BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire center back Arne Friedrich felt that his team wasn’t pushing forward enough in their 2-1 win against Toronto FC on Saturday after falling behind in the 16th minute.
So Friedrich decided to push the game himself.
The German ventured forward several times, including once in the second minute of injury time, when he dribbled the ball from the midfield all the way to the edge of the Toronto penalty area before he was knocked to the ground by defender Ashtone Morgan.
“Especially in the second half, it was necessary, with us being down a goal,” Friedrich said after the game, with a bandage covering an injury to his nose, a consequence of his late-game foray into the attacking third. “It was one of my goals to push the team a little bit, and I guess we did that very well.”
His fellow center back, Austin Berry, scored the game-winning goal in the 84th minute.
HIGHLIGHTS: CHI 2, TOR 1
MacDonald getting fitter
Sherjill MacDonald felt stiff for the first 15 minutes of his 45-minute performance of Saturday’s game. He also came on in the 65th minute of last week’s 1-1 tie against San Jose.
That’s typical for the newly acquired Dutch forward, who feels sore most days at the start of practice.
“The weeks of training have been very hard for me because for eight weeks, I didn’t train and I didn’t play,” said MacDonald, who wrapped up his season in the Belgian Pro League in May. “For me, 45 minutes was perfect today. Hopefully, after another week of training, I can play 60-65.”
Even though he’s not at full fitness, MacDonald was dangerous. He almost scored the Fire’s third goal of the game in the 86th minute, when his shot from a bad angle squeaked by the post.
“I feel much better today, much better than the last week," he added. "Much fitter after a hard week of training.”
Fernández feeling OK
Álvaro Fernández picked up an ankle injury at the on Saturday in his Fire debut, but the midfielder said he didn’t think the injury is serious after coming off after playing 50 minutes.
“I feel in a little bit of pain right now,” the Uruguayan said through a translator, "but I hope in the next few days it’ll feel normal."