Mapp Return


A point is a point. Clearing out the notebook after the Fire’s relatively uninspiring 1-1 draw against Chivas USA over the weekend.

Hamstrung: Forward Collins John and midfielder Justin Mapp could be missing from Saturday’s game at Toronto. Both Mapp and John re-aggravated hamstring injuries last Saturday. Mapp, who started the match but had to be subbed off in the 22nd minute after coming up lame in the 13th, called his injury “day-to-day.”

“I just tweaked my hamstring a little bit,” Mapp said after the Chivas match. “It was the same one I kind of tweaked at the very end of the D.C. game. I hadn’t had any problems since then; I just felt it when I tried to open up a sprint.”

Mapp tried – unsuccessfully – to play through the injury for nearly 10 minutes.

“I was trying to go,” he said. “But I knew that if I was going to open it up and really sprint I was going to have issues with it and make it worse, so I figured it was best to get out and not hurt the team.”

The prognosis isn’t any better for forward John. The Dutch striker was originally listed in the Fire’s starting lineup against Chivas but had to be scratched only minutes from kickoff due to a hamstring injury of his own. He first picked up the injury late in Thursday’s training session.

“I had a lot of pain on Thursday so I just gave it a shot today but I couldn’t really sprint,” John said post-match. “I wanted to give it a try but [Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos] said ‘Just rest, it’s better to miss one game than four weeks.’”

John added that the injury will likely prevent him from training until at least “Wednesday or Thursday.”

Hot Husidic: Center midfielder Baggio Husidic scored his second career goal – and second in as many games – on Saturday night. Husidic, who got his chance this year because incumbent central midfield starters John Thorrington and Logan Pause are out injured, has emerged as a strong central midfield option over the last three games – all of which he has started.

“Carlos always says the best way to improve is by playing and he’s giving me the opportunity,” Husidic said. “I’ve improved every game and hopefully I’ll keep improving.”

Should Husidic keep improving, de los Cobos will have a tough decision as to who to start when Pause and Thorrington return.

“As a player you don’t really think about that,” Husidic said of what his status will be when Thorrington and Pause return. “You just do your job and hopefully you make it hard for them, just the way they’re going to make it hard for [fellow central midfielder Peter Lowry and I] to keep our jobs. They’re both great players and you just got to prove to the coach that you deserve to be on the field and hopefully I’m doing that.”

Milestones: With the start, forward Brian McBride made his 200th career MLS regular-season appearance. The former U.S. National Team striker has made 39 of those appearances with the Fire and 161 with the Columbus Crew, where he played from 1996 to 2004.

Defender C.J. Brown inched one appearance closer to making his 350th in all competitions with the Fire on Saturday night. Brown, a Fire original, will get to 350 in his next appearance, which will likely come this Saturday against Toronto FC.