Fire v Revolution match preview

Every game is big from this point forward.

As the Eastern Conference playoff race approaches the stretch run every club still has a realistic chance of qualifying for postseason play (with the exception of DC and Toronto FC). The Fire are two points behind fifth place Houston and only one point ahead of the Revolution. Chicago holds a game in hand against New England so a road win here would put them in good position to advance up the table in pursuit of one of the five playoff spots.

The Fire lost their home opener this season to this club back in March but both have gone through some significant changes since then. After a good start to 2013, the Revolution have stumbled of late losing four of their last six contests including a 3-0 hammering in Kansas City last weekend. They've added Juan Agudelo and just recently Charlie Davies but don't look for the latter to start. Agudelo has missed the last eight games with an injury and Davies is not yet match fit but both have trained in full this week. They've been good defensively for most of the year however and are second in the East in least goals allowed.

Projected line ups

Fire

Johnson; Segares, Berry, Soumare, Anibaba; Lindpere, Larentowicz, Rios, Duka; Magee, Anangonó

Revolution

Shuttleworth; Alston, Goncalves, McCarthy, Farrell; Caldwell, Tierney, Rowe, Nguyen, Sene; Agudelo

Jay Heaps has gone with a 4-5-1 formation but injuries, fitness, and suspension throw some question into who his attackers will be. Davies seems unlikely to see significant minutes and Agudelo may start despite a long stretch of inactivity. Dimitry Imbongo is serving a one game suspension after picking up two yellow cards in KC and Diego Fagundez isn't a prototypical target forward that is best suited for a lone front runner role. Sene could move up top to start or Jerry Bengston could find his way back into the line-up if Agudelo doesn't get the nod. The Revs' DP has scored once all season and it consequently came against Chicago in that home opener. Chad Barrett was in the 18 last weekend ahead of Bengston. Juan Toja hasn't been the same player he was before leaving MLS the first time but he does see time coming off the bench. Midfielder Andy Dorman is also unavailable due to a red card suspension.

The Fire will have Mike Magee back after missing last weekend's win over Montreal. The league's golden boot co-leader resumed full training this week and should be good to start. Chris Rolfe was held out of full training for most of the week so he's not likely to be in the first eleven, instead we should see a Magee/Anangonó pairing up top. Dilly Duka poses another injury concern on the outside after leaving the Montreal game with an ankle injury. He did resume participation in full practice so he'll play if he's ready. With Patrick Nyarko likely missing one more match due to concussion symptoms and Rolfe ailing Frank Klopas' choices on the outside have dwindled a bit. Alex or even Logan Pause are capable of a move out wide if necessary. Why Victor Pineda has not figured into the 18 yet is questionable considering the injury situation on the outside.

The main point of interest for Chicago supporters could be the debut of Egidio Arévalo Rios in midfield. The newest DP addition has trained fully with the club since last Friday and is expected to receive his visa and ITC paperwork in time for this match. How his pairing with Larentowicz and integration into the club works on the field during a game remains to be seen given his short time with the team. The technical staff is very high on Rios and by all accounts he has been impressive during the last week of training.

Injury report

Fire

QUESTIONABLE: Patrick Nyarko (concussion symptoms), Chris Rolfe (L hamstring tightness), Mike Magee (R calf tightness)

Revolution

OUT: Gabe Latigue (R ACL tear); QUESTIONABLE: Clyde Simms (R turf toe)

Referee

Edvin Juresevic

Prediction

The Fire are a better team on paper than New England but that didn't stop them from losing the home opener back in March. The Revolution have had difficulty scoring all season and their newly acquired attackers haven't had much chance to get fit. Jay Heaps' and the Revs plodding, methodical style doesn't lend itself to attractive soccer and they've been blanked eight times this season including the last two matches.

The Fire's miserable 0-8-2 record on turf over the last 10 contests can't be ignored either. Chicago seems to be in the midst of a good run of form in league play (USOC semi-final not withstanding) and New England appears to be headed in the other direction.

