Chicago Fire

Patterson: Young Fire Midfielders Find Success

Patterson: Young Fire Midfielders Find Success

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
4:08 PM

By Jen Patterson
CSNChicago.com

For Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry, this season has given them the opportunity for more playing time and both of the young midfielders have found success on the field.

The production on the field has not gone unnoticed by coach Carlos De Los Cobos. Baggio and Pete, they are young players. The last season they did not have many opportunities to play. Now its different, they are playing. They are maturing every game. Im very happy with these guys. They are working very hard to win their space on the team, said De Los Cobos.

Husidic and Lowry each scored in the 2-0 shutout victory vs. Houston which may partially be due to how De Los Cobos can relate to the midfielders on more then a coaching level.

24-year-old Lowry said, Hes been great. He played center-mid when he was a player. He was very successful. We can take a lot away from that. He knows a lot about the game. He really has worked with us a lot. Hes had so much success as a player and as a coach.

Carlos is a people person. He likes to talk to the players off the field. Its nice. You know him as a friend off the field as well, said Husidic.

Fire Technical Director, Frank Klopas, has watched the development of the midfielders from last season moving into this season and knows that with every game comes improvement. They are good players, with anything you need to give them confidence. The coaching staff has done that. You see the games and opportunities they have. They have taken advantage. There is still room for improvement but you can see they have a good attitude, said Klopas.

Libertyville native, Husidic, also credited veteran Brian McBride, saying that he has learned little things from him that matter a lot on the field that you cant learn from a coach. These midfielders will look to continue their success on Saturday in Toronto.

Fire Talk Podcast: Does David Accam have a long-term future with the Fire?

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USA TODAY

Fire Talk Podcast: Does David Accam have a long-term future with the Fire?

Dan Santaromita and Shane Murray (MLSsoccer.com) recap the Fire's 2-1 loss at New York City FC and discuss why the team continues to struggle against shorthanded teams.

Next, they recap the Fire's All-Star selections and talk about David Accam's reaction to being left off the team.

Then, hear from forward Michael de Leeuw, who has some choice words about the Fire's performance in Yankee Stadium.

Dan and Shane return to talk about the weird Dom Dwyer trade from Sporting Kansas City and Orlando before the Fire head to KC on Saturday. Finally, the guys answer fan questions.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Fire hoping loss in Yankee Stadium will provide wake-up call

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USA TODAY

Fire hoping loss in Yankee Stadium will provide wake-up call

Coming off the first MLS loss for the Chicago Fire in more than two months, Tuesday’s practice seemed to have a bit more intensity.

After coming out a bit sloppy in a 2-1 loss to New York City FC following a two-and-a-half week break, the team is trying to get back the sharpness and consistency displayed during its 12-game unbeaten run.

“I think it’s the transfer from the bad sensations that we had in the last game,” Paunovic said. “You can lose the game and it’s not the end of the world, but not in the way we lost it.”

The Fire are again licking their wounds after failing to convert chances against a shorthanded team. As opposed to the scoreless draw in Orlando in June, when the Lions finished the game with nine players, this time the Fire were able to score, but actually lost.

This problem is something Paunovic has spoken about before, but is one the Fire still haven’t been able to solve.

“You see the same as in Orlando,” de Leeuw said. “If they play with 10 men and it looks like we’re playing with 10 men, then they deserve every point they had.

“I don’t know what it is. I think maybe when teams are sitting back we need to do something else. We are good at 11 against 11 with possession, the runs we make, but when they have 10 men and they’re going to sit back, you think you need to run less, but actually you need to run more. Because you are with 11 guys you need to create more space. The expectation is higher then from you and I think we lacked that and some other things in the game.”

The filter-free, outspoken de Leeuw said the team had no energy. He is hoping the loss will turn into a motivating factor for the Fire.

“It’s better that it happens now because everybody needs to wake up,” de Leeuw said. “The points we had, it’s not coming by itself. We have to work for it every game, against every opponent, if it’s 10 men, nine men, we have to work for it. It’s good everybody had a wake-up call Saturday I think. OK, we need to work for it, but also we don’t need to distract because we lost one game. We had 11 or 12 good games before that and we lost one, so OK it can happen, but it’s more s--- that it’s against 10 men.”

Teams having sometimes inexplicably bad games is a part of Major League Soccer. The fact that the Fire had gone so long without one was what made the team’s unbeaten run so impressive.

The players and Paunovic have talked about how important the break was. Bastian Schweinsteiger said it was more important for the mind than the body. However, is it possible that the break took the edge away from the Fire?

“We were not sharp, I don’t know, maybe from the break,” winger David Accam said. “We came back and not a single player was sharp. We gave sloppy passes and for us I don’t think it’s just about 10 men or teams staying back, it’s just about us. We were not sharp. We did not play well. It was like we were still training or something.”

Paunovic is trying to refocus his group for another tough road game at Sporting Kansas City coming up this weekend.

“The break was a good thing in terms of recovering from the tough first half of the season,” Paunovic said. “Every team needs that, especially when you’re at the top and did well like we did in the past, but also the break has some challenges and these challenges are losing the rhythm, getting back to the working suit and working atmosphere and mentality.

“It’s just different when you have the game, when you’re in the rhythm of the games and in the season and you’re going from game to game you kind of get that habit very, very simple and very fluent and then you just work towards the next game. That was maybe interrupted with the break, but we are going back, as I said that’s our goal now, to get that habit back again, that mentality that we had before.”