Chicago Fire vs D.C. United 06-02-2013 - Preview

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Chicago Fire
2 - 0
Final
D.C. United
MLS Regular Season
June 2, 2013
5:00pm EDT
Toyota Park
UniMas

Chicago Fire vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview

CHICAGO FIRE vs D.C. UNITED

TOYOTA PARK, Bridgeview, Ill.

June 2, 2013 (WEEK 14, MLS Game #130)
4 p.m. CT (UniMás; My50 Chi; CSN-DC)

A pair of clubs looking to get their attacks on track meet Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park when the Chicago Fire play host to D.C. United. The Fire ended their three-game losing streak with their first goal in more than six hours last weekend, in a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake. United saw their winless streak reach a club-record tying 10 games in a 2-0 loss to Portland last weekend. Both teams also advanced in the Open Cup at midweek.

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REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 27 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 8; pens: 5

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHI: Daniel Paladini
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Perry Kitchen
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CHI: Gonzalo Segares (Costa Rica); Joel Lindpere (Estonia); Victor Pineda (USA U-20) … DC: Marcos Sanchez (Panama); Bill Hamid (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (43 meetings): Fire 15 wins, 60 goals … United 17 wins, 62 goals … Ties 11
AT CHICAGO (21 meetings): Fire 8 wins, 31 goals … United 6 wins, 25 goals … Ties 7
RETURN MATCHES: 7/20: Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. CT; 10/4: D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

LAST YEAR (MLS)
8/22: DC 4, CHI 2 (De Rosario 19; Pajoy 46+; McDonald 51; Tan 89 – Paladini 44; Segares 75)
10/27: CHI 1, DC 1 (Nyarko 16 – Pajoy 50)

  • The Fire haven’t defeated United at home since a 1-0 win in 2006. Since then, United have won three of their seven trips to Toyota Park, with four draws, including a 1-1 result in the final match of last season.
  • United’s 4-2 victory last Aug. 22 at RFK Stadium was their first vs. Chicago since Aug. 29, 2009, a 1-0 win at Toyota Park. The Fire won two of the four meetings in between, with two draws.
  • Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. DC: P4 W1 L1 D2 … Ben Olsen vs. CHI: P5 W1 L1 D3 

CHICAGO FIRE

The Chicago Fire ended their three-game losing slide, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Fire are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 11 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's goals came six minutes apart in the second half. Real took a a short-lived lead in the 78th minute. Sebastian Velasquez played a nifty ball toward the corner to midfielder Ned Grabavoy, who sent in a cross that Alvaro Saborio leaped over Fire defender Bakary Soumare to head home.
  • But the Fire pulled even in the 84th minute. Off a long throw from Jalil Anibaba, center back Austin Berry was able to get a head to it and flick it into the path of Quincy Amarikwa, who volleyed it home acrobatically from close range.
  • Fire head coach Frank Klopas made one change to the team that lost 1-0 to Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Bakary Soumare made his first start in his return, coming in for the suspended Wells Thompson.
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-2-3-1): Sean Johnson - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Logan Pause (Sherjill MacDonald 81), Jeff Larentowicz - Dilly Duka (Quincy Amarikwa 74), Chris Rolfe (Alex 63), Joel Lindpere - Patrick Nyarko

TEAM NEWS

  • Quincy Amarikwa’s goal was the first for the Fire since April 20, ending a 361-minute shutout streak. The Fire have scored seven goals this season, just one more than D.C. United, who have the fewest goals in MLS this season.
  • “It’s difficult when you don’t score goals in six games to get a positive result. The good thing is that in those matches we created opportunities,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “We just got to concentrate and our focus has got to be better in the final third. I think any time you can score, even coming from behind shows a lot of character.
  • Said midfielder Joel Lindpere: “We are capable of earning three points and we have to start somewhere. Everybody hopes that this is the start where we can move up so we are going to keep going and concentrate on D.C. United who has also been in a very difficult situation, so it’s going to be an interesting game for both teams.”
  • It was a second draw in six away matches for the Fire this season. They are one of five teams still looking for a first road win this year.
  • “Any time you can pick up points on the road – especially in this place here, it’s a very good team – it’s something to build on, it’s positive,” said Klopas. “We have a long way to go, it’s a long season. But for us right now, it’s one game at a time and continue to keep working. My team showed a lot of character.”
  • Just days after being acquired from Philadelphia Union, Bakary Soumare was inserted into the team in central defense. Soumare made 63 league appearances for the Fire from 2007-09.
  • “Baky’s an excellent player and I think he just needs time. He had a minor injury that kept him away for a long time and now he’s getting in a little bit of a rhythm playing,” said Klopas. “I think the more games he gets under the better he’s going to get, but he brings a lot of quality to us.”
  • The Fire made another major acquisition the day of the RSL match, getting Mike Magee from the LA Galaxy in exchange for the rights to Robbie Rogers.
  • “It’s been on my mind pretty much since I left,” Magee said. “I tried to get back [here] a couple times in the past and then I think throughout the process with Robbie Rogers, that whole saga with him trying to get to LA, it crept in my mind that somebody had to go to Chicago. And I raised my hand.”
  • Klopas said Magee will likely be utilized as an out-and-out striker, while with the Galaxy he often played an attacking wide midfield role. “He’s done extremely well. He’s a quality player, someone that’s going to add to more quality in the final third for us,” Klopas said.
  • On Wednesday, the Fire advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 win against the USL PRO Charlotte Eagles. Mike Magee scored in the first half in his Fire debut, and Chris Rolfe added a second after the break.
  • Here’s the Fire team: Paolo Tornaghi; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Baky Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Logan Pause (Jeff Larentowicz, 46’); Dilly Duka, Alex, Patrick Nyarko (Joel Lindpere, 52’); Chris Rolfe (Sherjill MacDonald, 72’), Mike Magee

