Fire defeat Crew 2-1 - advance to USOC quarterfinals

The Fire advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013 US Open Cup tournament by defeating the Columbus Crew 2-1 at Toyota Park. Mike Magee scored his fourth goal in as many appearances since joining the club and Patrick Nyarko provided the game winner in the 78th minute. The game was rescheduled for Thursday at noon after inclement weather caused a postponement on Wednesday night.

With no MLS game scheduled this weekend Frank Klopas fielded a first choice line up while Crew coach Robert Warzycha, being mindful of a game against Montreal on Saturday tapped a younger squad to start. The visitors had the better of the play early despite losing centerback Glauber to an injury in the 9th minute causing Warzycha to reshuffle his line-up. Columbus even took the lead after a 22nd minute Ben Speas free kick found Konrad Warzycha in the box for a header that he placed past Sean Johnson.

Six minutes later Chris Rolfe and Alex worked a counter to find Gonzalo Segares working his way into the box. Segares located Magee for a tap in opportunity and he didn't miss, leveling the score at one apiece. The winner came in the 78th minute when Rolfe found Nyarko at the far post for a diving header past Andy Gruenebaum.

The Fire will now face Orlando City on June 26 at Toyota Park with a trip to the USOC semi-finals on the line. Orlando City has defeated the Colorado Rapids and shockingly Sporting Kansas City in their own park to advance to this stage. The USLPro side will not be a pushover by any means.

Line Ups


Johnson; Segares, Berry, Soumare, Anibaba; Duka (Santos 46'), Pause (Paladini 59'), Alex (Larentowicz 81'), Nyarko; Rolfe, Magee


Gruenebaum; Gehrig, George, Glauber (Oduro 9'), Wahl; Finlay, Warzycha, Tchani (Schoenfeld 82'), Speas (Higuain 70'); Anor, Meram

Reserves on deck

The Fire reserves take on the Charlotte Eagles tomorrow at the Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex at 6:00 pm. Chicago defeated Charlotte 2-1 in the third round of the USOC tournament on May 29.



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  • Falling behind first continues o be problematic for Chicago. As usual, they looked better after going down a goal, and were more cohesive in the 2nd half before the substitutions.

  • Unfortunately couldn't catch the game, but way to go Fire, and damn is Magee taking full advantage of the opportunity in Chicago! For those that watched, a few random questions:

    1- Santos in for Duka - how did that work out? I've been enjoying watching Santos on the field... how did he look on the wing there?

    2- Paladini in for Pause - Interesting! How did the Paladini-Alex midfield duo look (for the 10 or so minutes they were on together)?

    3- Sounds from the recap like Rolfe had a very active game. Anything of note from his play?


  • In reply to colbyaw:

    Duka was removed due to dizziness after taking a hit. Santos played in a forward role while Rolfe moved outside.

  • Hope Duka is okay. So for a while then, we were playing this up front:

    Magee Santos

    Rolfe Paladini Alex Nyarko

    Really interesting lineup - will need to go back and carefully watch those 10 minutes or so to see how things flowed. That was when Nyarko put his in, right?

  • Magee was waiting there like forever for the ball to tap in lol. I was like, Segares!!!!! PASS THE BALL!!! Turns out, it was all good as they overplayed Sega. Lol. It was as open net as you will ever see.

    Nyarko had a good game, his final touch was failing him all game though. Columbus defenders looked fast today, they were on par with Nyarko from what the feed was showing me. I don't know for sure, but he was active. His header was on target though. It HAD to be lol.

    I like Dilly today, he looked fast and in tandem with Rolfe and Magee. It's a good combo I think. Has room to grow, but looks promising. He needs to work on his long distance shots, they were lacking.

    Rolfe can take those shots, but he never got a proper ball from anybody. I can see him waiting at times, pretty clever movement with him and Magee. I sometimes feel Nyarko can't see Rolfe on the field lol. Hi assist was very nice, although he did miss some passes in tight spots as well. But I like that he takes those chances.

    Having Santos and Paladini off the bench seems to be working. They are not a let down from what we have already on the field. Although I think if we had even more energy off the bench, it would be even better. As it is, I will take this for now. I'm glad we won. But this was against a very depleted Crew. They bossed us in the first half, very controlled, and we couldn't string more than 3-4 passes together.

    Baky was bombing the long ball and I thought that might not be a bad idea, however we don't have the type of striker who's going to collect those long balls.

  • Santos struggled most of the afternoon. He and Alex, if they could've gotten on the same page, would've been lethal though, but they just couldn't connect.

    We'll have the audio on the next podcast episode, but I talked to Rolfe about his service to the far post on the Nyarko goal. They talked about that exact play at halftime, once Rolfe knew he was going out wide in lieu of Santos coming in and Duka exiting the game. Some interesting insight from him about playing wide as well.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    Wasn't Rolfe playing on the wing prior to his exit after the 09' season?

  • In reply to john:

    He did play some on the wing before he left and he played out there a bit in Denmark.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Maybe playing him on the wing more would help him get out of his drought and give him some familiarity. Having the option of Rolfe, Paladini, Magee, Nyarko and Santos all playing at the same time would be a cast of the most likely players to score a goal.

