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Final

FC Dallas vs. Chicago Fire | MLS Match Preview

FC DALLAS vs CHICAGO FIRE
TOYOTA STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
Oct. 12, 2013 (WEEK 33, MLS Game #303)
7:30 p.m. CT (TWCSN-TX; My50 Chi)

FC Dallas will be aiming to keep their slim playoff hopes alive against a Chicago Fire side desperate for a win to pull themselves back into a postseason position when the clubs meet in the Brimstone Cup match on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. FCD must win to remain in contention for a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs, following their 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake last weekend. The Fire are two points out of the top five in the Eastern Conference, following their 3-0 win at D.C. United last week.

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REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
Stott MLS Career: 242 games; FC/gm: 25.6; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 60; pens: 54

DISABLED LIST: DAL: Eric Hassli; Ugo Ihemelu (season-ending injury)
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: David Ferreira, Jair Benitez, Blas Perez … CHI: Daniel Paladini, Bakary Soumare, Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: George John, Je-Vaughn Watson, Jackson, Fabian Castillo … CHI: Jalil Anibaba, Chris Rolfe, Dilly Duka, Gonzalo Segares
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Blas Perez (Panama) … CHI: Joel Lindpere (Estonia); Arevalo Rios (Uruguay)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (36 meetings): FC Dallas 20 wins (2 shootout), 68 goals … Fire 12 wins (1 shootout), 55 goals … Ties 4
AT DALLAS (17 meetings): FC Dallas 12 wins (1 shootout), 38 goals … Fire 3 wins (0 shootout), 22 goals … Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/23: CHI 2, DAL 1 (Grazzini 45; Pappa 63 – Hedges 41)
•    The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
•    The Fire won the Brimstone Cup – awarded by the two supporters’ clubs of the two teams so named when it matched the Fire and the Burn – last year for the first time since 2001, in a 2-1 victory at Toyota Park in the only meeting between the teams.
•    The win was the first for the Fire in the all-time series since a 3-1 Chicago win in 2009, ending a five-game winless streak, and was their first win ever in Bridgeview, their last home win coming in 2005.
•    Coaches' records: Schellas Hyndman vs. CHI: P8 W4 L2 D2 … Frank Klopas vs. DAL: P2 W1 L1 D0

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas put an end to their three-game losing streak, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. FCD is in eighth place in the Western Conference with 41 points from 31 matches.

LAST MATCH

•    Real were a man down after just 17 minutes when Abdoulie Mansally was sent off by referee Hilario Grajeda after a late, hard tackle on Jackson.
•    But the home side was able to take the lead in the 60th minute when Alvaro Saborío got on the end of a long, bouncing ball cleared toward the Dallas area, held off three Dallas defenders and won just enough space to fire a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
•    But the visitors pulled even 12 minutes later. Substitute Je-Vaughn Watson raced down the left wing and hit a ball across the middle that goalkeeper Nick Rimando could only parry to Kenny Cooper, who took one touch before poking it into the back of the net.
•    FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made four changes to the team that dropped a 4-2 decision to the Columbus Crew at Toyota Stadium. Chris Seitz came in between the posts for Raul Fernandez, Stephen Keel andJair Benitez started in the back four for Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd, and Michel came into the midfield for Erick.
•    FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz - Kellyn Acosta, George John, Stephen Keel, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Michel (Peter Luccin 61) - Jackson, Mauro Diaz (Kenny Cooper 46), Fabian Castillo (Je-Vaughn Watson 70) - Blas Perez.

