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Recap: Fire knock off Crew 2-1; Go on to the Next One

Bridgeview - The Chicago Fire survived an early deficit again to beat the Columbus Crew 2-1.

For the 4th time in as many days, Magic Mike puts one in the back of the net.
For the 4th time in as many days, Magic Mike puts one in the back of the net.

The Chicago Fire-Columbus Crew rivalry is one of the most unappreciated, un-talked about rivalries in MLS. The two fanbases despise each other, as evidenced by the the sniping back and forth on Twitter. To make it even more tense, the game was postponed a day because of the storms that hit Chicagoland last night. So here we were. At Toyota Park on a beautiful summer afternoon, ready for the clash between the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew. And it played out like a rivalry game. A lot of ebbing and flowing, some chippiness and some goals.

The Fire went down in the 22nd minute when they gave up a foul within striking distance. Matt Speas struck a ball that ended up on the head of Konrad Warzycha; son of head coach Robert Warzycha near the 6 yard box. He pushed it past Sean Johnson and in to the back of the net. The Fire found themselves in a hole again; a place not unfamiliar to them, but once again, they were able to keep their composure.

Mike Magee found a way to bring the Fire back from the brink again. Right before halftime, he received a pass from Gonzalo Segares who himself showed great patience waiting for Magee near the touchline. He danced around an oncoming Andy Gruenebaum, and slotted it to Magic Mike who tapped into an open net. Magee scored his fourth in four games with the goal, and with the assist, Sega moved to 2nd in Fire USOC assist leaders with 4. And Magee scored his 4th in as many games. "I think we're creating chances." Frank Klopas said in his post game press confrence. "A guy like Magee and the guys we brought in; I think they've given us confidence."

Dilly Duka went off at halftime for Maicon Santos, with what turned out to be a concussion, or at least concussion-like symptoms. The substitution moved moving Chris Rolfe to right wing. The position he played while in Denmark with Aalborg. And as it would turn out, that move payed dividends for the Fire.

In an offensive substitution that told the Fire were not playing today, Daniel Paladini came on for Logan Pause in the 60th minute.

The Fire almost struck pay dirt and the lead in the 68th minute. Maicon Santos held up a ball in the box and placed it on to an oncoming Alex, who shot it on the half volley right into the gut of the Hebrew Hammer Gruenebaum.

The Fire breakthrough came in the 76th minute as Jalil Anibaba worked hard on the sideline and got the ball to Rolfe. Chris played a perfect ball to Nyarko on the back post, and he headed it past Gruenebaum and into the far corner. "Chris Rolfe said post game. "He kept it in, he did a great job, fought for it, and made that whole play happen." Rolfe said about Anibaba's effort on the play.

And that was all she wrote. The Fire survive and advance against C-bus and head towards a date with Cinderella on June 26 as Orlando City come to town.

(Match facts via

Fire Starting XI: Johnson; Anibaba, Berry, Soumare, Segares; Duka (Santos - 45'), Pause © (Paladini - 59'), Alex (Larentowicz - 80'), Nyarko; Rolfe, Magee (C -59')

Substitutes: Tornaghi, Jumper, Videira, Larentowicz, Paladini, Santos, MacDonald

Crew Starting XI: Gruenebaum; Gehrig, George, Glauber (Oduro - 9'), Wahl; Finlay, Warzycha, Tchani (Schoenfeld - 82'), Speas (Higuain - 69'); Anor, Meram

Substitutes: Lampson, Barson, O'Rourke, Sanchez, Oduro, Higuain, Schoenfeld

Scoring Summary: CLB - Warzycha - 22' (Speas), CHI - Magee - 28' (Segares), CHI - Nyarko - 77' (Rolfe)

Misconduct Summary: CLB - Warzycha - 70' (Yellow), CHI - Magee - 70' (Yellow), CHI - Nyarko - 82' (Yellow), CLB - Anor - 90+ (Yellow), CHI - Soumare - 90+ (Yellow)

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