Chicago Fire at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

CHI_primary_COL DCU_Primary_COL

By AVI CREDITOR

A pair of winless teams with proud histories do battle in the nation's capital, as D.C. United (0-3-0) welcomes the Chicago Fire (0-2-1) to RFK Stadium (7:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick).

United's most recent setback came at the hands of the expansion Philadelphia Union last weekend, while the Fire surrendered a late goal to San Jose's Ike Opara in a 2-1 home loss. 

The matchup to watch in this one is the Fire's strikers against United's centerbacks. D.C. will be without its starting tandem in the back, as Dejan Jakovic (red card suspension) and Juan Manuel Pena (hamstring injury) will miss tonight's contest. Collins John, Patrick Nyarko and Brian McBride will look to take advantage.

I'll be providing live commentary from RFK Stadium, so feel free to follow along and share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Enjoy the game (commentary after the jump).

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POSTGAME – That's all for me from RFK. Stay tuned to SBI for more postgame reaction from players and coaches. Goodnight everybody!

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POSTGAME – Chicago gets its first win of the season, as Brian McBride plays hero off the bench. Marco Pappa got the game-winner in the 80th minute, set up by McBride and Patrick Nyarko. McBride tallied the insurance goal with a header, as the Fire improve to 1-2-1. D.C. falls to a tied-for-worst-ever 0-4-0.

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90th Minute – That'll do it! Chicago Fire 2, D.C. United 0. The boo birds are out at RFK tonight.

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90th Minute – Tense moments in front of Dykstra, but D.C. can't get a good shot on goal. Fans imploring Najar to shoot but he couldn't turn and get it going.

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90th Minute – 2-0 Chicago, about a minute to go and the Fire on the offensive.

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90th Minute – Four minutes of stoppage time, but United fans are already headed for the exits. Not a bad 14-minute shift turned in by McBride tonight.

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90th Minute – VERY soft goal. McBride didn't connect with full force, and the ball hit off Perkins' hands and into the net. Symbolic of D.C.'s season so far. Dykstra got the assist, with the ball played to McBride off a long free kick from Chicago's end.

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89th MinuteGOAL CHICAGO! It's McBride with the header! Nail in the coffin.

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87th Minute – Can D.C. find the equalizer? A loss would match the worst start in franchise history.

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86th Minute – And a yellow card for Morsink for a retaliatory foul on McBride stemming from a clash a few plays ago.

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84th Minute – Mike Banner is on for Nyarko, who did well in setting up the Fire's goal. Husidic has a shot deflected through the side netting. Corner for the Fire.

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83rd Minute – Nyarko's getting tended to again as he limps to the sideline. D.C. fans not buying it.

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83rd Minute – James header goes high! Off a United corner.

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80th Minute – Nyarko kept the ball alive on the back line and fed McBride near the top of the box.  McBride gracefully back-heel-tapped it to Pappa who unleashed a high shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Boyzzz Khumalo is on for Devon McTavish, as D.C. seeks an equalizer.

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80th MinuteGOAL CHICAGO! Marco Pappa with the blast from the top of the area!

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79th Minute – And Nyarko's back and on the ball.

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77th Minute – The trainers come on for Nyarko as D.C. plays the ball out of bounds. He collided pretty hard with Rodney Wallace.

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77th Minute – SAVE PERKINS! Immediate impact by McBride, getting a 10-yard low shot on frame, though it wasn't hit with full force.

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76th Minute – McBride coming on for Collins John. Why not pair them together against this makeshift D.C. back line?

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74th Minute – James gets a harsh yellow card 20 yards out on the left edge of the box. Looked like he got all ball on that tackle of Krol.

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73rd Minute – McBride team is nearly upon us, as de los Cobos calls on him to stop warming up. It's about time.

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71st Minute – Another low cross from Pappa that Perkins comes off his line and intercepts. Can't tell if the cheer from the crowd was mocking the cleanliness of the goalkeeping or not. Seriously.

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70th Minute – Conde gets away with an armbar of Cristman outside the area off a throw-in. Ref missed that one. Mapp gets a shot off the other way, but Perkins saves it with ease.

