Fire v DC United match preview

Okay.

We really mean it this time.

This one IS a "must win" game.

Failing to walk away with all three points in this match will likely mean that the Fire will need a miracle to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs. As is stands now they'll need to win the next three against DC, FC Dallas, and Toronto FC just to stay in the race going into the final weekend. The days of catching breaks and hoping for favorable results are long gone as a consequence of failing to capitalize on numerous occasions throughout the last several weeks. Now they just need to win and nothing else really matters.

Projected line ups

Fire

Johnson; Anibaba, Soumare, Berry, Segares; Nyarko, Rios, Larentowicz, Duka; Magee, Anangono

DC

Hamid; Korb, White, Woolard, Iapachino; Porter, Jeffrey, Kitchen, De Leon; Silva, Doyle

What Ben Olsen's line-up will look like is anyone's guess. They've been dreadful this season during MLS play with every combination possible. Dwayne De Rosario, John Thorrington, Chris Pontius, and Dejan Jakovic all started in Tuesday's USOC Final win over Real Salt Lake but were rested last weekend in a 4-1 trouncing at Toronto. My guess is we'll see some combination of the first choice eleven that we saw on Tuesday and the "B" squad from the TFC match. Who starts may depend on each individual's ability to recover from playing a full match on Tuesday night.

The Fire should have no reason to come out as defensively as they did against Montreal last weekend now that Jeff Larentowicz can move back into his usual central midfield spot. Frank Klopas went with experience over attacking ability by choosing to go with Logan Pause and Egidio Arevalo Rios in the middle and corrected the move in the second half. The question will be whether or not Alex and Chris Rolfe, two players that spearheaded the offensive turnaround last weekend against the Impact can be worked into the starting line-up for this one. I wouldn't be shocked to see Alex or Rolfe start ahead of Duka, who wasn't as sharp in the first 45 on Saturday.

Bakary Soumare is back from a one game red card suspension and appears to be a lock to return as a starter. Larentowicz and Rios have shown some promise as a combination but we really haven't seen enough to judge whether the duo provides enough going forward to be effective in the long term. We'll see even less of Rios next week as both he and Joel Lindpere have been called by their respective nations for World Cup Qualifiers and will miss the FC Dallas match.

Referee

Ricardo Salazar

Prediction

The Fire have defeated DC United by scores of 2-0 and 4-1 this season in MLS play. DC has been historically bad this year at 3-21-6 but all three wins have come at home. Of course, the loss at Toyota Park in the USOC semi-final stings the most but dropping more results to the worst team in the league at this point in the season will bite just as hard. DC United played on Tuesday night, traveled on Wednesday, and had one training session on Thursday before this match tonight. There should be no excuses for this one.

Fire 3 DC 1

The rest of the league

After a brutal last weekend of picks I'll keep throwing stuff on the wall....

Houston 2 Montreal 1

New York 1 New England 0

Columbus 1 Sporting KC 1

Philadelphia 1 Toronto FC 0

Real Salt Lake 2 FC Dallas 1

Colorado 1 Seattle 1

Los Angeles 2 Chivas USA 0

Vancouver 1 Portland 1

season record 134/287

 

 

 

 

Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

Comments

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  • At 134/1287, that's about a 10% success rate.

    This begs a question. What's better? GR's prognostication skills or the Fire's front office DP signing record?

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Ha! There's an extra digit in there. Should be 287

  • I hope your record suffers a bit after mis-picking Houston and Philly to win and Columbus to tie. Would be nice if those 3 teams (and DC) all suffer defeat. I may even regain hope. Frankie already benched Rolfe for a wakeup call. I wish he'd do the same for Soumare. Get Jumper some minutes and then put him in next week in to help clobber his hometown team.

  • What a joke the USOC is if a 3-21-6 wins the thing.

  • In reply to Madvora:

    Some would say that unpredictability is the beauty of USOC and tournament play.

  • Since there's nowhere else...

    DC-CHI Chi
    HOU-MON Mon
    NY-NE NY
    PHI-TOR Phi
    CLB-KC KC
    RSL-DAL RSL
    COL-SEA tie
    LA-CHV LA
    VAN-POR POR

  • Nice play by Anongano on that first goal & Larentowicz to finish it.. But, seriously, DC defense is really bad.

    I didn't see the USOC final. How in the world did they pull off that one?

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    By playing the way they did for the first 20 minutes tonight, from what I understand.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    They were pretty lucky. RSL dominated possession, shots and chances, but just couldn't finish.

  • SJ was a beast last night. What an amazing game for him. Anangono stepped up too, that first goal was all Anangono...well 90%...Jeff did well to slot it into the back of the net too. The defense was frankly lucky to end up with a clean sheet, but SJ saved their asses time and time again. Better tighten that up, can't ask SJ to play like that every week. Great to see a win though, always brightens the weekend.

  • Is it just me or does it seem like the USOC is rigged? Teams playing well in MLS tend to bow out quickly in the USOC. Struggling teams or teams that are in need of a banner appear to do well. When the Fire played DC in the USOC, it appeared that they gave the match to DC. How can the same team play so lousy a month ago and then destroy that same team last game?

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    I think it might be just you on that one. ;)

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