Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - A pair of heated Eastern Conference rivals
will clash on Saturday as the Chicago Fire host D.C. United at Toyota Park.
Saturday's tilt is crucial as both clubs need three points as they try to climb
the Eastern Conference table and push for a playoff spot.
Chicago enters the match sitting in eighth place in the conference and coming
off consecutive losses, the last a 3-1 setback to Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The Fire held their own against the surging Whitecaps on the road for the
opening 45 minutes, but finally conceded an opening goal in the 66th minute as
Camilo brought down a punt from goalkeeper Brad Knighton and turned defender
Shaun Francis inside out in the area before firing past Fire goalkeeper Paolo
Camilo claimed a second five minutes later. After Tornaghi stopped him one-on-
one, Camilo gathered the rebound and cut back to fire home his league-leading
Whitecaps FC made it 3-0 in the in the 84th minute when rookie Kekuta Manneh
got the better of Jalil Anibaba one-on-one and blasted underneath Tornaghi from
the left side of the area.
Patrick Nyarko added a consolation goal for the Fire in the 94th minute,
heading home a Joel Lindpere cross from the left side of the box, but it was
too little, too late as the Whitecaps claimed all three points.
"It's important how you respond from situations like this. We have a tough
stretch coming up right now, we have away games and we need to find a way to
get results and points," said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "It's a crucial
month and a half with a lot of important games coming up so we need to get
points or we're going to fall behind."
D.C. United, meanwhile, comes into Saturday's game sitting in 10th place in the
East having been shut out in each of their last three league matches, most
recently a scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids on July 7.
United have scored two goals in their last eight games, both on penalty kicks.
Their last goal from open play came May 19.
"Defensively, it was a game where we hung in. Beggars can't be choosers right
now and we'll take the point," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "There are
very few times in my playing career or coaching career where I've come here and
gotten a result. It's not an easy place to play so we'll take a positive out of
"I wish we were a little more connected at times. It's been a long stretch for
us. There's been a lot of games and some of the guys are on fumes. They had
some good opportunities and we just hung in there," said Olsen. "We had
definitely the best chance in the game with Carlos [Ruiz] and he didn't take
his chance, but I thought he put in a good shift. The subs came in and helped
out there in the end."
In 44 all-time meetings, United holds a 17-16-11 margin, but Chicago took the
first match between the sides this season by a 2-0 count at Toyota Park on June
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