Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fire adapt to formation change

Daniel Paladini (right) -- Getty Images
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- When Chicago Fire captain and defensive midfielder Logan Pause injured his hamstring on Wednesday of last week, it caused head coach Carlos de los Cobos to rethink his strategy heading into their game against the defending MLS champion Colorado Rapids.

Initially the Fire were training to play a standard 4-4-2, with Pause naturally in the mix. But when Pause was out of the picture, De los Cobos adjusted with a 4-1-4-1.

Chicago posted a 1-1 draw on the road, and the formation switch could stay in place, especially if Pause and midfielder Mike Videira (concussion) are unable to go this Saturday when Chicago hosts the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps at Toyota Park.

Last week's match in Commerce City, Colo., opened the door for Fire midfielders Daniel Paladini and Corben Bone, who made their first starts and appearances this season. Uruguayan forward Gaston Puerari dropped back in the midfield, as well, leaving fellow countryman Diego Chaves as the team's lone attacker.

"We came out and played our system, and went attacking with four, five guys," Paladini said. "We're losing maybe a forward, but gaining an extra guy in the middle. We didn't go to Colorado to back up and play defense."

Read more at ESPNChicago.com.

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