Fire v Union match preview - again / Forlán to MLS?

The Fire did what they had to do in exposing a suspect Philadelphia back line last week and created numerous opportunities to score over the course of last week's match. They only thing they didn't do was finish their chances. On Wednesday night, the Union actually played a decent first half against the Los Angeles Galaxy only allowing a Zac MacMath own goal in a 1-1 stalemate at the break.

What happened in the second half of that match was an entirely different story. The Galaxy uncovered gaping holes in the Philadelphia defense en route to a 4-1 laugher. So did the Fire last Saturday afternoon but there was no one laughing at Toyota Park. Chicago will get another opportunity in this game with the Union playing their third match in seven days and should approach this one with the same attacking mentality employed last weekend.

John Hackworth juggled some pieces around in the second half with disastrous results. Not only did the backline appear gassed but substituting Conor Casey and Antoine Hoppenot for Sebastien LeToux and Danny Cruz changed the momentum in play to the favor of Los Angeles. One change from the Fire game that seemed to work against Los Angeles was the decision to start Kleberson in midfield so I'd expect that the Brazilian will get another start in this match.

Bakary Soumare looked to be running on fumes late in the game Wednesday night but Jeff Parke appears to be close to a return so it will likely be back to the bench for the former Fire defender. The Fire should continue to push the attack by going right at Ray Gaddis on the left side. He was largely absent or out of position during much of the Galaxy's romp through the Philly defense in the final 45 minutes two days ago and he was victimized by Patrick Nyarko on more than one occasion last weekend.

Projected line-ups


MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis; Cruz, Kleberson, Carroll, Daniel; Casey, McInerney


Johnson; Segares, Anibaba, Berry, Thompson; Duka, Larentowicz, Pause, Lindpere; Rolfe, Nyarko

Philly will have Sheanon Williams back and Jeff Parke could return so the going may not be as easy as it was in the last match. The remaining Farfan may also get a call ahead of Keon Daniel as Kleberson slides into a central role.

Frank Klopas has no reason to change the Nyarko/Rolfe combination up top since it is the best available combination at the moment and the tactic actually worked last weekend (well except for that pesky scoring detail). Sherjill MacDonald has returned to training and is apparently no longer contagious (at least because of illness) so it will be interesting to see if he is in the 18 without a full week of practice, especially considering the latest injury to Maicon Santos.

Jeff Larentowicz is back after serving a one game red card suspension so he'll undoubtedly return to the middle with Logan Pause. Dilly Duka started on the right last week and played relatively well. I'd prefer to see Daniel Paladini start ahead of Joel Lindpere but Paladini is now listed as questionable.

Injury Report


OUT: Michael Lahoud (lower abdomen strain); QUESTIONABLE: Jeff Parke (L hamstring strain)


OUT: Arne Friedrich (L hamstring tightness), Steven Kinney (R quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: Hunter Jumper (R groin strain), Maicon Santos (R shoulder sprain), Victor Pineda (R ankle sprain), Daniel Paladini (L calf inflammation)


Allen Chapman


The Fire desperately need a result after blowing three points against this same club one week ago. A trip to Real Salt Lake looms next so a loss here and things could really get ugly.

Fire 1 Union 1

The rest of the league

Toronto 2 Columbus 1

Vancouver 1 Portland 1

Houston 2 New England 0

Seattle 2 FC Dallas 1

San Jose 2 Colorado 1

New York 2 Los Angeles 2

DC United 0 Sporting KC 2

Chivas USA 0 Real Salt Lake 1

Season record 46/101

Forlán to MLS?

I posted this story in the comments section last night and it's worth posting again. Uruguayan forward Diego Forlán has expressed an interest in playing in the United States. The World Cup veteran told Sport 890 in Uruguay that a rumored move to Liga Mx this summer was all rumor and speculation. He went on to say that he "would love to play in MLS."

"I'd like to go to MLS, but there haven't been any offers. There never have been, but I'd like to go (to the US). It's a country that I like very much and I've been there many times on vacation. I'd love to go," said Forlán.

If ever there was an opportunity to bring in a world class player who would make an immediate impact on and off the pitch while also satisfying the core fan base....this would be it. Although he has one year remaining on his deal at Internacional in Brazil, Forlán indicated that he doesn't rule out something coming up like an offer to the club or to the player.

Forlán reportedly has an offer from Queretaro in Mexico for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million per year but he dismissed that as rumor, saying he hasn't been contacted about a deal.








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  • there's not many players that i would enjoy seeing on the fire more than forlan. i'm not a big jersey guy, but i'd buy a forlan fire jersey. not holding my breath though.

    do we have any indication how much longer arne will be out? the longer he's out, the less hope i have.

  • In reply to Drew:

    They've been pretty tight lipped on his progress with Klopas only saying he's got his fingers crossed for a return. I don't think they know at this point and nothing will be decided until he's able to get out and at least start training. He's done some running on the side but no actual training.

