Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011
Posted: 2:11 p.m.
Both Chivas USA and the Chicago Fire are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
A win for either club, however, could drastically help its postseason chances.
Hoping to regroup from a disappointing loss, Chicago looks to extend its seven-game unbeaten streak in this series while Chivas tries to avoid a season-worst fourth consecutive defeat Saturday at Toyota Park.
The Fire (4-8-15), who recorded 2-0 victories over Toronto FC and Colorado to close last month, saw their run come to an end with last Saturdays 2-0 loss at San Jose - their first defeat in five games.
With 27 points, Chicago is one of seven teams within striking distance of the fourth and final wild-card spot.
While getting defender Gonzalo Segares back after serving a one-game suspension against the Earthquakes (yellow card accumulation) will surely help the Fire, theyll be without fullback Dan Gargan, who was suspended for this match through caution accumulation.
I think Gonzalo is obviously a proven left back in this league, so to take a guy out of the lineup thats played 20 games for us, that hurts, Gargan told the teams official website. Anytime you change two positions in your back line, its going to take some adjusting.
In what interim coach Frank Klopas considered a tune up for Chivas, Chicago lost 1-0 to Mexican side CD Guadalajara in a friendly Wednesday.
It was a good match, one that the fans enjoyed, Klopas said. For us, we wanted to continue to build as a team, be sharp and I felt we did that. Second, we walked away with no injuries.
Games like this will get us even sharper and more ready for the one on Saturday. Never pleased with the outcome of the game, we never like to lose, but I was pleased with the performance of a lot of our guys.
Chivas (7-11-10), meanwhile, also remains in the postseason hunt, but it hasnt looked anything like a playoff contender of late. After suffering back-to-back 1-0 defeats, coach Robin Frasers club fell 3-0 to United last Saturday.
One approach is to close the door on it and say it was a bad day and move on, but Im a little too practical for that. A lot of it, we just have to look at ourselves and look at what mistakes weve made and be able to commit to making the same kind of mistakes, Fraser said.
At the end of the day, if you give team goals, you are making it really difficult for yourself and I thought the goals we gave away today were incredibly soft.
Regrouping against the Fire could prove difficult given Chivas lack of recent success in this series. Since posting a 2-0 victory June 19, 2008, Chivas has gone 0-5-2 against Chicago.
The teams reached a 1-all draw during the last meeting, July 2 at the Home Depot Center.