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25 May 2:17 pm

The Chicago Fire hold an impressive 10-6-6- record at Columbus Crew stadium in 22 competitive matches since the soccer-specific venue opened in 1999. The Crew may be tagged as “America’s Hardest Working Team,” but the Fire have ruined many of their days working from home. As we once again make Crew Stadium FireHouse East (#FHEAST) this weekend, here are five memorable matches between the two sides in the Ohio capital... 

October 10, 1999 • Chicago Fire 2-1 Win

Hosting the Fire at their brand new soccer specific stadium almost a year after the Bob Bradley’s side upended the Crew 2-1 in U.S. Open Cup final, the home side was happy to run out to a 2-0 lead, using goals from Brian McBride (5’) and Jeff Cunningham (65’). The second goal was enough to get the Fire to respond as Ante Razov tallied a penalty a minute later before Chicagoan Tommy Soehn grabbed the equalizer 10 minutes later to take the match to the vaunted hockey-style shootout. The Fire were able to keep the Crew from feeling any redemption, winning the pseudo-penalty decider 2-1 thanks to three saves from goalkeeper Zach Thornton and two goals from Razov and Dema Kovalenko.

 

 

April 1, 2000 • Chicago Fire 2-0 Win

 This match is notable for featuring four future MLS head coaches in their playing days - Peter Nowak, Jesse Marsch, Tom Soehn, and Robert Warzycha. With all that future managing talent in one match, you’ve got to wonder who on the Fire’s current roster could be a manager in coming years… That’s not to mention future Ring of Fire inductees Lubos Kubik, and CJ Brown as well as Brian McBride (playing at that time for the Crew). Ultimately, the Fire would take this match with a 5th minute goal from Ante Razov and another from Nowak in the 36th.

July 20, 2004 • Chicago Fire 2-1 Win (U.S. Open Cup 4th Round)

Seeing as the team is about to once again begin play in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the current penchant for coming from behind, this one seemed appropriate. Back in 2004, the Fire entered the tournament with a fourth round match at that year’s Supporters Shield winners. The Crew took a 1-0 lead into halftime via Frankie Hejduk’s 27th minute strike but Damani Ralph responded for the Fire in the 65th minute to eventually send it to extra time. Nearing the end of the first overtime period, Chris Armas set up Ralph for the Golden Goal winner in the 105th minute and beginning the team’s run to the 2004 final.

 September 8, 2007 • Chicago Fire 1-0 Win

Costa Rican World Cup veteran and former Manchester City striker Paulo Wanchope only played for the Fire for one year, scoring just 2 goals in 12 appearances. Fortunately, one of those came in the 65th minute of this match (anyone noticing a pattern here?) and combining with Matt Pickens’ five saves was enough to collect all three points at Columbus. The result would go a long way towards helping the Fire recover from an early-season slump to eventually make the MLS Cup playoffs and the Eastern Conference championship match.

June 12, 2011 • Chicago Fire 1-0 Win

 The 2011 season marked this first year of the club-sponsored fan bus trip to Crew Stadium, with over 500 supporters cheering on the Men in Red behind enemy lines.  Both teams fought hard, but as seen in the history between these sides, the excitement was saved until the very end. In the 90th minute, Cristian Nazarit put himself in the right place at the right time to slot home Orr Barouch’s rebound, to take a 1-0 lead. Clearly, the presence of the traveling supporters had been felt by the team and resulted in a truly massive goal.

 The victory was also the team’s first in five tries across all competitions at Crew Stadium since the last win on September 8, 2007.

WATCH: Frank Klopas talks 2011 #FHEAST Invasion of Columbus

25 May 8:51 am

As my granpappy used to say, a blog in the hand is better than two in the bush. 

It seems as if all the kids these days are putting together blogs and since we’re team players here at Chicago-Fire.com we thought we’d answer the bell, not pull any punches and barge right in to this whole blog scene. 
 
Our new blog, Always on the Inside,  won’t blog around the bush, we’ll do our best not to blog up the wrong tree and we’ll certainly not blog a dead horse (for a number of reasons, but mostly because that’s cruel). 
 
Since bloggers can’t be choosers, here at Always on the Inside we are going to stick to what we know. There will be no blog and bull stories, instead we’re going to put our blog to the grindstone and provide an in-depth look that cuts to the chase and provides a detailed look (through Fire colored glasses) at soccer in Chicago. 
 
We won’t be blogging until we are blue in the face, there will be a number of voices on Always on the Inside and we’re hopeful that you the reader will step up to the spot and throw your proverbial hat in the ring. We don’t want you to handle our blog with kid gloves and to the commenter go the spoils. So please utilize Always on the Inside as your soap box, we’re an open book. 
 
Well, I’m out of gas. Don’t throw this blog out with the baby water (or is it bath water?) because Always on the Inside really is a blog of a different color. 
 
Out of the frying pan and into the Fire, 
 
Welcome to Always on the Inside.
 

24 May 12:03 pm

Second in the series of "Always on the Inside" promos... This time I dip in the cold tub with Dan Gargan. 

For those wondering, it was a shivering 46 degrees and as Dan suggests, I couldn't nail my lines... We shifted to having the old pro speak and me just give the high-brow that I'm so well known for...

Can't wait for the bonus features DVD to come out! Make sure to follow Dan on Twitter @RealDanGargan!

24 May 11:56 am

Our first tease of this very blog! Thanks to Kheli Dube, Tony Walls, Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Sean Johnson for standing in defense with me... Thanks to Daniel Paladini for not hitting me in the head.

Sorry that I flinched (and then laughed)...