Volkswagen Keys to the Match: Chicago Fire
Despite being over two-thirds done with their respectiveregular seasons, conference rivals Chicago and D.C. have yet to meet in2012. Here, we note a few keys forWednesday’s showdown between the two playoff hopefuls.
DEFENDING SET PIECES
An area which had been a strength of D.C.’s earlier thisseason has become troublesome of late, as each of the club’s last two matcheshave seen United concede from a set piece. The Fire on the other hand have scored at least once fromdead balls in each of their last three matches – all wins. Particularly dangerous in the air areChicago’s defenders, as both Austin Berry and Arne Friedrich have scored thismonth.
Chicago has a ton of players to worry about: Dominic Oduro, ChrisRolfe, Sherjill MacDonald, Marco Pappa, Alvaro Fernandez, but one man who canreally create issues is left back Gonzalo Segares. The 29-year-old loves to jump into the attack, and recordedan assist on MacDonald’s game-winning goal this past weekend. Limiting Segares’impact will likely come down to Chris Korb and Nick DeLeon on D.C.’s rightflank.
The Fire have been stingy in defense of late, not allowingmultiple goals since a 2-0 loss to the Galaxy on July 8. However, if there has been a slightchink in Chicago’s defensive armor, it’s been in dealing with the longball. Recent goals from San Jose,Philadelphia and New England all began with service from well beyond the Firebox.
D.C. United vs Chicago Fire kicks off at 7:30 PM this Wednesday at RFK Stadium - PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE