BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (June 2, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (3-7-2, 11 points) defeated D.C. United (1-10-2, 5 points) Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. An early D.C. United own goal and a 85th minute strike from Chicago, Ill. native Mike Magee in his home debut led the Fire to a 2-0 victory.
The Fire would get on the board first in the ninth minute. United defender Chris Korb was whistled for a foul on Joel Lindpere 30 yards from goal and the Estonian drove the ensuing free kick into the box which bounced around, before redirecting into goal off of Nick DeLeon to give the Fire the 1-0 lead.
D.C. United would get their best chance of the match in the 38th minute when Dwayne DeRosario received the ball 40 yards from goal, took a couple touches to settle and unleashed a right-footed laser on goal only to be thwarted by the crossbar.
In the 51st minute, Chris Rolfe headed the ball down for Magee on the right side of the pitch. Magee turned and raced towards goal but his shot to the far post went just wide.
Magee would get another look on goal in the 72nd minute when a Lindpere corner kick was headed out by the United defense. The ball fell for Magee at the top of the arc, and with a quick turn, sent a right-footed shot just high.
With D.C. pushing for the equalizer, substitute forward Maicon Santos found Magee streaking through the middle and put him in alone on goal but United ‘keeper Joe Willis made a point-black stop in the 82nd minute.
Minutes later, Magee would finally find the goal he’d been looking for. Santos received the ball just inside the Fire’s half and played a perfectly weighted ball for Nyarko in behind the United defense. Nyarko turned towards goal and found Magee inside the penalty arc. The Chicago, Ill. native took two touches to settle the ball and sent his low, right-footed shot past Willis into the side netting for his first league goal for the Men in Red to ice the match in the 85th minute.
The Fire will continue June with three additional home games, hosting the Portland Timbers on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9), the Columbus Crew in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action on June 12 at 7:30 p.m. CT, and the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9). Tickets are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
- With the victory, the Fire move to 16-17-11 all-time against D.C. United, including a 9-6-7 record in matches played at home.
- This match marked the home re-debut for defender Bakary Soumare, who is in his second stint with the Fire. Selected as the second overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, Soumare transferred to French First Division side U.S. Boulogne in August 2009. Soumare returned to MLS on June 26 with the Philadelphia Union and re-joined the Fire via trade on May 23.
- This match also marked the Toyota Park debut for Chicago, Ill. native Mike Magee. Magee was acquired via trade with the LA Galaxy on May 25.
- Magee has scored two goals in his first two matches for the Men in Red. Magee scored the first goal of a 2-0 victory over the Charlotte Eagles on May 29 in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- Fire head coach Frank Klopas trotted out his twelfth different starting lineup in as many matches. Captain Logan Pause missed the match due to a groin strain that he picked up in the Fire’s Open Cup match on Wednesday.
- Klopas holds a 21-12-13 all-time regular season record in matches played in the months of June through October. Klopas’ squads have tallied an overall record of 7-11-5 in the first three matches of the season.
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
Overall thoughts on the win and the team’s performance
“Yeah, definitely, I think it’s obviously a great win for our team, it’s very important game. I think that both teams were in a situation where we needed points so we came into it prepared really well. You know we had a mid-week game the Open Cup match but I think we did a good job just making sure the guys were fresh and ready to go knowing that this would be a very difficult match and it was. I think we got that goal early on, an own goal, and I think that was good but the first half I think we weren’t very good in our possession game, especially with the players we had out there. I think the key was our initial pass in transition wasn’t great. We chased the game a little bit. I felt we had some good looks in the final third, and then obviously in the second half, we created chances again and it was great to get the second goal and get the victory. It was an important victory for us. Now, second week of the Open Cup in a short time and an important match here. So an important game, we are feeling good and now we just got to put this game behind us, enjoy tonight, and then regroup and get ready for the whole week we have in front of us. We have another difficult match against Portland at home.”
On how important Magee’s second goal was
“The second goal its always important because when you get chances you need to put them away and put the team away. Even though DC, with their record, they are a lot better than their record shows, and they have some quality players there. I think when you get chances in matches you’ve got to put them away and I think that (the goal) took a lot of pressure off the players. We created chances again in the second half but it was good, you know, to put that second one away and enjoy the end of the game a little bit more.”
On the Fire’s defensive play
“They did well. I think the first half, you saw we had a little bit of problems, when (Dwayne) De Rosario was dropping in between the lines and he was finding the ball. We talked about it in halftime where one of the center backs had to get tight and deny that ability of him to get the ball, find the space, and turn and I think we did a good job. I mean, Baky (Soumare), and the rest of the guys have been playing better and better and I think that it takes some time when you do bring new players in to kind of adjust and fit in, but I think Baky is an experienced player and I think overall as a team, it starts defending with the whole group, it starts with the forwards and their willingness to work very hard off the ball and they did. We got the victory and the clean sheet, which is always important.”
On how set he is on the current line-up
“I think, you know, with the two players we’ve added, quality players, I think that there is more depth in the team. There are a lot of games coming up, with Open Cup matches and league matches that are important, and I think it gives us an opportunity to be able to put quality players in and not miss a beat. I think we have depth in certain areas and that’s good and its going to help us throughout the season.”
On Mike Magee and his leadership role
“I mean what can you say, I think that you saw the quality that he has, his leadership that he brings on the field, but he’s just very smart. The way he moves on the field, he wants the ball in difficult spots and he always seems to be in the right moment, at the right time. I think, look, he’s a quality player that’s going to make our team, obviously, better. You saw a little bit tonight and I don’t know if you watched the Open Cup match but I know that as he gets a little bit more familiarized with the group of players that we have, I think it’s even going to be better. So, yeah, he’s got a lot of quality and we are lucky to have him in our group, on our team.”
On the play of Alex
“We wanted to get better possession and have someone obviously that can be another guy that can, from deep spots, support the forwards and Alex has a lot of quality. He’s a player that wants the ball in difficult spots, he can beat players off the dribble, he can create opportunities for himself and that puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenders, and I think he’s getting better. I thought he had a good game today where he picked up the ball in difficult spots and made things happen and I know he can play a lot better. But we have players with different qualities and I think with different games we can bring different characteristics and players and that can help us.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On playing with Mike Magee
“It’s a little different. We got our first taste of it mid-week in Charlotte, and the first impressions of Mike [Magee] are that he is such a smart player. I catch myself looking at him and his movements as a play develops to see what he wants me to do with the ball, he leads us to the next play. You can see that he’s smart, very experienced and has played with some great teams, so I’m very impressed. But we can’t jump for joy after one week, we need to continue with this and it will be very good.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire Forward
On scoring the second goal of the match
“It’s huge. I think the biggest thing when you’re not scoring is just to create chances, which is what we did tonight. Obviously it’s good to get two goals, but if we’re a little better we have four. But just creating chances gives you confidence, so the second one put them away.“
On working with his new teammates
“To start the game, in the first half, we weren’t great – we didn’t get much possession in the final third but we had a good regroup at halftime. The second half I thought we were great.”
On working with Patrick Nyarko and his speed
“It’s hard getting used to speed, I’m not fast so I can’t relate at all. As soon as I knew he was going to get behind I just took off and he played me a great ball. “
Bakary Soumare, Chicago Fire Defender
On his first game back at Toyota Park
“It feels great. It feels fantastic being here, obviously I love playing here. This is home to me, so it’s great to be a part of this organization, and to start with a win and a clean sheet couldn’t have been scripted any better. “
On the play of the back line
“Today was a better result for us. We were getting comfortable with each other, we getting used to playing with each other so it’s been good. I’ve known Austin [Berry] for a while and I watch a lot of games, so for me it’s an easy transition. This is a team that I follow closely so it’s been great. I just hope that we can keep it up.”
On the importance of the win
“It was a very important win. It’s a team we will be fighting against. We’re both in a similar situation and it’s good for us to get three points, especially considering the results last night. Now we just need to keep getting points to make up for the first 10 or 11 games.”
Chicago Fire 2 – 0 D.C. United
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Alex (Daniel Paladini 74’), Jeff Larentowicz ©, Joel Lindpere; Chris Rolfe (Maicon Santos 68’), Mike Magee (Dilly Duka 87’)
Substitutes not used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Michael Videira, Sherjill MacDonald
D.C. United: Joe Willis; James Riley, Daniel Woolard, Chris Korb; Perry Kitchen, Kyle Porter (Rafael Teixeira 79’), Nick DeLeon, Conor Shanosky (Sainey Nyassi 64’), Chris Pontius; Dwayne De Rosario © (John Thorrington 57’), Carlos Ruiz
Substitutes not used: Andrew Dykstra, Ethan White, Raphael Augusto, Brandon McDonald
CHI – Own Goal (Nick DeLeon) 9’
CHI – Mike Magee (Patrick Nyarko, Maicon Santos) 85’
DC – John Thorrington (caution) 85’
CHI – Dilly Duka (caution) 88’
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Corey Parker
Fourth Official: Mathieu Bourdeau
Fourth Official: Mathieu Bourdeau