Toronto FC 4-1 Chicago Fire: Wind Driven
Chicago Fire traveled to Toronto the day before Mother’s Day looking to extend their 3 game unbeaten run to 4 games but it was former Fire player Chad Barrett that ruined the trip north of the border.
The Fire may have thought that points on the road were possible at BMO Field and looked forward to the game knowing that Logan Pause would be back in the midfield after being out a month with an injury and Krzysztof Krol would be back on the defense after a red card suspension last week. Fire keeper Andrew Dykstra had just let one ball into the net in the last 270 minutes, so almost any offense should have given the Fire a point, one would think.
The Canadian weather made the conditions under which the game was played a factor in the outcome. High winds lead to the decision by TFC to play with the wind at their back in the first half. Having the wind as a 11th field player in the first forty five minutes lead to a goal by Nick LaBrocca in the 23rd minute to give TFC a 1-0 advantage which it held at the half. While Andrew Dkystra could have played the ball better the wind changed the direction of the ball in flight and moved it into the net.
Toronto quickly increased the lead to 2-0 in the second half with a score in the 46th minute by O’Brian White after brilliant passing by TFC leaving Andrew Dykstra flat footed and unable to defend the ball. Logan Pause did give the Fire brief hope in the 50th minute when he blasted a ball into the back of the TFC net from the midfield. After that it was all TFC with Barrett scoring at the 66th and 69th minute mark. Both goals were set up by aggressive play on the counter-attack by TFC giving Barrett open shots on the Fire net. The Fire as usual tried having Patrick Nyarko spark the offense from his wing attacks but it was all for naught.
The Fire remain on the road next week with a trip to Kansas City to play the Wizards. With their record now standing at 2 wins 3 defeats and 2 draws next week’s result well could be critical to the Fire. Yes the MLS playoffs give a team an ability to make up for a less than spectacular regular season but it looks like New York and Columbus intend to be conference leaders and Kansas City, New England, and TFC all are eyeing the post-season. A designated player can not arrive soon enough for the Fire. Hint to the front office the Mexico National team will be in Chicago soon!
Due to the tour of North America by Manchester United the Fire game vs. Kansas City on Saturday July 24 at Toyota Park has been rescheduled to a week night in October. This follows an earlier rescheduling of the home game on Saturday May 22 against Colorado to a Thursday night later this month due to the Sister Cities Tournament. Soccer Saturday nights are special in Bridgeview for the Fire. Moving games off of a Saturday night should only be rarely done. Midweek games for an MLS opponent that does not have David Beckham on the squad are not likely to draw big crowds. They serve as a disappointment to season ticket holders who look forward to a good seat watching the beautiful sunset over Toyota Park on a warm Saturday night.