Fire vs. Real Salt Lake: Match Preview

Nick LaBrocca, Patrick Nyarko, Jamie Smith

The Fire and Real Salt Lake are set to clash tomorrow night for their second meeting of the season. The Fire was victorious in the first matchup between the two teams, [getting a goal from Patrick Nyarko to defeat RSL 1-0 on August 1st at Toyota Park.](http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-fire-confidential/2009/08/fire-1---real-salt-lake-0-undefeated-streak-runs-to-5.html)

What's the main difference between tomorrow's match and the teams' first meeting? The location. Tomorrow's match will be taking place at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah - where RSL has gone 7-1-4 on the year (as opposed to 2-8-2 on the road), good enough for the second best home record in MLS.
"Look they're a good team at home," said Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett of Salt Lake. "They've scored a lot of goals at home and they have an attacking group of guys on the field that can be dangerous so we've got to make sure we come with a good defensive plan. We have to make sure were organized and maintain a good mentality on the road - which I think we've had all year."

The Fire could see forward Brian McBride return to the field for the first time since he underwent surgery to repair a torn right labrum on July 17th. McBride, who - despite his lengthy absence - is still the Fire's leading scorer, could provide the Fire attack with a big time boost if he indeed is able to go on Saturday - something that could prove useful given RSL's very strong home record.

"When he does get on the field I think it'll be huge lift," said Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett. "To get our leading scorer back... especially at this time of the year is important. He's a key guy on our team and having him back - even if it's just been in training - has made a world of difference."

**The Prediction**

I'll say the Fire pull out with another 1-0 win against Real. Strange as it sounds, it's very tough for me to pick against the Fire on the road, and this match is no exception. I'll say that Chris Rolfe scores the lone goal of the match - he'll be working extra hard knowing that his Fire career is coming to a close.

Oh and props to NaperSteve and Waamsy, who came closest to predicting the final score of Wednesday night's U.S.-Trinidad & Tobago match. See if you can knock them off the prediction perch...

Comments

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  • 2-1 Fire. Goals by Conde and Pause.

    RSL goal by former Fireman Andy Williams

  • 3-0,,,,,hat trick by rolfe......boy id be happy.....speaking of chris,,,do you know the web site for his new team?

  • The site's in Danish, but here you go...

    http://www.aabsport.dk/forsiden

  • In reply to SamuelStejskal:

    Google will translate Aalborg's site for you. They also have a blog page which is pretty interesting as well that you can access from their website.

  • In reply to SamuelStejskal:

    1-1 Final

    Both goals come off set pieces. Blanco scores ours.

  • 3-1, Fire start pulling 2gether with Blanco, Rolfe x2

  • Fire lose 2-1...

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