5 THINGS: Shipp returns? Red Bull suspensions and an impressive streak at Toyota Park

Make or Break Stretch?

Like it or not, with the Fire sitting 3-5-13, another three game in seven-day stretch this week could be make or break for the season.

The Fire welcome conference opponents New York today, fly to Cascadia for an all-important U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Seattle Wednesday and then cut back across the continent for a visit to Montreal on Saturday afternoon.

A loss today would likely be devastating for the team’s playoff hopes while a win would pull the side back to within two points of fourth or fifth spot in the East and set the team up well heading into Seattle and Conference bottom dwellers Montreal on Saturday.

No doubt Frank Yallop will have to rotate some players to make it through this stretch and travel miles will also be a factor. By the time the side returns to Chicago next Sunday they’ll have flown 5,829 miles in a week.

Red Bull Home Streak

The good news today is that Red Bull have been awful at Toyota Park basically since forever. New York is 0-7-4 all-time in Bridgeview, though they did earn a 1-1 draw in their last meeting here back on March 23.

If there were ever a circumstance you’d want for a match important as this, it might be this one.

Red Bull Suspensions

…or it might be that New York will be without starting center back Jamison Olave who is serving the second of a two-game suspension for improper behavior back on July 30 vs. Real Salt Lake.

Second-year Red Bull defender Matt Miazga, who has at times played next to Olave in central defense this season is also suspended after picking up a red card last week vs. New England.

Harry Shipp back in the XI?

After logging a ton of minutes over the past month, Fire Homegrown and Rookie of the Year front runner Harry Shipp was brought off the bench the last few games in order to heal some tired legs.

Asked this week if Shipp would return, head coach Frank Yallop simply said, “Harry’s had his little break now. I expect him to be ready to go on Sunday.”

Chicago Fire Weekly Podcast

From another draw to Columbus to transfer talk, tonight’s game and an all-important U.S. Open Cup semifinal on the horizon, myself, Fred Huebner and Kevin Egan broke down the last week in Fire land on Saturdays episode of Chicago Fire Weekly.  

Have a listen on your way to Toyota Park tonight.