The New York Red Bulls played an away fixture at Bridgeview, Illinois against the Chicago Fire, to themselves drop points in a race to second place in the Eastern Conference.
18,526 fans watched the Fire play the Red Bulls at Toyota Park and were not left disappointed, as they witnessed four goals between two high-flying teams.
“The crowd today was fantastic,” Fires’ Logan Pause said. “They really picked us up, especially when we scored that early goal in the second half, and when Chris Rolfe came on.”
The long international break seemed to have done wonders for the Fire, as they played some fast-paced, counterattacking football. The Red Bulls, on the other hand, controlled the game, having over 60 percent of possession, but were unable to convert their chances into the vital goals that they so desperately needed after Dax McCarty’s 55th minute equalizer.
The New York side, however, recorded just four shots on target, compared to seven from the home side. The Red Bulls had 11 attempts and the Fire had 13 attempts.
An early goal is always difficult to play against—the Red Bulls found that out after Patrick Nyarko’s fifth minute strike, which perhaps foreshadowed the Red Bulls playing on their back foot for the majority of the game.
The Red Bulls lined up in an all-too familiar 4-4-2, with Kenny Coopers and Dane Richards leading the attack. Joel Lindpere, Dax McCarthy, Heath Pearce and Jan Gunnar Solli made up the midfield. Roy Miller, Wilman Conde, Markus Holgersson and Brandon Barklage played up front goalkeeper Ryan Meara.
The Fire played in a narrow 4-2-3-1, led by Dominic Oduro as the lone striker. Marco Pappa, Sebastián Grazzini and Patrick Nyarko lined up as midfielders. Logan Pause and Pavel Pardo played as anchor men in the defensive half. Gonzalo Segares, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry and Dan Gargan were the Fires’ back four. Sean Johnson played a great game as the home side goalkeeper, limiting the Red Bulls to just one goal.