CHICAGO FIRE vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
TOYOTA PARK, Bridgeview, Ill.
Aug. 10, 2014 (WEEK 22, MLS Game #208)
7 p.m. CT (UDN; My50 Chi; MSG)
The Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls meet for third time this season in a key Eastern Conference matchup on Sunday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire are four points out of the final playoff position in the division, after reaching a second consecutive draw in a 1-1 tie at Columbus last time out. The Red Bulls came from behind for a win for the first time this season, defeating the New England Revolution 2-1 at home to leapfrog back into a postseason-paying position.
REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Philippe Briere; AR2 (opposite): Gianni Facchini; 4th: Sorin Stoica
MLS Career: 8 games; FC/gm: 23.9; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 3; pens: 2
SUSPENDED: NY: Matt Miazga (through August 10)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NY: Jamison Olave
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHI: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Mike Magee, Chris Ritter, Gonzalo Segares ? NY: Thierry Henry, Armando, Tim Cahill
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (47 meetings): Fire 24 wins, 79 goals ? Red Bulls 13 wins, 59 goals ? Ties 10
AT CHICAGO (23 meetings): Fire 13 wins, 41 goals ? Red Bulls 3 wins, 21 goals ? Ties 7
3/23: CHI 1, NY 1 (Larentowicz 6 ? McCarty 21)
5/10: NY 4, CHI 5 (Cahill 6; Wright-Phillips 39, 67, 78 ? Shipp 4, 53, 58; Amarikwa 49; Nyarko 64)
- The teams are meeting for the third time this season. On May 10 at Red Bull Arena, New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a hat trick - but so did Chicago rookie Harry Shipp, as the Fire claimed a 5-4 victory. Chicago's Jeff Larentowicz and New York's Dax McCarty traded goals in the first half to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw, March 23 at Toyota Park.
- The Red Bulls have never won at Toyota Park. Their last away win against Chicago came May 14, 2005, a 3-0 win at Soldier Field.
- The Fire have come away with points on two of their last three visits to Red Bull Arena. When the Fire won 2-0 in Harrison in the final meeting between the teams in 2012, it was their first away win in the series since the 2009 season.
- Coaches record: Mike Petke vs. CHI: P4 W1 L2 T1 | Frank Yallop vs. NY: P22 W7 L7 T8
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- The Fire took the lead after just four minutes when a cross from Harry Shipp found the back of the net, as the flag stayed down with a Fire striker in an apparent offside position. But the Red Bulls were level two minutes later when Tim Cahill thundered home a header off a cross from Eric Alexander.
- The Red Bulls then took the lead into the break when Thierry Henry pushed the ball deep into the Fire end and unleashed a cross that Bradley Wright-Phillips one-timed into the back of the net.
- But the Fire gained the lead back with two goals within a five-minute span. Quincy Amarikwa beat Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles with a header off a feed from Jeff Larentowicz in the 49th minute, then Shipp scored his second of the day with a low shot in the 54th.
- The visitors made it 5-2 when Shipp completed his hat trick in the 58th minute, pickpocketing defender Kosuke Kimura before slotting a ball into the back of the net from the left side of the box.
- But the Red Bulls came back with two more tallies from Wright-Phillips. He first finished off a chested pass from Lloyd Sam in the 66th minute, then converted a penalty kick in the 78th minute after Henry was fouled.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Kosuke Kimura (Peguy Luyindula 66), Jamison Olave, Armando, Roy Miller - Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Eric Alexander (Jonny Steele 65) - Bradley Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry.
- CHICAGO FIRE (4-1-3-2): Sean Johnson - Lovel Palmer, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Greg Cochrane - Jeff Larentowicz - Patrick Nyarko (Logan Pause 68), Benji Joya (Gonzalo Segares 83), Harry Shipp (Juan Luis Anangono 90) - Quincy Amarikwa, Mike Magee.
The Chicago Fire played to their second consecutive draw, reaching a 1-1 tie with the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire are in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 21 games.
- The Fire took the lead in the 37th minute. Grant Ward put in a cross from the right side of the box which hit the arm of defender Tyson Wahl, and he was whistled for a handball by referee Silviu Petrescu. Mike Magee converted, slotting the spot kick past Columbus 'keeper Steve Clark into the lower-right corner.
- But the Crew pulled even just 12 seconds after the halftime restart. A Fire defender missed a header in the Fire's final third and the ball fell to Federico Higuain, who evaded a tackle in the box and poked home.
- Fire head coach Frank Yallop made no changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Toyota Park.
- CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Lovel Palmer, Jeff Larentowicz, Patrick Ianni, Gonzalo Segares - Grant Ward (Harry Shipp 57), Matt Watson, Chris Ritter (Logan Pause 81), Alex (Razvan Cocis 63) - Quincy Amarikwa, Mike Magee.
- The Fire reached their 13th draw of the season, the most in MLS this year and just three behind the all-time league record set in 2011 by the Fire.
- "If you go into the game, here we go, sort of deja vu," Fire head coach Frank Yallop said. "We've all sat here before and said the same thing. It's frustrating, maybe we didn't play great, we could have got something more out of the game but we didn't. Again, I'll say that we're not quite ready to get over the hurdle of winning games and dominating play, but it will come. We?ll work on stuff and we'll try to build for the future, which is important."
- Mike Magee scored his first goal since July 6, his sixth goal of the season and his third from a converted penalty kick. Jeff Larentowicz had taken the club?s last penalty won, on June 1.
- "It was a disappointing result having been up 1-0. You always want to go out and win the game after being up. You don't want to let it slip away, especially at home," said goalkeeper Sean Johnson. "It's a tough spot in the season for us. We're tying a lot of games, we're not playing badly but need to find it within ourselves to go out and do what's necessary to win games. We haven't found an answer yet, but obviously by the results, but we have to keep searching."
