Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution | MLS Match Preview

TOYOTA PARK, Bridgeview, Ill.
Sept. 14, 2013 (WEEK 29, MLS Game #266)
7:30 p.m. CT (My50 Chi; CSN-NE)

The Chicago Fire return home to take on the New England Revolution in a massively important match for both clubs Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire return home sitting a point outside of the top five in the Eastern Conference and the playoff positions, following their 1-1 draw midweek at Toronto FC. The Revolution are holding onto one of those five postseason berths for the moment, despite a 4-2 home loss to the Montréal Impact last weekend.


REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 20 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 6; pens: 7

SUSPENDED: NE: Matt Reis (through Sept. 14)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHI: Daniel Paladini, Bakary Soumare … NE: Lee Nguyen, Dimitry Imbongo, Kelyn Rowe
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHI: Jeff Larentowicz, Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Segares, Chris Rolfe, Dilly Duka … NE: Juan Toja, Andrew Farrell

ALL-TIME (44 meetings): Revolution 16 wins, 59 goals … Fire 19 wins, 60 goals … Ties 9
AT NEW ENGLAND (22 meetings): Revolution 11 wins, 32 goals … Fire 8 wins, 24 goals … Ties 3

2013 (MLS)
3/9: CHI 0, NE 1 (Bengtson 62)
8/17: NE 2, CHI 0 (Agudelo 9; Rowe 93+)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and New England has won both. Jerry Bengtson scored the game’s only goal to give the Revolution a victory March 9 at Toyota Park, and Juan Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe scored in a 2-0 Revs win August 17 in Foxborough.
  • The win in the first meeting was New England’s first league win in Bridgeview since 2006, ending a nine-game winless run in league and cup play. The Revolution have won four of the last five matches between the clubs, after going more than five years without a league win vs. Chicago.
  • The teams met five consecutive years from 2005-09 – and eight times in all since 2000 – in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Three times (2003, ’05, ’07) they’ve faced each other with a trip to MLS Cup on the line. Each team advanced on four occasions.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps v CHI: P5 W4 L1 D0 … Frank Klopas vs. NE: P7 W1 L5 D1


  • The Revolution went in front nine minutes after the halftime interval. Chris Tierney played a long diagonal over the top and Juan Agudelo raced behind the defense, spotted Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson adrift from his line and swept the ball over the top of him with an audacious backheel. The effort bounced over the line before Bakary Soumaré acrobatically cleared.
  • The second goal came in second-half stoppage time. Kelyn Rowe made no mistake in stoppage time when he pounced on a rebound in the box from a saved Saer Sene shot.
  • The Fire were without coach Frank Klopas, dismissed for the final 10 minutes of the affair. Sène and Soumaré both saw red cards after the match concluded for their roles in a post-match scuffle at midfield.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Matt Reis - Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell - Chad Barrett (Charlie Davies 79), Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez (Ryan Guy 86) - Juan Agudelo (Saer Sene 68).
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Dilly Duka (Daniel Paladini 73), Arevalo Rios, Jeff Larentowicz, Joel Lindpere (Alex 63) - Juan Luis Anangono (Quincy Amarikwa 64), Mike Magee.

The Chicago Fire put an end to their two-game road losing streak, gaining a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday evening at BMO Field. The Fire are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points from 27 matches.


  • Both goals came in a four-minute span midway through the first half. The Fire opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Dilly Duka chipped a pass from outside the area toward Mike Magee, racing toward goal. Magee could not reach the pass, but the ball bounced past TFC 'keeper Joe Bendik and into the net.
  • Toronto equalized three minutes later when Robert Earnshaw received a ball on the right of the Fire box from winger Bobby Convey, then showed great poise while waiting for a Chicago defender to commit before he blasted his shot past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
  • Fire head coach Frank Klopas made one change to the team that lost 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Patrick Nyarko returned to the side in place of Logan Pause.
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Dilly Duka (Daniel Paladini 68), Jeff Larentowicz, Alex (Juan Luis Anangono 78), Patrick Nyarko (Quincy Amarikwa 56) - Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe.


