BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire haven’t won the Brimstone Cup since 2001.
PREVIEW: Brimstone Cup clash
But according to Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko the cup – which signifies Chicago’s rivalry with FC Dallas – remains high on his sides list of priorities.
“It should,” Nyarko told MLSsoccer.com about the cup that’s passed between the Chicago and Dallas fan bases based on which team wins the season series. "It definitely should."
“Every trophy signifies victory. That’s the business we are in. … When it comes to those kinds of rivalries, you want to win for the fans, also. They’ve been through the thick and the thin, and they deserve some enjoyment, too. These are the kinds of games that you want to kill yourself extra to win for the fans.”
The Fire simply haven’t been able to shake FC Dallas in recent years, especially at home. Chicago haven’t beaten Dallas at Toyota Park in six tries, with an 0-5-1 record in that period.
They’ll get the chance to end that streak against their old rivals on Wednesday night (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“We see it as an extra opportunity,” Fire captain Logan Pause said. “They’ve come here and had success and we need to come here and start putting our stamp on a game against FC Dallas.”
Just a few weeks ago, coach Frank Klopas brushed off questions about a winless streak against the Seattle Sounders. He didn’t do the same when asked about the home winless streak against Dallas.
“It does matter,” Klopas said. “Of course, we want to win. Even last year when we played them here, we were coming off of a US Open Cup loss, and we wanted to put that game behind us. But that carried over from an emotional standpoint to the players. They’re a difficult team, to be sure.”
The Fire play FC Dallas at a good time to shake the winless trend. The injury-plagued Dallas squad hasn’t won in seven games.
But Chicago had trouble defending Portland on set pieces in a 2-1 loss on Sunday against a Timbers offense that has proved lackluster all season. Klopas knows the Fire will have to improve in that facet of their game on Wednesday.
“It’s a good team, and it’s a pretty big team,” Klopas said. “They’re good in set pieces also, so that’s another area that we have to be really alert and focused and do a better job than last game.”
Though the Fire couldn’t snap a winless streak against Seattle a few weeks ago, Nyarko thinks a win at home against Dallas can go a long way to boosting their confidence.
“For Seattle, it really didn’t work out, but I hope this time it works out,” Nyarko said. “It messes up with your mind a little bit why you cannot break down this particular kind of team. I think we are definitely a better team this year. We’re a more confident team.”