BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire may still be in search of their first win of 2014, but the developing strike partnership of Quincy Amarikwa and Mike Magee has one longtime Fire player excited for the future.
In a Tuesday morning interview with MLSsoccer.com, veteran midfielder Patrick Nyarko hailed the contrasting styles of the duo as Chicago go for their first win Saturday against the New England Revolution at Toyota Park (4 pm ET; NBCSN).
“These guys play two totally different games, and that brings something different every time,” Nyarko said. “Every kind of service you provide you know it’s going to turn into something positive just because both of them are different. Quincy will just battle through everything and get there even if the ball isn’t perfect, and Mike is pretty much the smartest runner in the box I’ve ever seen.”
Nyarko said that although the Fire have yet to win in six attempts, the side are creating chances and finding the back of the net – so much so that their 10 goal total is the best in the Eastern Conference.
Amarikwa has contributed three goals and two assists, while reigning MVP Magee has scored one and provided two assists. Nyarko said it’s a partnership that is showing immense promise, enough to drive the Fire up the table and even into playoff contention.
“He’s just very smart with his runs,” Nyarko said of Magee, “and I’ve gotten on the same page with him over the last year or so and I know exactly what run he is going to make. So it makes it a lot easier to provide those direct balls into him.
“He plays off the shoulder, he drops off and he helps me to get in behind. I love playing with those guys, it’s been fun and hopefully we can start to transform those ties into wins.”
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Nyarko himself has also impressed on the right wing since returning from a two-game suspension. With three of the Fire’s five ties coming on the road, Nyarko isn’t overly discouraged by a start which sees them trailing third-place Kansas City by just three points.
“I think from that standpoint it’s disappointing not to win, but on the other hand from game to game we have improved tremendously,” Nyarko said. “The progress has been tremendous and everyone is very upbeat about it, including the coaching staff, and we know it’s just a matter of time before those ties turn into wins.
"We’re working hard and we’ve improved a lot in every aspect, we just need to clean up a few things and we’ll be good to go.”