5 THINGS: Fire ready for a New England side without defensive mainstay Goncalves

It’s a special day at Toyota Park with a Fire / Red Stars doubleheader on tap this afternoon. Here are five things you should know about the Fire game vs. New England (3pm CT on NBC Sports Network):

Five draws…Let’s not *tie* that record

Five draws in a row may have fans feeling a little bit stuck in neutral about this team and there’s no doubt that the Fire feel like they should have more points after the last two ties against Philadelphia and Montreal.

With better play the past two matches, the Fire will hope to get the first win of 2014 today and also avoid tying an MLS record of six consecutive ties set by the Colorado Rapids back in 2011. Either way, the good omen there is that the Rapids did win their next game after the streak, a 1-0 victory over Portland on June 11 of that year.

New England Injury Report

The Fire should be boosted in their search for their first win today as mainstay New England centerback and 2013 MLS Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves will be out of action after picking up a right quad strain in the team’s 2-0 win over Houston last week.

A Fire killer throughout his rookie season last year, Kelyn Rowe is also listed as questionable with a hamstring strain and hasn’t appeared for the Revs since a 0-0 draw with Vancouver back on March 22.

Yallop Talks Quincy Amarikwa’s rise

Quincy Amarikwa has gone from strength to the strength for the Fire this season, leading the team with three goals through six games. A lot has been written this season about his run of form and him becoming a starter but Fire head coach Frank Yallop hasn’t seemed surprised by Amarikwa’s contributions this season:

“From the day I got here, Quincy’s shown he’s wanted to come in and play. He had a great preseason, if I picked the team on preseason he would have been starting from the start. Having said all that I like to think I give people chances from last year that we had a good run and different things and Juan Luis [Anangono] was part of that.

“Since Quincy’s chance in the Chivas game, he’s not looked back. I think his general play has been excellent and I really think he’s maturing into a forward that can combine with the rest of the team – his work rate off the ball is good and he can finish. I think the way he started, the question now is, ‘how far he can get with us?’”

Let Chicago Fire Weekly be your pre-game

Miss this morning’s episode of Chicago Fire Weekly? Myself, Fred Huebner and Kevin Egan spoke to Fire assistant Clint Mathis to talk about the team’s past two performances and preview today’s match. Download the podcast or stream it from the ESPN App on your way to the game!

$2 Hot Dog Day at Toyota Park

One last thing! It’s $2 hot dog day at Toyota Park thanks to our friends at Red Hot Chicago. Limit 5 per person at concession stands around the stadium and please keep the sanctity of the Chicago hot dog pure by not using catsup.