Chicago Fire's Nyarko, Thompson Loomed large in Big Win over the Columbus Crew

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Wells Thompson admits he was a little nervous as the officials conferred in the 13th minute, deciding whether the Chicago Fire right back would continue to be a part of the Fire's eventual 2-1 victory over Columbus.

Just moments earlier, Thompson made a clumsy, late slide tackle on Agustin Viana and caught the Crew midfielder square in the foot. Official Chris Penso reached for his pocket and pulled out a yellow card, but that wasn't the end of his interaction with Thompson.

“He told me, 'I might have gotten this one wrong,' meaning he could've given me a red card,” Thompson said. “It was a 50-50 ball, with the angle, I was trying to pull out a little. I wasn't trying to hurt the guy. I'm glad he wasn't hurt, he could finish the game. Yeah, I was a little fortunate there. It could've been a lot worse.”

Penso's leniency played a huge hand in the Fire's second win of the season.

Aside from the obvious fact that the Fire weren't down a man, Thompson and right midfielder Patrick Nyarko combined well all game. The two natural outside midfielders fed off of each other going forward.

Nyarko was dangerous all game, giving Crew let back Tyson Wahl all he could handle, and Thompson also made plenty of forays into the attacking third.

“Wells is a converted midfielder playing right back, so I know his qualities,” Nyarko said. “I know he can take guys one-on-one, too. We know we can feed off of each other very well. If he goes up there, I'm able to cover him. When I go, he's covering in behind. We talk a lot and we know how to play with each other.”

The two right-sided players also had a nice day on the defensive side of the ball. Columbus didn't even attempt a cross from the left side of the field.
The give-and-take Thompson and Nyarko had with each other, Thompson thought, had a lot to do with the success.

“When you have a talent like Patrick in front of you, it's awesome,” Thompson said. “Any time I can get the ball, I'm trying to play it to him. I wish I could've gotten it to him more. But what can I say, he's phenomenal. I thought we did well. We didn't have many crosses coming in from our side, and that's what we want.”