On Fire: Rolfe-MacDonald pairing getting Chicago in gear
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Plenty of the Chicago Fire's recent success has to do with their new forward tandem of Chris Rolfe and newly acquired Sherjill MacDonald, each of whom scored in Saturday’s 2-1 win over New England.
Rolfe, who likes to roam around the attacking third, likes the way MacDonald (above) plays as a skilled forward who can hold the ball.
“I think we’re playing really well together and it is only going to get better,” Rolfe said. “We’ve had two-and-a-half games together and two weeks of training. I love the way he plays and I’m only going to learn more as time passes.”
WATCH: MacDonald nets first MLS goal
With 10 games remaining, head coach Frank Klopas knows that tandem still has plenty of time to improve.
“You can see his ability to play it to his feet or to space,” Klopas said of MacDonald. “He will still get sharper. They are both smart players. … The relationship is good. It’s easy to play when you have good players around you. It’s good, but can always get better.”
MacDonald was able to notch his first goal in a Fire uniform on Saturday, when he headed home a cross from Patrick Nyarko in the 25th minute.
But the Dutch striker wasn’t happy with his overall game, because he missed several opportunities, including a breakaway chance that went wide in the 49th minute.
“When you get a lot of chances, you’ve got to score,” MacDonald said. “At first, you think about your game, and today I didn’t have the best game. You know I’m happy to score the goal, but I’m not happy with my game. I’m happy that my team won, but I have to get better.”
Nyarko could sit Wednesday
Nyarko aggravated a lingering back and hamstring injury that has been bothering him for much of the season. He left the game in the 75th minute.
Although Nyarko said the injury wasn’t serious, it’s likely that Marco Pappa will start on Wednesday at D.C. United (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“In the first half, I stretched for the ball and I heard it just pull a little bit,” Nyarko said. “I don’t think it is a pop or anything. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing that I’ve not had before. It’s mostly precaution.”