  • I like that Klopas is utilizing more players that can create offense by being a little more creative having Rolfe play on the wing and pairing Santos and Magee and getting all the players that can score or create a chance to score on the pitch at the same time. Im also glad he is using substitutes early enough to make an impact, Im not sure the subs had anything to do with the win, i read that Magee said he was playing with a belly full of pasta and had a hard time adjusting to the early start, so maybe it took a while for our guys to get in gear. I just wish Klopas would be more aggressive and have the more offensive lineup to start the game to try and get an early lead.

  • Reserve game will be live streamed at beginning at 6:45 cdt.

  • I know we've got work to do... but I'm getting more and more excited about this squad as it currently stands. Call me crazy, but this is a strong group even without a flashy hire in the transfer window (although that certainly won't hurt). We've got some great pieces, just need to figure out how best to deploy them.

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    The team is definitely looking better than they did to start the season, but a solid goalscorer would help them go deep into the playoffs. While a CAM still wouldn't hurt, they haven't had an issue creating, they've had an issue (save Magee's form since coming over) with finishing those chances. Without that, I think they'll continue to be a team that does well, but ultimately remains mid-table. Bring someone proven in? Game on.

  • They looked a bit out of sync yesterday, still need to work out kinks
    on the offense, and glaring lapses on defense, a solid striker would be a great help, and if they could get a solid CAM, that would put them way over the top. At least now the Fire have a fairly reliable goal scorer (Magee) and an addition of another would force oppositiion defenses to spread wider opening gaps for the Fire's forwards.
    Nyarko and Rolfe will never be reliable scorers, Nyarko best quality
    is creating openings for the forwards. Rolfe had an o.k. day yesterday without making many errors, but I still feel that Duka
    would be better than Rolfe, each game he seems to be getting better and has better speed than Rolfe.

  • Guillermo, Ives's site is saying that Flaco's loan is up and he's looking for a new overseas gig. Any word from the FO on this?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    No word yet officially, but his loan deal is up and he won't be returning to Chicago.

  • This won't get the press of a player move but the Fire were hit with a big loss to the organization this week. Brendan Hannan is leaving the club to take the Senior Director of Communications and Digital position with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

    This is a big loss for the club in communications, digital, maketing, fan relations, etc. His contribution to soccer in Chicago over the last few seasons can't be understated and he'll be surely missed.


  • Best of luck to Brendan. He picked that job up like a can of corn, I'm sure. I wish him a bag of thirstless pretzels on arrival in LA.

  • Brendan is 100% class, and a total professional. He will thrive for the Galaxy, to be sure.

    Big loss for the club, like GR said. Going to miss his wit around the Toyota Park pressbox.

  • That is a blow. For every minor annoyance--he drove me crazy with his "Toodles"--he did 5 or 10 things that I like. We really enjoyed his color during the US Open Cup game. He will be missed.

    Why exactly is he leaving (I read the position, but isn't he already our Director of Marketing or something)? We couldn't match what they offered? LA sucks, so hopefully he'll learn that and head back here soon.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Brendan was Sr. Director of Communications, then moved to Director of Marketing. Dan Lobring was brought in as the new Sr. Director of Communications. Brendan is going to be doing the same thing in LA for the Galaxy as he was before moving to the Marketing position with the Fire.

  • The departures of Emigdio Gamboa and now Brendan are odd to say the least. Gamboa was immensely popular for what he got done on the supporters side and in other aspects of the organization while Brendan seemed a fantastic ambassador and public face for the brand.

    Last year, they were awarded PR Team of the Year by Footbusiness: and were even recognized by Grant Wahl in his annual owner ambition rankings:

    While Wahl was very positive about the club's PR staff, he also didn't write very flattering stuff about Andrew Hauptman. It seems whether or not what Wahl wrote was true mattered little as a few months later, despite national recognition, both Gamboa and Hannan were moved out of Communications with Gamboa to Business Development and Hannan to Marketing and replaced by Dan Lobring.

    Can't be certain that Wahl's piece had anything to do with those moves but I remember reading it and thinking it can't be good for those guys. I think the fact that both have left the organization, with Brendan now going back to Communications with one of MLS' flagship clubs, says something. Having met Brendan a few times, its no doubt a fantastic opportunity for someone that's more than deserving. Sad he won't be keeping his talents here.

    I suppose we can draw our own conclusions as to why he's not.

  • Also, Happy Fathers Day to all the cf97 dads out there, including our own Guillermo, celebrating his first Fathers Day with lil' GR! Hope everyone has a great day.

  • Off topic: Does anyone know if they will be selling beer at the US Soccer USMNT-Honduras watch party at Grant Park on Tuesday?

  • I had the luck to be able to attend a Portland timbers game last saturday. It was a tremendous experience. The word on the Portland July deals is that they are bringing in a young argentine forward that will make their team a lot stronger. I hope that the fire have some new aggressive center mid that will improve the team.

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