Fire Host Revolution in Season Opener
By Todd McClamroch in News on Apr 6, 2007 4:40PM
The Chicago Fire kick off their tenth season in Major League Soccer this Saturday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The Fire will start off against New England Revolution, who knocked the Fire out of the 2006 playoff hunt. The rivalry with the Revs is quickly becoming one of the better rivalries in Major League Soccer. The teams are an even 17-17-6 against each other in the regular season. Further stoking the rivalry fire is that they have crossed paths when it counts most — in the playoffs — more than any other teams in Major League Soccer.
During the pre-season the Fire struggled, going 4-9-1. At times the club had difficulty finding the back of the net on a consistent basis. They scored just two goals in the final four pre-season matches, During the off-season the Fire saw their two leading scorers from 2006, Andy Herron (9 goals) and Nate Jaqua (8 goals), ship out.
The Fire will be looking to Chris Rolfe (7 goals) and Chad Barrett (5 goals) to step up their game in 2007. Barrett is not feeling the pressure of being looked at to generate goals, "Me and Chris [Rolfe] have been looking forward to this chance to play up top together. We want to take full advantage of this." This summer the Fire forwards will get support from Mexican soccer star Cuauhtémoc Blanco who signed with the club on Tuesday and is expected to join the club in July. Coach Dave Sarachan (right) expressed that not all of the pressure to produce goals falls on his forwards. He expects goals to come from all members of the team in 2007.
Despite the tough pre-season, Coach Sarachan believes his team — along with DC United and Saturday's opponent, the New England Revolution, will be the three teams fighting for the top spot in the Eastern Division. Tickets to the game can be purchased at Chicago-Fire.com. Those fans not willing to brave the cold can catch the game on Comcast SportsNet Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.ß