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New England Revolution vs Chicago Fire 08-17-2013 - Preview

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New England Revolution
2 - 0
Final
Chicago Fire
MLS Regular Season
August 17, 2013
7:30pm EDT
Gillette Stadium
MLS LIVE

New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire | MLS Match Preview

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs CHICAGO FIRE
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
August 17, 2013 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #223) 7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; My50 Chi)

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Foes a number of times in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the New England Revolution and Chicago Fire meet Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium in a crucial match for both in their postseason survival this year. The teams are separated by a single point in the table, both outside of the top five yet within striking distance with a win. The Revolution return home off a second consecutive loss, a 3-0 decision at Sporting KC, while the Fire ran their undefeated streak to four games with a 2-1 home win vs. Montréal last time out.

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REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): C.J. Morgante; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 62 games; FC/gm: 22.9; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 6; pens: 9

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: NE: Andy Dorman (through Aug. 18); Dimitry Imbongo (through Aug. 18)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Lee Nguyen
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Juan Toja, Kelyn Rowe, Andrew Farrell, Dimitry Imbongo … CHI: Daniel Paladini, Bakary Soumare, Jeff Larentowicz, Jalil Anibaba
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (44 meetings): Revolution 16 wins, 59 goals … Fire 19 wins, 60 goals … Ties 9
AT NEW ENGLAND (22 meetings): Revolution 11 wins, 32 goals … Fire 8 wins, 24 goals … Ties 3
FUTURE MATCH (MLS): 9/14: Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. CT

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Jerry Bengtson scored the game’s only goal to give the Revolution a victory March 9 at Toyota Park. It was New England’s first league win in Bridgeview since 2006, ending a nine-game winless run in league and cup play.
  • In the first meeting a year ago, the Revolution snapped a 10-game winning streak in league play vs, Chicago. Before the 2-0 win June 2 at Gilllette Stadium, New England’s last victory in regular season play had come May 6, 2007 in Foxborough.
  • The Revolution did defeat the Fire in the 2009 SuperLiga competition, a 1-0 victory on July 17 at Toyota Park. That win snapped a winless span of eight games in all competitions.
  • The teams met five consecutive years from 2005-09 – and eight times in all since 2000 – in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Three times (2003, ’05, ’07) they’ve faced each other with a trip to MLS Cup on the line. Each team advanced on four occasions.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps v CHI: P4 W3 L1 D0 … Frank Klopas vs. NE: P6 W1 L4 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/9: CHI 0, NE 1 (Bengtson 62)

  • The lone goal came shortly after the hour mark. After a misclearance was back toward the Fire penalty area, Juan Toja controlled the loose ball at the top of the box and laid the ball back to Kelyn Rowe. He looped the ball to the far post over the pulled-up Chicago backline, where Jerry Bengtson was lurking and calmly able to finish his header.
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-2-3-1): Sean Johnson - Steven Kinney, Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Segares - Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere - Patrick Nyarko, Chris Rolfe (Alex 65), Dilly Duka (Yazid Atouba Emane 58) - Sherjill MacDonald (Maicon Santos 46).
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston - Lee Nguyen, Clyde Simms, Kalifa Cisse, Donnie Smith (Kelyn Rowe 53) - Jerry Bengtson (Chad Barrett 90), Juan Toja (Diego Fagundez 79).

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution suffered their second consecutive defeat, falling 3-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. The Revolution are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points from 23 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting opened the scoring in the 27th minute. Soony Saad skipped down the left touchline and lofted a cross into the area. Kei Kamara outjumped a defender near the penalty spot and looped a header over 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
  • Sporting then doubled the lead in the 50th minute through similar circumstances. Saad sent in a diagonal cross from the left wing, and Kamara outran a defender to the edge of the 6-yard box to nod it home.
  • The Revolution went a man down in the 64th minute, when forward Dimitry Imbongo was given his second yellow for elbowing Oriol Rosell in the throat. They went down to nine in the 86th minute, when Andy Dorman was given a straight red card for a foul
  • SKC's Benny Feilhaber put an exclamation point on the win in stoppage time, bending a free kick from just outside the box over the ball and inside the left post.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium. Kevin Alston and Kelyn Rowe came into the side, in place of Diego Fagundez and Juan Toja.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston (Diego Fagundez 57) - Scott Caldwell - Saer Sene (Chad Barrett 63), Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen (Andy Dorman 71; ejected 86), Chris Tierney - Dimitry Imbongo (ejected 65)

