BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Wednesday night but didn’t make it easy on themselves.
That’s because for the 10th time in 13 matches this season, the Men in Red conceded the first goal when second-year defender Austin Berry coughed up a ball at the back which allowed Rapids striker Deshorn Brown an easy finish past Sean Johnson in the 17th minute.
“I basically passed it into him,” said Berry. “I couldn’t have helped him out anymore. I was too lazy on the ball I didn’t play quick enough and he caught me.”
Knowing they’d have to come from behind to earn any points once again, it took little time for Fire teammates to come pick the 2012 Rookie of the Year back up.
“Almost the whole team came up and said something to me. It was stupid and frustrating but the whole team had my back and got me back in the game.”
Just as they had in their 2-1 U.S. Open Cup victory last Thursday over Columbus, it took just six minutes for the Fire to bring the score level when Dilly Duka’s cross was handled in the area by Marvell Wynne, forcing referee Edvin Jurisevic to point to the penalty spot.
Just as he equalized vs. the Crew less than a week ago, Magee would do it from the spot Wednesday night, cheekily chipping his penalty right up the middle to beat Clint Irwin in the 23rd minute.
The goal was Magee’s fifth in as many competitive matches since joining the Men in Red via trade on May 25, ninth MLS regular season goal and 11th across all competitions in 2013.
Asked about his bravery in taking his spot kick that way, Magee said, “The only thing you need to know about the goal is Dilly. He did incredible to beat his guy, then he’s going one on one with Marvell Wynne which is usually a pretty daunting task. He went at him and all thanks to him.
“The finish was just pretty simple.”
The goal would be the first of three chances that saw Magee come close to a first half hat trick.
The Chicago native finished off a feed from Patrick Nyarko in the 34th minute but was judged to be just offside on the play.
Just before halftime, Magee flicked on Berry’s header at the back post but saw Rapids defender Brian Mullan make a goal line save to take the teams into the locker room knotted at 1-1.
Two minutes after the break, Berry would resurrect his first half mistake, nodding home Jeff Larentowicz’s cross to the back post to tally his first goal of the season.
“It feels great, especially when you mess up like that. It was a good ball in by Jeff and I kind of lost my mark and was open at the back post. I had to get something on it.”
With the lead intact, the Fire would have to sub Magee in the 75th minute after he began experiencing back spasms an earlier hit in the first half.
“Its tight, it’s all good,” said Magee. “I think there were maybe some nerves back there that might have felt a little funky.”
With the team in the midst of three games in seven days, Fire head coach Frank Klopas said Magee would be evaluated Thursday before the team made plans for Saturday’s game at Columbus.
While the Fire have given up the first goal in 10 of 13 matches this season, they’ve continued to show an ability to come back under Frank Klopas.
Wednesday night’s win marked the 11th time the team has come back from a deficit to earn all three points since the former Fire player took over as head coach in May 2011.
“A lot of it is our own fault. Obviously tonight it was my fault,” said Berry. “You notice there aren’t a lot of teams breaking us down and beating us. If we shore things up from our end, that’ll help eliminate the early goals.”