Fire Return To Action Against Dynamo

A look at the week ahead as the Men In Red prepare to take on the Houston Dynamo on Sunday

Gonzalo Segares

Photo Credit: 
Brian Kersey Chicago Fire

FIRE HOST DYNAMO IN CRUCIAL EASTERN CONFERENCE CLASH
The Chicago Fire (12-8-5, 41 points) host the Houston Dynamo (11-6-9, 42 points) at Toyota Park on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 6:00 p.m. CT (Galavision/NBC 5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes) in a battle for points in the tightly contested Eastern Conference playoff race.  
 
The Fire fell 4-2 to D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 22 before taking a break in MLS action over the weekend.
 
This is the third and final match between the two squads this season. Will Bruin and Logan Pause traded goals midway through the first half before severe weather ended the match in the 66th minute as the two teams drew 1-1 at Toyota Park April 15.  The Fire and Dynamo battled to a 0-0 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas on July 3.
 
The Dynamo enter the match after a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. Before Sunday's match, the Dynamo travel to Honduras for a CONCACAF Champions League match against Olimpia on Thursday, Aug. 30.
 
CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING SCHEDULE: Aug. 27 – Sept. 3
 
Monday, Aug. 27: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Tuesday, Aug. 28: Training 9:30 a.m.*^           
Wednesday, Aug. 29: Off          
Thursday, Aug. 30: Training 9:30 a.m.*^ - Toyota Park Stadium Field             
Friday, Aug. 31: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Saturday, Sept. 1: Training 9:30 a.m.*^
Sunday, Sept. 2: Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo – Toyota Park – 6:00 p.m. CT – Galavision/NBC 5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes
 
*Training is open to the media. Fire players and coaches will be made available immediately following training.
^Training times are subject to change. Please contact Brendan Hannan at 720.937.8962 for media requests.
 
CHICAGO FIRE vs. Houston Dynamo

 

  • The Fire hold a 3-6-5 record against the Houston Dynamo, including a 1-3-3 record in matches played at Toyota Park.
  • The Fire are 9-4-3 against Eastern Conference foes this season, and are 6-0-1 against Eastern Conference teams at Toyota Park.
  • The two sides have drawn each of the past four games against each other, dating back to a 1-1 tie on April 23, 2011 at Toyota Park.
  • The Fire hold an overall 8-2-2 record at home this season.
  • In third place with 42 points, the Houston Dynamo sit just one point ahead of the Fire in the Eastern Conference standings. With 41 points, the Fire are six points behind Eastern Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City. The Fire have played one less game than the top three teams in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Fire's loss Wednesday evening was the first time all season the team’s defense allowed more than two goals this season.
  • Daniel Paladini's strike in the 44th minute of Wednesday's match marked his first goal for the Fire. With the goal, Paladini became the 13th  different Fire player to tally a goal in 2012.
  • With his goal in the 75th minute, Gonzalo Segares equaled his career high goal output with his third of the season. Segares last scored three goals in a season in 2005, his rookie season. With 11 career MLS goals, the Costa Rican international sits behind only Lubos Kubik (15 goals) for most all-time strikes amongst the club’s defenders.  
  • Dutch striker Sherjill MacDonald's assist on Paladini's goal marked his second assist with the Fire. MacDonald has a goal and two assists in five matches with the Men in Red.

EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE

  • With only seven points separating the top five teams in the Eastern Conference, the next few months will be crucial for the Fire’s bid to make the 2012 MLS post-season.
  • The Fire currently sit in fourth place with 41 points, just six points behind Eastern Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City.
  • The Fire play their next three of four matches at Toyota Park, where the team has a dominating 8-2-2 record against visiting teams this season.
  • All of the remaining games on the schedule are against Eastern Conference foes, and the Men in Red will face each of the nine other Eastern Conference teams once more to close out the regular season.

 
FIRE FALL TO D.C. UNITED
The Chicago Fire got goals from Daniel Paladini and Gonzalo Segares but were undone by four D.C. United goals en route to a 4-2 defeat at RFK Stadium Wednesday night. The loss to D.C. United marked the first time during the 2012 campaign that the Fire had allowed more than two goals in a match.
 
The home side got on the board early as Chris Pontius struck a hopeful shot towards the far post. With the ball rolling toward the end line United forward Dwayne De Rosario charged in and powered the ball into the back of the net to give United the 1-0 lead 19 minutes in.
 
The Fire found its way back into the match with a beautiful exchange in the 44th minute. Patrick Nyarko collected the ball on the left side before cutting in and finding Marco Pappa. The Guatemalan international fed Sherjill MacDonald with his back to goal before cutting toward the top of the 18-yard box. Pappa got the ball back and found an open Daniel Paladini inside the area where he clinically placed the ball under Bill Hamid to level the score at 1-1. Paladini tallied his first goal in a Fire top and became the 13th different Fire player to score a goal in the 2012 campaign.
 
Before the ink could dry on Paladini’s finish, United had regained the lead on an Andy Najar cross. The Honduran Olympian had the ball taken away by Nyarko before regaining possession at the edge of the 18-yard box. Najar sent a looping cross to the back post where newly minted forward Lionard Pajoy headed the ball in for the 2-1 advantage.
 
