MLS- Chicago Fire

Focused Fire faces Morelia tonight

HusidicPappa (GettyImages)


Chicago Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos made it clear after his team's US Open cup loss to Charleston Battery that his team was more focused on the Superliga Tournament.

The Fire will kick off Superliga action tonight against Morelia at Toyota Park, and will play only in the tournament for the rest of the month.

De los Cobos hopes a tournament victory can jumpstart the Fire's season as he works players back from injuries.

"It's important … We play against a very good club in Mexico. This is one of the most consistent clubs in Mexico over the last few years," de los Cobos said.

"We are having a process with these players. I understand that we are not always having good results, but this team is playing good many times of the matches. Tomorrow is a good opportunity for our players to show these qualities."

While he may have originally planned on playing his normal starting 11 during the SuperLiga, injuries have mounted as Patrick Nyarko, Logan Pause, Baggio Husidic, Dasan Robinson and Tim Ward all will sit out with injuries.

Rookies Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Steve Kinney will have a chance to show their worth as they are each expected to pick up a second straight start.

Watson-Siriboe has looked strong throughout the season in spot-duty at center back and Kinney had a good showing last Thursday against Real Salt Lake, hitting both posts on headers form corner kicks.

"As the starts come along, you feel confident on the ball," Watson-Siriboe said.

"I still need to make improvements mentally and physically. Reading the game. I need to make improvements as the game goes on."

Watson-Siriboe gets the start because Wilman Conde will once again be deployed in the midfield, with Logan Pause starting the game on the bench.

De los Cobos said the two rookies have a chance to stay in the starting lineup if they keep performing well.

"Steve Kinney showed very good things in the last match, some confidence and some personality … I like him. He needs to keep continuing playing, to continue his experience. I think potentially he's a very good player," de Los Cobos said, adding that Watson-Siriboe is doing 'good work.'

Watson-Siriboe knows he just has to take his first season one game at a time as he transitions to professional soccer.

"Getting the opportunity to play teams from Mexico, it's a big step, because you're seeing a different type of soccer," he said. "It's different from how we play in the MLS."


Marco Pappa was named an All-Star starter. The team will play against Manchester United, who are currently training in Bridgeview. on July 28.

"I'm excited, you know. It's extra motivation to keep working. I'm happy with the good news," Pappa said.

The Fire midfielder said he found out about the news on Sunday.

"I called my family to say the news," Pappa said.

"Everybody's proud. If I'm there, it's because my teammates are working hard and I try to do my best on the field so I'm happy with that."

Pappa has scored six goals in 14 regular season MLS games in 2010.

"Everybody knows about Manchester United, it's a big team," he said. "It's a good opportunity. I'm excited to play with the biggest players in the world, so we can show our level. It's exciting."


The injury list keeps growing for the Fire, who don't play another MLS regualr season game until August.

Patrick Nyarko is still out with a concussion after taking a knee to the head against Columbus.

Baggio Husidic and Logan Pause both picked up minor injuries in practice.

Collins John is getting back into fitness after suffering from a gastroinstestinal illeness.

Dasan Robinson remains sidelined with a hamsting injury.

Tim Ward is out with a calf strain.

John Thorrington and Calen Carr have been running but have not yet resumed regualr training with calf injuries.


Here is the starting lineup de los Cobos projected on Tuesday:






  • Upstate Jason

    Why would a coach emphasize SuperLiga over US Open Cup? At least winning USOC gets you a CCL berth. Sounds like an easy excuse for losing to a D-2 side.


  • Jeremy

    8 injured players, a different lineup every game, and a great reason to bring back the reserve division and increase roster sizes. This team is driving me crazy this year.


  • Al17

    Wait a minute, Focused and what team?

    I’m a Fire fan but this season has been the BIGGEST Mess in this team’s storied history. Don’t know if this team is coming, going or what. It’s just a God…mn mess with plenty of Blame to go around starting from the top on down. I must stop talking about it now cause my head hurts from just thinking about it.


  • jts


    Watched Fire last week and was unimpressed by Pappa’s play. Based on that game I am very surprised to see him as an all star.

    Did I see a bad game? Is his play different than last week or was that normal?

    Not trashing, just curious.


  • jack

    one word….MONEY! There is more money involved in superliga then winning the open cup, champions league, or MLS Cup…much more…


  • Jim

    The Mexican teams start their youth teams in this tournament, right? Superliga is a joke.


  • Clayton

    Good luck Chicago. C’mon MLS … we need a good showing against the Mexican clubs.


  • Andy Zilis

    I think Tigres sent a youth team for the early games last year due to a scheduling conflict. Pretty sure they had close to their A team after the first round, though.

    The Mexican teams don’t always start their full A teams, but I don’t think they the tournament that lightly.


