Before entering U.S. Open Cup play next week, the Chicago Fire have their sights locked on earning three road points Saturday against the New England Revolution. The Revs currently stand second in the Eastern Conference with 21 points but are winless in six matches dating to early May.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will broadcast the action from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough with Dan Kelly and Kevin Egan live on the call. Fans are invited to catch pre-match coverage on CSN Plus at 6 p.m. CT before flipping over to the primary CSN Chicago network for kickoff at 6:30 p.m. CT. (Channel Finder) Outside of the CSN Chicago broadcast footprint, the match also will be available via the MLS Live online stream.
FIRE ENTER LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP TUESDAY AT TOYOTA PARK
Tickets for the Chicago Fire’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament opener against USL side Louisville City FC on Tuesday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Park are now on sale. Louisville City FC advanced with a 2-0 extra time win over NASL side Indy Eleven on May 27.
Since 1998, the Fire have compiled a 36-12-4 record in Open Cup play, reaching the semifinal round eleven times and the final six times. The Fire previously hoisted the coveted Dewar Trophy four times, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, at the Toyota Park Box Office and by calling 888-MLS-FIRE. Group tickets are available at a discounted price by calling 888-MLS-FIRE.
Fire Season Ticket Holder tickets are available on Account Manager. Tickets to the fourth, fifth and quarterfinal round are available to Fire Season Ticket Holders as part of the U.S. Open Cup Series. For any questions on the Open Cup Series Ticket, please call Season Ticket Services at 708-496-6800.
CHICAGO FIRE at NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
• The Fire own a 21-18-10 all-time advantage in regular season meetings against the Revolution, with a 9-13-3 record in matches played in Foxboro.
• On July 12, 2014, the Fire defeated the Revolution 1-0 on the road for the first Fire win at Gillette Stadium since June 27, 2010.
• Selected by the Revolution in the fourth round (45th overall) in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, Larentowicz made 111 regular season appearances for the Revolution from 2005-09. In his first three seasons with the club, the Revolution reached three consecutive MLS Cup finals.
• The Fire will be without the services of David Accam (Ghana), Joevin Jones (Trinidad and Tobago) and Shaun Maloney (Scotland), who are away on international duty.
• In 13 seasons as a MLS head coach, Frank Yallop has led his teams to a 5-4-2 regular season record in matches played in Foxboro.
• The two sides each have scored 66 regular season goals in the series.
Notes & Quotes:
• After making his 2015 debut following nine months of rehabilitation, Mike Magee continued training this week as he regains match fitness and sharpness. Magee looked confident in and around the penalty area -- curling a left-footed blast from the top of the 18 around goalkeeper Jon Busch Thursday -- but left training early after feeling a slight tweak in his hamstring.
"It's up to him to start getting the confidence back and start playing," said Frank Yallop. "He doesn't lack confidence once he's fit. He knows he's a good player and a good finisher. He's all of the things that you should be. But being out nine or so months is never easy for anybody, especially a player that's dynamic and wants to help the team. He'll be fine once he gets his rhythm. I'm sure it's coming soon but it takes a while."
• Frank Yallop on New England's impressive home unbeaten streak: "You start looking at that, you're going to feel defeated before you arrive. That's football. You've got to make sure that you don't overplay that they're really good at home. We've got to feel we can win the game. They're very good at grinding it out and getting their result but nothing changes for us."
• More from Yallop on Jay Heaps' New England side: "They have a lot of movement, not many static players, so we've got to stay in our good team shape. If we can put a couple of halves together in our away performances, we'll be fine. But we've got to put 90 minutes together. We have to have good shape because they are a good side and they create chances. We've got to be disciplined, be in good shape and defend correctly as a unit, everyone from the forwards to the goalkeeper."
• Harry Shipp on his and the team's form: "It's been tough missing Shaun (Maloney), especially offensively but also the work rate he has defensively from that position is great. I've been lucky to be in the middle a little bit more which is probably where I prefer to be. I'll play wherever, I'll do whatever to hopefully get the team wins so it really doesn't matter where I'm at on the field."
Record: 5-4-6, 21 points
Last five matches: 0-2-3, 3 points
Goals leader: Charlie Davies (5)
Assists leader: Scott Caldwell (4)
Saves leader: Bobby Shuttleworth (33)
10 – Goals scored by Chicago in the just-completed five-game stretch, the club's best five-game total in over a year. The Fire have found the scoring touch after being shut out in three of their first seven games of the season. David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike deserve much of that credit, sparking eight of those goals either by scoring, assisting or earning a penalty.
18 – MLS home games in a row (including playoffs) without a loss for New England. The last time the Revolution were defeated at home was July 26, 2014, in a 2-1 loss to Columbus. But they have come close, drawing their last three and five of their last eight at Gillette Stadium. This match comes 10 days after DC United extended its club-record home unbeaten streak to 20 matches against the Fire, only to see that run come to an end with a loss to Toronto FC Saturday.
5 – Matches to be played by the Revolution in the span of 15 days, starting Saturday. The start of the U.S. Open Cup takes an already dense part of the schedule and makes it even more crowded for New England. Head coach Jay Heaps will have to be smart about how he configures his lineup to keep players fresh -- but his immediate concern will be getting his side back to their winning ways.
Keep An Eye On:
Scott Caldwell. He flies under the radar with names like Charlie Davies, Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo (who is likely to be available following U.S. international team duty this week) leading the attack above him. But the 24-year-old Caldwell is just as vital to the attack as anyone. He will hang back and assist the back four for much of the game, then pick his opportunities to push forward. With New England’s high-pressing 4-2-3-1, an interception or well-timed tackle from Caldwell can quickly lead to a lethal counter-attack. He has a high work rate, and Chicago needs to be cognizant of that, because he has the ability to collect sloppy turnovers and send them the other way in the blink of an eye.
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