Add Dan Gargan to the list of MLS players and coaches that thinks the field-dimensions of JELD-WEN are simply too small.
“They play in a shoe box that one team is used to playing on and one team is not,” Gargan told MLSsoccer.com after the Chicago Fire's 2-1 loss to the Timbers in Portland on Sunday night. “By no means do I think that’s going to determine the outcome, but it’s something that the league should at least address.”
WATCH: POR 2, CHI 1
Only themselves to blame
The Chicago Fire can only blame themselves for their last two losses – literally.
In a 2-1 loss to Seattle on April 28, a David Estrada shot deflected off of the inside of Arne Friedrich’s leg and past goalkeeper Sean Johnson. On Sunday, the ball took a more noticeable deflection off of the leg of Logan Pause to give Portland a game-winning goal in the 52nd minute of a 2-1 contest.
“It is part of the game of soccer, there’s not much you can do with the way the ball bounces,” Pause said. “It came quickly and my first reaction was to just get something on it. It was a bummer that it went the way it did and giving up not only an own goal, but two goals off set pieces were a bit disappointing. We just now have to shift focus and move on to the next match.”
Gargan injury update
Gargan’s left foot has been bothering him for most of the season, and he has stated that rest will be the only cure. Fire head coach Frank Klopas attempted to give him a break in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City, but he was inserted into the lineup when Arne Friedrich went down in the first half.
He probably won’t get any rest this week, either. With Friedrich out for three to four weeks, Gargan will likely have to play 90 minutes in two more games this week – against FC Dallas on Wednesday (8:30 pm ET, MLS Live) and at Columbus on Saturday.
“It’s getting better, slowly but surely,” Gargan said. “For the most part, I’m just doing regular treatment for it. It’s a big week for us before we have a little bit of a break.”