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New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire: Match Preview


The New York Red Bulls have played 29 games this season, but their season will boil down to the 30th and final match as they face the Chicago Fire needing a win to secure a playoff berth for the sixth straight season.

The Chicago Fire come into the match looking to lock up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs as well as finishing the regular season with a strong showing at home, something the Fire hasn’t done regularly this season.

What will the match come down to exactly? it is tough to say given all the potential lineups we might see. You can bet that the Red Bulls will look to win the possession battle and field a team capable of neutralizing Chicago’s dangerous attack and potent counterattack.

Here is how I see the teams lining up tonight:

Fire/Red Bulls Lineup






Rolfe ——————————————–Mapp

Van Den Bergh——————————Stammler







Top Match-ups to watch:

Juan Pablo Angel vs. Wilman Conde– The battle of Colombians should be the best battle on the field.

Juan Pietravallo vs. Cuauhtemoc Blanco– Pietravallo is known for pesting playmakers and Blanco has been known to school players like him. If Pietravallo can neutralize Blanco, the Red Bulls will be a step closer to a win.

Dave Van Den Bergh vs. Chris Rolfe– Which winger will have the bigger impact? Van Den Bergh has been in good form most of the year and will be the key to finding chances for Angel.

What are you most looking forward to about tonight’s match? What do you see being the key to the match? Can the Red Bulls beat Chicago for the first time this year? Will the Fire be motivated to eliminate the Red Bulls?

Share your thoughts on tonight’s match in the comments section below.


  1. ahahahah I totally missed Ives accusing someone else of being me — keep better track of your IP address log before you make yourself look silly again

  2. Sha na na na hey hey hey goodbye.

    Karma chameleon

    keep your excuses to yourselves cause Fire had not thorington and no Segares both of whom are better than anyone NJ was missing.

    Osorio should be Fired for not starting Khandji.

    Osorio got what was coming, Karma biting him in the a$$$ in the form of the Fire. The Fire didnt have to win. REd Metros did. How can you lose a MUST win game 5-2?

    heres hoping Columbus benches six starters against DC like they did against NJ.

  3. I don’t know Ives. A 4-4-1-1 has two forwards with two box to box players in the middle behind those two “forwards.” If Magee is the withdrawn forward isn’t that just a asking for Magee to say in the midfield and again turning it into a 4-5-1?

    Why did Osorio bother getting Mbuta if he was going to bench him and Richards? And what is up with not playing Kandji in a do or die game?

  4. Tim, no you’re not the only one.

    And to think a lot of Metro fans wanted to outright cut him in the off-season.

    Sadly, the only 2 players on our squad even in the conversation for Best XI are VDB and JPA.

  5. Am I the only one who thinks that Dave van den Bergh deserves to in the MLS XI, especially if Red Bulls make the playoffs. I can’t think of left middy as good as him in the league.

  6. Ives, how many games has Osorio won with that stupid 4-5-1? I know that he hopes it really turns into a 4-3-3 but it doesn’t do that. All you have is a single striker up top with 5 players stuck in the middle.

  7. I’m a galaxy fan but I’m hoping that NY wins so we will have at least one major market in the playoffs.

    mdh, Take a chill pill and settle down.

  8. Thanks Kevin, and settle down MDH (I mean Anotherbodymurdered 😉 ) the Rolfe-Mapp swap was a mistake so settle down with the “butchered” talk.

    And Isaac, I don’t think you’re going to be happy when the actual lineup comes out.

  9. not to nitpick, but I would expect to see Mapp on the left… Thorrington and Rolfe seem to both go back and forth between right and center during the match, but Rolfe tends to be the further forward of the two. Should be an awesome game tonight, I’m pumped.







    But it seems to me like when we defend, Rolfe drops back down the right and Thorrington moves into the center more… but it probably has a lot to do with wherever they were when we lost the ball

  10. You’ve butchered the Fire’s lineup. Why would right-footed Rolfe play on the left wing, where he has not played all season? Why would left-footed Mapp play on the right? Switch Mapp to the left, Thorrington to the right, put Blanco in the slot and move Rolfe up to pair with McBride, and you might have the right lineup.

    Cepero’s honeymoon is over tonight.

  11. No Cichero, No Magee. Im happy. I like Rojas more as a attacking midfielder so to see him play that position tonight is going to be great. The question is can everyone around him take advantage of his ability.

  12. According to the emailed game notes (which are usually correct) it’s a 4-5-1, which normally I’m opposed to, but I think will work in this situation:

    GK – 1 Danny Cepero

    D – 2 Kevin Goldthwaite

    D – 29 Diego Jimenez

    D – 27 Andrew Boyens

    D – 33 Chris Leitch

    M – 11 Dave van den Bergh

    M – 23 Juan Pietravallo

    M – 6 Seth Stammler

    M – 19 Dane Richards

    M – 13 Jorge Rojas

    F – 9 Juan Pablo Angel

  13. The Red Bulls are going to walk away with a win. They seem to walking into this game with a no nonsense git-er-done lock-er-up sort of attitude. Which is something we haven’t seem them do for almost the entire season. Then again, they haven,t really had the luxury.

  14. Guys, my starting lineup isn’t the actual lineup. It’s just a projected lineup. I think we could also see Magee in place of Kandji and Cichero instead Jimenez.

  15. Hey Ives, do you have any inside info on Cichero and the doghouse he is in? After all the buildup in getting him we are playing Jimenez and Boyens ahead of him. Do you think he’ll get some playing time?

  16. Hey Ives, do you have any inside info on Cichero and the doghouse he is in? After all the buildup in getting him we are playing Jimenez and Boyens ahead of him. Do you think he’ll get some playing time?

  17. Kaklva: initially, Ives had listed Magee as a withdrawn forward/attacking mid. He took out Magee and added Kandji. Now I’m happy 🙂

  18. It took me awhile but i think i understand the lineups lol. ok but yea i think stephen has a point. Angel really isnt all that great as a lone striker.

  19. Honestly, I’d rather have Mbuta or Richards in the game instead of Rojas and play a more straight up 4-4-2 if that’s how JCO wants to play it.

  20. If that’s the line up he puts out on the field, the Red Bulls have no chance. You can’t leave JPA up top by himself in a 4-5-1. He will get abused by the Fire’s big/strong central defenders, and the Red Bulls will not be able to score! Come on “Professor” – play to win the %^&* game – go with a 4-4-2 (leaving Magee on the bench) and let the cards fall where …


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