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Fire let lead slip away, falls to Manchester United

 Rooney Ferdinand



The Chicago Fire weren't favored against Manchester United, especially after the English Premier League side drubbed the Seattle Sounders 7-0 just three days ago.

Still, some of the Fire players felt like they let one slip away after they lost 3-1 to Manchester United at Soldier field.

“I thought we played well … It’s just a matter of trying to finish the game off,” Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko said. “We had a couple of chances to have a little security, but it didn’t happen.”

The Fire were off to a dream start when defender Cory Gibbs scored in the 13th minute to suprised the sellout crowd of 61,308. Chicago outshot Manchester United 10-5 in the first half, but they couldn’t manage to beat goalkeeper David de Gea again in his Manchester United debut.

Baggio Husidic had a one-on-one chance just outside the six-yard box in the 52nd minute but he failed to convert. Minutes later, Orr Barrouch hit the post.

Yet again, it just wasn’t the Fire’s day.    

“It’s tough, because you can’t let chances go against a team like this,” defender Gonzalo Segares said. “We could’ve been up 3-0 in the second half but we couldn’t finish.”

Wayne Rooney equaled the score and opened the floodgates for United in the 66th minute when he chipped goalkeeper Jon Conway.

Rafael scored from an awkward angle in the 75th minute, kicking the ball through Conway’s legs, and Nani added one of his own in the 82nd, chipping the backup goalkeeper.

Just like that, Manchester United was securely on its way to a third win in the World Football Challenge.

“Chicago Fire played well. They could have scored two or three more,” Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson said. “We showed patience.”

Winless in their last seven league games, a win could've done wonders for the Fire's confidence.

Still, interim head coach Frank Klopas brushed off any inkling of disappointment.

“Look guys, you’ve got to understand who we’re playing against. We made the group competitive. In the final third we still need to be working on stuff,” Fire head coach Frank Klopas said.

“I thought it was a positive impression. We wanted to really step on the field and play with confidence. I thought we did that for the most part 60-65 minutes of the game. We created chances and that was positive."

After a record amount of rainfall flooded Chicago the night before, temperatures reached the 90’s during the game. “I felt like we were playing on the desert today, it was really really hard,” Manchester United midfielder Nani said. “I think everyone maybe lost some weight.” … Recent signing Sebastian Grazzini made his debut for the Chicago, coming on in the 62nd minute … The sellout crowd was a the highest for a soccer game at Soldier Field since its capacity was lowered when the stadium was renovated in 2003.


  1. he looked promising at first, but i think the stubble and bad form came on at the same time.

    I accuse him of smoking too much pot.

  2. All the MLS sides starting 11’s hung well with United. The Union did them one better as their reserves outplayed Real Madrid. I didn’t expect this, Real’s and United’s budgets could buy the entire MLS three times.

  3. No they arent 100% counting on him. They also have Lindegaard if they feel that De Gea isny quite ready to start in the EPL. Its a totally different style of play than La Liga…it just might take some time to adjust.

  4. Blame on it preseason form but I haven’t been blown away by United.

    If I’m not mistaken, 100 % of their leads/wins have come from second half insertions against reserve quality talent by in large.


    Regarding De Gea, I actually am not sold he’ll be THE starter this season. I think they’ll go by committee depending on a goalies form.

    Going forward for many years to come, he’s obviously the future. Present? Call me skeptical….going from Atletico to United is another level, to say nothing of the “top to bottom” talent, I think the EPL is stronger than La Liga and the competition he’ll see weekly.

  5. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “deep” 2nd string, aside from Diouf, Welbeck, Cleverly and Obertan (who looks to see a lot more games this year on the wing).

    The rest either have last year or will get 30+ games this campaign.

  6. That’s because he is terrible.

    Last year was simply serendipity at work for Baggio in the goal scoring department.

    Pains me to say but the local product looks down when he dribbles & runs like he’s hamstrings are pulled.

    Sidenote: For some reason I’ve always been annoyed he chose #9, too.

  7. What is NOT mentioned is that, aside from Berbatov, ManU had its deep reserve team in for the entire 1st half and worked in the likes of Rooney, Giggs, Nani, Vidic, Ferdinand etc. fresh in the 2nd half heat as Chicago was working in its reserves. That Sir Alex is a sly old dog! Also, the Seattle game wasn’t part of the “World Football Challenge”, not that it matters anyway.

  8. What does age have to do with it?

    Maybe he will be great when he’s 32… Aren’t they counting on him this year, at age 20?

  9. De Gea is 20 years old!! He has plenty of time to turn into a solid keeper. Not going to judge him for his first pre-season game, that would just be ridiculous, especially since he only let up 1 goal and Uniteds defense was suspect at times.

  10. Manchester United look awfully strong going into the premier league season. Good solid chemistry and passing and a incredible goal from Nani. However I do agree with Mike, De Gea did not look the 20 million pound phenom that Man U fans were expecting.

  11. Yes Husidic sucks.

    Was not impressed by Man U’s new goalie. Fire had him beaten on a number of plays but it was a lack of finishing and not the goalie who did them in.

    Sean Johnson looked better than him.

    …for all that money Man U payed for that goalie at least he wasnt as bad as Conway.

  12. Well done all three MLS sides who hung with United when their first 11’s played. Remember Rooney makes more money than the entire MLS roster minus Becks and Henry.

  13. “Baggio” Husidic, that nickname was funny on multiple levels today (1. he’s no Baggio, 2. the infamous World Cup penalty kick).

    What happens if the Fire actually play to win and leave in Sean Johnson and a few others?

  14. Like Bruce Arena said: we need to set up the WFC so that MLS teams can play their best players for a full 90, as opposed to taking them out to ensure they’ll be match fit a few days later.

    That would be much more fun to watch.

    GO USMNT AND USWNT, wooot wooooooot!!!!!!!!!!


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