Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fire drop 3rd straight to depleted L.A.

Dominic Oduro -- Getty Images
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Los Angeles Galaxy was without its star power Sunday, but the struggling Chicago Fire could not withstand the rest of L.A.'s depleted roster as Chicago dropped its third straight, 2-1, in front of 18,203 at Toyota Park.

Former Fire forward Chad Barrett and Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez provided the Galaxy's scoring as L.A. earned a victory without Landon Donovan (knee inflammation), David Beckham (suspended), Juninho (suspended) and Jovan Kirovski (suspended).

Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos adjusted a couple of things defensively with the addition of 33-year-old goalkeeper Jon Conway for second-year goalkeeper Sean Johnson, and center defensive back Josip Mikulic returned to the fray in place of Dasan Robinson.

But the defensive lapses continued, particularly on Barrett's goal in the 42nd minute. He was left all alone in the middle of the Fire's defense.

"Those little breakdowns that we've been having defensively have been hurting us a lot," Fire midfielder and defender Gonzalo Segares said. "That definitely brought the momentum down."

The Fire (1-3-1) found some late life as second-half substitution Dominic Oduro beat Gonzalez one-on-one at a difficult angle from the right side and slotted the ball past Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to cut L.A.'s lead to 2-1.

Chicago created a couple more chances, including two sequences when Conway left his goal and went into the offensive third. Shortly into stoppage time, Conway pushed up on a Marco Pappa corner kick, and Ricketts had a huge opportunity to punt the ball toward the empty net. Instead, Ricketts was too busy directing things with his teammates, and Conway eventually trudged back into the net.


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