Tag Archive | "Chicago Fire"

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Sounders Win Third US Open Cup

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Kyle Alm

Seattle Sounders have won the US Open Cup in each of the three years of their existence in MLS. Continue Reading

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The Union outlast Chicago 2-1, bucking winless and scoring trends and reclaiming first

Posted on 21 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Union took down two birds with one stone tonight against the Chicago Fire thanks to veteran goalscorer, El Pescadito. Two goals were scored by the Union in a game for the first time this season and the dreaded three game winless streak is now officially over. Much to the Philadelphia faithful’s delight.

It took a while for the Union heat up, especially after Amobi Okugo was forced to leave the game in just the 5th minute with a high ankle sprain, but they eventually did. The first half produced eight scoring attempts but only one that tested Jon Conway.

The combination play of Carlos Ruiz and Justin Mapp was encouraging to say the least for the future of this attack with Mapp taking the game by the scruff and causing a lot of trouble for his former team’s defense. Michael Farfan, once again, played nothing like a rookie – taking defenders on, rolling through tackles, and not shying away from taking an attempt at goal. Danny Califf and Carlos Valdes kept the lone striker Diego Chaves virtually nonexistent in the first half, winning each and every clearance that came their way and jump-starting the attack in the other direction. Yet the score remained locked at zeros to end the first half and something had to budge in the second if the Union were going to produce.

It was more ups than downs for the Union’s only starting rookie, Michael Farfan but the second half was one wild rollercoaster ride. In the 68th minute, Dominic Oduro tied things up after wrong footing the Union goalscorer and putting a damper on Farfan’s night. Once free, the Ghanaian squeezed a ball by Faryd Mondragon to start the game anew. They dodged another bullet in the 76th with Puerari outmuscling Farfan and putting what looked to be a certain goal on frame. Only a slight deflection from Sheanon Williams could save it from nestling in the back of the net. As the Union continued to press forward, chinks in their defensive armor were exposed and the Fire were close to capitalizing on several occasions. The gamble at home paid off, however. As if to not let the Fire spoil the rookie Farfan’s outing, veteran and the club’s leading goalscorer took matters in to his own hands. Sensing goalkeeper and Philadelphia area native Conway out after a clearance, Ruiz fired an impressive volley – perfectly struck with his left foot – that clanged just off the underside of the crossbar. It was a 74th minute highlight that caught everyone at PPL Park off guard. It was that kind of night, however. One full of surprises.

The Union’s fitness took over after that as they fought to preserve the three points, doing well to close it out.

The win moves the Union to 5-3-2 in the Eastern Conference, good enough for first place all thanks to the Red Bulls 2-2 tie with the Dynamo in Houston. Philadelphia will next head to BMO Field to take on Toronto FC and hopefully improve upon their dreadful away record.

More to come!

Philadelphia Union Starting XI




M. Farfan——————————————————————–Mapp

————————C. Ruiz—————-Le Toux—————————-

Chicago Fire Starting XI


Ristic——————-Cuesta————-C. Gibbs——————-Segares




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RSL put out the Fire en route to MLS record

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake made MLS history Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 to set the longest home undefeated streak in league history at 23 matches. Fire defender Wilman Conde put in a catastrophic performance on the afternoon, earning an ejection right before half due to two yellow cards including the penalty that eventually led to the match winner from Álvaro Saborío. With the victory RSL continues to pressure the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew for the Supporters’ Shield, as they are now tied with LA at 47 points and own a superior goal differential prior to the Galaxy’s match with DC United Saturday night.

With Chicago playing to keep their slim playoff hopes alive and RSL looking to break the undefeated home record, the match played as one would anticipate with both teams playing hard, physical soccer. Chicago forward Collins John was particularly formidable against the RSL backline, while midseason addition Freddie Ljungberg battled RSL captain and midfield leader Kyle Beckerman throughout the first half. There were a number of anxious moments due to this style of play, as a number of players appeared to pick up some knocks thanks to some tough challenges, including RSL’s Will Johnson and Saborío as well as Bratislave Ristic and Logan Pause for the Fire. Unfortunately, it was also this style of play that led to the Fire’s downfall, as Conde continued to hammer at RSL’s forwards and attackers at every opportunity – eventually leading to two cautions in rapid succession and his eventual ejection.

Despite the ejection and numerous knocked up players, Chicago defender C.J. Brown didn’t really see the match as being overly physical. “As far as the physical play goes, that’s just the game. I don’t think it was any worse than any other game that I have been in. There some plays here and there that some players got in on, but that’s mild compared to when it starts in the playoffs. It’s part of the game.”

