Crew Prepare for Faceoff With FireJune 19, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Columbus Crew SC
"We know [Chicago's] players very well," Warzycha explained. "They're a good team. I don't think the stats show how good they are. They can win against any team in the League, so it's going to be a tough test. Hopefully we can win this time."
The Crew took an early lead and maintained control of last week's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup loss against the Fire in Bridgeview, Ill., but conceded two goals to the Men in Red in the defeat. Building off their first half performance will be key on Saturday.
"Last Thursday in the Open Cup game, I thought we had a great first half and I thought we should have scored a couple more goals," defender Tyson Wahl said. "I think we were really well-organized and I think we out-played them in that loss."
Added forward Dominic Oduro: "I think we played well, especially considering that we mixed [starters and reserves] when we played in the Open Cup. We kept the ball really well the first half, it was just unfortunate."
This time, however, the Crew will have momentum in its corner after defeating the first-place Montreal Impact, 2-0, last week in Columbus.
Since joining the Fire on May 25, forward Mike Magee has scored in all four matches he's appeared in for Chicago -- including last week's Open Cup win over the Crew. The former LA Galaxy striker is currently third in MLS with eight tallies to his name in 2013.
"[Magee] is scoring goals," Warzycha said. "They have a player who is a good finisher, good in front of goal. It shows in their later results."
Likely to pair with Chris Rolfe in the Fire attack, cohesive defending from the Crew backline will be crucial in containing Chicago's two-headed monster in front of goal.
"[Magee and Rolfe] definitely have a unique pairing up top because they are so similar," Wahl explained. "Their movement off the ball is great. It's not like they're the fastest or most athletic guys, but they're both extremely smart and they both make really sharp runs. There is a lot of interchange and 10-yard diagonal runs that we have to watch out for.
"We really have to have good coordination between the centerbacks and Danny O'Rourke if that's who is playing."
SOUMARÉ BRINGS STABILITY
Acquired from the Philadelphia Union in May, Malian centerback Bakary Soumaré brings veteran experience and a physical presence in his return to the Chicago backline. Alongside defending MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry in central defense, the Crew attack will have a difficult task in breaking down the Fire on Saturday.
"Soumaré is an experienced defender," Warzycha said. "He played not only in Chicago previously, but played also in France. He brings experience to their backline."
Chicago has posted a 1-0-2 record and allowed three goals in the three MLS matches Soumaré has played in since re-joining the Fire.
Major League Soccer Stories from June 19, 2013
- Jaime Moreno Elected to D.C. United Hall of Tradition - D.C. United
- Former Galaxy Captain Peter Vagenas Named Director of LA Galaxy Academy - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Sporting KC Weekly Update - Sporting Kansas City
- Viana Hopeful for Return against Fire - Columbus Crew SC
- Crew Youth Update - Columbus Crew SC
- Crew Set to Welcome Agustin Viana Back to Lineup - Columbus Crew SC
- Homegrown Rookie Scott Caldwell a Key Piece of New England's Youth Movement - New England Revolution
- Earthquakes to Host A&W Root Beer Float Night on Saturday, July 13 - San Jose Earthquakes
- Dynamo Visit Impact Tonight in Key Eastern Conference Matchup - Houston Dynamo
- MLS Appoints Front Office Positions - MLS
- Revolution Update - New England Revolution
- Union Sign Goalkeeper Oka Nikolov - Philadelphia Union
- Crew Prepare for Faceoff With Fire - Columbus Crew SC
- Crew Relieved to Have Marshall Back in Central Defense - Columbus Crew SC
- Guinness International Champions Cup Tickets on Sale - Los Angeles Galaxy
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.