Fire v Crew match preview

The last match between these two clubs was only was four weeks ago and neither side was able to field their best eleven, missing several key players.  The Fire "rested" Sebastian Grazzini and the Crew were without Milan Mirosevic, who will miss this match although he was able to participate in Columbus' 0-0 draw against the Revolution last weekend.  Andy Gruenebaum continues to play well in goal but Robert Warzycha will be without centerback Carlos Mendes.  Schererville, Indiana native Eric Gehrig could get the start in his place next to Josh Williams.  Sebastian Miranda and Nemanja Vukovic are the outside backs.

The Crew is also missing Dilly Duka due to an hamstring strain and Danny O'Rourke is doubtful with an ankle injury.  Duka started on May 26 against the Fire and was replaced late in the match by Chris Birchall.  Kevan George and the former Galaxy midfielder are the options at the holding spot.  Tony Tchani, who is more of a central player than he is a winger where the Crew use him and Bernardo Anor started in that 2-1 victory on the outside with Eddie Gaven serving as a second striker.

Gavin and Justin Meram are options up top behind Emilio Renteria but the Crew don't really have a playmaker when Mirosevic isn't in the line-up.  Even when he is on the field, the Chilean has only managed one goal in eleven games for the Crew.  This should illustrate how difficult it is to find successful midfield playmakers in MLS.

Speaking of playmakers, Sebastian Grazzini may have two games remaining in his Fire career if the club does not pick up his option.  The combination of Grazzini, Pavel Pardo, Logan Pause, Marco Pappa, and Patrick Nyarko looked very good against New York last week and should continue to start together in this match.  One possible could change could see Chris Rolfe in the first eleven behind Dominic Oduro but I think it's more likely Rolfe comes off the bench again.

There should also be no changes to the starting defensive unit of Sean Johnson, Dan Gargan, Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba, and Gonzalo Segares.  Arne Friedrich's return to the line-up has apparently been pushed back to June 29 as the German defender continues to work on improving his fitness.

Referee

Armando Villareal

Injury Report

CHICAGO FIRE -- OUT: DF Cory Gibbs (R knee meniscus repair); MF Steven Kinney (R Achilles tendinitis)

COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); DF Chad Marshall (concussion); MF Kirk Urso (R adductor tendonitis); DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); MF Dilly Duka (L hamstring strain); DF Carlos Mendes (R ankle sprain); MF Milovan Mirosevic (L adductor strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain)

Prediction

Columbus is 2-2-3 on the road with only 4 total goals scored but they are currently on a six game run without a loss.  The Crew don't play an attractive style and they're sure to withdraw and play for a draw in this one given their apparent lack of firepower.

The Fire have another opportunity to put some distance between themselves and an Eastern Conference competitor that quite frankly they should beat.  Chicago is a better side.

Fire 2 Crew 0

 

Comments

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  • It's a "Real Shame that the Fire have not Resolved the
    Situation with Grazzini." This shows me a lack of class
    with Andrew Hauptman and his mediocre staff.
    How can you expect a player to give his best and risk
    injury in an effort to win if he doesn't know if he is even
    going to be around after a few more games???
    I am upset and am sure others are too with this mess.

  • Here's a report out of Italy that claims the Fire have offered Andriy Schevchenko a $1.9 million per year deal......

    http://www.calcionews24.com/dinamo-kiev-shevchenko-obiettivo-dei-chicago-fire-ma-245571.html

    Schevchenko is not the player mentioned in my previous post as a possible DP striker acquisition. That player apparently has drawn interest from at least one Premier League side and a Serie A team.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    The notoriously accurate Italian media nail it yet again.

    I hope this is not true. I don't see him having any drive to win in MLS after allegedly holding out on retirement for Euro 2012.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I think that the combination of salary, age, and injury history makes this unlikely.

  • Might not be a bad choice if he has anything left in the tank.
    I don't know whose available right now and what other options are available. It isn't like the Fire have a free choice(like L.A.) as who they can get given the salary and financial limitations.
    Schevechenko averaged about a goal every other game which is about as good as it gets considering there is only one Ronaldo and Messi to go around. It's encouraging that the team is looking in the class of Schevechenko type players than some unknown not ready for prime time discovery.
    Read that Brian McBride has come out of retirement to play in England for the FA Cup.

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