Five things you should know about Saturday's game vs. Columbus
Frank Klopas was part of the Crew… Sort of.
If you were a soccer nerd back in 1998 or took part in our TrueCar Quiz on the history of the Fire’s rivalry with Columbus, you might have already learned that Frank Klopas was at one point on the Crew roster, coming after Kansas City traded his rights to Columbus following the 1997 season.
Wishing to close out his career in Chicago, Klopas refused to report to training camp and took on heavy fines before the Crew eventually traded him to the expansion Chicago Fire on February 20, 1998.
The Fire need to score first
The above seems quite obvious but its true. It’s been seven games (1-1 draw with D.C. on October 27) since the Fire drew first blood.
There’s the overwhelming, yet undefined stat in soccer that says the team that scores first wins a majority of the time. Since I can’t find the stat, I’ll just put it in a Fire context: since Frank Klopas became head coach the Men in Red are 17-0-4 in regular season matches in which they’ve scored the first goal.
Over the last year, the team has shown a penchant for being able to come back from a goal but as we saw towards the end of last season, always digging that hole can eventually catch up to you.
Scoring first will more than likely give the Fire some points, it just hasn’t happened enough lately.
Rolfe ends goal-less drought, is it Mac’s turn?
In last week’s 2-1 loss to Houston, Chris Rolfe put to end his career-tying record goal drought with a beautiful 29th minute equalizer.
His partner up front, Sherjill MacDonald is experiencing the longest drought of his much shorter tenure with the Men in Red (currently at eight matches).
Has the lack of a goal recently waned on the Dutch forward?
“Any striker wants to score,” MacDonald told Chicago-Fire.com. “The only thing I can do is work hard and try to get the opportunities to score. I don’t really worry but of course I’d like to score every game. I’ve been working hard so I hope it’s going to pay off.”
5-1-5 at Toyota Park vs. Columbus
That’s the Fire’s record against the Crew since moving to Toyota Park, with the team’s only loss coming all the way back in 2006.
Still, the Crew are a team with a healthy attack and solid back line that have found ways to go on the road and earn points already this season. Saturday night’s game won’t be an easy task.
TV info for tonight
Tonight’s game will be the MLS Stream of the Week. To watch online for free, just head to MLSsoccer.com and create and account at the top of the page.
It will also not be blacked out on MLS Direct Kick and will air on tape delay via CLTV at 11:00pm CT.