- For a second consecutive match, Harry Shipp came off the substitutes' bench, coming on for the final half-hour in place of Grant Ward.
- "I honestly thought the team played well enough to win the game against Vancouver, and I wanted to reward that group that went out there. ... For the first half, I thought it was pretty even," said Yallop. "I go back to Harry, he's in his rookie year where it's not easy, it's tough, it's a lot of games, a lot of minutes, a lot of training. He's taken more photographs now than he ever did, and everyone's filming him. That wears on you. Once he gets back to playing soccer, he'll be OK, but just a little tired right now."
- Jeff Larentowicz lined out in a second consecutive game in central defense, paired with Patrick Ianni.
- "I feel pretty comfortable with those guys there. I think they work pretty hard, work well together. I think Jeff's a solid influence back there, and whoever he plays with will be OK," said Yallop. "But I'm pleased with the two's performance. They didn't give up a lot of goals and a lot of chances, and I think that's good."
- The Fire have not scored more than one goal in a league game since June 2, when they defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-1. They have scored six goals over their last seven games. They have allowed one goal or fewer in six games over that same span, conceded nine goals (five in the loss to San Jose).
- "I think we're doing fine. We had a clean sheet the last game and this one there was an unfortunate bounce or we could have had another one. It's frustrating because we're fighting every game, and then we have a situation like that," said defender Gonzalo Segares. "But we're doing fine, Jeff's a guy with a lot of experience even though he hasn't played there much he feels comfortable and we both have done well. I think he's adapted pretty quickly and done a great job."
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls extended their undefeated run to three matches, defeating the New England Revolution 2-1 on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 28 points from 22 matches on the season.
- The Revolution took the lead on 20 minutes. Teal Bunbury hit a cross from the right that was deflected by a Red Bulls defender into the path of Charlie Davies, and he headed home from close range at the back post.
- The Red Bulls went a man down just before halftime, however. Center back Matt Miazga went in late on Lee Nguyen just past the midfield stripe and referee Allen Chapman showed a straight red card.
- But the home side leveled terms just two minutes into the second half. Dax McCarty received a pass from Eric Alexander about 20 yards out from goal and proceeded to place a gorgeous chip just inside the far post past a helpless Bobby Shuttleworth in the Revolution goal.
- The Red Bulls then found the go-ahead goal in the 63rd minute. Lloyd Sam drew two defenders and played a ball into space for Bradley Wright-Phillips in the right side of the box, and he pulled off a quick cutback before curling a sublime left-footed effort off the far post and in.
- Red Bulls boss Mike Petke made two changes to the team that played to a 1-1 result with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Matt Miazga came into the back four for Jamison Olave, and Lloyd Sam came in on the wing in place of Eric Alexander.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Chris Duvall, Ibrahim Sekagya, Matt Miazga (ejected 47+), Roy Miller - Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty (Kosuke Kimura 87), Tim Cahill (Eric Alexander 46), Ambroise Oyongo - Bradley Wright-Phillips (Peguy Luyindula 77), Thierry Henry.
- The Red Bulls extended their current undefeated run to three games, winning for the first time since the 4-1 win at Columbus on July 12.
- The Red Bulls also won for the first time this season after allowing the opening goal. They had five losses and seven draws after conceding first before the New England match.
- "The second half was perhaps - and this is saying a lot because of our success last year - the best half in my time as a head coach and we were down a man," said Red Bulls boss Mike Petke. "It followed what I cannot remember a worse performance of a first half that I've ever seen - aside from my 6-year-old's team, to be quite honest, to be very blunt. I'm being blunt because I'm proud of them and in awe almost, in a small way, because of being a man down and bossing them in the second half like that."
- Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 18th goal of the season - now with nine goals in his last 10 games, and 17 of his goals over the last 15 games (since April 23) - scoring the game-winner in New York's 2-1 victory against New England. Wright-Phillips then scored a vital goal in the MLS All-Star Game, the tying goal in the second half in the 2-1 win against FC Bayern Munchen.
- It looked like we were playing 11 men and they were playing with 10 men," said Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry. "That's the type of desire we need to have all the time. If you can win a game 1-0 down at halftime, playing with 10 men, you play with the same attitude with 11 players hopefully we can create more damage."
- Dax McCarty scored his first goal since March 23, his second goal of the season. McCarty has scored nine goals over the past three seasons since coming to the Red Bulls in 2011.
- "My legs are finally starting to get to the point where I can contribute to the team [in the way] I know I can and that I should. If I'm not playing up to my best, which I haven't been this year, I know that we're going to struggle," McCarty said. "It's very important to me that I play well. I'm my own hardest critic. Whatever [media members] write or what the fans write, it will never compare to the pressure I put on myself. I'm glad people expect a high level out of me and the whole team."
- When Matt Miazga was sent off just before halftime, Petke ran out his team in a 3-4-1-1 with a diamond midfield and Thierry Henry playing as a withdrawn forward off of Wright-Phillips.
- "I thought it was brilliant. I thought we played some of the best soccer that we played," said McCarty. "When you're playing in a diamond, you have a lot of options in the middle of the field, so when I get the ball I have a guy showing to my left, a guy to my right, Thierry buzzing in the middle. Sometimes when you play a flat 4-4-2, the roles aren't as defined. Sometimes in a flat 4-4-2, things can get stagnant. You have two guys out wide waiting for the ball, you have two forwards waiting for service. And we haven't really played like we should, and we haven't played up to our best, in a flat 4-4-2."
- Said Petke: "I give my assistant coach Robin [Fraser] all the credit, actually, but he was absolutely right. He said, 'We need to make their outside backs beat us,' and he was absolutely right. It just clicked when he said that and we moved them right to a diamond."