MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
04/18/2014 2:50 PM
04/18/2014 2:58 PM
New England (2-3-1) at Chicago (0-1-5), 4 p.m.
Bridgeview, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Fire is six games into its season and still looking for its first win. And the club will hope to find that elusive victory on Saturday against the New England Revolution at Toyota Park.
After losing 3-2 to Chivas USA in its opening match of the campaign, the Fire has drawn its last five fixtures, including a 1-1 deadlock against Montreal last weekend.
New England, meanwhile, has won two of its last three games and appears to be turning the corner after a poor start to the season.
The results haven't been there so far for the Fire, but there is reason to be optimistic in the Windy City because of the team's strike partnership of Mike Magee and Quincy Amarikwa.
Amarikwa scored the equalizer in the 55th minute of Chicago's draw with Montreal after Jack McInerney's 43rd-minute opener.
The goal was the third this season for Amarikwa and it continues a great start to the campaign for the 26-year-old, who has also chipped in two assists to go with his three goals.
Magee has netted one goal and assisted on two more as Chicago has scored the most goals in the Eastern Conference, despite having trouble keeping them out.
Fellow forward Patrick Nyarko feels that the key to the duo's success is how different they are in terms of their style of play.
"These guys play two totally different games, and that brings something different every time," Nyarko said. "Every kind of service you provide you know it's going to turn into something positive just because both of them are different. Quincy will just battle through everything and get there even if the ball isn't perfect, and Mike is pretty much the smartest runner in the box I've ever seen."
Chicago has shipped 10 goals so far, so the Revs will be confident that they can turn around their trouble in front of the net.
Despite winning two of its last three contests, New England has struggled to score this season, being held without a goal in four of its six matches.
The offensive struggles have been the main focus this season, but the team's back line stepped up in a 2-0 win over Houston last weekend.
With Chris Tierney out because of a hip injury, Kevin Alston stepped in and scored the opening goal in the 68th minute, while Darrius Barnes needed to replace Jose Goncalves, who left the match with an injury.
Despite the new faces, New England was able to keep the Dynamo off the scoreboard, and Jerry Bengtson sealed the win with a goal in the 90th minute, becoming just the third Revs player to score this season.
"Our subs really impacted the game," said New England assistant coach Tom Soehn, who took over sideline duties for suspended coach Jay Heaps. "It's never easy losing your captain and leader on the field. The back four, even as we made the change, did a great job tonight."
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