READ: Bakary Soumare says his eyes were always on one place: Sweet home, Chicago

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United saw their winless streak extended to 10 games, the Portland Timbers leaving with a 2-0 victory on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 5 points from 12 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Timbers took the lead in the 21st minute. Frederic Piquionne received a throw-in, settled and turned to find an unmarked Rodney Wallace overlapping, who finished with confidence from the left side of the penalty area.
  • Portland struck for their second goal in the 57th minute. Collecting a lob played over the top by Ryan Johnson, Darlington Nagbe bodied off center backs Brandon McDonald and Ethan White and fired a blast by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid from just inside the box.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made five changes to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium. Brandon McDonald and James Riley came into the back four for Dejan Jakovic and Daniel Woolard, Marcos Sanchez started in midfield for Taylor Kemp, and Carlos Ruiz and Chris Pontius were the strike pair in place of Dwayne De Rosario and Casey Townsend.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Ethan White, Brandon McDonald, James Riley - Marcos Sanchez (Raphael Augusto 46), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon, Kyle Porter - Carlos Ruiz (Lionard Pajoy 71), Chris Pontius (Dwayne De Rosario 65).

READ: Carlos Ruiz replacing Dwayne De Rosario fails to solve D.C. United's scoring woes

TEAM NEWS

  • D.C. United saw their winless streak extended to 10 games in the loss to Portland, matching the club record set July 4-Aug. 25, 2002.
  • “It’s embarrassing how soft we are, everywhere around the field. The lack of anger that a few of our guys play with, the lack of a chip on some of our guys’ shoulders is mind-boggling to me,” said United head coach Ben Olsen.
  • United were shut out at the attacking end for a seventh time this season, and have scored a league-low six goals in 12 games.
  • “We didn’t score a goal, but I still believe that offensively at some point, we’ll get our guys on the field. We’re going to get new guys in here to help us because we’re not good enough,” said Olsen. “It seems like we’re always a player or two short every time I fill out my starting lineup. You can put that on me, but that’s not going to continue.”
  • After seven appearances off the substitutes’ bench, Carlos Ruiz made his first start for D.C. United, playing 71 minutes in attack.
  • “Everyone else has gotten a shot on this team,” Olsen said. “He deserved it, and I thought he did well. For 45-50 minutes I thought he brought some real soccer up there. I think he held up some balls, and I thought he had a real positive match, and I'm happy that he got out on the field. He's knocked on my door numerous times saying, 'Give me a chance.' It certainly wasn't on him tonight.”
  • Ruiz was partnered by Chris Pontius with Dwayne De Rosario moving to the substitutes’ bench for the first time since April 13. De Rosario came on for the final 25 minutes.
  • “Surprised is not the word,” De Rosario said. “[Olsen] didn't think that me and Carlos can play on the same field together, so that's what it is. I think if you look at our track record as goal scorers, as creators, I think it's not a bad problem to try at least once.”
  • Said Pontius: “De Ro is De Ro, go ahead and look at his numbers and look what he's produced in his career. It's just the coaching staff trying to switch things up.”
  • On Tuesday, United advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup after defeating the Richmond Kickers 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a scoreless draw over 120 minutes.
  • Here’s the United team: Joe Willis, Daniel Woolard, James Riley, Chris Korb [sent off 113'], Raphael Augusto (Chris Pontius 58’), Perry Kitchen, Conor Shanosky, Nick De Leon, Kyle Porter (Sainey Nyassi 91’), Dwayne De Rosario, Lionard Pajoy (Carlos Ruiz 80’ [sent off 117'])