As RSL near the end of the season, their third consecutive playoff birth and prepare to defend their MLS crown, it is critical that they find ways to win matches while still resting key players due to their busy CONCACAF Champions League schedule. Due to Chicago playing the entire second half down a man, RSL was able to control the match with little effort and sub out Ned Grabavoy and Saborío by the 64th minute as both players are nursing minor injuries. These substitutions allowed RSL to not only rest players, but also give important playing time to a variety of young players that they will be relying on over the next couple of weeks.

Chicago, on the other hand, appeared content to exit Rio Tinto Stadium quietly, with the exception of second half substitute Patrick Nyarko, who tormented RSL’s defense for the entire second half. His energy and skill completely changed the dynamic of Chicago’s attack and makes one wonder why he wasn’t involved from the opening whistle. With the loss, Chicago now find themselves farther behind in the MLS playoff race with only seven games remaining. That said, Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos still holds out hope that the team can still make the post season. “It’s definitely difficult now, but we still have seven matches left to play and that’s 21 points available,” notes de los Cobos. “We need to fight. We are losing points because we are not concentrating all the time… We have really good moments in all of our matches, but we are not taking advantage of this.”

RSL will maintain their busy schedule over the next week, continuing CONCACAF Champions League play Wednesday against Arabe Unido in Panama before meeting Rocky Mountain Cup rivals the Colorado Rapids at home next Saturday. Despite the chaotic schedule and the various injuries the team is currently facing, coach Jason Kreis still maintains that this RSL team can continue it’s hot form and again challenge for the MLS Cup. “[Last preseason] I really felt like this is the group I envisioned for a long time, playing the type of soccer they’re playing. This is the team I think we’ve been trying to build for a long time, and this is the team that should challenge for championships for quite a while.”

REAL SALT LAKE (13-4-8, pts.) v. CHICAGO FIRE (6-9-8, 26 pts.)

Scoring Summary:
RSL- Álvaro Saborío 9 (penalty kick) 47+

Misconduct Summary:
CHI — Wilman Conde (caution; Reckless Foul) 30
RSL — Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 33
CHI — Wilman Conde (caution; Tactical Foul) 46+
CHI — Wilman Conde (ejection; Second Caution) 46+

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez 64), Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams, Will Johnson, Robbie Findley (Paulo Araujo Jr. 76), Alvaro Saborío (Pablo Campos 63).

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Kyle Beckerman 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Kyle Beckerman 2); FOULS: 11 (Pablo Campos, Chris Wingert 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5 (Andy Williams 4); SAVES: 0

Chicago Fire — Sean Johnson, Dasan Robinson, C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde, Gonzalo Segares, Bratislav Ristic, Freddie Ljungberg (Calen Carr 60), Logan Pause, Marco Pappa (Mike Banner 85), Collins John (Patrick Nyarko 46), Nery Castillo.

TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (5 players with 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 0; FOULS: 12 (Bratislav Ristic 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Nery Castillo, Collins John 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Nery Castillo 2); SAVES: 4 (Sean Johnson 4)

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee’s Assistants: Adam Garner, James Conlee
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Attendance: 14,449 / Weather: Clear and 85 degrees

All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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Game #23 Preview: Chicago at Philadelphia

Posted on 09 September 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Union still have the momentum heading into this weekend’s match-up vs. a Chicago Fire deep in the fight for a playoff spot. Chicago, coming a 0-0 tie midweek with Toronto FC, has all the tools to blow a game wide open. Nery Castillo, Patrick Nyarko, Freddie Ljungberg, and Brian McBride namely. That hasn’t been the case lately, however. Philadelphia will try and continue that trend while trying to atone for last week’s hiccup vs. Kansas City.

A disappointed Nowak: who will he start in net?

Chicago Fire at Philadelphia Union
Saturday, September 11, 2010, 6:00PM
PPL Park, Chester, PA

Philadelphia Union Projected Starters (5-11-6)


Orozco F.———–Califf———Gonzalez———Harvey



———————-Mwanga——Le Toux——————-

Chicago Fire Projected Starters (6-7-8)






Did you know?

Chicago’s rookie goalkeeper has been having a completely different season than the nightmare Chris Seitz seems to be stuck in right now. Sean Johnson has made his mistakes here and there but for the most part, he has delivered big save after big save to keep Chicago in some rough and tough games. The Fire jettisoned veteran and MLS All-Star Jon Busch in favor of their back-up Andrew Dykstra right before the 2010 season started. Dykstra failed to impress as an X-factor early on and several games ago, the 19-year old Sean Johnson was given the starting reins. He hasn’t looked back since.

