The 2013 Brimstone Cup is here. FC Dallas hosts their old rivals, the Chicago Fire on Saturday night in a must-win match.
The Fire won the 2012 edition of the Cup, their first Brimstone Cup title since 2001. The win also snapped a five-game winning streak by Dallas in the series.
FC Dallas Notes:
Cooper vs Fire. Big Kenny Cooper has had some success against the Fire over the years. After scoring last week against Salt Lake, Cooper will be looking for his first back-to-back goals scored in a game with FC Dallas since 2009. Cooper has six goals all-time against the Fire, all came while he was with FC Dallas.
October 12. The last time FC Dallas played on October 12 was two years ago, in a win over the Chicago Fire.
The Fire are a very direct team in their approach to the game. Lead by Mike Magee up front, the Fire love to play an open style of game that flows through the wings and sets up chances in the box for Magee to pounce on.
Chicago started off the season in a bad way, going 2-7-1 until the trade for Magee and defender Bakary Soumare. Since then the Fire have been much better on all sides of the ball, going 10-5-6.
The Fire are a team that can beat you on set pieces due to their size in the back or they can beat you on the ground with their flank play.
Defensively the have been giving up goals as of late. In their last five games they have given up eight goals.
Frank Klopas has opted to stick with the 4-4-2 lineup, making a change here and there on the wings as of late.
Goalkeeper: Sean Johnson; RB: Jalil Anibaba, CB: Austin Berry, Bakary Soumare, LB: Gonzalo Segares; RM: Patrick Nyarko; CM: Jeff Larentowicz, Logan Pause; LM: Chris Rolfe; FW: Mike Magee, Jean Luis Anangono
Keys to Three Points:
Control the wing play. Chicago will want this to be a free flowing game on the wings, Dallas will have to be smart on defending their open space and not allowing silly mistakes in their defensive third.
Play physical. The Fire will cause some issues due to their size in the back and in the center of the park but Dallas will want to get a little physical with their attackers. Anytime Matt Hedges or George John can lay their bodies into Magee, Patrick Nyarko or Chris Rolfe, they'll tend to back off a little bit.
Castillo and Cooper. If Schellas Hyndman does go with a 4-4-2 on Saturday, he needs to partner Cooper with Fabian Castillo. Let Castillo play off of Cooper in the attack and find ways to get in around the Chicago defense. They will struggle with the sneaky play of Castillo and the hold-up play from Cooper.
For whatever reason, I feel some what good about this game for Dallas. Their backs are against the wall and the desperate nature of this kind of game could work in their favor. If anything, I do see a win holding the playoff hopes for just another week here.
Dallas 2, Chicago 1
What is your prediction for Saturday's game? Let's hear it below.