Fire 2 -- Earthquakes 0: Blanco comes through again

Chicago Fire v New York Red Bulls

A [depleted Fire team beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0](http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/soccer/fire/chi-19-fire-chicago-jul19,0,4724572.story) tonight at Toyota Park. Check out the link for my Tribune recap and continue after the jump for a little something extra... **Temo Time:**

Well after seeing Cuauhtemoc Blanco play two spectacular matches in the last four days I can only come to one conclusion about why his form has turned around so dramatically...

'Temo must read Fire Confidential.

OK, so maybe Blanco doesn't read the blog (he may have slightly better things to do with his time than read news about the team he plays for...) but ever since I called for better play from him in the New England match preview he has greatly upped his form, scoring a goal and adding an assist tonight in only 30 minutes of action.

Blanco (and fellow substitute Marco Pappa) were the catalysts for the Fire's attack tonight and he really was the key player in tonight's game (and the MOTM...)

"With the changes of Blanco and Marco coming on the field our offense picked up a couple notches," said Denis Hamlett. "Temo played a great ball to Patrick... and obviously the last goal, that's what Temo's all about. He gets those chances and he can finish them."

Patrick Nyarko (who played a solid match himself) had this to say about that pretty ball that Blanco played him.

"He's one of the few people who can find me with that ball. I don't know how that ball even got [to me]."

**How about that starting lineup?**

When the Fire starting lineup was announced, I was a bit... surprised. Maybe even perplexed. But the youngsters and reserves that Denis Hamlett threw out there came up big for the Fire and played with a style not normally seen from the team.

I personally was a fan of the way the Fire played. I thought Mike Banner and Patrick Nyarko did a really nice job in the attack and it was easy to see that Coach Hamlett was proud of his boys.

"Tonight Mike Banner, Justin [Mapp], Peter [Lowry], some of these guys who hadn't really played much lately got a taste because of the hectic week we had," said DH. "We wanted to get the right balance and get the right guys in there and I think tonight it worked out well. This was a good moment for them."

**Lowry debuts:**

Speaking of good moments, after a season and a half not seeing any time in MLS games, midfielder Peter Lowry finally made his debut on Saturday night, getting the start alongside John Thorrington in the central midfield.

"I was just really excited to play," said Lowry. "I was a little nervous but I thought I did alright. I thought I got in some tackles, kept the ball. It would've been nice to get a goal or something like that but I was happy with how I did."

**Suspended in Seattle: Bakary's take...**

Center back Bakary Soumare picked up his fifth yellow of the year in tonight's match and as a result, will be suspended for next week's match at Seattle. Here's Baky's take on his suspension:

"It was bound to happen," said Soumare with a laugh. "Oh well. It seems like either Conde's out or I'm out or C.J.'s out but it's o.k. because we have a bunch of guys that can step in and do well. We'll be alright."

If you think there's a storyline I missed here let me know, I'll see if I can scrounge up a quote or two from the recorder on the subject. Otherwise, let's revel in the Fire win and get pumped for next week's match at Seattle. It should be crazy...

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  • its great to get a home win...did i hear they had 65,000 in seattle?

  • In reply to bert:

    They did have 65,000 in Seattle. Those Sounders fans are pretty intense and Seattle will have quite the home field advantage on Saturday.

    Talking with Denis after Saturday's game he told me that he was excited to have the team play in front of the 30,000 plus that will be there.

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