Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fire see red again, fall to D.C. at Carolina Challenge Cup

Fire's Logan Pause -- ISI Photos
For a team hoping to get a look at its offensive options heading into the 2011 Major League Soccer season, the continual red cards are not helping the Chicago Fire's cause.

Uruguayan forward Diego Chaves was ejected in the 37th minute and the Fire fell to D.C. United, 1-0, on Wednesday at the Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

D.C., which defeated the host Charleston Battery last week, is in good shape to repeat as Carolina Challenge Cup champion with two wins and six points in the bag. Chicago has three points from last Saturday's 1-0 win against Toronto FC and faces Charleston and potentially former Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, who just joined the Battery squad, this Saturday to wrap up the tournament.

On Wednesday, Chaves' red was Chicago's second straight in the tournament (third straight in preseason action) as defensive midfielder Logan Pause was issued a red during last Saturday's win over Toronto. Pause returned Wednesday as the tournament does not issue a one-game suspension.

"It makes for a difficult game of soccer to be played. That's the reality," Pause said of the team's recent shorthanded situations. "You take positives and negatives out of it. The positive is a situation like this helps build character and requires a team to roll up its sleeves and hope to get a result. We have another match this weekend and we've done a lot of training in our system, so we feel we're in good shape."


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