Scouting Report: Chicago Fire
For the second time in the past month, the Crew will renew its rivalry with the Chicago Fire. The Black & Gold will see a few changes from the Chicago side it defeated 2-1 at home on May 26 when it visits the Windy City this weekend.
Unlike the Crew, Chicago didn't have the luxury of a three week break in MLS action as the Fire traveled to New England on June 2, where it fell 2-0 to the Revolution. Chicago responded over the weekend in Sunday's nationally-televised 3-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls at home.
Behind goals from Patrick Nyarko, Gonzalo Segares, and Chris Rolfe, the Fire topped New York to move into fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference with 20 points, just two points ahead of the Crew.
THE RETURN OF ROLFE
Fire forward Chris Rolfe made his second appearance of the season as a substitute in the 61st minute Sunday. Rolfe put the nail in the coffin against the Red Bulls with his 80th minute tap-in to put Chicago ahead 3-1.
It was Rolfe's first goal since returning to Chicago earlier in 2012 after spending two years with Aalborg BK of the Danish Superliga. In his previous stint with the Fire, the Kettering native scored 36 goals in 123 appearances from 2005-09.
PAPPA BACK FROM GUATEMALA DUTY
Chicago midfielder Marco Pappa was back in the Fire's starting XI on Sunday after spending time with the Guatemalan national team for 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. The 24-year-old's 82nd minute free kick equalizer last Tuesday left many fans in the United States disappointed to see the Stars and Stripes leave Guatemala with a single point.
Always a threat in the attack, the Crew will need to key in on the playmaker as the Black & Gold looks to extend its unbeaten streak to seven games.