By Michael Lewis
TOO HOT TO HANDLE
Fire wilt in heat, fall to NY 1-0
HARRISON, N.J. ---The Chicago Fire wilted in the 90 plus degree heat at Red Bull Arena Wedenssday afternoon, falling to the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on a goal by Thierry Henry.
|Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson punches a ball away as the Red Bulls Markus Holgersson charges in.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson may have been the most active of the Fire's players, making three big saves in the game, while Chicago did not manage to force a single save on New York's new goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
The loss was the second in the last three games for the Fire, who fall to 9-7-4, while New York is 10-5-5.
Apparently only minutes away from being pulled for Kenny Cooper, Henry broke a scoreless tie in the 71st minute. Henry scored his first goal since April 28 to salvage what was a rather uneventful encounter that was played in 100-degree temperature at Red Bull Arena.
The game kicked off at 1 p.m. as the Red Bulls tried an experiment with day campers in attendance.
As it turned out, two Frenchmen combined on the lone goal. Sebastien Le Toux, obtained in a trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday, sent a right-wing cross to Henry on the left side. The former French international got between defenders Dan Gargan and Jalil Anibaba and fired a left-footed, 12-yard shot that bounded off the first post and into the net.
The game started slowly as players from each team passed cautiously and tried not to make any unnecessary runs.
After about 20 minutes, the Red Bulls started to assert themselves. Instead of passing only square balls, they tried moving the ball forward.
Two of their best opportunities came from Le Toux, who sent a bicycle kick inside the penalty area over the crossbar in the 40th minute and forced Johnson to make a save on his blast three minutes later.
Mehdi Ballouchy seemed to use most of his energy early on, forcing Johnson to make a save on his 16-yard attempt in the 21st minute and firing a 15-yard effort wide right in the 33rd minute.
The Fire did not do too much in the opening 45 minutes as defender Dan Gargan headed a ball wide right in the 13th minute. Gargan also missed out on tying the game in the 88th minute, taking a beautiful cross from Gonzalo Segares, but sending his diving header wide.
The closest the Fire came was in the 88th minute, when Orr Barouch had a chance from the edge of the six yard box, but his shot was cleared off the line by Brandon Barklage.