Fire v Crew Match Preview / Thirteenth Anniversary Celebration

In a match that could become an annual tradition, the Fire is set to take on Columbus on the anniversary of the club's inclusion to Major League Soccer.  October 8 not only signifies the official "birthday" of the Chicago Fire and the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 it also serves as a reminder of how far the team and the league have come in a relatively short period of time.  The Fire in conjunction with Section 8 and the ISA have planned a three day celebration beginning with tonight's party at The Pitch featuring classic Fire matches, prize raffles, and a midnight champagne toast.  Frank Klopas, Jesse Marsch, and Lubos Kubik are expected to be in attendance.  The US Men's National Team is also in town so it wouldn't be surprising to see other soccer luminaries in attendance. 


Friday's festivities will feature an extended tailgate party near Gate D beginning at 2pm.  Klopas is providing the roast pig and lamb, there will be more give aways, a meet and greet with new team President Julian Posada, and a supporter's match played on the Toyota Park practice field.  Saturday morning's events include another get together at The Pitch ahead of USA's friendly against Poland at Soldier Field.  For more info click here. 


The main event is the match on Friday night against the Crew as the Fire look to salvage something from a disappointing season.  Columbus is coming off a US Open Cup Final loss to Seattle on Tuesday night which saw most of their starters on the field for considerable minutes. 

Andy Gruenebaum got the start in goal on Tuesday but William Hesmer should return as the starter against the Fire.  Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall, and Andy Iro all played the full 90 minutes against Seattle while left back Shaun Francis has been called in by Jamaica. Francis had been starting in place of the injured Gino Padula, who is no longer listed on the injury report. 


Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll, Emmanuel Ekpo, and Kevin Burns got the call in midfield for the Open Cup final while Robbie Rogers and Emilio Renteria entered the match as substitutes.  Rogers has recently returned from a knee injury but Renteria has been called in by Venezuela.  Guillermo Barros Schelloto also played the full 90 so I'm assuming Robert Warzycha will opt to bring him into this game from the bench.  Steven Lenhart (minus the unmistakable hairdo), new acquisition Andres Mendoza, and Jason Garey are the options at the forward spot. 


Carlos De Los Cobos continues to juggle the line up due to injury even at this late stage in the season.  The latest casualty is goalkeeper Sean Johnson who suffered an eye injury in training on Tuesday.  Andrew Dykstra will replace Johnson while AC St. Louis keeper Alec Duffy has been signed as a back up. 


De Los Cobos has indicated he will start CJ Brown and Dasan Robinson in the middle, eschewing rookie Kwame Watson-Siriboe after three consecutive starts.  It would seem to me that keeping Watson-Siriboe in the starting eleven would make more sense since he is presumably a big part of the picture next season and any additional seasoning would be helpful.  Gonzalo Segares should return from injury at left back replacing the now injured Krzyzstof Krol.  Steven Kinney will start at right back.


The middle of the field is again a question mark.  De Los Cobos has mentioned the possibility of finding some playing time for Corben Bone ahead of Logan Pause centrally but it's more likely that Peter Lowry or Freddie Ljungberg fill that position if Nery Castillo is back in the line up either at left mid or withdrawn forward.  Marco Pappa and Bratislav Ristic still figure to be in the equation as starters while Patrick Nyarko could see time as a substitute since he is apparently suffering from bone spurs in his right ankle which sidelined him from training today. 


Whether or not Calen Carr continues to start or Collins John and/or Brian McBride return to starter's minutes is anyone's guess. 


Injury Report



OUT: Mike Banner M (bilateral Achilles tendinitis), Sean Johnson GK (hyphema); QUESTIONABLE: Gonzalo Segares D (R quad strain), John Thorrington M (R quad strain), Baggio Husidic M (R quad strain)



OUT: Danny O'Rourke M (back spasms)



Edvin Jurisevic



The Crew have been displaced atop the Eastern Conference standings by New York and have gone 1-2-3 in their last six matches with the only win coming at DC.  Schelloto seems to be finally slowing down from previous seasons and the Crew appear to be staggering a bit down the stretch.  Of course bad form hasn't kept teams from earning results in Toyota Park this season so I'm expecting the Fire to throw a damper on the party like they have done all season long. 


Crew 1 Fire 1



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  • We will be reading your blogs. Please keep us updated.
    Good Job on your blogs.

    We truly enjoy reading them.

    -Luis & Ady

  • In reply to ZCee10:

    Thanks for reading guys!

  • In reply to ZCee10:

    More on Nyarko's ankle issues.....

  • In reply to ZCee10:

    You mention of the Great Fire of 1871 makes me think of a long-standing issue I have with the name of the Chicago MLS football club.

    It seems inappropriate to "celebrate" a disaster that resulted in 300 people being killed and thousands rendered homeless. I'm not sure why the team is even named after the disaster.

    It would be like changing the New Orleans Saints to the New Orleans Katrina or the Red Bulls to the New York 9/11. Its always seemed weird to me.

  • In reply to Roti2000:


    The naming of the team was not a celebration of a disaster. The inspiration for the name is based on the effort to recover from the adversity of 1871.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    The fire, as disastrous as it was at the time, served as a great impetus for the much-needed transformation and rehabilitation of our industrial city. Without it, we may not have modernized as quickly and become the greatest city in the US. Hell, we could be Cleveland.... ugh.
    /end of rationalization for our club's name ;)

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    No movement off the ball? That's some revelation....I wonder if the video player has been broken all year.....

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    To clarify the Fire's playoff implications this weekend. If the Fire win and San Jose beats DC the Fire are still alive if Colorado loses at Dallas.

    And no I haven't started drinking to celebrate the 13th anniversary. A few outlets have the Fire eliminated if San Jose gets a result against DC.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Interesting. Thanks for clarifying, because I read earlier in a couple places that a San Jose win means the Fire are definitely out (one of those places being the Fire's official website!) Just gotta win and worry about the rest later.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    I know....they can mathematically still catch Colorado if they win all four and the Rapids lose and they make up a six goal differential.

  • In reply to ZCee10:

    Kinda late to figure this out.....

  • In reply to ZCee10:

    CJ Brown talks possible retirement,100810sptfire.article

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