Chicago Fire say a result in Colorado is "critical"

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire will look to put an end to their four-game winless streak when they face the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night (9 p.m. ET, Direct Kick and MatchDay Live).

The Fire disappointed last week, giving up a late goal to the Houston Dynamo in a 1-1 tie at Toyota Park.  The result dropped Chicago to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, only one point ahead of league cellar dwellers Sporting KC.

“It’s critical we get a good result on Saturday,” Fire goalie Jon Conway told MLSsoccer.com. “Especially because the last four games we haven’t been as good as we should be. So obviously going out there we’re going to need to get something. But they’re a good team. We’re going to have to be prepared.”

If the Fire get a good result on Saturday, they’ll do so without starting center midfielder Logan Pause and starting center back Cory Gibbs, who will miss the match with injuries.

Chicago will also have to deal with a Rapids side that’s just as desperate for points as they are.  Colorado is currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak and will push hard for a home victory against the Fire. 

“We have to go in knowing it’s going to be a fight,” Fire defender Dasan Robinson said.  “Both teams need points and want points … It’s going to be a battle. We’re going to have to come in ready to give everything we’ve got because we know how crucial points are.”

Chicago already beat Colorado once this year, defeating the Rapids 2-1 in Open Cup play on March 30.  However, that Colorado team was very much a second-choice side, with no players from their regular starting XI even traveling for the match. 

“It was pretty much a totally different side out there for the Open Cup, so we can’t take too much from away from it,” Robinson said. 

Chicago will have to face the Rapids’ dangerous forward Omar Cummings this time around.  The Jamaican international has given the Fire fits in the past, scoring four goals in his last three games against Chicago. 

“I don’t think it’s a matter of trying to shut him down, it’s more about containing him,” Robinson said.  “We know what [he’s] capable of and we know what his strengths are so we have to do our best to limit those chances … We just got to stay focused the whole match because they’re liable to get a goal early or late.”

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com.  Email him at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.