The Fire didn't embarrass themselves against the Supporters Shield leaders on the road but they did make it evident that the US Open Cup is taking priority over a regular season road game at the moment. There wasn't much of a chance expected in coming out of Dallas with a result given the home and road records of the respective teams and Veljko Paunovic took a chance at some squad rotation in the midst of a busy stretch with a more important game ahead of them on Wednesday night.
The result was predictable. Although Dallas didn't thoroughly dominate on the scoreboard, one got the feeling that they had the game comfortably under control. There wasn't much to take from this one and Paunovic's decision to leave Sean Johnson, Jonathan Campbell, and David Accam out of the 18 was understandable given what's on the line against Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday.
"I think we started very well. We had a great opportunity from Kennedy Igboananike in the first half that could have changed the game, for sure. Then, unlucky on a mistake on the first goal on a classy play from Castillo and great finishing by Urruti was something that changed the game, and that's the thing that we have to improve. Every time we have this kind of game, we don't take advantage and don't convert the opportunity like we had, the one that can change the game. That's still something need to improve, but we believe things will improve at some point, we will work together, and we will have better results, especially when we play on the road," said Paunovic after the match.
Chicago has slipped back to the bottom of the Eastern Conference by virtue of Columbus' draw on Saturday night and they're still within striking distance of sixth place New England with two games in hand but the realistic hope of post-season play is slim. They'll take their best shot at making something of the 2016 season in US Open Cup play.
They just need to win on Wednesday night.
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