The Chicago Fire, carrying five straight draws into this afternoon’s came at Toyota Park, welcome the New England Revolution with the hope of breaking into the win column, the team yet to taste victory under new head coach Frank Yallop. The Revs, however, will be looking to put back-to-back wins together for the first time this season, with coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Under Yallop, a two-time MLS Cup-winner with San Jose, Chicago has only lost once – a 3-2, opening day defeat at Chivas USA. Since then the Fire have gone undefeated, though periodic problems in defense have kept the team from breaking into the win column. With Quincy Amarikwa (pictured), a frequent substitute last season, and rookie Harry Shipp adding to the team’s potential going forward, Chicago has scored nine times in six games. Thanks to 10 goals allowed, however, the Fire find themselves ninth in the Eastern Conference.
New England has had troubles of its own — namely, scoring goals — but after last week’s 2-0 win over visiting Houston, Jay Heaps’ team has seven points through six games, only three points behind conference-leading Columbus. With attackers Teal Bunbury, Diego Fagundez, and Saer Sene sitting on combined for zero goals this season, the team has an obvious place where it can improve, but with 2013 Defensive Player of the Year José Gonçalves out with a quadriceps injury, defense may also prove a concern.
This may be Chicago’s best chance at victory since New York visited Bridgeview four weeks ago, and it starts at the top of the hour.
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Lovel Palmer, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Bakary Soumaré, Greg Cochrane; Patrik Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz, Aelx, Harry Shipp; Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa
Subs: Kyle Reynish, Patrick Ianni, Chris Ritter, Matt Watson, Victor Pineda, Benji Joya, Juan Luis Anangonó
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Darius Barnes, Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston; Andy Dorman; Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Daigo Kobayashi, Diego Fagundez; Teal Bunbury
Subs: Brad Knighton, Charlie Davies, Chris Tierney, Stephen McCarthy, Jerry Bengston, Scott Caldwell, Steve Neumann