Chicago Fire blow chance to get back into Conference Race

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The Chicago Fire have had a rather disappointing season so far. This 2010 team doesn’t look like they’ll reach the Conference Finals like their 2009 counterparts did. The Fire blew a great chance to make up some ground Saturday night as their 2-0-3 unbeaten streak ended by a Jason Garey header in the final moments of the first half, capping a frantic four-minute interval that saw all three goals scored in Columbus’ 2-1 victory over the Fire at Crew Stadium.

The Fire (4-4-5, 17 points) lost a step on the Eastern Conference leading Crew (8-2-3, 27 points), who increased their lead over the fourth place Fire to 10 points. It was the Fire’s first regular season loss to the Crew in Columbus since July 3, 2004, previously going 4-0-4.

After a back-and-forth first half, the opening interval finished with a flurry. Adam Moffat put the Crew on the board in the 43rd minute when he poked the ball away from Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, who had come off his line to snare a weighted pass into the Fire’s area. Moffat collected the fumbled ball and boomed his shot into the back of the empty net to give the Crew the lead.

Just a minute later, Baggio Husidic sent a looping cross towards Patrick Nyarko at the back post. Crew defender Frankie Hejduk, playing in his first match since May 20, attempted to head the ball out of danger, but instead, placed his header past Crew ‘keeper William Hesmer for an own goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the 44th minute.

As the first half came to a close, Guillermo Barros Schelotto played a sly give-and-go to Eddie Gaven who strode into the Fire’s offensive third, the 23-year-old, eight-year veteran’s cross found Garey, who was able to sneak between two Fire defenders and place his header inside the right post.

With four days to prepare, the Fire face another quick turnaround, when they host reigning MLS Cup Champions Real Salt Lake on “World Cup Night” presented by Best Buy at TOYOTA PARK on Thursday, July 8 at 8:30 PM CT (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes). The Fire will look to avenge their loss to RSL in last season’s Eastern Conference final. For tickets and more information on how to purchase ticket packages, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473) or head to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.

NOTES

·         CJ Brown appeared in his 34th regular season match against the Crew. Over the course of his 13-year career, Brown has played a total of 3,050 minutes against the Crew.

·         The Fire outshot the Crew 16 to 11.

·         On the road the Fire are 2-3-2 this season.

·         Over 150 members of Section 8 Chicago made the trip to Crew Stadium.

·         Brian McBride faced the club that drafted him number one overall in the inaugural MLS Draft in 1996. McBride spent seven seasons in Columbus.

Chicago Fire 1 : 2 Columbus Crew

Chicago Fire Match # 13 MLS Game # 104

July 3, 2010 – Crew Stadium – Columbus, OH

Chicago Fire: Andrew Dykstra; Dasan Robinson (Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 84’), CJ Brown, Wilman Conde, Krzysztof Krol; Logan Pause, Marco Pappa, Baggio Husidic, Mike Banner, Patrick Nyarko; Brian McBride (c) (Stefan Dimitrov, 86’)

Substitutes Not Used: Sean Johnson, Deris Umanzor, Corben Bone, Steven Kinney, Peter Lowry

Columbus Crew: William Hesmer; Frankie Hejduk (c) (Danny O’Rourke, 70’), Chad Marshall, Andy Iro, Gino Padula; Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll, Adam Moffat, Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Steven Lenhart, 90’); Jason Garey (Emilio Renteria, 67’)

Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenenbaum, Eric Brunner, Shaun Francis, Emmanuel Ekpo,

Scoring Summary:

CLB – Adam Moffat (unassisted) 43’

CHI – Own Goal (Frankie Hejduk) 44’

CLB – Jason Garey (Eddie Gaven) 47+’

Discipline Summary:

CHI – Dasan Robinson (caution) 45’

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