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69th Minute – DANGEROUS CROSS FROM PAPPA goes through the area untouched. That was a close one.

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68th Minute – Allsopp's coming off. A couple of nice moments from the Australian striker tonight, especially in the second half.

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67th Minute – Chicago takes over possession for the first time in what seems like a while. Krol's ball into the area easily handled by Perkins. Adam Cristman's ready to come in for D.C.

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66th Minute – United fans getting louder as D.C. carries the momentum. Can the home team capitalize?

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64th Minute – SAVE DYKSTRA!! A SCREAMER of a free kick from Quaranta, but a diving save by Dykstra to parry it away. Allsopp's rebound was deflected away. Great chance D.C.

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63rd Minute – Allsopp draws a foul about 25 yards out. Nice body position by the Aussie. Will this be the icebreaker?

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61th Minute – 18,407 announced attendance. They've been treated to a clinic on how not to finish. Didn't think this would be as fruitless as it's turned out to be.

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60th Minute – Allsopp draws a foul just inside midfield. He's more active tonight than he was against Philadelphia, but Dave Kasper brought him in to score, and he's yet to get a return on that. 

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57th Minute – Nothing doing, but D.C. flubs the counterattack. Yup, these are winless teams.

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57th Minute – Back-to-back corners for Chicago as the Fire look for the go-ahead strike.

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55th Minute – D.C. controlling the run of play, but can't get it going in the final third. Sorry if I sound like I'm repeating myself.

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54th Minute – Pontius has a hamstring strain according to the D.C. United media relations department. That's what it looked like. Severity unknown.

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53rd Minute – Awful attempt from distance by Pappa. He's been pretty quiet tonight, and that wasn't the right way to get noticed. How much longer until de los Cobos scraps the target-forward-only look?

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52nd Minute – Quaranta's free kick blasts into the wall, deflects to Castillo at the edge of the area, but he rolls an easy one to Dykstra. Gotta do better than that.

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51st Minute – Free kick DC just outside the area as Husidic gets a hand on the ball. Great chance for United.

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50th Minute – SAVE DYKSTRA! Najar's header off the Quaranta corner easily handled by the first-year starter.

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49th Minute – Teams trade possession, D.C. earns a corner.

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46th Minute - We're back. Chicago going right to left, D.C. left to right. No changes to either lineup.

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HALFTIME – Did you know? D.C. United hasn't played a team with a victory yet this season. KC hadn't won by the season opener, obviously. New England in Week 2 hadn't won yet. Philadelphia in Week 3 hadn't either. And both teams are winless coming into tonight. Interesting.

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HALFTIME – Give D.C. credit. United looks confident in the build-up and has done well enough (and had luck on its side) to keep the Fire off the scoreboard. For Chicago, the chances are there, but the finishing isn't. Carlos de los Cobos has a Brian McBride in his deck of cards, and if I were him I'd toss that one on the table.

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HALFTIME – Chicago 0, D.C. 0

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45th Minute – Perkins gets extraordinarily lucky. He came out of the box, whiffed on the ball, but Chicago couldn't get possession to find the empty net. I don't remember Perkins ever being this unsteady.

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45th Minute – Conde's back on as Fire fans exhale.

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44th Minute – Fire down to 10 men for a bit as Conde gets treatment. Corner Chicago.

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42nd Minute – Wilman Conde's down and holding his ankle as the trainers come out. He got tangled with Morsink and went down in a heap, but he's limping to the sideline now.

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41st Minute – Quaranta's shot off a 35-yard free kick doesn't come close. Najar did well to earn the free kick though.

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39th Minute – John with a laser well right of the frame. Nice through ball by Nyarko to set up the shot.

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39th Minute – Pontius limping off for United, as Cristian Castillo comes on. Not a good sign that Pontius needed to come off that soon after the medics came out. Looked like a hamstring pull.

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37th Minute – Husidic with an MMA takedown of McTavish off a Chicago corner. D.C. pushes the other way, but the final pass is no good. Story of the season for United. 

