Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mental lapses add to Fire's demise

Logan Pause (left) -- Getty Images
By Charlie Corr

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire so often have had to quickly put the past behind them to rebound from a poor effort. But Sunday's road loss to the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps appears to have lingered just a bit more than usual.

"We just didn't come mentally prepared that day and it showed," Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko said Wednesday following training. "It cost us big time. We had a series of meetings [this week], and the guys reminded themselves that it wasn't good enough."

Chicago is preparing for a road match against the New York Red Bulls this Saturday, and mental preparation clearly is an area where the Fire turned in a failing grade against the Whitecaps.

"The mentality at this level is the difference maker," Fire defender Logan Pause said. "You give up a goal 30 seconds in, it doesn't feel good. You're starting off with a massive hill to climb. You even it up and you do it right again. Sean [Johnson] makes a huge save on a penalty to keep us in it, and within five minutes of the second half [we give up a goal]. So it's one of those things where we kept taking punches, and I think how we fought back, or the lack of energy and commitment, was frustrating to be a part of."


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