Justin Mapp will most likely get the start against his former club. The attacker has found his form in Philadelphia and it should be the perfect opportunity to show the Fire why they were wrong to ship him off to the East Coast. After seven seasons in Chicago, starting as a professional at the tender age of 18, Mapp grew into one of the most promising attackers in American soccer. Though he never reached those lofty expectations of others, Mapp is still a complete Major League Soccer player and one that could really help shape this team moving forward.

The rapidly approaching end of the 2010 MLS season also acts as the end of the amazing 17-season career of Chicago Fire forward and USMNT legend Brian McBride. Known for his aerial prowess and tough-as-nails approach to every game, this will be the only time in Philadelphia that USMNT fans in the metro area will get to pay homage to a striker that gave a lot to American soccer. Even as a Union fan, I’m not afraid to say it – he is my favorite player EVER to don the American uniform.

Last time out, the Union lost 2-1 to a Fire squad that were comfortable to play unattractively in their own house. They played with little urgency and walked away with the win.

The Fire’s newly re-acquired fullback Gonzalo Segares will be serving suspension for an ejection two games ago.

If haven’t read Sam Donnellon’s Philadelphia Daily News piece on the Sons of Ben – go do that.

Could we see Shea Salinas this weekend? Probably not – Wednesday in San Jose is probably a better bet but you never know…

Keys to the Game

The Fire are tired – simple as that. Freddie Ljungberg’s crew is coming off a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Toronto FC mid-week. They then had to hop on a plane and fly straight to Philadelphia for tomorrow evening’s tilt. All while feeling the frustration of dropping what might have been vital points in the fight for playoff place. They had games in hand and that was considered a wasted one. To add to that, Carlos de los Cobos – the Fire boss – laid into some of the Fire defenders regarding marking on set pieces. Coach’s criticism is normal to the game but it’s clear the frustration is hitting the coaching staff as well. If there was ever a time to deliver the final blow, it’d be now. Freddie Ljungberg is coming off quite possibly his worst game so far in a Fire uniform. Staying consistent in our attack and using fitness to our advantage could do it. Keep things fast-paced.

Despite coming into this match on only three days rest, the Fire are backed against a wall. They sit six points behind Seattle (more depending on tonight’s Sounders results) for the last playoff spot. This game, therefore, has a must-win feel to it for the Fire as they run the risk of losing significant ground.

You can tell we left Seitz in between the sticks. We don’t have any advanced knowledge but something tells me this is the ultimatum game. Now they’re telling Chris – “You cost us two points last game and you continue to cost us points. One more time and you’ll be replaced”. Who knows, maybe that will wake him up.

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Johnson saves the game for the Fire; Red Bulls play to scorless tie

Posted on 14 August 2010 by dkarell

With all the light bulbs flashing in the stands, and the five designated players dazzling with their skills on the field, it was a rookie goalkeeper who spun the highlight reel and shined the brightest of them all.

Chicago Fire’s Sean Johnson, making just his second career start, made several huge saves in the last 20 minutes of the match to keep the clean sheet.

The New York Red Bulls failed to score a goal, despite having Juan Pablo Angel, Thierry Henry, Mac Kandji, and new signing Rafa Marquez all on the field at the same time.

For Chicago, it was Freddie Ljungberg’s first start for the club, and eventually, after being brought into the game in the second half, the debut for new signing Nery Castillo.

Chicago began the game with plenty of posession, taking advantage of the consistantly out of place Red Bull midfield to launch attacks upfield.

Ljungberg played like a man posessed, making strong runs through the middle of the field, and early on being the focal point of the offense.

However, the Red Bull defensive line stayed strong, and were able to repel many of the early Fire attacks.

After twenty minutes, Thierry Henry had his first chance of the game for the Red Bulls, dribbling past a couple of defenders, but his shot on goal was week and went right to Johnson.

Towards the end of the first half, Chicago had a great chance to take the lead. Brian McBride took advantage of Tim Ream, who was caught up field and out of position, as he dribbled in towards goal. McBride saw the forward run from Ljungberg, and played him a through ball. But Ljungberg was unable to get a shot off, as the bouncing pass deflected off of his shin and out of play.

After Thierry Henry left the match in the 45th minute, due to muscle cramps, his replacement Dane Richards made an immediate impact.

Marquez played a long through ball on the ground into the box, and Richards was able to beat his man and race onto the ball. His quickly played pass through the box missed everyone though, and the Red Bulls had to settle for a 0-0 scoreline at the half.

