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Thursday, August 18, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Fire 1, D.C. United 1

By Charlie Corr

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Here is a quick look at the Chicago Fire's 1-1 draw against D.C. United on Thursday at Toyota Park:

How it happened: Fire midfielder Sebastian Grazzini netted an unassisted goal in the 59th minute to give the Fire a 1-0 lead. The Fire's Patrick Nyarko crossed the ball into the middle of the box and D.C.'s defense got a touch on the ball but could not completely clear. Grazzini was there to converge on the goal, and second-half D.C. goalkeeper Steve Cronin could not react in time to his right to stop Grazzini's attempt. But in customary Fire fashion, Chicago surrendered its lead when Josh Wolff netted an equalizer in the 73rd minute as the Fire defense tried to push up to get Wolff offside. Replays showed that Wolff was a hair offside on the sequence. It was D.C.'s only shot on goal.

What it means: The Fire established an MLS record with their 15th draw of the season, moving to 2-7-15 (21 points). The record surpasses last season's previous record of 14 draws by FC Dallas. Chicago continues to sit in last place in the Eastern Conference. D.C. moves to 7-6-10 with 31 points as United continues to fight for a playoff spot.

Outside the box: The Fire defense completely shut down D.C.'s offense in the first half. United did not record a single shot attempt until the 57th minute -- a Dwayne De Rosario strike that sailed high and wide of the frame. Chicago had a 7-0 shots advantage over D.C. in the first half. Not a bad effort against a team that had scored nine goals in its previous three matches.

Up next: The Fire have a quick turnaround when they host Toronto FC at 6 p.m. Sunday at Toyota Park. This is the second match of a three-game MLS homestand. Chicago has a fourth straight home match on Aug. 30 when it hosts the USL Pro's Richmond Kickers on Aug. 30 in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal.