seven months without the opportunity to play and now I finally was able to get minutes in an official game. I am very happy because I’ve been playing with my teammates and with the reserves, but now it is in an official league game,” said Castrillón. “It wasn’t the result that we wanted but now I will continue working to break into the starting lineup.”
- After missing out on the FC Dallas match with a foot injury, Martín Rivero returned to action, coming on at halftime in place of Dillon Powers.
- “They brought energy they brought technique they brought great movement as well,” said Pareja. “Sometimes we have to understand that the movement and running into spaces is not just about speed and that’s what we try to get out of subs and I thought Jaime did a great job in that part. He had two excellent moves and Martín had a lot of glue with the other players and gave us what we were needing in the middle. It was an excellent performance by those two.”
- In the days leading up to the Chicago match, there was a stunning trade as longtime campaigner Pablo Mastroeni was sent to the LA Galaxy. The all-time club leader in appearances, Mastroeni came to Colorado in 2002 in the dispersal draft from Miami Fusion FC.
- “There’s an incredible connection that was formed with this community, and I will be forever grateful for that experience. I always tried to say thanks by giving everything I had on the field, but now, I will have to do it with words,” Mastroeni wrote in a letter to Rapids supporters. “Thank you again for all your support, for giving hope when things looked dim. Colorado will always have a place in my heart.”