The Chicago Fire play their second match of the 2014 Desert Diamond Cup against hosts FC Tucson Saturday afternoon at 2pm CT live on Chicago-Fire.com.
Here are some things you should know heading into the game...
Chris Rolfe admits a bit of pressure after strong performances from second team
Frank Yallop was forthcoming earlier this week in saying that the final three matches of the Desert Diamond Cup would be dedicated more to what is thought to be his first 11.
That allowed Wednesday’s game vs. Colorado to be one last proving ground for younger players and trialists and they delivered in the 2-1 win.
With a 5-0-0 record, and nine goals scored all by players not currently in the first 11, Fire forward Chris Rolfe spoke about the first team needing to produce some offense on Saturday.
“We have a lot of young players that are doing well,” he said. “It’s great for us, it’s putting a lot of pressure on us and I think our offense needs to step up.”
Still, Rolfe was quick to point to what head coach Frank Yallop has emphasized since the team began it’s second phase of camp in Bradenton earlier this month:
“Right now we’re really focusing on the defensive shape and how we’re going to press a team.”
Standings going into today/Format explained
After their 2-1 win over Colorado on Wednesday, the Chicago Fire sit alone atop to the Desert Diamond cup standings with the opening day’s other matches ending in a draw.
The table currently looks like:
|New England Revolution||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0|
|Real Salt Lake||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0|
Interestingly, the team that finishes top of the table come the end of Wednesday’s matches will get to play Chivas de Guadalajara’s U-20 team in the Desert Diamond Cup “final”. As the Fire would hope to avoid playing season opener opponents Chivas USA back-to-back, this could be a very nice test if the team finishes top of the table.
Who is FC Tucson?
FC Tucson launched in 2010 to help bring MLS preseason games to Arizona and generate interest in the game locally. The club officially joined the USL’s Premier Development League for the 2012 season and made the playoffs their initial year.
In 2013 FC Tucson took two professional scalps in the U.S. Open Cup, downing both USL-Pro’s Phoenix FC and the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions before falling to the Houston Dynamo.
Having just drawn 1-1 with Chivas USA in their tournament opener, FC Tucson has shown they’re not a team to be taken lightly.
Head to AJ Hudsons for Official Section 8 Watch Party
If you’re back braving the cold of Chicago, join your fellow Fire supporters for Section 8 Chicago’s official watch party at A.J. Hudson’s (3801 N. Ashland) beginning at 2pm CT.
Join us for a Happy Hour following the match
Chicago Fire fans that have made the trip to Tucson are invited to a Happy Hour Saturday afternoon from 5:30-7:30pm at the Hotel Bar in the Desert Diamond Casino (7350 S Nogales Hwy). Come meet Fire Head Coach Frank Yallop and Technical Director Brian Bliss as well as Fire staff here in Tucson!
The first few drinks are on us and appetizers will be served.