Fire-Chivas USA Preview
Thanks to some superb defensive play under interim coach Frank
Klopas, the Chicago Fire are riding one of the longest unbeaten
streaks in team history. However, they still remain near the bottom
of the Eastern Conference standings.
A lack of scoring is mostly to blame, but the Fire have a good
chance to earn a rare win Saturday night when they face a
struggling Chivas USA defense at The Home Depot Center.
Since Klopas replaced Carlos de los Cobos on May 30, Chicago
(2-4-11) has given up two goals in six contests but is 1-0-5 over
that span. That stretch, along with a tie in their final game under
de los Cobos, has given the Fire their longest run without a loss
since a team-best 5-0-6 start to the 2009 season.
Chicago allowed a goal late in the first half at home Sunday
against New York, but Marco Pappa forced a 1-all draw by scoring
his team’s third goal in six games.
The Fire are tied for seventh in the East with Sporting Kansas
City and just two points ahead of last-place New England. However,
they could move as high as fourth place with a victory over Chivas
(4-7-5), loser of a season-high three straight.
“We need wins in the league,” forward Patrick Nyarko told MLS’
official website. “(Chivas holds) a really high (defensive) line
and we’re going to try to exploit that with our pace. We haven’t
been scoring that many goals, but we know we’ve been creating
chances and we know the goals will come.”
Chivas has allowed seven goals during its skid and gave up the
tiebreaking score in the 82nd minute of last Saturday’s 3-2 loss at
“We’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot,” coach Robin
Fraser said. “We’ve done it game in and game out. We’re giving up
way too many leads and either tying or losing games that I think we
Chivas was handed its most lopsided home loss from last season
in its most recent matchup with Chicago, 4-1 on Oct. 23.
The Fire are 4-0-1 in their last five MLS matchups with Chivas
after losing four of the previous five. They’re seeking a third
straight road win in the series and won’t have to defend one of
Chivas’ top scorers, Alejandro Moreno.
Moreno, tied for second on his team with three goals, is away
with the Venezuelan national team. The Fire, meanwhile, are
expected to have forward Cristian Nazarit available following a
Chicago also will play its next MLS game at The Home Depot
Center, taking on West leader Los Angeles on July 9.