Wizards, Fire open season series

we get too concerned when things are not going optimal, and this week I was concerned," Gansler said. "I didn't know how we'd be able to continue. I'm proud of the way we responded."

  • Wolff had been struggling, without a goal to his credit on the campaign, despite the fact that the Wizards had received goals from an ever-increasing number of players on the roster.
  • "Any forward will tell you that once you can get one, it usually turns into a couple," Wolff said. "I was frustrated in the first half, but we got a few plays right tonight, and that's promising. Sasha could have taken that shot, though. As a forward, I might have taken that shot, but I also may have gone for the sure deal, and I'm glad that he did."
  • The Wizards had weathered a storm in the second half, but the experience of Victorine on the break helped create the goal Gansler's team needed to claim the points.
  • "Every team in the league does it," he said. "It's forward, back, and through. Intelligent people like Sasha Victorine pick the right moments. He could have finished it himself, but instead used the chance to get a buddy out of purgatory."

    The Chicago Fire won for the first time in 2006, coming from behind to claim a 2-1 victory at spoil the home opener of the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. The Fire moved into third place in the Eastern Conference with the full three points, now with five from four matches, ahead of a three-team logjam behind them but still seven points behind pace-setting Kansas City Wizards.

  • The Fire ensured they would not go on their long road trip to begin the 2006 season without a victory, while the Revolution lost for the second consecutive match and saw their winless run extended to three games, having still scored just two goals on the year.
  • The goals all came in a 14-minute span after the break. Andy Dorman put in a pinpoint curling cross from the right flank and Taylor Twellman headed home from inside the goal area for his first goal of 2006, giving the Revolution the 54th-minute lead with their first goal from open play this season.
  • Chicago equalized through a sublime offensive movement in the 64th minute. Logan Pause's ball over the top was perfectly weighted for Thiago and the Fire playmaker tapped the ball around a jumping Michael Parkhurst and smashed an effort into the upper-right hand corner past Revolution 'keeper Matt Reis.
  • The Fire scored the winner four minutes later through Chris Rolfe. Reis and defender Jay Heaps flapped at Chad Barrett's cross, with the rebound off Reis's hands falling invitingly to Rolfe, who made no mistake from 10 yards.
  • Fire head coach Dave Sarachan made one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew the weekend before. Gonzalo Segares was out with injury and Chris Armas returned to the lineup for the first time in 2006, moving into midfield as Ivan Guerrero became a fullback.
  • Here's Sarachan's team (4-1-3-2): Zach Thornton - Logan Pause, C.J. Brown, Jim Curtin, Ivan Guerrero - Diego Gutierrez - Thiago (Tony Sanneh 80), Chris Armas, Justin Mapp - Chris Rolfe (Nate Jaqua 72), Chad Barrett (Calen Carr 84). [Substitutes Not Used: Brian Plotkin, Dasan Robinson, Jack Stewart]
  • "We've played four games now on the road, and we've gotten three good results," said Sarachan. "Three points today, in a place that has not been the easiest for us, is huge."


  • The Fire had lost nine matches in a row at Gillette Stadium, including last year's fractious Eastern Conference Championship.
  • "It was a huge game for us to win, coming to New England after losing to them last year in the playoffs. Hopefully it was inspirational for us as we're on the road for five games," said Chris Rolfe.
  • For Armas, it was a positive return to the lineup, anchoring the midfield along with Diego Gutierrez. His return came just six months after suffering another torn ACL, Oct. 21, 2005 v D.C. United.
  • "Shalrie [Joseph], [Daniel] Hernandez and [Jose] Cancela are active and composed on the ball," Armas said. "They're two-way players. We had our hands full with them. We're trying to deny them the ball and we limited what they could do."