June 1, 2012
A look at the upcoming game
Chicago Fire (5-4-3, 18 pts) @ New England Revolution (4-7-1, 13 pts), 6:30 pm CT (CSN-Chi, CSN-NE)
While the rest of MLS takes a breather during the runup to World Cup qualifying and the European Championships, the league spotlight falls on Gillette Stadium, where the New England Revolution host the Chicago Fire in the only match of week 13. Both teams are coming off humbling midweek U.S. Open Cup losses, Chicago by a 3-2 margin in overtime to the PDL’s Michigan Bucks and the Revs 4-3 in penalty kicks to the USL Pro’s Harrisburg City Islanders. The match might well mark the MLS return of Fire forward Chris Rolfe, sidelined by a sprained ankle since his return from Denmark’s Aalborg BK. Chicago could use a boost, having lost three of four games (including the Open Cup tilt) over the past two weeks and with the two key cogs in their offensive engine, Dominic Oduro and Patrick Nyarko, battling nagging injuries. Still, Chicago’s swarming and opportunistic attack will be a challenge for New England’s sometimes vulnerable defense, which blew a three-goal lead to the City Islanders and sorely misses the experience of injured former German international Arne Friedrich. New England will be happy to be back home after suffering their fourth straight road defeat, 3-2 to DC United, last Saturday at RFK Stadium. It was a wrenching loss, after the Revs came back to tie from two goals down with goals by Saer Sene and AJ Soares. DC exploited New England’s season-long shakiness on set pieces, getting two of their three goals from dead ball situations. Things look brighter for the Revs on offense, with Sene nursing a three-game scoring streak and roaring through May with five goals and one assist. The Revolution have yet to post a Conference win this season (0-4-1), and are 0-4-1 in their last five games against the Fire.