Chicago Fire: Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Fire 4, Red Bulls 0

July, 12, 2011
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Here is a quick look at the Chicago Fire's 4-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls in their quarterfinal match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Park:

How it happened: Fire second-half sub Orr Barouch made the most of his 45-minute stint with goals in the 51st and 69th minutes. Dominic Oduro started the Fire's offensive barrage with a seventh-minute goal. Yamith Cuesta's 48th-minute header gave Chicago a 2-0 lead, and Barouch's tallies broke the match wide open.

What it means: The Fire, four-time winners of the Open Cup, advance to the semifinals and will host the USL Pro's Richmond Kickers on Aug. 30. Richmond, the last remaining non-MLS side involved in the tournament, defeated host Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, late Tuesday night. The Open Cup final takes place on Oct. 4.

Outside the box: Fire defender Cory Gibbs missed the match because of food poisoning. The Fire rested Gibbs in the third-round match against the USL Pro's Rochester Rhinos. Josip Mikulic stepped into the fray at center back alongside Cuesta.

Up next: The Fire return to MLS play when they host the expansion Portland Timbers for the first time at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Rapid Reaction: Fire 0, Real Salt Lake 0

June, 22, 2011

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Here is a quick look at the Chicago Fire's scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday at Toyota Park:

How it happened: The Fire and RSL struggled to generate much on the offensive end -- Salt Lake did not even put a shot on goal in the second half, and the Fire had a 4-2 shots on goal advantage for the match. The most noteworthy play for the Fire defense was Sean Johnson's 28th-minute save on Collen Warner's point-blank shot. Chicago's offense started to challenge RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the second half, and Rimando came up with a big stop off of his line in the 78th minute against the Fire's Marco Pappa, who returned from Guatemala national team duty in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

What it means: With the draw, the Fire remain unbeaten under interim head coach Frank Klopas with a 1-0-4 record. Chicago now leads the league in draws with 10, sporting a 2-4-10 record and 16 points (sixth place in the East). RSL moves to 6-3-5 and 23 points in the Western Conference.

Beyond the box score: Fire rookie forward Orr Barouch made his first start of the season as Cristian Nazarit served the first of his two-game suspension. Barouch did not post anything on the offensive side in 70 minutes, though he did create a reaction for diving in the penalty box, earning a yellow card from referee Juan Guzman in the 64th minute. RSL's Nat Borchers defended Barouch, who stumbled in the box. Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was furious, immediately demanding a booking. Guzman complied.

Up next: The Fire host the Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls on Sunday at Toyota Park (1 p.m., ESPN). New York, which currently is tied with the Philadelphia Union for the East lead, will be coming off its Thursday match against Seattle Sounders FC (9 p.m. CT, ESPN2). ... With the USL Pro's Rochester Rhinos defeating the Harrisburg City Islanders, 1-0, on Tuesday, the Fire then travel to Rochester, N.Y., for their third-round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday, June 28.