Chicago Fire Tame Colorado Rapids 2-0


Fire CHICAGO, Ill. (Aug. 27, 2011) – A 17th minute goal from Dominic Oduro gave the Fire the early advantage and Cory Gibbs’ headed home a Sebastian Grazzini cross in the 35th as the Chicago Fire (4-7-15, 27 points) defeated the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids 2-0 Saturday night at Toyota Park. 


It didn’t take long for the home side to get after the attack when Patrick Nyarko’s swarming work helped to dispossess Rapids left back Kosuke Kimura. The Ghanaian centered a low cross which Sebastian Grazzini let lie for the charging Marco Pappa, but the Guatemalan international put his effort over the Colorado goal from inside the 18.


Six minutes later Fire left back Gonzalo Segares played a forward ball for Nyarko with his back to goal. The striker fought off pestering challenges from Kimura to unleash a rocket, forcing Pickens down to his left to make the save in the 12th minute.


It was Nyarko’s strike partner Dominic Oduro that finally broke through in the 16th minute. Mexican midfielder Pavel Pardo picked up the ball at midfield before sending a perfect chip over the top right into Oduro’s stride. The fleet Ghanaian outpaced Rapids defender Drew Moor into the box before firing towards the back post to beat the onrushing Pickens for his ninth goal of the MLS campaign.


The visiting Rapids came close to equalizing in the 28th minute. Taking one of the side’s 10 corners on the night, Colorado striker Sanna Nyassi picked out Drew Moor at the six-yard box but the former Fire PDL defender put his header just wide left of Johnson’s goal.


The Fire took advantage of the miss, doubling their lead seven minutes later. Grazzini began a great combination on the left, laying off for Pardo at the top of the 18 before making a run towards the end line. The Mexican midfielder looped a pass over the Rapids defense to Grazzini whose one-time cross at the touch line was perfectly placed for Cory Gibbs to head home from the top of six-yard box. The 35th minute goal gave the Fire a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.


Despite assisting on both goals, Pardo was replaced at the break by midfielder Daniel Paladini after suffering a right calf strain.


Gary Smith’s side looked to cut into the lead coming out of the stanza but couldn’t find much danger until the 60th minute when Nyassi, in space 25 yards from goal, fired a shot which took a deflection off of Gibbs before Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson got down to his right to make the save.


Recognizing the need for more in the attack, Smith inserted strikers Omar Cummings (61st minute and Macoumba Kandji (74th minute) to assist the pace of Nyassi up front.


The visitors’ best chance to get on the board though came in the 75th minute when Nyassi’s cross from the right skipped through a wealth of players before Paladini headed the ball off the line at Johnson’s back post, preserving a 2-0 Fire win in the process. It was Johnson’s second consecutive clean sheet and sixth shutout of the season.


The Fire’s homestand concludes with the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal against the Richmond Kickers on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), or by heading to the club’s official website at



With the win, the Fire improve their all-time home record vs. Colorado to 14-3-2.

Dominic Oduro tallied his team-leading ninth goal of the season with his strike in the 17th minute. Already having hit a career best for goals in an MLS season, the Ghanaian sits one away from becoming the first Fire player since Damani Ralph in 2004 to score double digit goals during the regular season.

Pavel Pardo tallied assists on both goals tonight while Grazzini grabbed one on Gibbs’ 35th minute header. The Fire’s two foreign summer signings have combined for three goals and five assists since the beginning of August

Fire defender Cory Gibbs tallied just his third career MLS goal against the team he spent 2008-09 with. Gibbs has scored two of his three MLS goals with the Fire in 2011.

Making four saves in the match, Sean Johnson recorded his sixth shutout of the season and ninth of his MLS career.

Defender Gonzalo Segares will miss the Fire’s next MLS regular season match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 10 due to yellow card suspension. Segares will be available for selection for the Fire’s Tuesday night Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal at TOYOTA PARK against the Richmond Kickers.


Chicago Fire 2 – 0 Colorado Rapids


Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Dan Gargan, Cory Gibbs, Jalil Anibaba, Gonzalo Segares; Marco Pappa, Pavel Pardo (Daniel Paladini 46’), Logan Pause ©; Sebastian Grazzini; Dominic Oduro (Baggio Husidic 90’), Patrick Nyarko (Orr Barouch 76’)


 Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Josip Mikulic, Corben Bone, Diego Chaves


Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens; Kosuke Kimura (Danny Earls 68’), Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor; Brian Mullan, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni ©, Wells Thompson (Omar Cummings 61’); Sanna Nyassi, Caleb Folan (Macoumba Kandji 74’)


 Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus, Scott Palguta, Joseph Nane, Ross LaBauex


Scoring Summary:

 CHI – Dominic Oduro (Pavel Pardo) 17’

CHI – Cory Gibbs (Sebastian Grazzini, Pavel Pardo) 35’


 Misconduct Summary:

 COL – Drew Moor (Caution; Reckless Tackle) 55’

CHI – Gonzalo Segares (Caution; Dissent) 61’

COL – Sanna Nyassi (Caution; Unsporting Behavior) 67’

COL – Brian Mullan (Caution; Tactical Foul) 74’


Referee: Juan Guzman

Referee’s Assistants: Chris Stickland, Kevin Duliba

4th Referee: Abbey Okulaja

Attendance: 15,211


Source: Chicago Fire Communications