New England Soccer Today

First Touch: #CF97

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Coming off a disappointing journey to the west coast, the Revolution return to Foxborough to host the Chicago Fire on Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Here are a few things to know about Chicago going into the match:

*The Fire sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings tied for 8th place with the Montreal Impact with 14 points. However, Montreal has played three fewer games than Chicago, due to the Impact’s CONACAF Champions League schedule, which resulted in the postponement of a few of their earlier-season matches. Chicago’s 4-7-2 record puts them one point behind the Union for seventh, two points behind Columbus for sixth, and three points behind the New York Red Bulls and Orlando City SC for fourth.

*The Fire’s 1.08 points per game is fourth-worst in the MLS, only in front of New York City FC (0.79 ppg), the Philadelphia Union (0.94 ppg) and the Colorado Rapids (1.0 ppg).

*Chicago’s struggled are magnified on the road, where they boast a 0-2-4 record through their first six road games in 2015. After losing their first three road matches, the Fire pulled out two back-to-back 2-2 draws against Columbus and NYC FC, but got back on the losing track losing 3-1 to DC United in their last road match on June 3rd.

*The Fire’s last match was a 3-2 home loss to the expansion Orlando City SC. Despite playing better at home, the Fire have lost two of their last three home matches. Overall, the Fire have a 1-2-4 record in their last seven matches.

*The back line of the Fire is anchored by Jeff Larentowicz, a familiar face to New England soccer fans. Larentowicz started 103 matches and made 111 appearances for the Revs from 2005 to 2009 before being traded to the Colorado Rapids, where he was a member of the 2010 MLS Cup Champions. The Brown University alumni scored nine goals and notched nine assists with the Revolution during his time in New England. Now with the Fire, he has started all 13 matches for Chicago while tied for the team lead with four goals, despite playing as a center back.

*Larentowicz is joined by Joevin Jones and Harry Shipp as the only Fire players to start all 13 matches this year.

*David Accam is tied for the team-lead with Larentowicz with four goals so far in the season, despite only starting eight games and making one appearance as a sub. Only Harry Shipp and Kennedy Igboananike have multiple goals for the Fire in 2015, as they both have two goals. Last year’s team leader, Quincy Amarikwa, has yet to score but has one assist in 13 appearances (7 starts) after scoring 8 times for the Fire in 2014. Mike McGee, who was tied for second with Harry Shipp with 7 goals last year, is returning from injury and made his season debut last week as a late sub.

*The primary lineup for Chicago and player ratings, according to, is presented below:


*The Fire lineup has seen a wide range of variety over the season, as they’ve started with a 4-4-1-1 formation in five matches, a 4-2-3-1 in three matches, a 4-4-2 and a 4-1-4-1 in two matches, and a 4-1-2-1-2 in one match. The 4-4-1-1 formation was utilized last week against Orlando after Chicago used a 4-4-2 two weeks ago at DC United.

*The Fire are led by MLS Coaching veteran Frank Yallop, who has managed the San Jose Earthquakes (2001-2003, 2008-2013), the LA Galaxy (2006-2007), and the Chicago Fire (2013-present). Yallop has assembled an MLS record of 162-106-153.

*Yallop’s playing career primarily consisted of his long tenure at Ipswich Town from 1983 to 1996. Across 385 appearances, he would score 8 goals as a defender. Yallop also spent three years with the Tampa Bay Mutiny from 1996-1998 before retiring.

*Yallop also has international experience as a player and manager for his home country of Canada. Yallop made 52 appearances for Canada from 1990 to 1997, and managed them to a 8-9-3 record from 2004 through the summer of 2006. Yallop was inducted as a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.

*The Revolution and Fire last met at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 7, 2014 when Diego Fagundez and Charlie Davies scored in a 2-1 comeback victory for New England. Sanna Nyassi scored early for the visitors.

Here are highlights from that match:

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