BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Joel Lindpere played the role of midfield maestro for the Chicago Fire two weeks ago against D.C. United, scoring a goal and dishing out two assists in the first half as Chicago coasted to a 4-1 win.
But D.C. beat Montreal 3-1 over the weekend, with three of their midseason additions scoring goals. So the Fire know that when the teams meet in a US Open Cup semifinal on Wednesday night (8:30 pm ET, live stream on Chicago-Fire.com), it may not be quite so easy.
“Their result at home to beat Montreal 3-1 says everything,” Lindpere told MLSsoccer.com. “For them, I think the season is over, so they can enjoy, that's also their last game with a chance of winning something this year.”
Chicago may have a new reinforcement of their own. Newly-acquired Designated Player Juan Luis Anangonó may suit up after missing Saturday's game with hamstring tightness.
“He's better,” Klopas said on Tuesday. “We'll see [Wednesday].”
The Fire are coming off of one of their biggest wins of the season after beating Philadelphia 2-1 on Saturday, and they have another league tilt this weekend when they host Montreal. But Klopas said last week that he played to deploy his best lineup on Wednesday.
“I think the third game is the one that we're going to have to look at and evaluate,” Klopas said. “I don't think both games should be an issue … From a physical standpoint, I think we should be fine.”
Chicago have been dominant in two league victories over D.C., beating the worst team in the Eastern Conference by a combined score of 6-1 in two games at Toyota Park. But Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz doesn't think overconfidence will creep into their heads.
“They're aware of that game, I don't think it's going to be a repeat of that game at all. Even though it's only two weeks ago, three weeks ago, they're going to be a different team,” Larentowicz told MLSsoccer.com. “We're ready as if it's a final.”