Galaxy down Fire without Beckham, Donovan


Galaxy down Fire without Beckham, Donovan

Sunday, April 17, 2011Posted: 5:10 p.m. Updated: 6:38 p.m.

By Dieter Kurtenbach

No David Beckham? No Landon Donovan? That was no problem for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Goals from Chad Barrett and Omar Gonzales lifted the injury-riddled Galaxy to a 2-1 win over the snakebitten Chicago Fire Sunday at Toyota Park, handing the Fire their third consecutive loss.

The Fire had two first-half chances to take advantage of the Galaxys second-string lineup, but breakaway opportunities from Gaston Puerari and Gonzalo Segares were both shot wide of the goal.

Its soccer this is football, Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos said afterward. We are living a similar situation in different games. We are creating good options to score, and we didnt...this is soccer.

With the Galaxy locking down on the sidelines, the Fire attempted to play longball up the middle of the pitch. Relentless energy from Puerari and striking partner Diego Chaves resulted in a multitude of won balls, but lack of attacking support prevented other chances from developing.

The frustration from Fire winger Marco Pappa, who seemed to be taking on two or three Galaxy defenders at all times, was taken out on those same LA markers. Pappa was charged with two fouls in the game, all in the Fire attacking zone, and as the game progressed, the Fire midfielders body language became more and more anguished.

The missed opportunities came back to burn Chicago. In the 42nd minute, former Fire striker Chad Barrett found himself unmarked six yards from goal. The Fire defense was running an offside trap, moving forward on the play, but seemingly no one told Jalil Anibaba. The rookie defender maintained his position, allowing an unmarked Barrett to stay onside as a pass from Miguel Lopez found him.

Catching up with Chad Barrett

Barrett, who scored 17 goals in his three-year Fire career, had no problem finishing this go around. The score was Barretts first of the season and first with the Galaxy.

It felt real good, Barrett said. Not so much against one of my old clubs, it just felt good to score for my team, to help them get the win, and you know, get my first goal for the Galaxy.

Despite strong defensive play from the Galaxy, the Fire continued to create quick-strike opportunities. In the 65th minute, a corner kick from Los Angeles required a bicycle-kick clear from Segares. The clear sprung Chaves on the counter attack, but a collapsing Galaxy defense forced an early shot that went wide.

Seconds after Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos used his final substitution of the game, running a forward switch by replacing Puerari with Orr Barouch, Fire defender Cory Gibbs had to be helped off the field with a thigh injury. The Galaxy forced a corner kick on the next possession. The Fire, a man down, were unable to mark up a full Galaxy attack, and Gonzales, the six-foot-four defender, put home clean header to take advantage. The goal was the first of the season for Gonzalez, the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year.

Gibbs did not return to the game and his injury will be re-evaluated Monday.

Even with Gibbs out, the Fire committed more players to the attack, looking to make a game of it late, but a 10-man squad had a hard time breaking the Galaxy defense. Pappa, who had a late, hope-giving goal Thursday night in Portland, had two shot attempts in the final 10 minutes, both sailing wide of goal and both earning dramatic reactions from the Guatemalan playmaker.

But life was restored to the Fire in the 89th minute, when Dominic Oduro freed himself form his marker and blasted a shot from a tight angle past Galaxy goaltender Donovan Ricketts.

A minute later, a corner kick pulled Fire goaltender Jon Conway out of his net and into the Galaxy box. The tactic did not pay off, as the Galaxy cleared, but were unable to muster a shot on the vacant Fire net.

The Fire had chances for two more corner kicks in stoppage time, and despite Conway playing up on each stoppage, neither play found the equalizing goal.

Still, de los Cobos was enthused by his teams resolve after going down a man.

I like the personality of the team to try to return to the game, de los Cobos said. The team dont surrender. The players fight, and even with a less player, the team created some options. We were very close to a tie...I dont have nothing to complain to my players, because they are putting 100 percent on the field. I have the responsibility, all the responsibility of the team, of what is happening on the field.

Even with ten players, we take out the savage side of us, Chaves said. We just wanted so bad to tie the game...That pressure, even with ten men was I know that they felt it.

Conway, who started his first game of the year, spelling Sean Johnson, made one save in the game. After the game, de los Cobos said that he will continue to start Conway. Johnson surrendered four goals against Portland in the Fires 4-2 loss on Thursday.

Sean is not living a good moment, de los Cobos said. Before the start of the season, we think of this possible situation... for that reason we brought in Jon Conway. Conway is still playing. I dont know how long, how many games more... but for now, Jonny looks to play in the next game.

The Fires next chance to get of the schnide will be Saturday night, when they host the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

Another night and another awful showing by the Blackhawks team defense, and this time, Robin Lehner let the team hear about it. Pat Boyle, Adam Burish and Scott King discuss the Blackhawks' ugly loss to the Coyotes and whether there should be some more line mixing happening soon. Plus, head athletic trainer Mike Gapski took part in his 2500th game with the Blackhawks and he sat down with Pat Foley 1-on-1 to re-live his 33 years with the organization.

1:13 - The odd-man rushes are piling up against this defense

5:54 - Is the power play getting going kinda maybe a little bit?

7:43 - Should Jeremy Colliton mix up the lines once again?

9:20 - The Kirby Dach playing-time dilemma

13:45 - Celebrating Mike Gapski's 2500 games with the Blackhawks

17:00 - Pat Foley's 1-on-1 interview with Mike Gapski

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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Chris Simms says Bears are a dangerous team entering Week 15

Chris Simms says Bears are a dangerous team entering Week 15

The Bears have completely flipped the narrative of their 2019 season over the last three weeks, thanks in large part to Matt Nagy's offense finally resembling the 202-level that was promised last summer.

It may have taken quarterback Mitch Trubisky a little longer than expected to arrive this year, but if his last two games are an indication of his development in his second season under Nagy's tutelage, the Bears have a bonafide quarterback. And it's been a while since that could be said.

"Mitchell Trubisky is hot, there's no doubt about it," NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms said Thursday. "He seems so much more comfortable. Decisive. He's accurate with the football. Running around at the proper time. I don't think it was all Mitchell Trubisky's fault with the struggles of the offense, either."

Those struggles spanned the first half of 2019 when Chicago seemed incapable of sustaining drives or scoring points. It began with Week 1's three-point output against the Packers and continued through Thanksgiving Day when Trubisky finally got his mojo back, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions.

With Trubisky clicking, and the running game receiving a jolt from rookie David Montgomery's productive back-to-back weeks (in which he's averaged more than four yards per carry in successive games for the first time all year), the Bears appear capable of beating just about anyone. 

They'll need to. If Chicago wants to keep their weak playoff pulse going, they have to win out. And that includes games against the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings. 

The odds seem stacked against them, and it's their own fault. It took way too long to get the offense going, but it's better late than never. 

According to Simms, the Bears are that team no one wants to play.

"They're a dangerous team right now. They really are."

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