Houston 8

Chestin’ Lowry

A typical goal comes through the front of a foot. Often times off the head. Sometimes a back heal or thigh gets the job done. It’s rare to see a goal chested into the back of the net like Peter Lowry’s 67th minute effort last Saturday night against the Houston Dynamo. The redirection was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week.

“Looking back, I’ve never scored with my chest,” said Lowry about his fourth career MLS goal. “I probably never will again. A goal’s a goal though, I’ll take it anyway it comes.”

Five matches into the season, Saturday night against Houston was by far the club’s most dominating performance so far. A performance the Fire should certainly take confidence from, defeating a deep Dynamo team at Toyota Park.

“It was a pretty good game against a very good team -- a team that battles. It was definitely a battle, especially in the second half. I felt we met their physicality and effort, scoring a couple quality goals from the chances we produced. Overall, I thought it was a very good game from us.”

 Just like scoring by way of the chest, as it goes for holding midfielders, goals don’t come in bunches either. Breaking the norm against the Dynamo, both Lowry and his central partner Baggio Husidic provided the offense to lead the Fire to their second win of the season.

 The pair has started the past three matches in the middle of the park and have developed their partnership each game. Two weeks ago at DC United, head coach Carlos de los Cobos surprised the Fire faithful by fielding a 4-5-1 formation, giving the two more cover in midfield.

The switch has seen both star strikers Brian McBride and Collins John start a match on the bench. While keeping talent the level of McBride or John out of the starting 11 isn’t always recommended, de los Cobos’ strategy seems to be to dominate or stay equal with the opponent.  Bringing McBride off the bench against United proved the difference in that match and John’s insertion into the match kept Houston under pressure the entire 90 minutes.

Lowry’s a fan of whatever gets the team three points.

“I think the switch has helped us a lot. We’re getting numbers up and more dangerous runs out of midfield. It’s definitely an advantage for midfielders to have more numbers in there, to clog up and destroy the other team’s attack. I’m happy about the formation and if that’s how we win, great. Let’s play that way.”

Next on the docket for Lowry and the Fire is Chivas USA at Toyota Park this Saturday, May 1.

Both teams are coming off victories last week, with the Goats downing the San Jose Earthquakes in a 3-2 shootout last Saturday at the Home Depot Center.

The Fire will welcome one very familiar face back to Toyota Park on Saturday when the goalkeeper Zach Thornton makes his return to the Windy City.

Appearing in over 200 matches for the Fire from 1998-2006, the 6-3 goalkeeper still holds records in most of the club’s goalkeeping categories. After going through a few wilderness years around Major League Soccer, the 36-year-old found a rebirth last season with Chivas USA.

Thornton will return to Chicago accompanied by new Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez and his bolstered attack.

“They have a number of very good players,” said Lowry. “[Maykel] Galindo up top is very fast. Sacha’s [Kljestan] always a threat he showed it with his goal last weekend. We know that they have good players and talent and they’re hungry to win games. We know they’re going to want to come in here and get a result. We have to match the effort and continue to build our game.”