Road-Weary Rapids Finish 10-Day Road Trip With 1-0 Loss to Chicago at Toyota Park

CHICAGO (Wednesday August 26 2006)- Playing their third road game in eight days the Colorado Rapids lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park tonight.

Colorado had the first scoring opportunity in the fourth minute as Kyle Beckerman made a run down the left side and played a dangerous cross to Thaigo Martins that was knocked out just in time by Chicago for a corner kick.

In the eighth minute Kyle Beckerman had the game’s first shot on goal but his attempt was stopped by Chicago 'keeper Zach Thornton as he dove to his right.

Joe Cannon had his first action of the game in the ninth minute when he came out to claim a lose ball off of a bad Fire first touch.

The Rapids nearly captured the first goal of the game in the 10th minute. Jacob Peterson played a short through ball to Martins but the Brazilian couldn’t get around on the ball soon enough as Thornton charged from his goal to stop the shot. The rebound however popped up to the penalty spot where Daniel Wasson attempted to head home his second goal of the year only to be denied by a sprawling Thornton.

Two minutes later Chicago took the lead off of a corner kick. Chris Armas played the kick in to rookie Dasan Robinson who scored his first MLS goal.

Cannon made two more saves in the 28th minute to preserve the scoreline at 1-0.

In the 50th minute Cannon made another save on Andy Herron as the Fire forward cut back and forth many times only to shoot the ball right into Cannon’s breadbasket.

Thornton was forced to make a diving save in the 53rd minute when Dan Gargan whipped in a low dangerous cross that took a deflection off of a Fire defender and nearly found its way into the back of the net.

Justin Mapp attempted to make it 2-0 in the 60th minute but Joe Cannon made a great diving stop to his left.

Mike Petke came the closest to evening the score in the 63rd minute. After playing a cross he stayed in the attack and when Beckerman played a ball into the box he jumped to meet it with a powerful header but the ball carromed off the goal post.

Cannon made his best save of the game in the 69th minute. A Fire cross looked to be coming straight to Dan Gargan but a streaking Herron flew in front of the Rapids defender to head the ball on goal. Cannon caught by surprise was able to knock the ball over the crossbar with an amazing reaction save.

Cameroonian midfielder Alain Nkong made his first appearance for the Rapids in 2006 in the 83rd minute as he entered the game as a sub; the had Rapids re-signed Nkong earlier in the week.

Hunter Freeman was ejected from the game in the 87th minute for denying a goal-scoring opportunity in the Rapids' penalty box. Diego Gutierrez stepped up to take the penalty kick for the home team but sent the ball wide of the left side of the goal.

The Rapids Reserves will take on the Fire Reserves tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. (MT) before the team returns home to face Western Conference rivals FC Dallas on Wednesday night.

Scoring Summary:
CHI – Robinson (Armas) 12

Colorado Rapids – Joe Cannon Hunter Freeman Aitor Karanka Mike Petke (Alain Nkong 83) Dan Gargan Nicolas Hernandez Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Daniel Wasson (Clint Mathis 61) Jacob Peterson Thiago Martins (Jovan Kirovski 72)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Jordan Colin Clark Eric Denton Fabrice Noel

Chicago Fire – Zach Thornton C.J. Brown Tony Sanneh Dasan Robinson Brian Plotkin Chris Armas Diego Gutierrez Justin Mapp (Calen Carr 77) Ivan Guerrero Chad Barrett (Logan Pause 67) Andy Herron (Gonzalo Segares 86)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Pickens Jim Curtin Floyd Franks Ryan Johnson

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Mastroeni (Caution) 2
CHI – Pause (Caution) 71
COL – Freeman (Ejection) 87
COL – Beckerman (Caution) 90+

Referee: Jozef Batko
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; Richard Eddy
4th Official: Roni Canales
Attendance: 15400