1) The Fire ride their second three-match winning streak of 2012 into tonight’s game at DC United (coverage LIVE at 6pm CT on CSN Chicago). The first occurred at the end of June as the Men in Red took down New York (3-1), Columbus (2-1) and Sporting KC (1-0) before opening up July with a forgettable 0-0 draw at Houston.
The Fire missed out on a four-match winning streak earlier this year but have a second chance tonight with a victory at DC. If they do come away victorious, it would mark the first time since 2005 that the Fire have won four regular season matches on the trot (June 26-July 9).
2) One thing that should add to the Fire’s confidence is the team’s recent record at RFK Stadium. Though the club is 7-10-4 during regular season matches at the historic stadium, the team is 3-1-1 in its last five and have won the past two matches in the nation’s capital.
Moreover, a win tonight would mark the first time since September 2000 that the club recorded all wins during a calendar month (the team closed the season with a 3-0-0 record that year). It had only happened once before that, coming in the midst of the team’s record 11-match winning streak the Fire went 5-0-0 during June 1998.
3) United will come into Wednesday’s game feeling as though they should have taken three points at home in Sunday’s 1-1 draw vs. Philadelphia (HIGHLIGHTS). Despite the controversial ending, United extended their league unbeaten streak at RFK to 11 matches, going 8-0-3 since dropping their first game of the season 1-0 to Sporting KC on March 10.
No doubt the Fire have a great chance of winning tonight but D.C. has been as tough a place to play as any this year.
4) Most of the controversy from DC’s 1-1 draw on Sunday stemmed from referee Mark Geiger’s call to make Dwayne De Rosario retake his penalty kick after United forward Hamdi Salihi encroached into the penalty arc on the play. A bit of melee occurred following the call that resulting in midfielder Branko Boscovic being sent off and delaying the second kick which De Rosario then sent over the bar.
Like any head coach would be, United’s Ben Olsen was understandably a little upset after the game but no one should be more furious than De Rosario himself who looked to have scored his 99th career MLS goal as well as break one of the longest goal scoring droughts of his career (he hasn’t officially hit the back of the net since May 19).
If anyone is looking for a bit of redemption Wednesday night, it’s the Canadian international.
5) Lastly, Wednesday is Fire captain Logan Pause’s 31st birthday. Missing just his second match of the season due to pneumothorax suffered in the team’s 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on August 12, it’s a good bet #LP712’s teammates are playing for him tonight.
Happy Birthday Logan! Wish the captain a happy birthday over on our Facebook page!
WATCH: Matko's Take on DC United