Chicago Fire Draws Tie with Houston Dynamo in MLS Action

Ernest Shepard@@ernestshepardAnalyst IIIApril 16, 2012

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - APRIL 15: Logan Pause #12 of the Chicago Fire is hugged by teammates after converting a penalty kick against the Houston Dynamo during an MLS match at Toyota Park on April 15, 2012 in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Fire played the Houston Dynamo Sunday night in a match that was called in the 66th due to inclement weather of heavy rains and lightning. The competitive match ended up in a1-1 draw.

Not bad considering the Fire played against the reigning MLS Eastern Conference champions. When you also add on a 70-minute weather delay early in the match, any team would have completely packed it in.

Not the Fire.

After Chicago 'keeper Sean Johnson was unable to stop a goal by Dynamo forward Will Bruin in the 24th minute, Fire midfielder Logan Pause quickly responded with a goal of his own three minutes later. Pause's deflection carried over Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall to even the Fire.

Plenty to discuss after the game, including a ton of optimism coming from the coaches and players.

Fire assistant coach Leo Percovich praised the “aggression” of the team, while going on to say that he felt that the Fire would have won had play continued. From Chicago-Fire.com:

We had good chances tonight, we have a lot of mobility.  The team tried to play great soccer for the first half, I guess the wind… their goalkeeper made a couple good saves.  We missed a couple passes at the end because the field was so wet.  Houston tried to put good pressure on them, but Grazzini made a good opportunity to score.  I think we were very aggressive.  If we kept going in this game, we would’ve won this game.  You can see in the second half, we wanted to play.  Houston had players falling down.  We had good chances in the first half against the wind and then more for sure in the second half.

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Meanwhile, fellow assistant coach Mike Matkovich concurred with Percovich's assessment of the game, insisting the Fire should have pulled three points on the night, and praised his team's resilience:

Obviously we’re a little disappointed that we didn’t get the game in its’ entirety, but we can’t control the Lord above.  It was a difficult night to play… rain, wind, starts, stops… the one key thing is, we were down a goal, we had a good response, we scored within three minutes to tie it.  I felt that if the game would’ve went on, we could have pulled three points out of the night.  But I give our guys a lot of credit.  They fought hard and there was a lot of adversity.  I thought our focus was good.  The guys came out and kept their focus to try to get three points.  Unfortunately, we ended up in a draw, but we will reevaluate and get ready for Toronto.