  • Der Sting

    I agree completely, the team has lost it’s identity, they do not know who they are. The US Open cup was always a priority, guess that does not matter to DLC. The coach brings in talent that does not cut it, says the roster does not fit his system, trialist after trialist broufght in to no avail. PK’s away from the final last year to this mess. We are screwed for years to come. It kills me to see Red Bull back on the rise while we go down in flames…Can we get a real center mid in here for Pete’s sake, someone who shows leadership…(Sorry Thorrington, we can’t wait all season…)


  • Modibo

    Bad game by Pappa. You don’t get to be an all-star by playing that way. Particularly early in the season, he was generating a huge amount of offense for the team, and still can do so on any given night.


  • DJ

    Last week I said that whoever picked Dykstra as starting goalie should be fired. I was wrong. They should be shot.

    Watson-Siriboe has no clue. You’d think this is the first time he’s ever played soccer. It ought to be his last. And Kinney is worthless.

    Lowry had a fairly decent shot on the free kick. McBride is invisible as the lone striker.

    To hell with injuries — this team is a disgrace.


  • Smirking Kitten

    Wow. Way to give up 3 bad goals in the first half at home! Thank you for making the MLS look like a joke, Chicago.


  • DJ

    Would you really want this liveblogged? It’d just consist of saying “Chicago sucks” for 90 minutes.

    I live 15 minutes from Toyota Park and the stench is nauseating.


  • DJ

    Pappa deserves his selection. He’s had a very good year, notwithstanding the Columbus game.


  • alexandria

    Conde needs to be in the back he is not a center mid, DLC has no clue, it was u8 defending in the back between Krol and Watson-sirobe I’d be ashamed, they’ve got players everyone complains no reserve division well if the coaches actually rotated players instead of tiring the starting eleven out by the end you’d have a solid team, Just like a basketball coach playing freshman in december so they can help you in march.


  • Front Row

    Fire are down three to nil. So much for the jump start. Coach de Lost cobos is starting to remind me of Osorry-O. Not all the losses can be blamed on the, the injuries have piled up high.


  • DJ

    When CJ Brown is your best defender, you have huge problems (and that’s not meant as a shot against Brown, honest). These young players are awful. Conde is out of position and is still pissed we didn’t let him go with Osorio to New York.

    Klopas had better be getting his resume in order.


  • DJ

    We should just forfeit the games agains NE and Pumas to save the humiliation. And the Fire should refund everyone’s money.


  • Der Sting

    MLS is not a joke, just the Fire. If this is what De Los Cobos means by more focused…Hamlett wasn’t so bad now was he. At least he could could keep the team somewhat focused, this is just utter crap. Let’s find a coach who understands the long tradition of Chicago soccer, this is embarrassing!
    Klopas should know better…


  • Aden

    I think I’m more upset at the fact that he actually did it.

    The game is obviously out of reach, but that just reeks of coaching incompetency.


  • Aden

    I laughed at your question. If he is the best we could do, we’re in a lot more trouble than I thought.


  • DJ

    Hamlett wouldn’t be any better, and deserved his pink slip.

    One of the big structural weaknesses of MLS is roster size/salaries. If you’re paying some of your players five-figure salaries, you simply won’t get good players. In the case of the Fire, too many of the players are overpaid at $20,000.

    Our brilliant owner needs to clean house very, very thoroughly.


  • DJ

    Sorry, jts. I meant to say “the RSL game.” The futility is blending together and taxing my tiny mind. 🙂


  • Der Sting

    5-1, team was well prepped for this one, lots of injuries last year too, never looked this bad though. Absolutely horrendous. I can’t wait for DLC to explain this one… At least Kinney found the net instead of the post today.


  • Kasper

    I’m not a Fire Fan but every game I’ve seen Dykstra he does not look like the right answer. Was Busch’s salary the real reason he got cut? Why did they really do that? Because they obviously have NOT found the answer in net to replace him.


  • Der Sting

    I saw the need for a coaching change as well, but at least the team had an identity with Hamlett and you knew what to expect from match to match, this is a serious downgrade at coach, He is just listless. What happened to the teams ability to evaluate talent?


  • DJ

    Well, in fairness, DLC is really hamstrung with injuries. But that leads to your well-taken point: that talent evaluation has been awful. If the best XI were healthy, they’d be half-decent. But the talent dropoff between the starters and the reserveis steep. The mistakes, as an earlier poster said, are u-8 level. The opening of the transfer window surely can’t correct things, and you can’t see this bunch making good choices.


  • Der Sting

    What a joke! This morning the Chicago Tribune reports the tournament will get the best of the Fire and goes on to say how serious DLC is approaching the game, then says nothing about the beating they took by not even discussing the score, merely telling when the next match is. Classic!


  • KP

    He made the comment AFTER we lost in the US Open Cup – he had nothing left to emphasize BUT this and now we have nothing to emphasize.

    They sure weren’t focused, giving up a goal less than 3 minutes into the game. I felt like I was watching a USMNT game!!


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