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34th Minute – SAVE PERKINS! Lowry with a volley off a deflection, but right at the D.C. keeper. Great chances for both sides as action picks up. Good offense or bad defense? A little bit of both, but I'll give the edge to the offense here.

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32nd Minute – Two great chances for Chicago! First John rolled one across the goal mouth, and Husidic probably should have done better right in front of the goal. Nyarko's ball in was a tad behind him.

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31st Minute – JAMES COMES CLOSE WITH A HEADER! Off Quaranta's corner, Julius James' header goes wide left. Great chance for United.

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29th Minute – D.C. gets away with a handball in the box. Mapp's cross definitely appeared to strike McTavish's arm.

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27th Minute – Quaranta cross just headed away before Pontius could get his head on it. D.C. is having no problem breaking down Chicago's shape and looks like the better side over the last 10 minutes.

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26th Minute – Allsopp's cross a little too heavy for Quaranta by the far post and it's out for a goal kick. Very nice build up by D.C. though.

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23rd Minute – Not a packed house at RFK by any means, but a vocal crowd as usual. Cold weather+0-3 start=other Sat. night plans.

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21st Minute – Nyarko rifles a shot over the bar after a nice run down main street. Not strong defending in the central part of the field for United.

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19th Minute – D.C. maintaining possession and passing pretty well, but it's all build up and no finish.

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17th Minute – Allsopp's flick on goal is easily handled by Andrew Dykstra, who's from around these parts and went to VCU. Moreno's kind of dropping back into the midfield to counter Chicago's 4-5-1.

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14th Minute – Allsopp touches one across the goal mouth, but he's well offside. D.C.'s offense should do better with Pontius and Quaranta in the midfield and Moreno and Allsopp up top. Key word, should.

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13th Minute – Morsink with a 25-yard shot over the bar after a D.C. corner. Nice thought.

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12th Minute – Lowry's shot from distance goes juuust left of the post. It's been a shooting gallery for Chicago after D.C. owned the first couple minutes.

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11th Minute – Najar, from his own backline, tries to clear it through the center of the box on the ground. Uh. What? Ball was out anyway though for another Chicago corner. Perkins comes up with a loose ball.

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9th Minute – SAVE PERKINS! John caught the keeper off his line and nearly chipped one in from the top of the area. Keeper just got a hand on it to tip it over. Perkins whiffs on the corner. Shaky moments in net for Troy.

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7th Minute – United with a nice build up, but can't register a shot on target. Quaranta already looks way more comfortable tonight on the flank than he has at any time he's spent in the middle.

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5th Minute – First internet outage already. Awesome. D.C. had a corner but didn't do anything with it, Chicago then pushed forward for a bit. Both teams feeling each other out. D.C. players have a little something in their step tonight.

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1st Minute – Moreno taken down on a hard challenge by Krol. Early free kick in the final third for D.C. cleared up to Nyarko, who's offside.

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1st Minute – And away we go. Chicago in the all reds, will be moving left to right to start. D.C. in all blacks, moving right to left. Tonight's referee? Silviu Petrescu.

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PREGAME – Disclaimer: The DCU Press Box internet is a bit fluky. Was out for the first 20 minutes of the New England match a couple weeks ago. In case there's a lull in commentary, you know why. Hopefully we'll coast uninterrupted tonight.

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PREGAME – Prediction? Ives and Travis Clark say 3-1 Chicago. I'll go with 4-1. The player matchups are overwhelmingly in the Fire's favor. Having said that (Curb Your Enthusiasm, anyone?), I think Quaranta will find success on the right.

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PREGAME – After a few days where temperatures reached the high 80s and 90s, its a rather frigid night in Washington, D.C. Feels more like October than it does April. We've got clear skies though, and that's what really matters.

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PREGAME – As for Chicago, McBride on the bench is a surprise, but Carlos de los Cobos appears to have loaded the midfield with Collins John as the lone striker up top. Both teams are trying some new things, but can you blame them? Whatever they've been doing hasn't worked yet.