  • Forlan of 3-4 years ago heck yes!

    Forlan now? No thx.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Only 2 goals in 14 games in his last season with Inter at Serie A but 5 goals in 17 games during his current run in Brazil. At 34 he's probably got 2 or 3 good MLS years left in him.

    This summer he'll be one year older than Robbie Keane and three years younger than Marco Di Vaio.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    5 goals playing with players who can cross the ball pass the ball and get him the ball. He's probably got a playmaker on that team also. Fire doesn't have any players who do any of those things well. Who will get Forlan the ball? LaurentowicZ? Lindpere? Wells Thompson? McDonald ? Pause ?

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    And in good form by most indications. Mexican clubs wouldn't be sniffing around with $3m if he didn't have something left.

    They've had opportunities even without the central playmaker you're referring to. I'd take my chances with a Nyarko, Rolfe, Forlan attacking trio.

    This team isn't devoid of talent they just don't have a finisher.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I'm not sure I buy the idea of Queretero offering Forlan $3 million since they are actually going down to the Liga de Ascenso next season.

    Also, had an article on Liga MX salaries a couple of weeks ago and Suazo was at the top with $3 million.

    Chucho Benitez was second at $2.7 million. He's rumored to move to Atletico Madrid and with the Liguilla he is having his stock is going to rise significantly.

    But I'd love to see Forlan with the Fire, although I haven't seen him play since his move to Brasil. I don't remember him doing much for Uruguay the past year either.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Good point....all sort of crazy stuff goes on down there though.

  • about the forlan thing or any other potential DP for that matter, i agree with jeff that its time for this club to put up or shut up. the fan base wants a name player that can make an impact and the team needs it. but for some odd reason i'm skeptical about the ownership actually paying #keanelikemoney. i'm not going to get my hopes up for a forlan or a saviola based on the decisions that this team has made over the past couple years. i think this summer we'll see money spent but it will be more #puppolikemoney or #macdonaldlikemoney being spent. in my opinion this is going to happen because our club is being run by business men who have little to no soccer experience. frank may want a big name striker or a CAM but that doesn't mean that leon will agree with it.

  • Is it worth pointing out that Forlan's current club, Internacional is actually one the Fire's "strategic alliance" partners along with his former club Atletico Madrid?

  • Danny Downer here: we're not getting Forlan. Period. Put the fantasies aside. And if we did, he would be the next Lothar Matthaus.

    Penapirata said it above, but I reiterate: this FO cannot make it happen, nor is it clear that the organization (read: Hauptmann) wants to.

    Every indication is that IF they bring someone in, that player will be one or more of the following: 1) on or around 500K or less; 2) of questionable pedigree or fading fast; 3) looking for a longish vacation in the US, with as much time in Chitown during the summer as possible.

    Who is coming in? Someone who will not make an impact. Another "team player." We'll all rush to Google the guy and read the breathless speculation about what he can bring to the side based on a run of form 3 years ago that ended in injury, or a trade, or a coaching switch, and imagine what he could do in MLS. And it will come to nothing.

    Let's check in when the season's over. I'd love to be proved wrong. But we'll see.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Party pooper.

  • Guys there is a rumor that Beckmann is interested in buying a mls team.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Beckham...I would imagine his interests will take him to New York 2, a Florida expansion team, or possibly Chivas USA.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    When he signed his contract with MLS 6 years ago, there was a clause that allowed him to buy into MLS, but it specified that it could not be NY2. Weird, but that's the way I remember it.

    Of course, I also remembered that Blanco went to Queretaro, which you correctly corrected.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Blanco went to Verzcruz and then Irapuato right after the Fire.

  • I'm not that enamored to see Rolfe in the starting lineup,
    hopefully he can get back some of his game sense for this game,
    despite this I see a 2-1 victory for the Fire. The starting line is strong enough to overcome Philly.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Still believe Rolfe has too much quality to continue to struggle like he has.

  • It's nice to see our alliance partner Atletico won the Cops Del Ray, 2-1. Mourinho claimed Atletico was lucky to win, the game was no contest, Real was all over Atletico, the difference is that Atletico played within themselves and played as a team, not like a collection
    of all stars. Hard work and team work can overcome superior talent.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Nice....maybe the Fire have a chance then. ;)

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    to a large extent he is right. it was a bit like the fire/philly game last week, but even worse. 3 post shots and some other great chances that were missed. i personally wouldn't say it was cuz they played as a team, b/c real was running circles around them for much of the match. but i'm happy for atletico, love to see upsets over the teams that buy success.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Yeah, I'm with Drew. Three post shots from Real and then some brilliant goalkeeping from Courtois made it Atletico's day.

    It will be fun to see the US-Beligium friendly in a few days and see if Jugen's boys can get one past Courtois.

  • The Podcast Host here.... I like this full post ..and nice comments all of you... Danny Downer is right saying i like your wording...

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