Fire welcome Metros to Soldier Field

his first miss from the spot in MLS after going 6-for-6 a year ago.

  • Here's Bob Bradley's team (4-2-1-3): Zach Wells - Chris Leitch, Jeff Parke (Tim Ward 46), Carlos Mendes, Jeff Agoos (Tim Regan 46) - Michael Bradley, Mark Lisi - Amado Guevara - Youri Djorkaeff, John Wolyniec, Sergio Galvan Rey (Eddie Gaven 70).
  • Here's Dave Sarachan's team (3-4-2-1): Zach Thornton - C.J. Brown, Jim Curtin, Samuel Caballero - Kelly Gray, Chris Armas (Logan Pause 59), Jesse Marsch, Ivan Guerrero - Thiago, Justin Mapp (Chad Barrett 65) - Nate Jaqua
    HISTORY
  • A year ago, the teams split their season series, each winning one game. The Fire continued their mastery of the MetroStars with a 3-0 home victory on May 1 (Selolwane 15, Ralph 56, Razov 77), then the clubs played to back-to-back 1-1 draws on May 15 at Giants Stadium (Taylor 13 - Razov 51) and July 17 at Soldier Field (Ralph 13 - Guevara 84 pen)
  • The MetroStars then defeated the Fire for the first time in more than two years in league play, claiming a 2-1 victory a week later at Giants Stadium (Guevara 43 pen, Wolyniec 57 - Armas 23)
  • Before that victory, the last Metro win was June 22, 2002, a 1-0 win in Chicago. The Fire then reeled off a nine-match unbeaten run in the series, winning six with three draws.
  • The MetroStars have won just twice in the last 16 league meetings between the teams, and just three times in the last 20 meetings in all competitions, including a loss in the 2003 U.S. Open Cup Final.
  • Coaches record: Bob Bradley v CHI: P9 W1 L5 T3 ... Dave Sarachan vs. MET: P9 W5 L1 D3

    CHICAGO FIRE

    The Chicago Fire lost to the New England Revolution for the second time in 10 days on Saturday evening in Foxborough, a 2-0 result this time after a 3-0 loss on April 27 at Soldier Field. The Fire remain in second place in the Eastern Conference with 10 points from seven matches, now six points behind the Revolution.

  • It was a composed, professional performance that kept the Revolution unbeaten on the campaign and still atop the Eastern Conference.
  • Pat Noonan righted the New England ship in the 34th minute with a fine goal, cutting through the area from right to left before driving a low shot inside Zach Thornton's left-hand post.
  • Then the Revolution doubled their lead just before the hour with a well-worked goal, when a Taylor Twellman cross found Steve Ralston, and he flicked the ball over his head to find an onrushing Clint Dempsey at the six. He flicked the ball back over his head, leaving Thornton stranded as the ball flew over his head into the goal.
  • Fire coach Dave Sarachan made three changes to the team that won 2-0 away to Columbus the weekend before. Tony Sanneh made his Fire debut, coming in at right back as Samuel Caballero was out through injury. Jesse Marsch returned from injury in place of Logan Pause, while Lubos Reiter also made his Fire and MLS debut, coming in up for Chris Rolfe.
  • Here's Sarachan's team (4-4-2): Zach Thornton - Tony Sanneh (Nate Jaqua 81), C.J. Brown, Jim Curtin, Ivan Guerrero - Jesse Marsch, Chris Armas, Thiago, Justin Mapp - Andy Herron (Chris Rolfe 68), Lubos Reiter
  • "Going in at halftime 1-0, we felt we played a very good first half other than not creating a goal," Sarachan said. "The second half when they got their second goal it made it pretty hard on us to come out of that hole. They are on a good run right now. We have got to do a better job creating more scoring opportunities."

    TEAM NEWS

  • David Mahoney will be the backup 'keeper this weekend, after backup Matt Pickens suffered a groin injury in the Fire's reserve match against New England last weekend.
  • For Sanneh, it was a generally positive debut for the "Men in Red." "The first 15 minutes were OK. It felt good to be playing again. It is a work in progress, but the fact that I am back and pretty healthy is a good thing. I just need to play my way into shape and developing a contributing role," he said.

    METROSTARS

    The MetroStars continued to struggle at home, remaining winless on the campaign at Giants Stadium in four matches after a 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the MetroStars fell to the foot of the Eastern Conference table with five points from five matches, one behind the Kansas City Wizards and Columbus Crew and a full 11 points adrift of the New England Revolution.

  • The MetroStars were desperately unlucky to hit the woodwork twice in the opening 45 minutes. Amado Guevara sent a wicked blast from outside the area that beat Pat Onstad - only to come straight back off the post. Then Sergio Galvan Rey sent a nifty near-post flick header from a corner kick that glanced off the face of the crossbar.
  • After the break, the Earthquakes finally found the opener at the end of a wonderful movement. A neat backheel from Dwayne DeRosario set Brad Davis free on the left, and he whipped in another inviting cross that found Ronald Cerritos all alone at the back post for him to calmly head home.
  • "I thought we had a decent first half. I was pretty disappointed that early in the second half that we just switched off on the play that led to the goal," MetroStars coach Bob Bradley said. "It rattled us in terms of feeling down at home. At that point when we needed to really pick ourselves up and still feel like this game was ours, we just didn't have enough at that point. That was the part that left me more frustrated than anything. It's hard to lose a 1-0 game at home again."
  • MetroStars coach Bob Bradley didn't make any changes to the team that defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-1 the week before in Denver. Here's Bradley's team (4-4-2): Zach Wells - Chris Leitch, Carlos Mendes, Tim Regan, Tim Ward - Eddie Gaven, Michael Bradley, Mark Lisi, Amado Guevara - Mike Magee (Abbe Ibrahim 61), Sergio Galvan Rey

    TEAM NEWS

  • The MetroStars have now finished the first quarter of their home campaign winless and with just two points of a possible 12. They haven't scored a goal in 210 minutes at home.
  • "Teams come in here and have an idea of how they want to play. Then it's our challenge and mission to be able to be good enough to overcome that. That involves movement, being sharper with the ball, more ideas and stronger commitment to keep pushing until we get the first goal. We tend to get into games where it is fairly even. Maybe we have a little edge but at the end we are not doing enough to get on top first and to make it count," Bradley said.
  • Said Eddie Gaven: "I don't know why we are having problems winning at home. I think there is only one answer to that question, and we have been playing pretty good soccer at home. There has just been something missing and we have to raise our level so we will be hard to play against at home. ... I think we have a good group of guys. Maybe some guys are too nice. We need to push each other a bit."
  • Jeff Parke was available for duty, returning from a concussion, but Bradley decided to stay with Tim Regan in central defense. "We want to see if Tim's gotten to a point where he can hold down a spot and make us better," Bradley said to the New York Post. "You have somebody who's a good sub so you always use him as a sub. Sooner or later you have to ask if [he] can be a good starter."
  • Forward John Wolyniec, however, was not ready for selection. "Last week (in Colorado) there was no way I could play," Wolyniec said. "This week was close."


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