New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire | MLS Match Preview

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs CHICAGO FIRE
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
July 12, 2014 (WEEK 18, MLS Game #163)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; My50 Chi)

The New England Revolution return home to meet the Chicago Fire in a crucial Eastern Conference match for both sides on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution have seen their losing slide extend to four matches, after a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake, and now sit in third place in the division. The Fire are winless in their last six games, following their 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City last Sunday, but are just four points out of the final playoff position.

REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Jeff Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Jason White; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 27 games; FC/gm: 27.1; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 8; pens: 14

SUSPENDED: NE: Lee Nguyen (through July 13)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHI: Mike Magee
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Andy Dorman, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney … CHI: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Dilly Duka
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (47 meetings): Revolution 17 wins, 64 goals … Fire 20 wins, 64 goals … Ties 10
AT NEW ENGLAND (23 meetings): Revolution 12 wins, 34 goals … Fire 8 wins, 24 goals … Ties 3
FUTURE MATCH: 9/7: New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m. ET

2014 (MLS):
4/19: CHI 1, NE 1 (Amarikwa 16 – Nguyen 31)
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Fire’s Quincy Amarikwa and the Revolution’s Lee Nguyen scored goals in the first half to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw on April 19 at Toyota Park.
• The Revolution have won the last three meetings between the teams at Gillette Stadium, and haven’t lost at home to the Fire since 2010.
• Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. CHI: P7 W4 L2 D1 … Frank Yallop vs. NE: P20 W11 L5 D4

LAST MEETING (MLS):
• The Fire took the lead in the 16th minute when Harry Shipp’s incisive ball from near midfield found Quincy Amarikwa between defenders, and he slid the ball under an advancing Bobby Shuttleworth out of the New England goal.
• But the Revolution drew level just after the hour. Patrick Nyarko clumsily bundled over Kevin Alston over in the box, and Lee Nguyen converted the resulting penalty low to Sean Johnson’s left.
• The Fire were dealt a blow in the 73rd minute when Amarikwa, who was booked in the first half for diving, was shown a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Andy Dorman.
• But it was the home side that had the glorious chance for the winner, when Alston handled Victor Pineda’s rebound shot in the box, and referee Sorin Stoica pointed to the spot and sent off the Revolution defender. Yet Juan Luis Anangono's shot was far too close to Shuttleworth and the goalkeeper saved it to leave the teams deadlocked.
• CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Lovel Palmer, Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Greg Cochrane - Patrick Nyarko (Victor Pineda 88), Jeff Larentowicz, Alex (Matt Watson 39), Harry Shipp (Juan Luis Anangono 70) - Quincy Amarikwa (ejected 73), Mike Magee.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Darrius Barnes, Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston (ejected 89) - Andy Dorman - Saer Sene (Jerry Bengtson 69), Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 88), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez (Chris Tierney 46) - Teal Bunbury.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution lost their fourth match in a row, falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake on July 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Revolution are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 16 games.

LAST MATCH

• RSL broke through when, on a corner kick, defender Chris Schuler was fouled in the box by Revolution defender Darrius Barnes. Midfielder Javier Morales sent the resulting penalty to the left as goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth went in the opposite direction.
• But just two minutes later scores were again level. From a free kick out on the right, Chris Tierney's service was a thing of beauty, finding Barnes perfectly at the back post for a diving header to make the score 1-1.
• The winner came in the 65th minute. Tierney took out RSL's John Stertzer in the box and referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. RSL forward Joao Plata stepped up and put the penalty high and to the right of Shuttleworth for the eventual winner.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made three changes to the team that fell 3-1 to Philadelphia Union at Gillette Stadium. Bobby Shuttleworth came in between the posts in place of Brad Knighton, Darrius Barnes came into the back four in place of the suspended Andy Dorman, and Kelyn Rowe started in favor of Teal Bunbury.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Darrius Barnes (Steve Neumann 81), Jose Goncalves, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney - A.J. Soares - Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, Daigo Kobayashi, Diego Fagundez (Teal Bunbury 63) - Patrick Mullins (Saer Sene 79).