United came out of the break confident and took advantage just six minutes into the second interval. United left back Chris Korb sent in a well-placed cross that found the head of Brandon McDonald in the middle of the area. The United center back calmly placed his header over the outstretched hands of Johnson to put the home side up 3-1.
 
The Men in Red were resilient in their attempt for a sixth comeback victory. In the 54th minute Nyarko squared a ball for Marco Pappa in the middle of the park and the Fire playmaker slammed his shot off the near post.
 
The Fire would eventually pull one back in the 75th minute when Pavel Pardo sent his free kick toward the back post. Segares crept in behind the United defense and sent his diving header back across Hamid and into the goal tightening the game 3-2.
 
The visitors were eventually put away in the 89th minute when De Rosario galloped down the left flank before finding Long Tan wide open inside the box. Tan’s slotted effort deflected off of Johnson’s glove, but eventually rolled in giving United a 4-2 lead.
 
The Fire continued to push until the final whistle blew, but attempts from Rolfe, Pardo and Oduro were all thwarted.
 
CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER CLUB TO HOST MEXICAN CHAMPIONS CLUB SANTOS LAGUNA SEPTEMBER 8 AT TOYOTA PARK
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced that the Fire will welcome four-time Mexican Primera División champions, Club Santos Laguna to Toyota Park for an international friendly on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
 
Advance tickets for the first meeting between the Chicago Fire and Santos Laguna go on sale Wednesday, July 25 at 10:00 a.m. CT and are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.chicago-fire.com. The international friendly will serve as Bonus Game 2 in the Fire Season Ticket and Ten Game packages.
 
Reigning Clausura Champions Santos Laguna have captured four titles in Mexico’s Primera División, most recently defeating Monterey 3-2 on aggregate to capture the 2012 tournament. Santos Laguna has experienced success in the CONCACAF region as well. The Albiverdes placed second in the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League. Santos Laguna were also crowned champions of the inaugural 2004 InterLiga tournament, the tournament between Mexican clubs to determine qualifying spots for the Copa Libertadores.
 
For the second consecutive year, the Fire will welcome a Mexican opponent to Toyota Park. In 2011, the Fire took on Chivas de Guadalajara in front of a crowd of more than 18,000. A 61st minute goal by Jorge Mora would prove the difference as Chivas de Guadalajara escaped with a 1-0 victory.
 
Santos Laguna’s roster currently boasts star goalkeeper and Mexican international Oswaldo Sánchez, a three-time FIFA World Cup veteran. U.S. international forward Hercules Gomez tallied five goals in 12 appearances for the Torreon side. Gomez appeared in three games for the United States Men’s National Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and spent six years plying his trade in MLS with the LA Galaxy, Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards.
 
This is the second international friendly scheduled for the Fire this season. The Men in Red hosted English Premier League side Aston Villa in a match Presented by TrueCar at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 21.
 
MOLLY’S CUPCAKES TO FEATURE CHICAGO FIRE CUPCAKE
Lincoln Park bakery Molly’s Cupcakes (2536 N. Clark) has created a limited-edition Chicago Fire Velvet Swirl cupcake that will be available for the month of August. A twist on the classic red velvet cupcake, one dollar from every purchase will benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation. Check out this video of Fire defender Gonzalo Segares touring Molly’s - http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/08/02/sega-indulges-mollys-cupcakes.
 
FIRE IN THE NEWS
 
Fire host "White Party" - CSNChicago.com - August 23, 2012
http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/firevideo?PID=6cLLTB-NgOD2hsaQn_VG0WvmMqpZFsEM53gzf8f

A white hot night with the Chicago Fire - Josh Whisenhunt - MLSsoccer.com  - August 24, 2012
http://www.mlssoccer.com/blog/mls-insider/2012/08/24/white-hot-night-chicago-fire

Time for Fire to rest and reflect - Len Ziehm - CSNChicago.com - August 23, 2012
http://www.csnchicago.com/soccer-chicago-fire/news/Time-for-Fire-to-rest-and-reflect?blockID=761599&feedID=5674
 
Fire getting boost from Daniel Paladini without Logan Pause - Seth Gruen - Chicago Sun-Times - August 21, 2012
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/14647470-626/fire-getting-boost-from-daniel-paladini-without-logan-pause.html
 
El Fire sale al asalto del RFK Stadium - Jose Luis Sanchez Pando - ViveloHoy.com - August 21, 2012
http://www.vivelohoy.com/deportes/8126258/el-fire-sale-al-asalto-del-rfk-stadium
 
Berry, Friedrich hitting stride as Fire continue upward swing - Anthony Zilis - MLSsoccer.com - August 21, 2012
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/08/21/berry-friedrich-hitting-stride-fire-continue-upward-swing
 
CHICAGO FIRE TEAM WRITER, JEFF CRANDALL FEATURES ON CHICAGO-FIRE.COM
 
As Fire sit idle, things stay tight in the East - August 26, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/08/26/fire-sit-idle-things-stay-tight-east
 
So the White Party was fun - August 24, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/blog/post/2012/08/24/so-white-party-was-fun
 
Five Things You Should Know About Wednesday's Game at DC United - August 22, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/08/five-things-you-should-know-about-wednesdays-game-dc-united
 
All-In Podcast with Daniel Paladini - August 20, 2012
http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2012/08/all-podcast-daniel-paladini