Patrick Nyarko
Brian Kersey Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire Fall 2-1 To Sporting Kansas City

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 7, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (6-8-3, 21 points) fell 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City (8-5-6, 30 points) Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. Sporting KC got two quick goals from Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi in the 6th and 8th minutes before Mike Magee’s MLS-leading 11th strike of the season in the 38th minute pulled the Men in Red within one.
The visitors would get on the board in just the sixth minute when Matt Besler sent a long throw-in into the Fire’s penalty area. The ball took a couple deflections and fell to Feilhaber, who from just steps inside the 18-yard-box and slammed his right-footed shot off the post and into the bottom left corner to put the visitors up.
Sporting KC would double the lead just two minutes later after a bending Graham Zusi shot from distance curled past Fire ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi and into the top right corner.
The Men in Red would cut the lead in half in the 38th minute. From just inside Sporting KC’s half, Jeff Larentowicz headed the ball forward, finding Magee 40-yards from goal.  Magee turned and headed towards goal, and slipped his right footed shot from 18-yards out under Sporting KC ‘keeper Jimmy Nielsen into the bottom left corner.
In the 57th minute, left back Gonzalo Segares was shown his fifth yellow card of the season for a foul on Zusi. The Costa Rican will miss the Fire’s next match at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 14.
In the waning moments, midfielder Daniel Paladini was shown a straight red card in the 93rd minute for a hard tackle from behind on Dom Dwyer, forcing the Men in Red to finish the match down a man.
The Fire welcome Liga MX champions Club America in an International Friendly presented by TrueCar at Toyota Park on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. CT (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes). Tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting or Ticketmaster. The international friendly will serve as Bonus Game 1 in the Fire Season Ticket and Ten Game packages. The first 5,000 fans in the gates will receive a TrueCar car magnet.
-       With the loss, the Fire moved to 23-12-10 all-time against Sporting KC, and 15-4-2 in matches played at home.
-       Left back Gonzalo Segares will miss the Fire’s next game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Sunday, July 14 due to yellow card accumulation.  
-       Also missing the Vancouver match will be Daniel Paladini, who will be serving the requisite one-game suspension for a red card.
-       Mike Magee’s goal in the 38th minute of the match was his 11th overall this season in league play. Magee now sits tied with Marco Di Vaio for first place in the tightly-contested Golden Boot race
-       Major League Soccer announced Sunday that Magee has been named to the 2013 MLS All-Star Fan XI. The MLS All-Stars will face Italian giants AS Roma at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. on Wednesday July 31 in the 2013 MLS All-Star Game at 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2/UniMas).
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
On how the team performed today
“It was all in the start. We needed to have a good start to the game. It’s very difficult when you fall behind that early 2-0 because on a hot day like this you have to put in a lot of energy to come back. We got the one goal, which was important, but then in the second half we got some good chances and we weren’t able to come back, so obviously the start wasn’t what we wanted and falling behind 2-0 made it very difficult to come back. The guys put a lot into the game but we just have to move on now and just focus on the next game, regroup, see where the guys are, and get ready to go on the road.”
On if the loss was due to an inexperienced keeper
“He wasn’t inexperienced last year when he stepped in and played so I don’t look at it like that. I think it’s a position where you need games and rhythm to play and things that that will happen. We just have to move on.”
On the first half of the season and where the team is expected to go
“The start [of the season] wasn’t what we wanted, but I think you can see we are right in the mix of things. The team has been playing really well and the results have showed that. Even in a game like today I think we fell behind and sometimes it’s difficult, especially on a hot day like this [to come back]. There are a lot of games left to play and you can see when you put two three games together when you can have some success, and get points, then you are right there in the mix of things and I feel it’s going to come all the way to the end. There are a lot of games left to play. Obviously this was tough, being at home with a great crowd behind us, but we weren’t going to go undefeated the whole season so we just have to regroup and go on another run like we did.”
On giving up goals on second balls and set pieces
“I think before the ball goes out we have opportunities to stop plays. [We could] maybe make better decisions with the ball, but when you do give it up everybody has to focus and concentrate and just stick with their assignments. Sometimes in a game, [mistakes] happen, Zusi tries to cross the ball and it goes upper 90. For sure that is an area as a team [we can work on]. It’s always difficult coming back. We talk about it, but now we have to make sure that we do have better starts to games where we don’t fall behind. That’s something we have to keep working on and talking about. Also [we need to start] going out there with the mentality to start the game from the beginning.”
Austin Berry, Chicago Fire defender
On allowing set piece goals:
“We need to have the mentality of being the first to challenge for the ball and not let it bounce and sticking with your marks – that’s just not for the first ball, but the second ball, too, and clearing it out.  The older guys and leaders need to make sure everyone is ready to go, and I think we were.  We just weren’t tight enough, just not sharp enough for the first 10 minutes.”
Paolo Tornaghi, Chicago Fire goalkeeper
On why the team has started games so poorly:
“That’s the million dollar question, I don’t know.  That’s a tough question to answer.  We come out hoping for a good start and a good result.  In recent games we’re giving up too much in the beginning and trying to comeback.  Last game we did, but of course today it was a lot harder.”
On the benefits of playing more:
“Today I felt a lot better than I did in the game before.  The game in the beginning I was a little nervous because it had been several games since the last time I played, but now I’m rolling and it will get better game after game.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire forward
On lack time of possession:
“I wish I knew why [the Fire had such a small time of possession].  I think we felt the game was tied or we were winning, we were just going to sit back and be content.  Unfortunately we were down 2-1, so it wasn’t a very good game plan.”
On coming back from being down two goals:
“It’s déjà vu.  We’ve been saying it after every game that eventually it was going to catch up to us.  Obviously tonight it did.”
On his All-Star selection:
“I’m still fuming over the game today.  Yesterday I really wanted it, but today all I’m thinking about is how badly this loss feels at home in front of our biggest crowd that we’ve had since I’ve been here.  We literally laid down.”
Chicago Fire 1 – 2 Sporting Kansas City
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko (Joel Lindpere 71’), Jeff Larentowicz ©, Alex (Daniel Paladini 46’), Dilly Duka; Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe (Sherjill MacDonald 61’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Wells Thompson, Michael Videira, Maicon Santos
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen ©; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers; Lawrence Olum (Dom Dwyer 83’), Oriol Rosell, Benny Feilhaber (Soony Saad 52’), Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara; Claudio Bieler (Teal Bunbury 73’)
Substitutes not used: Eric Kronberg, Kevin Ellis, Ike Opara, Jacob Peterson
Scoring Summary
SKC – Benny Feilhaber (unassisted) 6’
SKC – Graham Zusi (Seth Sinovic) 8’
CHI – Mike Magee (Jeff Larentowicz) 38’
Misconduct Summary
SKC – Lawrence Olum (caution) 29’
SKC – Graham Zusi (caution) 55’
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution) 57’
CHI – Jalil Anibaba (caution) 62’
CHI – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 81’
CHI – Bakary Soumare (caution) 85’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (ejection) 90+’
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Jeff Muschik
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
Attendance: 17,735