Fire-Revolution Preview

Since acquiring Mike Magee, the Chicago Fire have been climbing

the Eastern Conference standings. They earned another win their

last time out despite being without Magee, and now they’ll get him

back – possibly along with another new face in the midfield.

Chicago expects to see both the return of Magee and the debut of

Arevalo Rios on Saturday night when it visits the New England


The Fire (9-9-4), one point ahead of the Revolution for sixth

place, started the season with an abysmal 2-7-2 stretch, including

a 1-0 home defeat to New England on March 9. But since Magee came

over in a trade from Los Angeles and debuted for the Fire on June

2, they are 7-2-2, with MLS’ most wins in that span.

Magee missed last Saturday’s match against Montreal due to right

calf tightness, but Chicago managed a 2-1 victory and went to 3-0-1

over its last four while outscoring opponents 9-4. Magee’s 14 goals

– eight of which have come for the Fire – are tied for the league

lead with Vancouver’s Camilo.

Manager Frank Klopas told the team’s official website he expects

Magee to play Saturday, while Patrick Nyarko will likely remain out

due to concussion symptoms.

However, Chicago could see Rios’ MLS debut after announcing his

signing as a designated player Wednesday. Coming over from Palermo

of Italy’s Serie B with a multitude of international club

experience, Rios has also made 46 appearances for his country,

helping Uruguay to a fourth-place finish in the 2010 World Cup.

He’s expected to play, should his Visa and transfer be processed

in time.

“Arevalo is a midfielder with a wealth of international

experience,” club president of soccer operations Javier Leon told

the club’s official website. “He provides another talented option

for our midfield and will help us make the push for the second half

of the season.”

New England (8-9-6), meanwhile, comes in trending in the

opposite direction with losses in four of six, including

back-to-back shutout defeats after a 3-0 final at Sporting Kansas

City last Saturday.

The Revolution are trying to avoid a third straight home loss

for the first time since July 14-Aug. 12, 2012.

“We have to have confidence,” Kelyn Rowe, the team leader in

assists with six, told the Revolution’s official website. “We’re a

good enough team to know we can score every game. We can score

multiple goals every game. For me, it’s just that final ball and

that final finish needs to be better.”

New England will have to overcome two disciplinary suspensions.

Dimitry Imbongo’s elbow to Sporting KC’s Oriol Rosell earned him a

second yellow card for the game, while Andy Dorman received a

straight red card for a hard foul in the 86th minute.

Chicago is 8-18-4 all-time at New England and has been shut out

four times in the last seven meetings there while going 1-3-3.