Rough weather hindered both teams as the Fire and DC United played to a rain soaked 1-1 draw in cold and windy conditions at Toyota Park. With the exception of the April 16 match against the Montreal Impact, the Fire haven't exactly been lucky with weather for their home matches so far this year. Results haven't fallen their way either.
With five of their first seven games of the season at home, the Fire had ample opportunity to get off on the right foot but that chance has come and gone. A three game road trip and the all-time MLS road winless streak record looms following another bye week. They'll need to make something of the next four games in order to avoid another season with a deep hole being dug over the first third of the campaign. New additions, young players, and process have played a part in the early season struggles but the Philadelphia Union has jumped near the top of the Eastern Conference proving that wins can be had while undergoing similar reconstruction.
David Accam will need to find his fitness and the incoming player additions will need to integrate themselves quickly over the next month.
The Fire can't dig too much deeper.
GK Matt Lampson (5) - DC had a few looks with 10 shots on goal but only three were on target. Neither of the two saves were particularly difficult and the goal can't be pinned on him. Has struggled with punching/catching balls but was somewhat better with that in this match despite the conditions.
RB Rodrigo Ramos (5) - Struggled with Nyarko in the second half. Was a little more involved with 71 touches.
CB Johan Kappelhof (6) - The defense kept Saborio in check for the most part and DC didin' have many open chances. Bailed out Cocis afer a turnover in the 17th.
CB Jonathan Campbell (6) - Scored the Fire's only goal and continues to make a case of the Rookie of the Year award in the early going.
LB Michael Harrington (5) - Nyarko got by him a couple of times in the first half before Ben Olsen switched the former Fire attacker to the other side. Nyarko stepped in front of him for the DC goal although it wasn't badly defended. His cross in the 90th minute set up a shot for Alvarez.
RM Nick LaBrocca (5) - Got a start in this match and didn't factor into a whole lot going forward. A shot attempt in the 13th was just wide of goal.
CM Michael Stephens (5) - The Fire had possession advantage in the first half (53-47) with team passing at 71%. The second half was owned by DC (60-40). Stephens was close to the team average with 69% completion in difficult conditions.
CM Razvan Cocis (5) - A turnover led to a chance but he also did well to get back in the 58th and deny a dangerous pass attempt by Nyarko that could have done some damage. DC won the overall possession battle 53-47.
LM Kennedy Igboananike (5) - Continues to work but only 25 touches isn't enough.
FW Arturo Alvarez (6) - Got a chance to start underneath Gilberto and had some success. His free kick in the 41st was well placed and found Campbell for the lone Fire goal. A late rush and a dangerous lead ball in second half stoppage time almost found Calistri.
FW Gilberto (5) - A few more touches (45) but only 55% passing accuracy didn't help. Some of those errant passes were followed by Gilberto throwing his hands in the air and looking at teammates.
RM Joey Calistri (5) - Replaced LaBrocca in the 53rd. Nineteen touches and 57% passing.
CM Joao Meira (5) - Subbed in for Stephens in the 72nd. DC still owned most of the ball from there.
RM Collin Fernandez (5) - Came in for Igboananike in the 87th. Overran the ball on the dribble in the 87th but his headed pass after Harrington's cross in the 90th minute set up a shot at a tough angle for Alvarez.
- The Fire face another bye week before a three game road trip and four games in ten days. The next two matches are on turf in Vancouver and New England.
- Matt Polster missed the game with a calf injury. It is not believed to be serious and he should be available for the next match.
- John Goossens will miss the next 1-4 weeks with a sprained left LCL.
- David Accam was on the bench but it was never likely that he would be called into this match considering the weather. The Fire were shorthanded due to injury so Accam made the 18. It's possible that he also sits out the next game on turf.
- Sean Johnson is fit and available but did not make the bench. Patrick McLain was the back-up 'keeper for this game.
- MTK Budapest ended their season with a 2-0 loss on Saturday. Midfielder Khaly Thiam is reportedly headed to Chicago already to join the Fire this week.
- FC Groningen is in action Sunday morning against Heerenveen. Michael de Leeuw is expected to play after missing their last game with a hamstring injury. He is still expected to sign with Chicago once the Eredivisie season concludes on May 8.