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The Fire played to a 1-1 draw at home with the New York Red Bulls. So are the Fire back to their pre-Gold Cup form? There are some signs pointing to yes, but a win followed by a draw would leave one wondering. Fans can be encouraged by Nemanja Nikolic finding the back of the net after a nine game slump. Also the return of Matt Polster and Brandon Vincent to the back line. Fans are also hopeful for the quick return of Bastian Schweinsteiger from injury. He missed the Red Bulls game after suffering a calf injury when he was seriously fouled in the Montreal game. The Fire have six games to build some momentum going into the playoffs. Also important is Playoff positioning, as the top two teams in each conference get a bye directly into the conference semi-final and home field advantage.

Head coach Veljko Paunovic had this to say after the Match, ““This is a great point. We played against one of the great teams in the league with huge experience, huge resources, great team on the field. They pushed hard and we played hard. That’s what it is and that is what it’s going to take from here on out.” Forward Michael de Leeuw had this to say about the match, ­”We played tough. It was a difficult game because it’s a good team and they were pushing in the first half. We didn’t concede, we conceded one goal and from there we created chances, we scored our goal. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we knew also that we couldn’t lose this game, because with the game left for them they could have jumped over us. For us, it’s a great point and I think that we’re the winners today.” The scorer of the game tying goal Nemanja Nikolic had this to say about his return to the scoresheet, “The goal, for me, was deserved for Michael de Leeuw because he put back the ball from nothing. I just run to give support to him but to be honest, I don’t see too many opportunities that could cut from the ball back to me. I don’t know how he did that but it was a really important moment from him. After that, I don’t have such a difficult job to put the ball in the net, but of course I need to be there, I need to be in the right place at the right time. Really important goal for me and the team, but like I said, I think this goal, Michael de Leeuw deserved it for his assist to me.” So where the team is 6 games from now is yet to be seen, but if they can keep up the fight, we might just still be playing in the cold in November.

 

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