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PREGAME – Initial thoughts for D.C.'s lineup: The Quaranta-at-central-midfield experiment seems to have come to an end. He'll be out on the right, where he's at his best. The middle of the field is a trouble zone. Curt Onalfo has given the keys to Andy Najar (yes, he's old enough to drive, but not much else), and he'll pair with Morsink to try and control the game. Interesting. As stated above, centerback is going to be an issue, with the two starters out tonight.

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PREGAME – And the benches for both teams:

D.C. – Cristman, Castillo, Khumalo, Barklage, Graye, Adams, Hamid

CHI – McBride, Umanzor, Watson-Siriboe, Bone, Dimitrov, Banner

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PREGAME – Here are tonight's starting lineups:

CHICAGO FIRE

———————-John———————

—Mapp———Pappa———-Nyarko——

————-Husidic—–Lowry————–

—–Krol—Brown—Conde—Robinson—–

——————-Dykstra———————

D.C. UNITED

———–Moreno——-Allsopp———

-Pontius—Najar—Morsink–Quaranta-

-Wallace–Talley—-James–McTavish-

——————Perkins——————

This entry was posted in MLS Draft 2009, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- D.C. United. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Chicago Fire at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

  1. e says:

    anyone have a working stream of the game

  2. Krista says:

    link to atdhe.net

    Keeping my eye out for a better one..

  3. bobiskool says:

    that one doesn’t work, but this does:

    link to justin.tv

  4. kfly says:

    23rd Minute – Not a packed house at RFK by any means, but a vocal crowd as usual. Cold weather+0-3 start=other Sat. night plans.

    Also, the Nationals are playing, and the Capitals are in the playoffs. And the Metro is under maintenance, so it’s hard to get anywhere unless you can fly. Not a bad crowd at all, considering the circumstances! Imagine if the Nats and Caps were away, and the Metro was fully serviceable? I think we’d have probably gotten 20,000 or more.

  5. Sergio of SF says:

    The Fire has threatened Perkins a lot tonight. I’m really liking Chicago’s attack right now. Pappa and Mapp have been all over the place. And Nyako has looked dangerous. John has been holding the ball up well. I think the Fire will score in the second half and come away with a win.

  6. Jason says:

    Is Chicago’s bench always this whiny?

  7. Jason says:

    Nyarko moves pretty good for a dead guy.

  8. Sergio of SF says:

    Goal Pappa! Nice flick from McBride off a Nyako pass.

  9. BooThisMan says:

    We needed this one. Hope Nyarko’s injury is nothing serious.

  10. Sergio of SF says:

    McBride with and excellent header off a Dysktra pass!!!!!! Goal!!!!

  11. chicagofire says:

    Oh my, way to be McBride.

  12. casadelqueso says:

    Ugh. Is it too early to jump on the fire Onalfo bandwagon?

  13. WiscFan says:

    Its never too early. If D.C. was more competitive I’d say yes.

  14. acbc says:

    McBride WC 2010 please

  15. Rekro says:

    Totally agree, this guy is amazing. Hopefully he comes out of international retirement and makes the WC roster.

  16. MiamiAl says:

    DC United should just put a scarecrow in goal, that way we at least every once in a while have a chance at stopping a goal.

  17. Smith says:

    Wow, United is gonna have a hard time selling tickets in St Louis next year if this keeps up.

  18. bryan says:

    funny thing is, the lower bowl was actually sold out. lots of people didnt show and lots more stayed in the parking lot playing flip cup…

  19. bryan says:

    that’s why they wont leave. they already have 18,000+ fans that will come out to see them when they are 0-3, the CAPS are in the playoffs down the road and the Nats are playing across the street. DCU isn’t going anywhere just yet. I’d say in 3 years if there is still ZERO movement on a stadium, then we could see DCU move. I still think Baltimore would get it though. Too big of a market (DC) to completely leave from.

  20. giaco says:

    This commentary completely missed out on all of DC’s bullshleeg thuggery druing the match, and only pointed out Fire fouls. At the outset, can you state whether the writer is a fan of either club or an actual nuetral?

    just sayin’.