Fire 1 -- Chivas USA 0

Chicago Fire v Chivas USA

A Fire squad full of reserves was able to hold off fellow MLS club Chivas USA in SuperLiga action Tuesday night, defeating 'The Goats' 1-0.

Click [here](http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-24-fire-chicago-jun24,0,6148930.story) for my match recap and read below for some more thoughts I had on the match...

**Liked it:**

**1 - The play of the Fire reserves**

Tuesday night's lineup only featured five players that started in the Fire's 1-0 win over San Luis on Saturday but the lack of experience on the field turned out not to matter as the youngsters and reserves really showed up.

Midfielder Justin Mapp (who has not been seeing a lot of time as of late) played a great match and youngsters Patrick Nyarko, Stefan Dimitrov, Austin Washington, and Mike Banner all turned in pretty good performances.

"It's good to get out there," said Mapp. "I haven't got a lot of minutes lately but there are a lot of talented people on this team, I think we've got a lot of depth so there are always people itching to play. But all minutes help for the future so it was good."

**2 - The Fire's competitive streak**

Tuesday's match may not have lived up to the 11-card affair on May 28th at the HDC, but it did come close. Only three cards were issued but there was a little bit of a skirmish in the 80th minute with Marco Pappa and Jim Curtin getting into it. The Fire certainly backed Pappa up in the scuffle and it was good to see a little edginess in the match. And who knows? Maybe there's a little bit of a rivalry forming here...

**3 - The Fire's position in SuperLiga**

With the win the Fire improves to 6 points and (as I type this) sit alone on top of the Group B table. Pending the result of the Tigres--San Luis match the Fire could potentially advance tonight and give their regulars another rest on Saturday.

Hamlett said that even if the Fire does advance that Cuauhtemoc Blanco will play on Saturday as he is unavailable to play in next Tuesday's U.S Open Cup match due to a suspension. Hamlett was far less committal on whether Brian McBride would play though...

**Didn't like it:**

**1 - The heat**

The weather at Toyota Park on Tuesday night was sweltering. Though the temperature was only listed at 88 degrees it felt more like 95. The heat definitely played a role in the match as several players went down with cramps throughout and C.J. Brown and Mariano Trujillo both left with injuries.

The heat was enough that everyone in the press box (including myself) was able to work up a big time sweat just typing about the game, so I can only imagine what the players went through.

**2 - C.J. Brown's injury/The Fire's newfound scarcity in the defense**

Fire captain C.J. Brown went out in the 16th minute with a right hamstring strain. Brown was able to catch the injury before anything too bad happened and get himself out of the match, but another injury to C.J. is certainly not a good thing.

"It feels ok," said Brown of the injury. "Right now it's just my luck. I'm finally getting in the groove of things so hopefully this isn't that big of a setback. It was lucky I was able to catch it before anything too bad actually happened though."

Considering that Gonzalo Segares is leaving tomorrow for Gold Cup duty with Costa Rica, if Brown's injury keeps the Fire captain out for any significant period of time it puts the Fire in a bit of trouble in the back.

"Hopefully now we get Dasan [Robinson] back," said Hamlett. "He started training this week so maybe there's an outside chance that he will be available Saturday. We're going to need the whole roster."

Assuming the Fire will be without Bakary Soumare (who returns from his stint with the Mali national team tomorrow), Segares, Brown, and Robinson on Saturday the backline will probably feature Tim Ward and Brandon Prideaux on the wings and Wilman Conde and Austin Washington in the center (Washington played center back for the second half Tuesday night).

Look for some more thoughts on the match (including player ratings) coming your way soon.

Leave a comment