By JOHN BOSCHINI
The Chicago Fire saw its playoff hopes diminished even further with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium. The victory made it 23 games since RSL was beaten at home, an MLS record.
The lone goal came in the 44th minute when Alvaro Saborio scored from a penalty kick after Wilman Conde, who had already been cautioned in the 30th minute, pulled Ned Grabavoy down inside the box. C.J. Brown was initially given the yellow card, but the referee corrected his mistake and Conde was shown a second yellow, leaving the Fire with 10 men. Sean Johnson guessed the right way on the ensuing penalty but Saborio beat the keeper to the left post for his ninth goal of the season.
It was mostly one-way traffic towards the Fire goal in the second half and RSL almost doubled its lead in the 77th minute when Paulo Araujo Jr.'s shot ricocheted off the woodwork. Two minutes later, Chicago almost got an equalizer against the run of play but Patrick Nyarko's shot from about 20 yards out skidded just wide of the near post.
Despite the win, it was another tough outing for Robbie Findley, who extended his goalless streak to nine games. He had a shot parried by Johnson just before halftime and put a shot over the crossbar after he was left alone in front of goal midway through the second half. The Fire ended the game with only five total shots, none of them directed on frame.
The win gives RSL a record of 13-8-4 and a temporary lead in the Western Conference. The Fire is sitting in 11th place, seven points back of eighth-place Seattle, and is running out of games to string a playoff run together.
I believe he is trying to keep him fresh. RSL has a wicked run of games over the next month and Sabo has been one of RSL’s most productive players–especially with Espindola hurt.
RSL wouldn’t have won the MLS Cup without Robbie Findley.
23 in MLS reg. season games, 29 in all competitions (CCL, playoffs, int’l exhibitions)
Is that 23 MLS games unbeaten, or 23 games in all competitions? Just curious cause I know they haven’t lost at home in the CCL either.
Findley’s play has gotten ridiculous. When he gets the ball, I know that nothing good will come of it. If he shoots, it will either be way off or right at the keeper. Even if its an open net, he’ll find a way to miss. How did this guy start for the US in the World Cup? How is this guy still starting for RSL? RSL is lucky to have picked up Saborio, because had RSL truly needed Findley to score goals this year, RSL would be fighting for a playoff spot, if not worse.
Findley is garbage, I hope they buy Paulo Araujo to replace him because he looks like he has potential to be a starting striker for RSL, he almost had a goal today when his rocket hit the post he even scored in CCL unlike Robbie. Anyway, good job RSL the record is now theirs, they played alright today I liked the way they kept the ball on the ground and made nice passes to set each other up could’ve been 3-0 had they finished, there really proving me wrong about who they were last year, they’re a solid club and Saborio is a solid striker too.
What’s with Saborio getting subbed every game? He has been performing way better than Findley and he looks pissed every time. I hope Kreis is just resting him and it doesn’t end up alienating him.