The Fire don't have additional fixture congestion to worry about in the coming months after bombing out of the US Open Cup competition again. This time on penalty kicks in front of a small crowd of 2,526.
After a fairly listless first half, the Fire controlled a good portion of the run of play during the second half and the overtime but were not able to find a score. Charleston dropped just about everyone back to defend during the latter portions of the match and the home team was not able to answer.
Patrick Nyarko's insertion to start the second half along with Wilman Conde's ability to play the midfield position picked up the pace for the Fire. Several scoring opportunities resulted in shots placed directly at Charleston goalkeeper Tim Melia. Carlos De Los Cobos decided to start several players who have not seen much time this year based on the short turnaround after the New England match and the upcoming Columbus match on Saturday.
During the post game press conference the coach explained his decision further by emphasizing league play and SuperLiga ahead of the US Open Cup. "It was for me an opportunity to see other players. We had control of the game but we didn't score" said De Los Cobos. "I want to concentrate on our league and SuperLiga. For me these are the most important tournaments."
The match was decided in rather embarrasing fashion as Brian McBride, Krzyzstof Krol, and Wilman Conde all missed penalty kicks leading to a home defeat against a USL-2 side. McBride's attempt sailed over the cross bar. Krol's low shot to the keeper's right was saved and Conde's shot hit the crossbar. Charleston converted all three of their attempts.
You can listen to the entire De Los Cobos post game press conference here.
We should have an update on Collins John's situation from the team doctor tomorrow.
Julio Martinez, Justin Mapp, Baggio Husidic, and Tim Ward were not available tonight due to injury. In Ward's case, he is close to returning but not fully fit yet.
De Los Cobos wanted to see Conde play in midfield which is why he was inserted for Pause in the second half.