Fire v Crew match preview

Here we go again.

It's the Fire versus Columbus for the third time this season. The first encounter on April 20 was won by Chicago in what was arguably the Fire's best overall game of the season up to that point. The second match, just over a week ago in the US Open Cup tournament was also won by Chicago by a score of 2-1.

Columbus was without a handful of key players for the USOC match but they will have their best defender, Chad Marshall back for this one along with Josh Williams. Neither one was available in Chicago on June 13 but both players started in the middle of Robert Warzycha's back line in a 2-0 surprise victory over the conference leading Montreal Impact last Saturday. They'll also have forward Jairo Arrieta back with the side after missing the last few weeks away with the Costa Rican national team.

Frank Klopas will have the upcoming midweek USOC game against Orlando City to consider when filling out a starting eleven so it's possible that we could see some squad rotation rather than the top choice squad he seems to have settled on recently. Logan Pause, Daniel Paladini, Joel Lindpere, and Sherjill MacDonald are all players that could get a starting call depending on how Wednesday's starters are feeling.

The big question is whether Mike Magee is recovered enough to go a full a ninety after leaving in the 75th minute of the match against Colorado. Magee took an inadvertent knee from Austin Berry in the first half of that game and he was subbed out as the muscles affected began to tighten up. Neither Klopas nor Magee felt the injury was serious in post game interviews but they'll need to weigh if pushing him back into action three days later will pose any long term risk, especially with an tournament game coming up.

Projected line ups

Fire

Johnson; Segares, Soumare, Berry, Anibaba; Duka, Larentowicz, Alex, Nyarko; Rolfe, Magee

Crew

Gruenebaum; Barson, Marshall, Williams, Wahl; Sanchez, O'Rourke; Anor, Higuain, Speas; Oduro

Klopas may stick with most of his regulars and lean towards Pause, Paladini, and Santos on Wednesday against USLPro side Orlando City. Duka and Lindpere on the left is probably a toss up decision for Saturday although I could see Duka getting a call against his former club. Lindpere isn't going to be effective as a late substitution so they have to find a way to get something out of him. The Fire also aren't very deep in defense so the four starters in back may be asked to log some heavy minutes in the next few days.

Warzycha will probably stick with the line up he had success with against Montreal and there's no reason to change it considering the Crew aren't very deep in a variety of areas. Arrieta is back but it seems Warzycha is looking to bring him off the bench right now.

Injury Report

Fire

OUT: Arne Friedrich (hip tightness). Steven Kinney (R quad strain)

Crew

OUT: Drew Beckie (L abductor strain), Ryan Finley (R ankle sprain), Eddie Gaven (L acl rupture), Glauber (L acl rupture), Kyle Hyland (L abductor strain); QUESTIONABLE: Augustin Viana (R hamstring strain)

Referee

Drew Fischer

Prediction

It's difficult to beat a team three consecutive times but Chicago seems to have the Crew's number. A win here will not only extend the Fire's unbeaten run in all competitions to seven but it will also pull the Fire to within 2 points of Columbus for the 7 spot in the East.

Fire 1 Crew 1

The rest of the league

DC 1 San Jose 1

FC Dallas 1 Sporting KC 1

Houston 1 Toronto FC 0

Real Salt Lake 2 Seattle 1

Philadelphia 1 New York 1

Portland 2 Colorado 0

Chivas USA 1 Los Angeles 2

Record to date 67/142

 

Comments

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  • Just watch Oduro, ex Fire players have an annoying way of scoring on us.

    Any news on signings ?

    Boca's Erviti? Collins John II who was released by West ham? The perpetual Bofo to Fire rumour?

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Bofo? That rumor is more done than his career.
    I don't think Cole is in the picture any more. His agent is apparently looking to drum up a ridiculous offer by shopping him all over the place.
    If Boca comes back to MLS he'll go through the allocation process. TFC currently has first dibs in the allocation order.
    I still believe they're looking south for a striker.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    south for a striker huh? so we are looking for federico puppo II? i really hope they have a different set of eyes down there this time around.

  • Crew line up

    GK Gruenebaum
    D Barson, Marshall, Williams, Wahl
    M Oduro, O'Rourke, Sanchez, Anor
    F Higuain, Arrieta

    Bench: Lampson, Gehrig, George, Warzycha, Finlay, Meram, Schoenfeld

  • Fire line up

    GK Johnson
    D Segares, Berry, Soumare, Segares
    M Duka, Paladini, Pause, Lindpere
    F Rolfe, Magee

    Bench: Tornaghi, Thompson, Larentowicz, Nyarko, Alex, Santos, MacDonald

  • I know Nyarko probably needs to nurse a few knocks, but I don't like seeing him out of the lineup. He adds so much punch to the attack.

  • Complete and utter bullshit penalty call.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Although to be fair, another awful gaffe from Berry lead to it. He's off-form.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    I agree that it was a bad call. But the ref was not in a position to see, and the linesman was on side of the field Oduro dove towards, with his view partially blocked by a Fire defender. So I see why the officials blew it.

    Still, I'd like to see some kind of league action this week for simulation by Oduro, but I don't expect it.

  • pretty good second half but the posetion at the end was lacking, now cant wait till wed.

  • This team is still perilously close to reverting form. If Magee goes down, I think we're toast. Still I have to give credit for the Oduro trade. At this point, getting both Dilly Duka and Mike Magee for Dom is the best deal they've cut in recent memory.

    Our defensive line now appears to be the team's greatest weakness. Is there any news on Arne's outlook for return? I'm wondering if a gamble on a defender signing might be the better bet, much as I would like to see a striker with lightning in his boot.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    The chances of Friedrich playing again aren't very high.

  • Loving the Oduro trade now. Nice win.

  • The Fire played about 15 to 20 minutes of brilliant soccer, the rest of the game left much to be desired. At times it looked like the team was playing AYSO. Is the only distribution from goal, long punts that for the most part ended up turning the ball over to Columbus?
    After getting the lead, the team seemed to forget what gave them the lead. Duka played probably his most solid game. The team still has a way to go to become a contender, the most significant factor that has changed with the Fire going 5-0-2 is Magee, but he can only do so much. Lindpere seemed to be two different players from the first half to the second. Rolfe had several decent plays but still seems to be a non-factor overall. The ref probably made a miss call on Oduro and probably should go to Hollywood as a movie critic, so impressed with Oduro's acting, but Berry has to wake up, disappointing to see him make the same stupid error in 2 straight games. Glad the Fire won, but still much room for improvement

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Lindpere's crosses were more like bank shots. Based on his past crosses and corners it was surprising to see him deliver absolutely perfect crosses for both goals! You're right about Magee and if someone else doesn't step up we are in trouble. Rolfe back tracked instead of burying it makes me think he lacks confidence, it seemed like he was hoping Magee would move forward so he could pass it back for him to take the shot.

  • I don't remember Oduro diving and flopping as much as he did this game. Duka was impressive, he showed glimpses of great potential.

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