Sebastien Le Toux’s 35th minute strike was enough to lift the expansion Philadelphia Union over the Chicago Fire 1-0 at PPL Park in Chester, PA. Former Fire midfielder Justin Mapp assisted on the lone goal and the Fire were unable to find the back of the net as the Men in Red extend their winless streak to five games.
The Fire (6-8-8, 26 points), playing in their third match in eight days, were shutout for the second time this week and gave the expansion club their first-ever clean sheet. Sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the club’s playoff hopes took a hit, however, with 26 points and eight games remaining the Fire are within striking distance of one of the four wild card spots in the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Men in Red appeared to take the lead in the 9th minute when Fire defender Steven Kinney powered home a chipped free kick from Nery Castillo past Union ‘keeper Brad Knighton. The whistle had blown and Kinney was adjudged to be offside, leaving the game level at 0-0.
Union got on the board in the 35th minute when Mapp fed a charging Le Toux on the left side. With space to negotiate, the Frenchman took a touch and drove his shot past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and into the back of the net just inside of the near post. The game winning goal was Le Toux’s 11th of the season.
Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos brought on Mike Banner and Calen Carr in the second half in search of the equalizer. Carr almost leveled the match in the 76th minute. Kinney sent a lofted ball into the area finding Banner behind the Union defense. Banner used the outside of his foot to center the ball to a wide-open Carr who headed the ball just over the crossbar and out of play.
Following the stretch of three matches in eight days, the Fire will have a week to prepare for the trip to Salt Lake City to challenge defending MLS Cup Champions Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 3:00 PM CT (TeleFutura). The Fire return to TOYOTA PARK to host Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7:00 PM CT (My50). For tickets, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473) or head to the club’s official website at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
- The Men in Red sit six points back from the San Jose Earthquakes (32 points) in the race for the eighth and final spot in the MLS Cup playoff picture.
- The Fire were shutout for the fourth time this season.
- Gonzalo Segares missed tonight’s match due to a red card suspension. The Costa Rican International completed his two game suspension for a red card against the LA Galaxy Sept. 4
- Corben Bone made his first appearance since July 8.
- The Fire are 0-6-1 when trailing at halftime.
Chicago Fire 0 : 1 Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire Match # 22 MLS Game # 186
Sept. 11, 2010 – PPL Park – Chester, PA
Chicago Fire – Sean Johnson; Steven Kinney, Wilman Conde, Dasan Robinson, Deris Umanzor; Patrick Nyarko, Logan Pause ©, Baggio Husidic (Calen Carr, 46’), Nery Castillo (Corben Bone, 86’); Freddie Ljungberg; Collins John (Mike Banner, 57’)
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Dykstra, Krzysztof Krol, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Peter Lowry
Philadelphia Union – Ben Knighton; Sheanon Williams, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf ©, Jordan Harvey; Stefani Miglioranzi, Andrew Jacobsen, Justin Mapp (Kyle Nakazawa, 77’), Sebastien Le Toux; Danny Mawanga (Fred, 55’), Alejandro Moreno (Shea Salinas, 69’)
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Cristian Arrieta, Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney
PHI: Sebastien Le Toux (Justin Mapp) 35’
CHI: Freddie Ljungberg (caution) 36’
CHI: Wilman Conde (caution) 47+’
PHI: Andrew Jacobsen (caution) 60’
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Bill Dittmar, Eric Proctor
4th Referee: Andrew Chapin
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