In the second half, the Red Bulls began to control the game more, using more possession, and being patient on the attack.

In the 68th minute, Johnson made his first of many huge saves, when Juan Pablo Angel’s quick strike from just outside of the left side of the box was sizzling towards the near post, before being parried away.

With the Red Bulls holding the momentum, and looking for a win, coach Hans Backe brought in Salou Ibrahim in the 80th minute to try and get the game’s first goal. This set up an epic final ten minutes of the match.

Johnson made a name for himself, saving a shot from Seth Stammler, a terrific volley off a corner kick from Tim Ream, and a header from Angel, all in the span of a couple of minutes.

In the end, the Red Bulls and Fire settled for the 0-0 draw, though it was by no means a boring match.

The draw hurts New York though, who has not won a game in MLS play since June 26, a 3-0 win at Kansas City. Since then, they have recorded four draws and a loss.

The Red Bulls shake off the dust quickly, as they head back to Red Bull Arena to face Toronto F.C. on Wednesday, August 11.

Match Facts

Scoring Summary:


Discipline Summary:

CHI – Baggio Husidic (Yellow Card) 31’
NYRB – Tim Ream (Yellow Card) 32’
NYRB – Carlos Mendes (Yellow Card) 80


Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dasan Robinson (Steven Kinney, 59’), C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde, Krzystof Krol; Marco Pappa (Deris Umanzor, 92’), Logan Pause Baggio Husidic, Mike Banner; Freddie Ljungberg; Brian McBride (C) (Nery Castillo, 56’)

New York Red Bulls: Bouna Coundoul; Chris Albright, Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Roy Miller; Rafael Marquez (Seth Stammler, 61’), Tony Tchani (Salou Ibrahim, 80’), Joel Lindpere, Macoumba Kandji; Thierry Henry (Dane Richards, 45’), Juan Pablo Angel

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Daniel Belleau; James Conlee
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 85 degrees
Attendance: 21,868

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Weekend MLS roundup: Fire upset Galaxy in Ljungberg debut

Posted on 01 August 2010 by jtobin

A three goal first half by the Chicago Fire sparked the visiting team to a 3-2 victory over the struggling LA Galaxy on Sunday night. It was the highest number of goals the Fire have scored all season. Recent designated player signing Freddie Ljungberg replaced Marco Pappa in the 57th minute, but didn’t make much of an impact as the Fire decided to absorb the Galaxy’s pressure and relied on the counter-attack.

Since returning from the World Cup break, the Galaxy have hit a wall of sorts. Los Angeles is 2-2-2 in its last six MLS matches and has been bounced out of the US Open Cup and is in danger of sealing a similar fate in the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament. Los Angeles, which had only allowed four goals in its first 15 games, has conceded nine goals in its last three matches. “It’s a concern,” Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter told ASN’s Ivan Yeo. “We have to take a look at it and get back to the basics.”

Jeff Tobin has the happier recap from Chicago.

Ljungberg’s old team, the Seattle Sounders, also had a successful weekend, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday 1-0 in a game greatly disappointing Quakes fans. It was the kind of poor showing that had Yallop publicly criticizing his team and Quakes fans talking about wishing they had not come. Eric Pederson reports from San Jose, Calif.

The New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union fought to a 1-1 draw Saturday afternoo. Sebastien Le Toux continued his MVP form with a wonderfully-taken goal in the first half but the Revs hit back through the red-hot Marko Perovic, his fourth league goal this season.

The Revs picked up a much-needed road point to continue their league resurgence. Steven Stoehr provides the New England reaction. But the Union feel hard-done by the result, as Breton Bonnette reports from Philadelphia.

Despite holding the lead twice, being up a man for the final 47 minutes of the game, not to mention having Thierry Henry at their disposal, the New York Red Bulls only managed a meager point away to the Houston Dynamo. Daniel Karell has the RBNY reaction.

FC Dallas went up a Mile High and came down with a point. The boys from north Texas remained unbeaten for the eighth straight game, leaving Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO with a 1-1 draw versus the Colorado Rapids Saturday afternoon. Philip Woodruff recaps the match from an FC Dallas viewpoint.

Speaking of excursions to altitude, in Utah Real Salt Lake dismantled DC United 3-1. Patrick McShane has the blow-by-blow of that match, while from the nation’s capital, Steve Long writes that DC United are still poised to exceed the mediocre record they have established for themselves. Though the playoffs still won’t happen.

