Fire keeps playoff hopes alive with 3-0 win

Freddie Ljungberg (Reuters) 

The San Jose Earthquakes had a golden opportunity to bury the Chicago Fire and solidify their own hold on a playoff place.

The Fire had other plans.

Chicago snapped a seven-match win-less streak by scoring three unanswered goals in a 3-0 rout of the Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Freddie Ljungberg was the star of the show, scoring a goal and assisting on the other two scores to help pull the Fire within ten points of a playoff spot with five matches left to play.

Rookie Steven Kinney opened the scoring with his first MLS goal, snapping a 401-minute scoreless streak by the Fire. Ljungberg served up a corner that Kinney re-directed to take the early lead. Ljungberg made it 2-0 in the second half before setting up Patrick Nyarko for an insurance goal in second-half stoppage time.

Here are highlights from Chicago's victory:

What did you think of Chicago's victory? See the Fire making a playoff run now? Wondering if the Earthquakes might struggle down the stretch?

Share your thoughts below.

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18 Responses to Fire keeps playoff hopes alive with 3-0 win

  1. sal says:

    Too little too late, but definitely some encouraging signs for next year.

    Ristic is looking like a fantastic signing. Sad thing is he has been training with the Fire since the friggin’ preseason. Why did they wait 20+ games to sign him?

    Also amazing goal by Ljungberg. Goal of the Week winner no doubt.

  2. Charles says:

    I wonder if this causes the Fire would be crazy enough to sign Ljungberg on for another year ?

  3. This is a rebuilding year for Chicago. While the owners have stated it would not be. It has been a rebuilding year.

    I love Brian McBride and what he did for the US and Fulham. The chemistry of the team was altered when McBride returned. It is probably one of the reasons Blanco is no longer there. Besides that, Chad Barrett was coming into his own at the Fire. Losing Chad Barrett was a big loss too.

    Conde has not been the player he was last year. CJ Brown is slower than he used to be. They have had injuries in the back line.

    With McBride gone next year, I think we will see some improvements in the squad.

    The one bright side of the year? Sean Johnson

    He has the potential to be a great keeper.

  4. otergod says:

    next season might be a rebuilding year as well.

    CJ may retire
    BMB is retiring
    Castillo & Krol are only on loan
    Ljungberg was only a half year deal
    Thorington may or may not stay (injury prone?)
    Going to lose 1-2 players to exp. draft
    Conde’s contract ends

    We might be going through similar growing pains next season as well. But that doesnt mean we cant contend.

  5. Rory says:

    Sorry Freddy, Omar Cummings had the goal of the night, probably the goal of the week. Corner ball came in and dropped quicker then expected while he was jumping so he had to volley it out of the air, it looked like an awkward kick but he sent it towards the far post and it went through the legs of the defender in front of him and was just out of reach of Philly’s keeper, who had positioned himself perfectly had Omar headed the ball.

  6. GSScasual says:

    yoongburgs gol was bell-E-C-mo. but i hate fire, and spelling

  7. Frontrow says:

    401 minute scoreless streak, oh yeah, the Fire are a paragon of playoff teams.

  8. bryan says:

    very nice goal by freddy

  9. DC Josh says:

    You should coach Ives. It seems you have sparked a fire in Chicago (pun intended).

  10. bryan says:

    eh. for me, freddy’s was better. omar’s was also good, but it was also terrible defending. whereas freddy’s skill was too much for his defenders rather than them making a big mistake. IMO

  11. GSScasual says:

    Agree with Bry-man. Freddy used skill to juke defence, thank cooly finshed. Not taking anything away from cummings, hes a beast…. regardless, neither have anything on Marquez, Henry, and Lindpere. ; )

  12. cam5131 says:

    What a progressively disgusting game by San Jose. Yallop needs to stop altering the lineup and stick to playing Wondo at forward.

  13. Shadowdub says:

    First goal of the season for Ljungberg.

  14. fivefouls says:

    Castillo’s future is up to the Fire, who have the option to make the move permanent (don’t know if that’s a good thing or not). Nyarko should be coming back healthy, Husidic impressed in stretches this season, Sean Johnson has been awesome in net, and perhaps Collins John may be able to keep healthy… Ljungberg has been nothing short of beastly since joining the side, I have to think they’ll do everything they can to keep him. And hell, we still have Marco Pappa too.

    If it’s another rebuilding year next year, it won’t be because of a lack of talent.

  15. Ne-Dub says:

    I totally agree. Hats off to Wondo for his defensive work while playing on the wing, but why waste his energy?

    (back line: plenty of options when healthy)

  16. otergod says:

    It’ll take more then a handful of players to rebuild this team. If we lose the biggest portion of players i listed, our ranks will be depleted.

    We’ll have talented players, but ultimately we’ll be playing more rookies and 2nd year players unless we go out and find players around the league and abroad.

    Hopefully we find a freakin’ striker

  17. Dasan Robinson’s contract is up too. When he is healthy and plays, the Fire do well.

  18. GP says:

    seriously? It’s this “bountiful amount of talent” (and a clinically retarded coach) that have the fire doing so terrible this year