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Good For What Ails Ya: Chicago 4, DC 1

Fire strike twice in first 11 minutes, cruise to simple win over confused, torpid United

Jeff Larentowicz about to show Thorrington a clean set of heels! Who knew Big Red had cat-like quickness?
Jeff Larentowicz about to show Thorrington a clean set of heels! Who knew Big Red had cat-like quickness?

Step right up, folks, step right up! Plenty of room for everybody! Doctor Olsen's Feel-Good Syrup is good for what ails ya!

Tri-chromosonal? Just got a cold? Doc Olsen's Feel-Good Syrup doesn't care either way! Just down the hatch and you'll understand! Can't score in a brothel? Couldn't kick the ball in a lake from a boat? Doc Olsen's is guar-on-teed to turn those frowns upside down.

Friends, I know my claims are hard to believe. I do! Let me tell you a story about a group of fellas I once knew. Doc Olsen's Feel-Good Syrup made a difference for them! Where once they were sad and confused, just a few drops of this magical serum made them healthy, wealthy, and well I think they might have made the playoffs. Don't quote me on that.

These fellas were in a bad way before they met Doc Olsen. A bad way! They had unquiet dreams involving tentacles, I think one of them said. I told them, "Boys, what you need is a shot of this here Doc's Olsen's. A special blend, lads - had to order some of the ingredients special from Indonoosia, y'know - so you know it's good!"

Now these fellas, they listened, and they downed some, and lemme tell ya, the transformation was almost like that. One guy, he said people were making fun of him down at the beach, calling him a lightweight, saying he's all filled with dandelion fluff, kicking sand in his face - one shot of Doc Olsen's syzzurp and that lad filled out right quick! Next time I saw him, he had a girl on each arm and a smile a yard wide! I tell ya, this compound is beyond compare!

Now, before I leave I gotta warn ya - Doc Olsen's will cure you, absolutely guaranteed, and on that I make no quibbles and have no reservations. This syrup will make you feel fantastic - eight feet tall, glowing with new purpose, bold and energetic and brave - but only if you keep taking it. Switch to some other concoction - and here you'll note I'm specifically not naming that horrid orange stew Prof. Kinnear brews down in his malarial swamp - and the results, well, I can't vouch for 'em.

Chi-town beat-down

So, yes, there was football Saturday evening, and yes, the Fire absolutely crushed DC United, 4-1, in a game that didn't feel even that close. Two guys suffering through forgettable seasons led the rout: Chris Rolfe scored a pair of lovely goals in the first half, while Joel Lindpere not only assisted both Rolfe goals but added a tally of his own.

The fans were still finding their seats when the Fire took the lead. Lindpere, restored to his less-preferred but more-productive left-sided midfield slot, found some space along the sideline and tried an early cross to Rolfe. United's center back combo of Daniel Woolard and Ethan White seemed astonished at the thought, as they were yards adrift from Rolfe's simple down-the-middle run.

The finish certainly wasn't simple. Rolfe timed the cross coming over his shoulder to perfection, leaving his feet to volley the ball past Joe Willis in goal. 1-0, Fire, and the party was just starting.

You might be forgiven if you thought DC had gotten into Doc Olsen's secret stash before kickoff. United looked confused and slow throughout most of the first half. Or maybe it was just Woolard. The second goal for the Men in Red was set up by Jeff Larentowicz first blowing past the grasping defender, then nutmegging him on the way toward goal.

Big Red's Ronaldinho moment served to set up Lindpere, who received the ball 15 yards out, took a touch and lashed it home. After 11 minutes the Fire had a wholly deserved two-goal cushion, and the game was effectively over as a contest.

The Fire haven't played with the lead much this season. One of the criticisms of this Fire squad is that they seem so content in two banks of four that, when trailing, instead of looking expansive and dangerous, they're still compact. Add in a lead, though, and that positional discipline is a soothing balm. DC didn't ask many questions of the Chicago defense from the run of play. Their one close call, a deflected 30-yard bomb from Luis Silva, was tipped over the bar by Paolo Tornaghi, preserving the two-goal cushion.

Rolfe added his second just before the break, again from Lindpere. This time Rolfe caught the DC defense playing a bit high, and Lindpere's looped pass gave him all the goal to look at. The Ohioan beat Willis with timing, shooting a half-step before the keeper expected it, and his left-footed finish across the goal made Frank Klopas' halftime team talk exceedingly simple. 3-0 at halftime: Chi-town beat-down.

The Fire managed the second half professionally, keeping their powder dry and running no more than they had to. What looked to be a muscle pull sidelined Dilly Duka immediately after the break, so Quincy Amarikwa got his longest run-out of the season.

In the 54th, Amarikwa took advantage - again - of Woolard's lack of speed, surging into the area with the beleaguered defender on his hip, forcing a wild tackle which was justly called a penalty. Mike Magee made no mistake with the spot kick, his 12th goal of the MLS season.

Silva added the consolation goal for DC in the 58th, stepping into acres of space and curling a 25-yard beauty around Tornaghi. The goal is his first since the trade which brought him to United from Toronto FC.

Chicago improves to 7-9-3 on the season while DC drops to 2-14-4. The teams play each other again at Toyota Park in the US Open Cup semifinals on August 7. (Tickets are just $12 and the parking is free!)

The Fire next play the Dynamo in Houston on July 27.

Goals: Rolfe (Lindpere) 2, Lindpere (Larentowicz) 11, Rolfe (Lindpere) 45+, Magee (pk, Amarikwa) 56; Silva (Kitchen) 59
Disciplinary: Cautions: Porter 70, Rolfe 81, Berry 90+, Thorrington 90+
Chicago: Tornaghi; Anibaba, Berry, Soumare, Segares; Duka (Amarikwa 47), Larentowicz, Alex (Pause 77), Lindpere; Magee (Santos 82), Rolfe. Subs not used: Kann, Francis, Videira, MacDonald.
DC United: Willis; Korb, White (Jakovic 45), Woolard, Kemp; Nyassi (Porter 61), Kitchen, Thorrington, DeLeon (Riley 75); Silva, Ruiz. Subs not used: Dykstra, Jeffrey, Townsend.
Attendance: 17,190. Referee: Fotis Bozakos.