Fire-United Preview

The Chicago Fire have won three straight as part of their solid

play since July that has allowed them to overtake D.C. United in

the standings.

The visiting Fire are also well aware of United’s problems over

the weekend as these teams meet for the first time this season

Wednesday night.

Chicago (12-7-5) trailed D.C. (11-8-4) by six points heading

into last month but now are four points ahead for fourth place in

the Eastern Conference, although United have a game in hand. The

Fire are 4-2-2 since the start of July while United are 1-3-1 in

the same span.

“I call it a six-pointer,” Fire forward Patrick Nyarko said. “If

we win the game down there, we’ve separated ourselves from D.C.

They’ve been at the top of the standings all year, and they’ve had

an inconsistent run over the last few weeks so at home, they’ll

look to right the ship.”

D.C. will be without Emiliano Dudar and Branko Boskovic, as both

were sent off in the final moments of a 1-all draw with

Philadelphia on Sunday that ended United’s seven-game home win

streak.

It was part of a wild finish in which Dwayne De Rosario

apparently gave D.C. the lead with a penalty kick in the 87th

minute before it was ordered to be re-taken. He missed on the

second attempt.

Boskovic was sent off during a scuffle in between the penalty

attempts before Dudar also got a red card. United teammates Chris

Korb and Brandon McDonald engaged in an argument after the final

whistle and had to be physically restrained by other D.C.

players.

Coach Ben Olsen and team president Kevin Payne were critical of

referee Mark Geiger after the contest.

“We got to (complain) and moan tonight, smash some lockers and

all that stuff and then tomorrow forget about it and get ready for

a very good Chicago team on Wednesday, who’s moving up the charts

and I think has made some good additions,” Olsen said Sunday.

The Fire saw what happened at RFK Stadium on Sunday and are

hoping to add to United’s problems.

“You can’t lose your composure, and obviously they lost their

composure,” midfielder Daniel Paladini said. “They were winning the

game and they had some bad calls, what not, they started fighting

with each other or the other team. It’s unfortunate for them, but

for us, they’re missing two starters.”

Chicago has gone 2-0-2 in its last four meetings with D.C.,

winning in its last two visits to RFK.

D.C. is on an 8-0-3 run at home, though, and Chicago expects to

see a desperate team Wednesday.

“They can be dangerous anytime so we are not going to

underestimate the fact they had a meltdown last game,” Nyarko said.

“If anything, that’s going to make them stronger against us.”

Fire midfielder Chris Rolfe has scored three times over the last

two games, with one goal coming in a 2-1 home win over New England

on Saturday. Designated player Sherjill MacDonald had the other

tally – his first in four games since joining Chicago.