1) “It’s a Rivalry. No it’s not.”... Wherever you fall on the subject, the Fire are playing Sporting KC as the second game of 10 hours of national coverage on Rivalry Day today in MLS (2:00pm CT on NBC Sports Network).
As Fire captain Logan Pause told me earlier this week, “rivalries have ebbed and flowed” over the years but at the moment, the most heated one on the field at least seems to be the one with Sporting KC.
2) The Historical Facts of this one… The Fire lead the all-time regular season series by a healthy margin of 23-11-9.
- Sporting KC will always be the first to point out they won the two games that mattered most with victories over the Men in Red in the 2000 MLS Cup and 2004 U.S. Open Cup final.
Coach's Take: Sporting KC
- The Fire handed Sporting KC what is tied for the worst loss in MLS history with a 7-0 drubbing at Arrowhead Stadium back on July 4, 2001.
- Sporting KC won the last meeting, gaining a 2-0 victory over the Fire at Sporting Park on September 28, 2012. If you remember the two teams were playing for the top spot in the Eastern Conference that night.
- The Fire however did win the season series with Sporting in 2012, taking the two previous matches: 2-1 win on May 12 at Toyota Park and 1-0 win on June 29 at Sporting Park.
- Since Sporting’s re-brand and the initial attempt to launch a rivalry between the two teams in 2011, the Fire own the series lead with a 3-1-1 record.
- Four of the last five matches between the two sides have seen a player ejected before the final whistle.
- The two front offices even traded blows this week with an interesting Gif Battle on each other’s official blogs…
3) One Milestone to speak of… Gonzalo Segares seems to hit milestones a lot but that’s just because the guy has been such a constant with the Fire and because I’m a stats nerd.
Should he appear today, the Costa Rican international will move past former teammate Justin Mapp into sole possession of sixth place on the club’s all competitions appearance list with 209 games played since 2005.
He’ll sit sixth for at least another season as next up on the list is Jesse Marsch at 259 competitive games…
Perhaps the biggest news in this article though is that after much arm twisting, Gonzalo Segares has joined Twitter. Follow him @SuperSega13.
Previewing Sporting KC
4) Another Milestone to speak of… If he steps on the field, Fire newbie Lindpere will make his 100th career MLS appearance on Saturday.
Now into his fourth MLS season, the Estonian international has missed exactly one MLS game since he first signed with the New York Red Bulls in 2010. That mark is tops for any player in the league. Goalkeepers included.
5) The Season Keeps Moving Up so there’s been less opportunity to give much historical context to some of these early editions of Five Things. If you can believe it though, the Fire played an official game on this day 11 years ago and did it away from home.
The team utilized Dema Kovalenko’s 55th minute goal to open up the 2002 season with a 1-0 victory over Guatamalan side CSD Municipal (the club that spawned Marco Pappa) in the opening round of that year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Good omen? We hope.