Most of the time, a road point is cause for rejoicing, but nobody on the Fire was hopping around Thursday night at Pizza Hut Park after a 1-1 tie. CHICAGO
(8-10-7) vs. D.C. UNITED (15-6-4)
Sunday, 3 p.m., TeleFutura
A Carlos Ruiz stoppage-time equalizer stripped away two points that could cost Chicago a playoff spot. Chris Rolfe
rifled a shot into the top corner from distance in the 56th minute for a 1-0 lead that lasted until the final seconds.
The Fire returns home to face a United team well-rested - no games
since beating Real Salt Lake, 2-1, Sept. 12 - yet facing a rough two-game series against Guadalajara in the Copa Sudamericana starting Wednesday. Coach Tom Soehn gave the players four days off
following the RSL game and they should be fresher than their fatigued Fire counterparts. They might also be rusty in the early going.
Defender Wilman Conde returns after serving a
one-game suspension in the Dallas game but in that game Gonzalo Segares picked up his fifth caution, so Coach Juan Carlos Osorio will juggle his back line once again.
Soehn has to
replace the suspended Ben Olsen, Fred and Christian Gomez, so perhaps the timing of this game can work to Chicago's favor despite a quick turnaround.
In the only meeting to date,
United won, 3-1, at RFK June 16. The teams conclude their series on the penultimate weekend of the season.