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Courtesy of the Chicago Fire

After rough stretch, Fire eager to get back onto pitch

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire forward Dominic Oduro sank into his couch on Wednesday and watched television, trying to forget about the previous five days.

Oduro and his Fire teammates arrived home at 3 am the night before after a road trip that included a loss to Columbus on Saturday and a loss to the Michigan Bucks in their first game of the US Open Cup. The Ghanaian forward didn’t start either game because of a sore hamstring, but he played in the second half of both.

“It was a good day, just a resting day for me,” Oduro told “It’s been a crazy week. We all know what went down. It was really disappointing, but we just have to move on. We just have to put our heads down and not cry about it and just get it going.”

Even on his day off, midfielder Patrick Nyarko couldn’t help but think about what transpired during the last two weeks, during which the Fire went 1-3-0. 

The midfielder ached to return to the practice field after the disappointing stretch, even though he’s nursing injuries to his ribs, his hip and his hamstring.

“We had the whole day to rest and think about stuff, and it wasn’t a good afterthought after Tuesday,” Nyarko said. “Me, personally, I want to go to training, improve, and feel good about myself after a loss like that.”

Nyarko and the Fire will have a chance to bounce back against New England on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online) before the two-week international break. But rising to the occasion for the final game of their two-week, five-game, five-city stretch won’t be easy.

“It’s tough when you have so many games and you have to be on the road,” Oduro said. “It’s a whole lot of stress and pressure. But we’re not going to keep our heads down. The results didn’t go our way, but we just have to not focus on the past and look forward. Right now, that’s New England.”

The Fire may look to Chris Rolfe for rejuvenation on Saturday – the veteran forward is expected to return from an ankle sprain that kept him out of his first six weeks in his return the club. For Rolfe, the Fire’s rivalry with the Revolution is still fresh in his mind. When he left the Fire in 2009, Chicago and New England had met in the playoffs for five straight seasons.

“We played them so many times in the playoffs, it’s a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth for them,” Rolfe said.

With a win against New England on Saturday, Rolfe’s teammates can wash away the bad taste of a rough couple of weeks.

“After a game like [Tuesday’s Open Cup loss], you just want to get back onto the field to try to make things right,” Nyarko said. “Personally, I just cannot wait until Saturday.”

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