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MLS Week 11 weekend wrap-up

Posted on 06 June 2010 by iyeo

Scene from New England's 3-0 loss at Seattle

The LA Galaxy enter the two-week World Cup break undefeated after beating the visiting Houston Dynamo 4-1. Forward Jovan Kirovski led the scoring charge with a first-half brace while forward Tristan Bowen and midfielder Alex Cazumba supplied the second half strikes. It took just 47 seconds for the Galaxy to get on the board. Ivan Yeo reports from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

From the nation’s capital, Steve Long reports on the changing fortunes of DC United and identifies the factors that have ushered in what could be a new era after all. Or is that an old one?

The New York Red Bulls defeated Chivas USA 1-0 in the last MLS match before the World Cup break for both teams. It was a lethargic affair from two very tired teams, punctuated only by Seth Stammler’s highlight goal, occasional roughhousing and questionable refereeing decisions (or non-decisions). Here ASN’s player rankings for the victorious home side.

Two organized defensive units grappled scoreless for 85 minutes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, but three key changes late in the game gave the Colorado Rapids a dramatic 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew. Pat Shea has that report , including Rapids player ratings.

The Chicago Fire were outplayed throughout the majority of their match against the visiting Philadelphia Union, but capitalized on their chances and reaped the benefits of all three points. Jeff Tobin has the partisan view from Bridgeview, Ill., and Breton Bonnette supplies player ratings for the Union.

The Seattle Sounders soundly defeated the New England Revolution by a score of 3-0. Here is a photo gallery supplied by David Lindsay.

That will do it for MLS coverage for a little while, at least from the ASN home page. Local team-specific sites (links in the right column) will have updates over the next two weeks, but this site will be mainly devoted to that little tournament in South Africa, where ASN will be on the ground.

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Week 10 weekend roundup

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Patrick McShane

Action from the Real Salt Lake v Kansas City Wizards match ©Julie Harper/ASN

Real Salt Lake extended their win streak Saturday to a franchise-best five games after dispatching the Kansas City Wizards 4-1 in a hotly contested affair. While RSL jumped off to an early lead after a pair of goals by Fabian Espíndola and Álvaro Saborío, the Wizards were able to capitalize on RSL’s occasional sloppy play to pull a goal back just before half. Inspired by 15,588 raucous fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL controlled the second half and finished the match off late thanks to a Davy Arnaud ejection and goals from Robbie Russell and Ned Grabavoy. ASN’s Patrick McShane reports from Rio Tinto Stadium and supplies player ratings for the victorious home side.

Conor Casey beat out Jeff Parke on a running battle into the box in the 63rd minute of the Seattle Sounders match-up with the Colorado Rapids and caught Kasey Keller off his line with a deft chip to the far post. The goal stood up as the winner in a 1-0 decision in the home team’s favor at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Pat Shea reports from Colorado and supplies player ratings for both sides.

Toronto FC booked their first road win in MLS play this season when Dwayne DeRosario broke a 2-2 deadlock with his second goal of the game deep into stoppage time at San Jose. Chris Hazard has that report.

In the nation’s capital, Steve Long finally sees reasons to believe in Curt Onalfo’s plans for DC United, after their 3-2 victory over Chivas USA.

The Philadelphia Union surprised an incredibly tough Houston home team last night coming from behind to win 3-2 in the dying moments. It was the #1 draft pick Danny Mwanga that grabbed the game winner all thanks to the unwavering work ethic of both Alejandro Moreno and Sebastien Le Toux. The win now puts the Union at 2-5-1. ASN Philly’s Breton Bonnette observed the match and supplied the following player ratings for the winners.

Finally, at Toyota Park in suburban Chicago, AC Milan strutted their stuff for a sell-out crowd before defeating the Chicago Fire by 1-0. Jeff Tobin has that report.

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Friday audio update

Posted on 28 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Subscribe via iTunes here or if you prefer get the Audio Soccer News Daily via email or RSS.

For more information on your host Jason Davis begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting check out Match Fit USA and of course be sure to listen to AmericanSoccerShow.com, home of the popular American Soccer Show weekly podcast. Be sure to listen in every Monday!

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Brimstone burnout? Fire, FCD draw 1-1

Posted on 28 May 2010 by jtobin

Brian McBride got the equalizer but could have scored another ©Julie Harper/ASN

The Chicago Fire traded first half goals with FC Dallas for a 1-1 stalemate at Toyota Park Thursday evening. David Ferreira struck first for the Texan side before Brian McBride equalized shortly before halftime. The Brimstone Cup feature showed little of the passion of its earlier years, with both teams appearing complacent throughout.

Jeff Tobin reports from Bridgeview, Ill., and supplies player ratings for the home side.

From North Texas, Philip Woodruff does likewise for FC Dallas.

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