Win over United lifts Fire in Power Rankings
In the Week 5 ESPNSoccernet.com MLS Power Rankings, the Chicago Fire went up a couple spots to 12th, following their 2-0 road victory on Saturday at D.C. United.
Back in the day, a road win at RFK Stadium would have deserved far more praise than the two-point swing given to the Fire (1-2-1). But United is out of sync. Just look at D.C.'s 0-4-0 record and 11-2 scoring deficit this season to get the whole story. United continues to sit in 16th place in the power rankings, and it would be shocking to see them out of that position anytime soon.
In an unusual sight Saturday, Arlington Heights native and target forward Brian McBride came off the bench. But when he entered the match in the 75th minute, he put in a full game's worth of contributions with an assist and the Fire's second goal.
Heading into the season, it was expected that McBride and Collins John would be the go-to guys up top in every starting lineup, with Patrick Nyarko either being the odd man out or falling back into the midfield.
The latter happened with Nyarko becoming a mainstay in the lineup thus far, and he should be considering the form that he is in at the moment. But Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos threw us another look at the roster that we were not anticipating. Utilizing McBride as a high-profile sub paid off.
"It's unfortunate that [the offense] is forming right now instead of coming together in the preseason," Nyarko said. "It's developing. We're creating chances. We just need to be focused on finishing those chances."
The Fire moved past the winless talk surrounding their first few matches. They have a pretty strong test against the visiting Houston Dynamo this Saturday.