After two disappointing losses, the Fire have the chance a chance for redemption with an all-important match Saturday afternoon at the New York Red Bulls (#NYvCHI), LIVE at 2:30pm CT on NBC 5 Chicago.
Here are five things you should know heading into today’s six-pointer…
1) Record vs. the Metro/Bulls in October – After the two defeats, the Fire won’t be the favorites heading into Red Bull Arena but there are a few historical things to take into account: The Fire hold a 21-12-9 all-time advantage over the franchise and are 3-0-1 all-time when playing the team in October.
WATCH: Sega, Arne Preview Red Bull
One of those three wins? A memorable 3-2 playoff series deciding victory in which Ante Razov scored the 88th minute game winner.
The date? October 6, 2000.
2) Chris Rolfe – Another one of those October victories over Red Bull was actually the last one, in which Fire forward Chris Rolfe tallied a first half hat trick en route to the team’s 5-2 win at Giants Stadium back on October 23, 2008.
Rolfe enjoys scoring against the Red Bulls, having done so seven times in 15 matches since 2005. If not for his brace last month vs. Columbus, the Red Bulls would be the MLS team he’s scored the most against (Chris has eight career goals vs. the Crew).
3) SCORE FIRST – I used this in Wednesday’s “Five Things” but seeing as the team has conceded the first goal so many times this season (19 of 31 games) and has been victimized by it in each of the last two games, it’s worth repeating that It’s rather important to score the first goal.
Needing at least a point, It’s even more important in this game as Red Bull are an incredible 33-0-14 when scoring the first goal under Han Backe since the Swedish manager took the helm in 2010. The Fire are 16-0-4 under Frank Klopas in the same instance.
Either way, it’s safe to say who ever concedes will be looking at a draw as their best outcome.
4) PLAYOFF SCENARIOS – Even after Wednesday’s performance, there’s still a chance the Fire could make the playoffs by the end of the weekend.
None of it can happen without a Fire win vs. Red Bull this afternoon but if that were to occur, the Men in Red would need either Montreal to beat Houston in their visit to BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday night or Sporting KC to beat or draw with Columbus in their visit to Crew Stadium on Sunday.
5) WATCH PARTIES – You never want to watch such a big match alone, right? With that in mind, why don’t you head to one of the two Section 8 Chicago watch parties being held this afternoon at Cleo’s in Ukranian Village(1935 W. Chicago) or The Atlantic in Lincoln Square (5062 N. Lincoln).
Section 8 Chicago will be raffling off two of the now nearly impossible tickets to get to Monday’s Fire Anniversary Party at each event!