TEAM NEWS
•    While FC Dallas put an end to their three-game losing streak, they did see their overall winless run extended to four games. FCD has won two league matches since the start of June.
•    “We needed three points. We don’t need ties, we need wins. We’re so disappointed, so frustrated right now because Salt Lake gave us the chance to get those three points and we didn’t capitalize on it,” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said.
•    Kenny Cooper netted his fourth goal of the season, his first in league play since May 18. He was making his ninth consecutive substitute appearance; his 45-minute shift was his longest action since his last start, July 20 vs. Montreal.
•    “We felt that we needed a second striker. We needed two strikers we didn’t feel like at the end of the first half we were putting enough pressure in the box so we put Kenny Cooper in and I think Kenny scored the goal,” Hyndman said.
•    Added Cooper: “We’re all extremely hungry to get in there with only three points. We know we have to get points. I think you’re going to see a really determined squad over these next couple games and finally get some points.”
•    Chris Seitz was making his fifth start of the season in goal for FC Dallas,with Raúl Fernández out. In games where Seitz has deputized, FCD has three wins and two draws.
•    “We’ve got to just continue to get better as a unit from all people, we need to work well as a team. We don’t really have any chances we need to go out there and create our own. It’s going to be a fight for the next three games,” Seitz said.
•    Peter Luccin made his FCD and MLS debut, coming on for the final half-hour in the midfield, after being reinstated from the injured reserve list.
•    Je-Vaughn Watson also made his first appearance in three matches, coming on as a substitute for the final 20 minutes.
•    “We brought Peter on to give us some direction in the midfield … not lose as many balls. We brought Je-Vaughn on and the first time he touched the ball, he took it 70 yards and put a great ball across,” said Hyndman. “So I think we needed to score in the first half and it didn’t happen.”

CHICAGO FIRE
The Chicago Fire won for the first time in three matches, strolling to a 3-0 victory against D.C. United at RFK Stadium. The Fire are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 43 points from 31 matches.

LAST MATCH
•    The Fire opened the scoring in the 24th minute. On the near side of the 18-yard box, Juan Luis Anangonó beat James Riley and then beat Daniel Woolard with a nimble cutback before slipping the ball to Larentowicz, who knocked it past United goalkeeper Joe Willis from a tight angle.
•    Two minutes later, the Fire doubled the margin when center back Bakary Soumare blasted home a loose ball after Willis was drawn out of the goalmouth by a long free kick.
•    Substitute Quincy Amarikwa iced the result with a diving header off a nifty cross from Dilly Duka in the 89th minute.
•    Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made eight saves on the evening to record his fifth clean sheet of the year.
•    Fire head coach Frank Klopas made two changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with the Montréal Impact at Toyota Park. Bakary Soumare returned from suspension in place of Logan Pause, and Chris Rolfe started out wide for Dilly Duka.
•    CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Patrick Nyarko (Alex 61), Arevalo Rios, Jeff Larentowicz, Chris Rolfe (Dilly Duka 71) - Mike Magee, Juan Luis Anangono (Quincy Amarikwa 80).

TEAM NEWS
•    The United match was the first of three road matches over the final four games of the season for the Fire. After the win, they are two points behind Philadelphia for fifth place in the Eastern Conference and final playoff position.
•    “We knew that this was a big game for us. We needed to get points. We’re playing four games—three on the road – and we need to find points to be there,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “It’s never easy. But it’s great that we got the three points here and you can watch the games a little bit more relaxed.”
•    Said defender Bakary Soumare: “We know it's going to be a battle. These last three games are going to be huge for us. I'm excited, man. It's a fantastic scenario, and we're going to fight to the end. Most of the guys on this team are fighters. We think that come October 27, we'll be right there with everybody else.”
•    Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson recorded his first shutout since Aug. 23 in the win, and just his second in league play since a 2-0 blanking of United on June 2.
•    “He was massive. Sean is just unbelievable,” Soumare said. “Week in and week out, he's a kid that works really, really hard. It's no wonder why he's in contention to be a U.S. national team goalkeeper. I don't say that about every one of my teammates. He's one of the best goalkeepers in the league.”
•    “We were smart, we kept our shape, we didn’t get stretched out knowing that they had to push. I think when you keep a clean sheet and you put your chances away, you put yourself in a good position to win,” said Klopas. “We knew it was going to be a difficult match.”
•    Soumare recorded his first goal of the season, his first in five seasons and 86 league appearances in Major League Soccer. Jeff Larentowicz scored his second goal of the season, his first since April 20.
•    Quincy Amarikwa scored his second goal of the season, his first since May 25, when he scored a late equalizer as a substitute vs. Real Salt Lake. Juan Luis Anangono recorded his first MLS assist, to go with his first MLS goal two weeks earlier.
•    “With Juan and Quincy coming in with their ability and attitude, the movement off the ball creates a lot of space for our midfield players. And Mike [Magee] is smart to find those guys. I think Jeff [Larentowicz] did a very good job joining in late and making late runs,” Klopas said. “A lot of times goals follow goals. When you’re on the road and get chances, you got to put them away and you need to be able to defend well and we did.”