A draw here wouldn't be disastrous but a win would be significant.

Fire 2 Revolution 1

The rest of the league

Montreal 2 DC United 0

Columbus 2 Toronto FC 1

New York 2 Philadelphia 1

Houston 1 Seattle 1

Colorado 2 Vancouver 2

Los Angeles 2 Real Salt Lake 1

Portland 2 FC Dallas 0

San Jose 1 Sporting KC 2

Season record 103/219

 

 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

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  • Rios has received his visa and ITC and will indeed be available for this game.

  • Who's better on paper? The strength of two MLS rosters is definitely all based on the eye of the beholder. I think you throw all the names on both these teams into a hat, then blind draft for both teams. An LA Galaxy or Sounder supporter will still see a "meh" group of players.

  • In reply to waamsy:

    The margins are slim in MLS but I'll take this Fire roster over the Revs roster every day of the week.

  • With the exception of Nyarko not available, and if Anangono lives up to some of the expectations, this could be the strongest lineup the Fire have put on the field this year.
    Having Pause, Alex, and possibly Rolfe as subs looks like a positive with no significant loss of strength if someone needs to be subbed out. This line up should be strong enough to make the playoffs and is stronger than several teams ahead of them, though if Garber didn't play suck up to LA. and N.Y. (and several other teams) it would be a more competitive league. Even at that, when you look at the salary/result ratio, neither of those teams aren't getting the biggest bang for the buck. Magee is a big bang for the buck.

  • Helplessly hopeless.

  • I really thought the Fire would show up tonight. It shouldn't make any difference playing on turf. Other teams do it.
    When looking at the roster, the team should be doing better.
    After seeing the lack of decent passing and the same defensive breakdowns game after game, it,s time to look at the coaching staff.
    This was the D.C. game over again.
    It looks like Anangono is a long work in progress. Perhaps, if Rolfe or Nyarko started, it might have produced a more positive result.
    I'd trade Anibaba for Gargan in a New York second and wouldn't,t look back. Segares picked up a needless yellow. Team coordination and discipline is non existent.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I agree that at this point we really have to question the caliber of the coaching staff. But the thought of our current ownership shopping for new coaches is is disheartening.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Talent evaluator 1 then coach or both

  • Yea,

    Ill take just about any defender of Soumadre any day of the week. He might make a highlight reel tackle, but he has the soccer IQ of an 8 year old AYSO player. Both goals were his fault and he got schooled by Andugelo who hasn't done anything this year. Rios was ok, certainly not a gamechanger. As for Angono, he is not a DP nothing special 3 games and hit the post once...the one time he should have centered it. Not an inate finisher. If Andy Heron and Nazarit had a baby it would be Angono. I like McGee, but he has overachieved all year and it was only a matter of time befor he stopped scoring ...ESP since no one could get him the ball. It also seems like Duka can't make a pass. More frustrating is I changed the channel right aftet the game to see Suazo ( the guy who used the Fire a a bargaining chip) named man of the match vs Xolos n half the US team (Corona, Arriola,Castillo)

  • This team is excruciating to watch even when they win. I think I'm going to go soak my eyeballs in soap for a hour after watching that garbage.

    Rios is a man among boys. Duka had a few minutes. Other than that, we had nine useless appendages on the field tonight.

  • The problem with Soumare and Anibaba is they play the same way, make the same stupid mistakes and can easily be beat, although I'd rate Soumare a degree higher than Anibaba. but not by much.
    The defense never jelled, and although the offense looked for while like it was getting order, in the last several games has been struggling again. I wouldn't necessarily point out Duka regarding passing as the team in general seems to have difficulty completing a pass to the right guy, although they make some great passes to the wrong guy

  • Guys. I received renewal today for my tickets. I have been a season ticket holder since the first game but will not renew if old Frankie is back.

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    i think i'll keep watching, but i wont root anymore. its too disheartening.

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