Chicago Fire Earn Hard-Fought Road Point In 1-1 Draw With Houston Dynamo

HOUSTON, Texas (Saturday, July 27, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (7-9-4, 25 points) earned a road point against the Houston Dynamo (8-6-6, 30 points) at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas Saturday evening. After a scoreless first half the Dynamo opened scoring when Cam Weaver tapped in a cross from Brad Davis in the 61st minute. The Men in Red would pull even two minutes later when Patrick Nyarko dribbled down the right flank and played a low, driven cross to Mike Magee for the equalizing goal.

The Men in Red return to action on Saturday, Aug. 3 when they head to take on the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park at 7:00 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9). With the quick turnaround, the Fire return home for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal match against D.C. United at Toyota Park on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting or Ticketmaster.


Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
Thoughts on the match
“We talked about our ability now in this stretch and to be able to get points on the road. You’re playing against a very good team, difficult place, it’s not easy here, but in the second half I felt that both teams, we had some chances, but I felt also late in the game both teams had some quality looks. The goalkeepers came out big. For us, I think, on the road, we showed a lot of character, but also, from our keeper Paolo [Tornaghi], he needed those saves to come up big and he did, but also I though Tally did too with some of the chances we had.”
What has sparked the change within the team
“Definitely different confidence within the team. I think the mentality is different, the start was definitely tough for us. Losing Arne Friedrich right before our first game wasn’t easy, so I needed a guy to replace. I feel that with additions of Mike Magee and [Bakary Soumaré] and the results we’ve gotten, it’s a different mentality within the group. There is a lot of confidence, so it’s a tough stretch for us right now, I mean second half of the season, you’re playing a lot of teams within your own conference and it’s going to be tight. There is so much parity within the league, I think what we didn’t do in the first half of the season we have to do much better the second half on the road, pick up points and win at home. This was a good start we have to regroup now. We have a tough away game against Philadelphia next week, so it doesn’t get any easier.”
On the impact of Mike Magee
“He’s got a lot of quality and he’s a smart player, but he does a lot of little things also besides score that help the team out. He’s been fantastic for us, so has [Bakary Soumaré]. I just think as a team we’re in a different place right now and we have a lot to play for. Both of those additions have been big, but I think everyone else has stepped up and I think we have everyone healthy right now and I think that is a positive thing for the team.”
Update on the injury to Alex
“He got a knock, it happened in the game on the ankle, he came out. He was having a good game in the middle, but listen it’s all about the team and things like that happen and guys have to be able to get in the game and help and that’s what a team is for. You have to rely on everyone and the guys that came in Danny [Paladini] and Logan [Pause] came in and I felt left it all on the field, and that’s what you want and ask for.”
Paolo Tornaghi, Chicago Fire Goalkeeper
Thoughts on the match
“It’s good for us coming here. I think the environment here is very difficult to play [in], so we are happy.  All the statistics say that [Houston] is tough and we did our best and we are going home with a point.”
Game plan coming into the match
“Well we knew that this team is very strong in statistics and putting [the ball in] the box and try to win the first, the second, the third ball. I think to challenge, to fight, and it’s what we tried to do and I think we did well, so that’s why we had the goal and a good game.”
Importance of this match in the standings
“It’s a crucial moment of the season. We have to come back from another positive position in the standings, so we have to keep going and maybe in one month, be in the right spot that we have to be in the playoffs.”
Mike Magee, Chicago Fire Forward
Thoughts on the match
“It’s huge, especially playing in Houston, which is close to impossible to get any points in and in the fashion that we did it, I thought was pretty good. We obviously give up a goal again, but to fight back and even get a chance or two to get the win, that is a great point.”
Getting the equalizer so quickly
“It is always important to get the equalizer. It is good to get it quick because they’re a team that tends to, you know, once they get one, they start pounding on you. They’re not a team that scores one and sits back, so it had the potential to be a very long end of the game, so to get the one back quick is massive.”
Importance of the result going forward
“It’s just we’re hard to beat. No matter what happens it’s a big step for us. We have been kind of looking for a result like this. We have beaten some teams that aren’t in the playoff hunt and we lost to Kansas City, we barely tie Portland, so to come into Houston and get a point like this is definitely a statement.”
-       With the win the Fire move to 4-7-6 all-time in regular season play against the Dynamo, including a 2-4-3 record in matches played on the road.
-       Mike Magee’s equalizing goal in the 63rd minute was his 13th goal of the season. Magee now sits tied with Camilo Sanvezzo atop the tightly-contested MLS Golden Boot race.
-       Magee will now head to Kansas City to participate in the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star game where the best of MLS will take on Serie A side AS Roma at Sporting Park on Wednesday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2/UniMas).
-       With the draw the Fire sit in seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, just five points behind the New England Revolution who currently sit in fifth.
-       Alex departed the match in the 41st minute with a right ankle injury.
Chicago Fire 1 – 1 Houston Dynamo
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Alex (Daniel Paladini 41’), Joel Lindpere (Quincy Amarikwa 65’); Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe (Logan Pause 81’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Maicon Santos, Hunter Jumper, Michael Videira
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Corey Ashe, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell ©, Kofi Sarkodie; Andrew Driver (Brad Davis 15’), Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark (Warren Creavalle 69’), Oscar Boniek Garcia; Giles Barnes, Cam Weaver (Jason Johnson 79’)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Alex Dixon, Mike Chabala, Eric Brunner
Scoring Summary
HOU – Cam Weaver (Brad Davis) 61’
CHI – Mike Magee (Patrick Nyarko) 63’
Misconduct Summary
CHI – Joel Lindpere (caution) 27’
HOU – Giles Barnes (caution) 36’
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistants: Corey Parker, Brian Dunn
Fourth Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Attendance: 22,039