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution have been shut out in back-to-back games, their longest stretch without scoring goal since going 394 minutes without netting from March 9-April 20 this season, not scoring over a four-game span.
  • “We'll look forward to a positive reaction at home. … We've talked about it all year that we don't want to go on losing streaks. So it's time to draw the line in the sand, and we'll come out next week fired up,” said defender Chris Tierney.
  • The Revs conceded three goals, the most they’ve allowed in a game since a 4-3 loss at Vancouver on June 15. They also allowed four goals in a 4-1 defeat at New York on April 20.
  • “I felt we defended OK at times, but when you give the ball away aimlessly against a team like (Sporting KC), you play into their hands,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said.
  • Said defender Andrew Farrell: “Sometimes you can take something from a loss, but I don’t think we can take anything from this game. We didn’t start that well and gave up a goal in the first half. But even then we had a lot of chances and the game could have gone either way. Had we scored any of our chances, we would have been in it.”
  • Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was not credited with a single save on the night, as Sporting KC had just three attempts on target for the match.
  • “We didn't start well, didn't finish well and we lost 3-0. It's disappointing because they had three shots on goal in the game and scored on all three,” said Heaps. “That's a tough stat to look at because we pride ourselves on closing people down and trying to defend.”
  • Kevin Alston made his first start since March 30 following his return from the disabled list, coming in at left back with Chris Tierney moved forward into the midfield.
  • “Our thought process was that we wanted to have a physical presence on Kamara. You hope for a spark, but tonight we were flat all the way around. We didn't take our chances and we didn't defend that well,” said Heaps.
  • Said Tierney: “It was just a tactical switch on the road. My job is to get wide, get balls into the box and put (the opponent) under pressure. I'm not sure I did that tonight, but credit to Kevin (Alston). It was good to see him back out there and he played hard. But this was a tough result for us.”

CHICAGO FIRE

The Chicago Fire stretched their undefeated streak to four matches, defeating the Montréal Impact 2-1 on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points from 22 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Fire took the lead in the sixth minute. A deflected ball fell to Joel Lindpere just outside the penalty area, and he drove a shot goalward that deflected off of forward Daniele Paponi and beat Troy Perkins inside the near post.
  • A persistent effort from Dilly Duka gave the Fire a 2-0 lead in the 23rd minute. Duka gathered the ball 40 yards away from goal and dribbled to the corner of the box, where the ball was poked away and deflected back to the Fire midfielder, who then rolled the ball into the lower corner.
  • The Impact pulled a goal back in the 57th minute when substitute Felipe scored from just outside the penalty area, driving a pass from Sanna Nyassi first-time into the lower corner from outside the area.
  • Fire head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that took a 2-1 victory against Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Dilly Duka, Logan Pause and Juan Luis Anangono came into the starting lineup, in place of Patrick Nyarko, Chris Rolfe and Mike Magee.
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Dilly Duka (Chris Rolfe 71), Jeff Larentowicz, Logan Pause, Joel Lindpere - Alex (Daniel Paladini 63), Juan Luis Anangono (Quincy Amarikwa 76)

TEAM NEWS

  • The Fire won for a second consecutive match and extended their undefeated streak to four games with the win vs. Montréal.
  • After the games of May 18, the Fire were in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, 11 points out of the playoff spots. They’ve gone 7-2-3 since, and are now just two points behind fifth-place Houston.
  • “I think everybody had written us off for the start but it's not how you start, it's how you finish,” Fire head coach Frank Klopas said. “They have never given up and they never will until the end. Now we just have to move ahead, it's a good feeling but the commitment has to be even more from everyone in order to reach our goal.”
  • Midfielder Joel Lindpere continued his hot streak since returning to regular duty, scoring his second goal of the year. Over the last eight games – where Lindpere has started five and played significant minutes in all – he has collected his entire season output of two goals and six assists.
  • “Patrick was out, but Joel, when he's called to step in, has done great,” Klopas said. “He scored a big goal and he worked hard defensively.”
  • Mike Magee missed his first match since coming to the Fire from the LA Galaxy after suffering a calf strain. The Fire were also without Patrick Nyarko, who was suffering from concussion symptoms following the US Open Cup semifinal.
  • “One of the advantages that we have to having such a deep roster, we sometimes joke that we have two starting teams,” midfielder Logan Pause said. “We have enough quality that, when you look around the locker room at the guys that aren't playing, there's a lot of guys that could be playing on different things, and I think it's a good thing.”
  • After starting every league match this season in his return to MLS, Chris Rolfe was brought off the bench for the Montréal match. “Chris has been dealing with some hamstring tendinitis,” Klopas said. “He’s played a lot of games and we just have to be smart with him.”
  • The Fire could have newly-signed Designated Player and Uruguay international Arévalo Rios available for the Revolution match.
  • "He's an unbelievable quality player and it speaks volumes of the commitment," Klopas said. “ … To bring a guy like that at this point because this is a world-class player, and I can guarantee you a lot of teams, a lot of teams, would not have made that commitment, but it's all about winning. He's been there, we haven't always gotten it right. This guy's a world-class player.”
  • The Fire’s other new Designated Player signing, forward Juan Luis Anangonó, made his MLS debut against Montréal, playing 76 minutes. He had made his Fire debut the week before in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal vs. D.C. United.
  • “Juan brought something different. I think physically he’s suited for the league. He has pace, he looks to run behind, we did a lot of stuff in the final third with him and Alex as far as the movement we needed from the forwards,” said Klopas. “… They created chances, they were dangerous, and it’s the first game, it’s only going to get better. We have some depth there and that’s good when you miss some key players.”