TEAM NEWS

• The Revolution’s losing streak was stretched to four games, their longest of the season, and the club’s longest since losing five league games in a row July 29-Aug. 25, 2012.
• “I thought we played well enough to get at least a point. We defended really well and had plenty of chances going forward,” said A.J. Soares. “To get no points is super disappointing. I'm disappointed with both calls on the penalty kicks. It's a hard one to swallow because we didn't deserve to get no points.”
• With Andy Dorman suspended through yellow card accumulation, Soares – nominally a center back – moved forward to the holding midfielder role.
• “We wanted to get some bite in there and some ball-winning. To A.J.'s [Soares] credit, I thought he did a nice job,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said.
• Darrius Barnes made his first start since May 17, coming in at right back, as Andrew Farrell moved from right back into central defense. Barnes scored his second career league goal, his first coming in September 2012.
• “We knew we didn't play our best stuff and we're still tied 1-1. At that point we thought that it was our game to lose. We knew we were going to come out and play better – we had to play better in the second half, and I thought we did,” said Barnes. “We created tons of chances and we should have finished a couple of those.”
• Said Soares: “That's Darrius Barnes. That's what he's going to do. He has phenomenal character and he took it on his shoulders to just pull us right back into the game, so he did a great job there and he played well on the night. So I'm happy with the response but at the end of the day it doesn't matter if you don't get any points.”
• Kelyn Rowe made his second start over the last four matches, as Teal Bunbury came off the substitutes’ bench for the first time this season in a league match, following 15 starts.
• On Tuesday, the Revolution saw their U.S. Open Cup run come to an end in a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia Union in a quarterfinal at PPL Park. Sebastien Le Toux (9) and Conor Casey (47) scored the goals.
• Here’s the Revolution team: Brad Knighton, Kevin Alston, Jose Goncalves, Stephen McCarthy (A.J. Soares 46; ejected 91+), Darrius Barnes, Steve Neumann, Scott Caldwell, Andy Dorman (Kelyn Rowe 62), Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury, Saer Sene (Diego Fagundez 46)

CHICAGO FIRE

The Chicago Fire had their winless run extended to six matches, reaching a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon at Sporting Park. The Fire are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points from 16 games.

LAST MATCH

• Sporting took the lead in the 33rd minute. Dom Dwyer took the ball away from Fire center back Patrick Ianni 25 yards out from goal, with a clear run at Chicago 'keeper Sean Johnson, and slotted his attempt home from the edge of the area.
• The Fire wasted little time in responding, equalizing seven minutes later. Mike Magee slipped through a gap in the Sporting back line, took Alex's pass in space and calmly finished past SKC 'keeper Eric Kronberg from the center of the box.
• Fire head coach Frank Yallop made four changes to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at Toyota Park. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Gonzalo Segares came back into the back four for Bakary Soumare and Greg Cochrane, and Logan Pause and Alex came into the side in place of Jeff Larentowicz and Quincy Amarikwa.
• CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Lovel Palmer, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Bakary Soumare 65), Gonzalo Segares - Grant Ward (Matt Watson 80), Chris Ritter, Logan Pause, Alex (Dilly Duka 46) - Harry Shipp, Mike Magee.

TEAM NEWS

• The Fire saw their current winless run extended to six matches in league play, which following their first two victories of the season, coming after an eight-game stretch without a victory to open the season.
• “As frustrating as it is I feel that we can turn the corner after this good performance,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said. “We are tending to get punished for the little things we do and even though we are creating enough chances to win games, we’re not quite getting there. We’re building blocks again, once we hopefully add some players in this window, and then obviously next season, if things go well, we’ll be fine.”
• Mike Magee netted his first goal in league play since converting a pair of penalty kicks on May 18 vs. Sporting KC.
• “When Mike [Magee] gets in those types of situations, he is clinical. He does a fantastic job running off defenders’ shoulders. It was a fantastic job by Chris Ritter to put him in behind,” said midfielder Logan Pause.
• Said Yallop: “I thought the first half performance was probably the best we’ve played in terms of creating chances, and other than their goal, I thought it was a good 45 minutes of soccer. I thought we created three or four really good chances to score, gifted them one good chance to score and they took it.”
• Alex made his first league start since April 19, after a pair of substitute appearances following a six-match absence. He contributed his first assist of the MLS season, but then had to come off at halftime.
• “We had a couple injuries. Alex was off at halftime, and Jhon (Kennedy Hurtado)’s got dizzy spells. So late in the game, when you want to make your subs make a difference, we couldn’t do that,” said Yallop.
• Harry Shipp again started alongside Magee as part of the strike pair, his second start as a forward in the last three games, but saw his goalscoring streak come to an end.
• “We kept going and tried to do the right things and moved the ball well. I thought Harry Shipp was good,” said Yallop. “He finds the pockets and finds good spaces. But in general, I thought we did OK. We have tied a lot of games and it’s frustrating.”
• On Wednesday, the Fire advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup following a 3-1 win against the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks. After both sides were reduced to 10 men, second half goals from Quincy Amarikwa (50), Jeff Larentowicz (82) and Alex (85) paced the Fire to victory.
• Here’s the Fire team: Sean Johnson; Matthew Watson (Lovel Palmer 46’), Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Greg Cochrane; Grant Ward, Jeff Larentowicz, Logan Pause (Alex 80’), Harry Shipp; Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa (Matt Fondy 63’)