October 30, 2012
BACK IN THE SHOW
Fire to return to MLS postseason on Wednesday night
After a three-year absence, the Chicago Fire are returning to the MLS postseason. They will host the Houston Dynamo Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round match.
|Patrick Nyarko was one of three Fire goalscorers in a 3-1 win over the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park on September 2.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
We are excited. It has been a strong season for us,” said Fire coach Frank Klopas. “Our goal from the onset of the season was to be in the playoffs. I give my players a lot of credit because I felt that throughout the season we have been a very consistent team. Right know we are focused and excited for our match on Wednesday. We are facing a good team and at this point of the season I think the guys are ready.”
The Fire won the regular season series against the Dynamo, going 1-0-2 in three matches. Will Bruin and Logan Pause traded goals midway through the first half before severe weather ended the match in the 66th minute as the two teams drew 1-1 at Toyota Park April 15. In the second leg of the season series, the Fire and Dynamo battled to a 0-0 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas on July 3, while in the series finale, the Fire got first half goals from Patrick Nyarko and Daniel Paladini before a late strike from Alex gave the side a 3-1 victory at Toyota Park Sept. 2.
“They are a very good team,” said Klopas. ” They have a lot of experience and have been in this situation before. They are very well-coached and have a lot of quality players on the team. They have been here before and know what it takes. We are ready and looking forward to this challenge.”
The Fire come into the game off a 1-1 draw with D.C. United in the season finale at Toyota Park Saturday. The Fire jumped out to an early lead on Patrick Nyarko's goal. But it wasn’t enough as United fought back for a 1-1 draw.
“In the game last week we created chances early and pushed forward to create chances,” said Klopas. ”When you push forward you take risks. Certain areas on the field get stronger while others get weaker. Playing at home I felt that we could push it the way that we did. When you make certain moves you have to have a team that believes and they did. Having a good game plan and knowing your opponent well gives the players confidence. I feel that the younger guys are ready and the older guys with MLS and international experience are ready to help them along. You can’t change your mentality. This game is going to be difficult, but we are at home and have to win this game. We need to be able to defend well and play well as a group. Any little mistake can hurt you at this level. With our team there is a belief that in the end I know everyone is committed. They will d everything they can for us to achieve the three points.”