Friday, Sept. 3, 2010
By Justin O'Neil
The Fire will host the Western Conference leading Galaxy at 3:00 PM on Saturday at Toyota Park at on Comcast SportsNet. The Fire find themselves five points short of the last playoff spot, currently held by the San Jose Earthquake. Chicago has played fewer games than anyone else in the MLS with eleven regular season games remaining.
Guns of August. The arrivals of designated players Freddie Ljungberg and Nery Castillo seemed to spark the Fire, as they earned seven points from three games to begin August. Ljungbergs debut resulted in a big 3-2 win on the road over the league-leading Galaxy, and the team earned a point in a 0-0 draw against the playoff bound New York Red Bulls. An 85th minute goal from Calen Carr gave them a dramatic 2-1 come from behind win over fellow playoff contender New England Revolution 2-1. Since then, the team has suffered a pair of heartbreaking road losses, with last minute goals giving the Houston Dynamo a 4-3 win and the Seattle Sounders a 2-1 victory.
Consistently inconsistent. With a new coach and shuffling roster, it shouldnt surprise many people that the team struggled at the beginning of the season. The month of August was a dramatic improvement for the team, as they easily could have gone undefeated if not for the late concessions in Houston and Seattle. The team was embarrassed on June 29th by being eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup by non-MLS side Charleston Battery, and went 1-4 in July, winning only a meaningless final group match 1-0 over Pumas UNAM en route to being eliminated from the SuperLiga.
A week away. Fire fans will miss David Beckham at Toyota Park for the second straight year. The Los Angeles 35-year-old midfielder has not played this season after tearing his Achilles tendon while on load with Italian club AC Milan earlier this year. The former England captain announced he plans to return for the Galaxys September 11th match against the Columbus Crew. Beckham missed last years match in Bridgeview due to a red card suspension.