Rapids Snap Five Game Losing Streak with Scoreless Draw in Chicago

Bridgeview Ill. (Sunday July 1 2007)- In the dying seconds of the match the Fire’s crossbar denied the Colorado Rapids their first victory in the last six games in a match that remained 0-0 in Chicago. The road tie broke a five-game losing streak for the team the longest draught in the last nine seasons.

Colin Clark took the Rapids' first shot of the game in the third minute. His shot went wide after playing a give-and-go with Jacob Peterson at the top of the Fire’s penalty area.

Clark who was starting his second game of the season had another opportunity in the fifth minute. Peterson sprinted down the right sideline and crossed the ball. Clark barely got in front of his man but his shot on goal sailed inches from the cross bar.

The Fort Collins native came close to his first MLS goal again in the 21st minute. Jovan Kirovski played a ball with the outside of his foot to put Clark behind the defense. Clark’s shot however was grabbed by goalie Matt Pickens who came off his line to cut the angle.

In the 26th minute the Fire’s Diego Gutierrez sacrificed his body to block a Niko Hernandez shot before it could reach the Fire goal.

The Fire’s first scoring opportunity of the game came in the 40th minute. Bouna Coundoul came out of his penalty area and forced Chad Barrett to take a long touch on a through ball forcing the ball to roll out of bounds.

Coundoul made his first save of the game in the 45th minute. The Senegalese ‘keeper showed his great range by stopping a back post shot from five yards out.

In the 49th minute Hernandez dribbled between two Fire defenders and went down in the box when Bakary Soumare grabbed a fistful of his jersey. Referee Ramon Hernandez watched the play happen but did not whistle for a penalty. Hernandez gave his shirt to Soumare at the end of the match.

A superb effort from Pickens kept Hernandez off the board in the 52nd minute. The Argentine hit a 20-yard shot that the goalie had to punch over the cross bar for a corner kick.

In the 74th minute Jovan Kirovski picked the pocket of Soumare which led to a Rapids break but the final pass from Kirovski to Peterson was just inches too far for the Indiana product to connect with.

In the 83rd minute Soumare was shown a red card for striking Clark in the neck away from the ball.

Coundoul was forced to parry a ball over the crossbar in the 88th minute when Gonzalo Segares hit a 35-yard effort on goal.

In second half stoppage time the Rapids nearly scored the game-winner when substitute Roberto Brown deflected a Fire clearance off the crossbar.

Newly acquired defender Facundo Erpen played the full 90 minutes just two days after being traded to the Rapids. Captain Pablo Mastroeni left the game with a left groin strain and will be evaluated back in Denver tomorrow by the Rapids medical staff.

The Rapids will return home to Dick’s SportingGoodsPark for a two-game home stand before the All-Star break.On July 4 Colorado puts their 10-1 record on Independence Day on the line against Columbus in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Four days later the Rapids host the New York Red Bulls at 6 p.m.

Scoring Summary:
NONE

Lineups:

Colorado Rapids – Bouna Coundoul Brandon Prideaux Facundo Erpen Ugo Ihemelu Dan Gargan Colin Clark Jovan Kirovski Pablo Mastroeni (Dan Wasson 38) Terry Cooke (Roberto Brown 72) Nicolas Hernandez Jacob Peterson
Substitutes Not Used: Zach Thornton Jose Cancela Nico Colaluca Stephen Keel

Chicago Fire – Matt Pickens C.J. Brown Diego Gutierrez Gonzalo Segares Logan Pause Ivan Guerrero Brian Plotkin Bakary Soumare Jerson Monteiro (Calen Carr 68) Chad Barrett (Thiago 71) Willian Oliveira (Chris Armas 56)

Substitutes Not Used: Jon Busch Dasan Robinson Floyd Franks Bruno Menezes

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Prideaux (Caution) 22

COL – Ihemelu (Caution) 41

CHI – Soumare (Ejection) 83

COLClark (Caution) 84

Referee: Ramon Hernandez

Referees Assts.: Steven Taylor; Peter Balciunas

Fourth Official: Abbey Okulaja