Fire vs Houston Preview

This will be a bigger challenge than DC United.  The Dynamo have lost Dwayne DeRosario, Stuart Holden, and Ricardo Clark over the last two seasons but continue to be one the better sides in MLS.  Dominic Kinnear has done an excellent job of replacing departing players and not missing much of a beat.  Although Brian Ching is out with a hamstring injury they are still a difficult team to play against. 

The back line has not changed much through the first four matches.  We'll likely see Bobby Boswell and Eddie Robinson at center with Mike Chabala on the left and Andrew Hainault on the right.  The midfield is anchored by one of the more uderrated players in MLS.  Brad Davis will start on the left side and handle free kick duties, where is he very dangerous.  Corey Ashe or Brian Mullan will start on the right.  Geoff Cameron, a converted defender, has been moved into a central attacking role since the departure of Holden necessitated an athletic presence in the middle.  Jamaican international Lovel Palmer got his first start in midfield last week in place of the injured Brian Mulrooney and rewarded Houston with a long distance goal of the week strike in the 3-0 beat down of Chivas USA.

The front line will see Dominic Oduro teamed up with designated player bust Luis Landin or Brian Mullan, who started at forward against Chivas.  Landin may not be an official bust yet but he's done nothing to justify designated player status since his acquistion last summer.  The Dynamo have re-signed Joseph Ngwenya but his transfer paperwork is still stuck somewhere in international limbo.

From the Fire's side, Carlos De Los Cobos has not let on whether or not he will return to the 4-5-1 formation that worked for the Fire in DC.   

Dasan Robinson will miss the match with an abdominal strain so we should see Tim Ward return to the right back spot.  I'm expecting that Conde, Brown, and Krol will round out the back four.  Logan Pause and John Thorrington are still out so Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry should see action again in central midfield.  Nyarko and Pappa are fixtures and we will find out soon enough if Justin Mapp can maintain his efforts from last week

Prediction : The Fire needs to start defending their home turf but I'll go with a 1-1 draw.

Weekend Predicitions:

I'm not braggin or anything but last week's picks were a perfect 7-0.  Undefeated, no losses, all correct...okay...bragging a little.

New York 1 Philadelphia 0

New England 1 Colorado 0

Real Salt Lake 2 Columbus 2

Kansas City 1 Los Angeles 0

Chivas USA 1 San Jose 0

Seattle 1 Toronto 1

The Injury Report

CHICAGO FIRE -- OUT: FW Calen Carr (R quad strain); DF Steven Kinney (L hamstring strain); MF John Thorrington (L quad strain); DF Dasan Robinson (abdominal strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Logan Pause (L knee sprain)

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: FW Brian Ching (L hamstring strain); FW Cam Weaver (R knee strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Richard Mulrooney (R knee inflammation)


Klopas Comments on DP



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  • I'll go Fire 1, Dynamo 0. The Fire have to find their rythm at some point, why not when they go green?

  • Glad you added the Klopas link from mlssoccer. I commented on this in another one of your columns but I'll repeat here. I don't see Guily as filling the real need of the Fire for a creative mid. He seems to be more in the mold of Pappa and Nyarko----unless they want to move Pappa into the middle which would be a mistake IMO since he seem to be flourishing where he is. Frank K. should take the Milan visit as an opportunity to look at Seedorf.

  • Giuly can play attacking mid very well, and would fit in on this team

    he wouldn't play on the wing in this team. but mapp should probably be worried

  • Fire win!!! Sure was cold at the game but Fire kept control of the game. Seems like Krol has a bit of a temper but hey I would get mad too if someone took a cheap shot at me...just saying...

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