Fire v Dynamo match preview

The Fire's last trip to Houston on April 14 resulted in a 2-1 loss to the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season. The Fire played relatively well in that game and if not for two individual plays by Brad Davis, would have left Texas with a result. In April, Davis dusted fill-in right back Wells Thompson to set up one goal and caught a bit of a break on a shot/cross that fooled Sean Johnson and found it's way into the back of the net to provide the difference in the match.

Davis has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury but he is now apparently healthy and ready to return to the Houston line-up. His dead ball skills will provide a challenge for a Fire defense that has struggled to defend set pieces and second balls after set pieces all season long. The Fire get a break of their own with Will Bruin away with the US National team but Dominic Kinnear will have most of his other first choice starters available for selection.

Frank Klopas is likely to stick with an eleven similar to the line-up that thrashed DC United last weekend. The biggest exception will probably be Patrick Nyarko starting in place of Dilly Duka. Nyarko is ready to go after missing the DC game due to illness but Duka is listed as questionable with a groin injury suffered sometime during the first half last Saturday. Daniel Paladini is also back after serving an additional game suspension for a red card tackle in the KC match.

Probable line ups


Tornaghi; Segares, Berry, Soumare, Anibaba; Lindpere, Larentowicz, Alex, Nyarko; Rolfe, Magee


Hall; Sarkodie, Boswell, Taylor, Ashe; Driver, Clark, Moffat, Davis; Barnes, Weaver

Anibaba at right back is an improvement over "El Diablo" and Davis shouldn't be able to beat him as easily as he did Thompson. The Fire have added some players since that first encounter, notably Magee and Soumare so there should be some optimism in terms of getting a result this time around. We'll have to wait to see Juan Luis AnongonĂ³ in action as arrival of his visa paperwork has ruled him out of this one although he did train all week.

Kinnear will opt to keep Andrew Driver, who has played very well on the flank in the line-up in lieu of Boniek Garcia who has started the last two games without Davis on the pitch. Omar Cummings is fit and ready but it seems that Giles Barnes and Cam Weaver will get the call up top. This is probably a good thing, seeing that Cummings has done some damage against the Fire in the past.

Injury report


QUESTIONABLE: Steven Kinney (R quad strain), Dilly Duka (R groin strain)


None reported


Ricardo Salazar


Joel Lindpere was huge against DC but repeating that performance will be tough against the Dynamo. He'll get a chance to do so with Duka staying home for this one. The Fire are only 5 points back of 5th place Houston in the Eastern Conference playoff race so a win here would be monumental. Houston has won two in a row, beating Philadelphia and New England but they've surprisingly lost twice already this season at BBVA Compass Stadium so they're not as invincible at home as they have been in seasons past.

Houston has struggled to score at times this season but they are well coached and are legitimate contenders year in and year out. Houston in July is never a picnic with an expected high of 93 degrees but I think the Fire can get a point here. After trouncing the lower half of the MLS table the Fire need to prove they can hang with the top.

Fire 1 Dynamo 1

The rest of the league

Toronto 0 Columbus 0

Colorado 1 Los Angeles 1

DC United 1 New England 2

New York 3 Real Salt Lake 1

Montreal 1 Sporting Kansas City 2

Vancouver 3 Philadelphia 1

San Jose 1 Portland 2

Seattle 2 Chivas USA 0

Season record 90/192





Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


Leave a comment
  • Alex instead of Pause?

  • In reply to iron81:

    I think so.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:


  • Anyone else appalled that the Amerikwa sandwich foul wasn't called?

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    It was a clear penalty, but on the other hand the disallowed Houston goal was onside, so it's hard to feel aggrieved.

  • He was absolutely mugged, should have been a yellow card,
    can't understand how the ref missed it , must have choked.
    Stuff like this keeps me thinking how substandard MLS officials

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and I may very well be waaaaay off base... I should also preface with, I am absolutely, positively no expert on the game - just a guy that likes to knock back a few beers and cheer on my team...

    In other words - more knowledgeable folks may already know this, or laugh at this, or whatever... but here goes...

    That non-call seems emblematic of a broader issue that has nagged at me ever since I started watching MLS a few years back. I got in to soccer via the Mexican league (Vamos Rayados!), and when I first started watching MLS, one of my immediate and repeated reactions was, "That guy was mugged! Where's the call?" I couldn't believe some of the outright football-style tackling I saw with no call (or at least no yellow), defensive play that saw guys knocked out of play before an incoming pass even made it to them, etc.

    My initial read was, we must be playing physical ball to compensate for less technical ability or something, and refs don't want to call it out to make games 'ref-fest'. But, I've since come to think it is likely the other way around. Because the refs are consistently permitting so much physical contact, MLS players have less opportunity to utilize the technical/clinical skills they do have. How is a player going to receive a pass, make a great move, and slice one through the defenders to a teammate making a run, if before he's even received the pass, someone has basically rushed him and knocked him over? Similarly, how is a cagey forward supposed to operate in the MLS, if every time he starts cutting in towards the goal and dodging defenders, he is outright sandwiched and taken off his feet? (IE, the call in question).

    Have foreign players in the MLS ever commented on anything like this?

    If my read is correct, that our officials are permitting a much more physical/'rough' game than comparable leagues, wold aggressive enforcement of undue physical play promote more clinical, technical play with sharper passing, more skillful finishing, etc. - and ultimately perhaps, more exciting soccer in the MLS?

    As a side note - Ufficio, I see your point re: the disallowed onside goal... but I don't necessarily agree with it. There is a huge difference between off-sides, and outright tackling someone in the box. In my view, the difference is that one provides an unfair advantage to a team - the other disrupts the natural course of play.

Leave a comment