Dressed to the nines and decked out in his familiar aviator sunglasses, Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas looked every bit the man in charge on Tuesday.
Watching the team and staff he so meticulously assembled during training for Saturday's match at longtime rival D.C. United, Klopas expressed his confidence that the Fire would rebound from a disappointing 0-2-1 start to the season.
“We don’t feel good because we haven't gotten results in our first three games,” Klopas said. “But I feel very confident with the work we put in every week… I think that we have the capacity and the ability in the players to go on the road [and get a result]. It’s going to be a tough game, but we feel the confidence to go there and get a result.”
One key to the Fire getting a result will be capitalizing on D.C.’s defense, perhaps the worst in the league thus far in 2010. United has conceded nine times through their first three games, and the Fire attack – which has only scored one goal from the run of play this season – should be licking their chops at the opportunity.
Still, the Fire will be without central midfielders John Thorrington and Logan Pause for the match. Both Thorrington and Pause are dealing with leg injuries and will be sidelined for their fourth and second game in a row, respectively. Expect midfielders Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry to play in their sted.
Here’s a likely lineup for Saturday’s match.
GK: Andrew Dykstra
DEF: Tim Ward, C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde, Krzysztof Krol
MID: Patrick Nyarko, Baggio Husidic, Peter Lowry, Marco Pappa
FWD: Collins John, Brian McBride