  • The Fire had their overall winless streak extended to three matches, the club’s longest in league play since going four games without a win (0-3-1) April 27-May 25.
  • “You got to get the second goal in this league – it’s crucial. That is what we talk about all the time,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “I think in Seattle we didn’t have very many chances in the second half. I think tonight we had a couple we just got to find a way to get that second goal because then you can put teams away. I think we do create chances but we got to find a way to get that second goal and just limit our mistakes late.”
  • The Fire return home riding a seven-game undefeated streak in league play at Toyota Park. Their last home MLS defeat was a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia on May 18. Three of their final seven games are in Bridgeview.
  • “With this league, we just want to be in a position where we are playing in the postseason. It’s great if you can be in first but we want to put ourselves in a spot where we can play for something and we are right there,” said Klopas. “It really is in our hands. We are just going to have to regroup and get ready for a big game Saturday because then you get three points there and we are right there.”
  • Said midfielder Jeff Larentowicz: “We've been saying it game after game for the last four or five weeks now. We tied a tough one against Houston when we're up a goal, we allow Seattle back into a game, now it's time for us to start picking up the reins. The games-in-hand that we've sort of rested on and relied on, we've sort of let those go without maxing out all the points. Now all of these games are very important for us. If we get a win on Saturday, which we're definitely capable of doing, the story changes once again.”
  • Dilly Duka added to his single-season career-high with his fourth goal of the season. He has four goals and two assists for the year, all since June 22.
  • “I think we put all the pressure in the first 20, we got a goal, and then we stopped,” Duka said. “If you let a team play they are going to play and they came back and scored a quick one right after and we were on our heels for the rest of the half. These games matter, especially if we are going to make it into the playoffs. We are going to need more energy.”
  • Chris Rolfe collected his first assist of the season. He was last involved in a goal on July 20, when he netted twice in a 4-1 win against D.C. United.
  • Patrick Nyarko was able to return to the starting lineup for the first time Aug. 3, playing 56 minutes in a wide midfield role. He had come off the substitutes’ bench for three consecutive matches, after suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
  • “It’s been frustrating over the last stretch of games. It feels like every game we have the inability to score two goals and the inability to get a shutout,” said striker Mike Magee. “Playoff teams get shutouts and playoff teams put teams away so we’re not doing it on either end. It’s a lot of bad feelings after games to say the least.”

The New England Revolution had their undefeated run put to an end after three games, falling 4-2 to the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points from 27 matches.


  • The game's turning point came after just five minutes. When Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis hauled down Marco Di Vaio as he rounded him in the area, referee Sorin Stoica dismissed Reis for denying a goalscoring opportunity. Patrice Bernier then stepped up to coolly dispatch the penalty past substitute goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
  • The Revolution pulled level on 26 minutes. Diego Fagundez capped the move by playing Dimitry Imbongo through with a neat little pass. The ball was tackled away from Imbongo, but deflected straight into Fagundez's path, and tucked home to draw his side level.
  • Montreal reclaimed the lead just after the half-hour mark. Felipe tumbled under a challenge from Jose Goncalves to prompt Stoica to point to the spot once more. Bernier assumed the duties and slotted home his second penalty of the night.
  • Di Vaio then collected the third in first-half stoppage time with a wonderful piece of skill. He collected a Hassoun Camara diagonal with the outside of his right, jinked inside Revolution defender A.J. Soares and lashed home inside the near post.
  • The Impact men combined once again early in the second half. Camara hit a diagonal ball from near midfield, and Di Vaio corralled it before calmly eluding his defender and placed his shot inside the far post.
  • Kelyn Rowe pulled a goal back for the Revoluion inside the final quarter of an hour with a sumptuous effort inside the far post after skipping through a host of defenders into the Montreal penalty area.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at BMO Field. Dimitry Imbongo came into the side in place of Juan Agudelo.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Matt Reis (ejected 5) - Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell - Chad Barrett (Bobby Shuttleworth 7), Lee Nguyen (Juan Toja 68), Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez - Dimitry Imbongo (Saer Sene 73).


  • The Revolution had two-game winning streak at Gillette Stadium put to an end, conceded a season-high four goals in the loss to Montréal (also allowing four in the April 20 loss to New York).
  • Making his fourth consecutive start, Matt Reis was on the field just five minutes before he was sent off. Bobby Shuttleworth came on in relief in his first match since Aug. 10.
  • “I think we practice these situations. You don’t practice them for 90 minutes’ worth of down-a-man, but I thought we did well,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “We actually practiced stuff where you get a red card, give up a goal and you’ve got 30 minutes to get back in the game. So we did for the first half, but obviously it’s tough to battle the whole time.”
  • Said Reis: “You could see it; you could see the frustration for us, and hats off to the guys playing down to 10 men for as long as they did. To get two goals and to work as hard as they did was something that we can look at and be proud of.”
  • Diego Fagundez scored for a third consecutive match in the loss to Montréal. Fagundez also has a pair of assists in that time; he has 10 goals for the season to lead the Revolution.
  • “With Diego, it’s been progression,” said Heaps. “He’s always had the natural ability, but it’s putting the whole package together with his game management, with his game preparation, with his strength and his body.”
  • Said Fagundez: “Once you score a couple, you’re very excited and you feel like you have more confidence to score more. Once the second one comes, I think more come and hopefully I can get more.”
  • Kelyn Rowe scored his fourth goal over the last four matches in the loss to the Impact, and now has six on the season. He leads the Revs with seven assists.
  • Juan Agudelo missed the Montréal match with a right hamstring strain, and is racing to be available for the match at Chicago.
  • “That's where the ultimate decision will lie: is it worth it to rush him back for a start, do we bring him off the bench or do we hold him for another week,” Heaps said. “Those are all of the decisions we have to prepare ourselves for over the next couple of days.”

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