Fire v Crew match preview

The Fire will almost certainly be in direct competition in the later stages of this season with the Columbus Crew for one of the five Eastern Conference playoff berths so the importance of this match shouldn't be understated. Columbus has played well enough (although somewhat unspectacularly) to begin the season at 2-1-3 and have gone four matches without a defeat. The Fire have played better recently with a win in New York and a tough loss in Houston.

This should be a hard fought match as the Fire need to win home games in order to avoid falling too far behind the contenders in the East.

Projected Line Ups


Johnson; Segares, Anibaba, Berry, Thompson; Pause, Larentowicz; Lindpere, Rolfe, Paladini; MacDonald


Gruenebaum; Wahl, Glauber, Marshall, Williams; Viana, O'Rourke; Speas, Higuain, Gaven; Oduro

Robert Warzycha seems to have settled on a set line-up with Oduro moving from the wing to the front runner ahead of Higuain. Oduro has replaced Jairo Arrieta, at least for now as the Crew's starting striker and he's delivered in the last two matches. The Fire know him well and should be familiar with the best techniques for defending against him. (Hint - stay in front of him)

Without Friedrich available again the Berry/Anibaba pairing will be tested on set pieces where Higuain and Marshall excel. Steven Kinney is out yet again with a quad injury so the right back spot probably belongs to Wells Thompson for another week. The only variable in the line up could be a starting position for Patrick Nyarko. That could move Daniel Paladini, who's played very well to the bench.


David Gantar

Injury Report

Fire: QUESTIONABLE - Steven Kinney (R quad)

Arne Friedrich isn't listed but he's not available.

Crew: OUT - Aaron Horton (L knee)


Columbus is off to a decent start at 2-1-3 and both victories have come on the road (at Chivas and DC). The Fire absolutely need to start winning consistently at home where they've lost twice already this year to clubs with less talent than this one.

Fire 2 Crew 1

The rest of the league

Houston 1 Toronto FC 1

Seattle 2 Colorado 1

New England 0 New York 2

Vancouver 1 FC Dallas 2

Chivas USA 0 Real Salt Lake 2

Sporting KC 1 Los Angeles 1

Philadelphia 0 DC United 1

Portland 1 San Jose 2

Season Record 27/59




Leave a comment
  • Starting Line Ups

    GK Johnson
    D Thompson, Anibaba, Berry, Segares
    M Nyarko, Pause, Larentowicz, Lindpere
    F Rolfe, MacDonald
    Bench: Tornaghi, Jumper, Videira, Alex, Duke, Paladini, Santos

    GK Gruenebaum
    D Williams, Marshall, Glauber, Wahl
    M Speas, O'Rourke, Viana, Gaven
    F Higuain, Oduro
    Bench: Lampson, Barson, Finlay, George, Sanchez, Arrieta, Finley

  • Hey GR,

    Did Paladini pick up a knock during training this week or is he out because Nyarko is fit? I liked DP the last couple weeks.

  • In reply to RedLine55:

    Paladini was healthy....Klopas addressed his spot in the post game.

  • Change in referee tonight.....Chris Penso has the whistle.

  • Well that was nice. GR, as a new father, you'll appreciate this... So we finish dinner and I turn on 107.9 in the kitchen because we're not at the game. My son, age 2, immediately recognizes that there's a Fire game on. He runs to the laundry to pull out his Fire t-shirt, which he then pulls on (with help) over his clothes. I then go to the living room to turn on the radio there. That radio has an interview on NPR with two Red Stars players (including Lori Chalpurny), so I leave it on NPR to hear that while I go to the computer to check the match cast. Shockingly the game actually comes on. And we end up watching all of the rest (and at halftime I copied him and threw a Fire t-shirt on) but the last 8 minutes together (after the goal he decided he was more interested in Mom and bed). Great night, and the win made it that much sweeter.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Gotta train them right. ;)

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    As a father to be, your story brought a smile to my face. I'm eagerly awaiting to have similar experiences with my child and the first of my family to be born a Fire supporter the way I was born a Cubs/Bears/Bulls fan.

  • Good game tonight. Fire played the best we've seen yet this year. Aside from the first 10 minutes, they dominated Columbus, especially in the second half. Fabulous hustle from most of the team tonight.

    I was very happy to see Jeff get his first Fire goal tonight. I know he's been uneasy about acceptance here in Chicago. He's a class guy and, much as he's been a thorn in our side in the past, it's great to have him putting his thorn in someone else's side for the Fire!

  • I watched the game at 11:30 and after the first 10 minutes almost turned it off because it looked like the beginning of a loss, glad I didn't. They really turned it around after that.

  • Went to the game last night. It was worth the freezing temps. I felt bad for the beer vendors whose heater was broken, The crowd was small but alive. The Fire controlled the game. While the Crew's keeper made some great stops, I could not help notice that the Fire's shots were all really week. They should have scored three more at least. I am really glad the Fire won, but they won't win a lot more until they learn to shoot with force instead of weak dribblers.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Atmosphere looked a lot better on TV last night than one might expect given the temps.

    Section 8 sounded like they were bringing it!

Leave a comment