OTF contributor Daniel Casey editorializes on the Fire's 1-2 loss in Houston on Sunday afternoon.
The Houston Dynamo is not a team that loses at home. It's seems they have never been...well, at least, they haven't lost at home since July 2011. Although this puts a target on the Dynamo when opponents come into town, it has also created a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
After defeating the New York Red Bulls last weekend, April is already turning out to be a better month for the Chicago Fire than March. The Fire played their best game of this young MLS season and were able to triple their goal output for the season by winning against New York 3-1. Logan Pause came back from injury to anchor the midfield and Joel Lindpere played his best game as a Fire player after being slotted on the wing in place of Dilly Duka who was still out due to injury.
The Chicago Fire finally managed to get their first win of the season. These three points that the team earned on Sunday lifts them out of last place in the conference thanks to goals for now being the tie breaker in the standings. Matter of fact, the Fire managed to score just as many goals in Sunday's game as the two teams below them (New England and DC United) have scored all season combined.
Your weekly gut check on the state of the Fire from OTF's writers and contributors...
Chicago Fire earned its first win this season with three goals against a lackluster RBNY side last Sunday. Beginning this Sunday however, they must face three of the top four Eastern Conference teams (Houston, Columbus, Montreal) in a thirteen day span.
BRIDGEVIEW --- Getting his first MLS start Sunday afternoon, second-year defender Hunter Jumper made a smooth transition into the side -- and put in a solid performance to boot.
Coming in for the injured Gonzalo Segares -- a late scratch after picking up a right hamstring injury Friday -- Jumper slotted in at left back and assisted the Chicago Fire's opening goal in the 3-1 victory over New York.
The Chicago Fire were trailing as the final minutes ticked away in the first half of Sunday's match vs. the New York Red Bulls, and might have found it too tough a road to come back if they headed into the locker room trailing at halftime, but Daniel Paladini was determined to chance Chicago's fortunes and did just that.
BRIDGEVIEW - Struggling to find the back of the net through the first four fixtures of the 2013 MLS season, the Chicago Fire put three past the visiting New York Red Bulls to earn the team's first win of the season with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon.
A first half equalizer from Daniel Paladini and a second half brace from Maicon Santos helped give the Fire (1-3-1, 4 points) their first win of the season after falling behind in the 17th minute following a Jamison Olave volley.
Rumors about Wells Thompson being traded to the Chicago Fire started yesterday. That's weird I
thought. Wells Thompson is a guy that this team doesn't need. The rumors persisted today but the
move seemed so odd, I brushed it off. I don't have that luxury anymore as Wells Thompson went to
Facebook to post a picture of himself in the Fire's locker room with the words, "Breaking News:
Newest Member of the Chicago Fire Team!
In this episode Luke is joined by Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Wahl to discuss the state of
US Soccer in both the men's and women's game. Wahl shares his views on Donovan, Dempsey, Solo and
the possibilities of a fourth DP in Major League Soccer. Daniel Paladini of the Chicago Fire also
drops in to talk about his resurgence in the line up, battling for a playing spot and the team
aspirations for the year.
The Chicago Fire will take their three-game winning streak to the nation's capital Wednesday
night to battle a struggling D.C. United side who has one win in their last five games. However,
United have yet to lose a home game since the opening week of the season having logged an 8-1-3
record with a +15 goal differential.
The Chicago Fire Reserves defeated the Colorado Rapids Reserves by a score of 3-1 on a sunny
mid-August afternoon at the Toyota Park practice field today. Much like the first team, the
reserves conceded the first goal before retaliating with three unanswered goals from Daniel
Paladini, Dominic Oduro, and Victor Pineda.
On most teams, regardless of sport, there are players who have a tremendous impact without
racking up impressive statistics. They make the players around them better. Only when they're gone
can their impact be truly measured.
Is Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause an example of such a player?
COLUMBUS, OH.--The Chicago Fire continued a trend on Saturday night as they
faced the Columbus Crew for the first time this season. A late push was not enough for the Fire to
walk away with any points, as the Crew prevailed, 2-1, behind first half goals from Eddie Gavin and
Of the two games this weekend, KC couldn't win the bigger of the two, but at least the traveling
fans didn't go home without seeing one win. The Swope Park Rangers took on the Chicago Fire this
morning in Chicago, and came away with a 3-1 win over the Fire. Three first half goals were enough
to see the Rangers to victory.
Sporting KC got an early goal from Soony Saad off an assist from Luke Sassano, and that was all the
Swope Park Rangers needed to get the 1-0 win. Things got testy towards the end, as two Chicago Fire
players, Daniel Paladini and Kwame Watson-Sirboe both picked up red cards in the 87th minute as the
Fire finished with 9 men.
I'll sum up the thoughts of all Chicago Fire supporters after that 2-0 loss to the Colorado
In their second road match of the year and third match overall, the Fire fell to a Rapids side
that was far from exciting, but did enough to manufacture two goals and pick up their third MLS win
of the season.
Chicago Fire technical director and head coach Frank Klopas used the 2011 season to find a
winning combination of personnel. He had to fire former head coach Carlos de los Cobos and take the
coaching reigns himself. There had to be some trades, dozens of new players had to be signed,
multiple players had to be released, and in some cases players had to be signed and released in a
matter of months.
Take a second to exhale. The Fire earned their first victory of the season with a 3-1 decision over the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Park. Things weren't looking good midway through the first half after the visitors grabbed a lead in the 17th minute despite the Fire controlling most of the play up to that point.
It wasn't pretty but the Fire managed to overcome an overwhelming Sporting Kansas City advantage in the stat line to cling to a 0-0 draw and earn their first point of the 2013 season. Frank Klopas' game plan was defensive and cautious and it worked well enough to get a result in a difficult place to play.
As we look forward to the end of the offseason and to the start of preseason, we have to wonder what is going through the head of head coach Frank Klopas. What kind of moves will he make? What kind of formations and tactics will he employ throughout the 2013 season? These are the 2 major questions in my mind that I will delve into and try to answer for you.
Last year I looked into the concept of 'Carryover Minutes' and their relationship to success in Major League Soccer. I define carryover minutes as minutes that come from a player that was on a team the previous year. For example, the Chicago Fire received carryover minutes last night from Sean Johnson, Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Segares, Logan Pause, Patrick Nyarko, Dominic Oduro, and Daniel Paladini.
Saturday's win was the third straight match in which the Fire have scored multiple goals. This
all comes after only scoring 2 goals for the entire month of July. Yes, our last three matches were
against some pretty poor competition, but these are games good teams must win.
While part of the goal production can be attributed to the opponents the Fire have faced in
August, some of this credit should also go to the acquisition of Sherjill MacDonald and Alvaro
Fernandez and to the fact that Rolfe seems to be looking more comfortable with his role in the
For a welcome change, the Fire Reserves played a home game in sunshine and under blue skies.
Unfortunately, the result of Sunday morning's game was anything but as the Fire dropped a 3-1
decision to Sporting Kansas City. What started out as a promising and controlling first 20 minutes
fell apart quickly as SKC hit the back of the net three times before the first half ended to all
but seal the three points.
Most of you have read the recaps of Saturday's 2-1 Fire loss at Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily
Herald, Fire Confidential, or MLSsoccer.com by now. Overall I thought the game was a decent result
for the team. Seattle is a top 3 team in MLS if not the top team in the league. The Sounders have
given up just three goals in six games now.