Chivas, Fire Look to Continue Winning Ways
Chicago Fire (2-2-1) vs. Chivas USA (2-3-0) at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.
All-time record: Chicago leads the series 5-4-1
What’s at stake?
Both teams are looking to extend winning streaks. The Fire, coming off
of last week’s 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, are looking for their
third straight win. Chivas USA won their second game of the season on
Saturday, a 3-2 home victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, and will
hope to extend their current winning streak to two games.
Chicago defeated Chivas 1-0 last October on a rainy night at Toyota
Park, clinching the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with
the win. The only goal of the match came in the 67th minute when
Cuauhtemoc Blanco sent in a corner kick that Chivas forward Eduardo Lillingston
headed into his own net. Chivas USA struggled with offense all night,
registering only five shots – and two on net – in the match.
Heroes and villains
Sacha Kljestan vs. Baggio Husidic — The
midfielders will have a lot of say in the outcome of Saturday night’s
match. The Fire’s Husidic will be given the tough task of trying to
wrestle control of the midfield away from Chivas captain Kljestan—who
scored his first goal of the season last week. Whoever plays better
should give their team control of the midfield—and the possession that
goes with it.
Patrick Nyarko vs. Jonathan Bornstein — This
will be an absolutely critical matchup. Nyarko has been key to the
Fire’s success in the attacking third, consistently beating left backs
down the wing to send in crosses to Chicago’s forwards and midfielders.
Bornstein will be tasked with slowing Nyarko down. Should he stop the
Fire’s Ghanaian winger, Chivas will have a much easier time with
Chicago’s attack, which has scored four goals in the last two weeks.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm …"
Chivas haven’t scored at Toyota Park in their last three matches in
Bridgeview. Chivas’ goalless streak dates back to June 9, 2007, when
they defeated the Fire 1-0 at Toyota Park.
He said it
“I think were used to playing with each other now. I think we can
continue to build like we have and continue to get results.”—Fire
midfielder Peter Lowry said of the Fire’s new-look midfield.