for this game

Fire extend unbeaten streak to nine games

May 17, 2009 - 12:02 AM By RYAN JOHNSTON STATS MLS Correspondent

TORONTO (STATS) - A milestone goal from Chris Rolfe and an insurance score from teammate Brian McBride helped the Chicago Fire remain the last unbeaten team in MLS on Saturday.

The 2-0 win over Toronto FC (3-3-4) at BMO Field was also the first victory for Chicago (3-0-6) after five straight ties. The Fire are three shy of the longest unbeaten run to start an MLS season - the Los Angeles Galaxy went undefeated in their first 12 games of 1996 - the league's inaugural campaign.

Rolfe's game-winner in the 59th minute was his 32nd goal in a Fire uniform, moving him into second place all-time behind Ante Razov (76).

"I had no idea about (the record) so I guess I will have to say scoring the winner was more important," Rolfe said.

The goal did carry a bit of controversy, as the play began when official Ricardo Salazar waved off an appeal for a handball in the Fire penalty area. The play continued up the field to Rolfe, who took a pass from Cuauhtemac Blanco before avoiding a charging Stefan Frei to knock the ball into an empty net.

"Did the referee give the penalty? No. Then it is not a penalty," said Toronto interim coach Chris Cummins, whose club lost for the first time in five league games since he took over.

Fire coach Denis Hamlett had brought in Rolfe to replace a struggling Patrick Nyarko in the second half.

"It was a game where Patrick not having best day, and today Rolfey got the call and he went in and did well," Hamlett said. "At halftime I said we are still at zero and whoever scored first was probably going to hang on."

Rolfe's goal seemed to wake up a sleepy Toronto offense, which pressed Chicago for an equalizer before McBride thwarted the rally attempt from six yards out with his sixth goal of the year.

"You don't want to miss those ones," McBride said. "After so many draws it started to get frustrating, but we have a strong group of guys here."

The gray skies on the shores of Lake Ontario served as a metaphor for the play in a sluggish first half. Chicago did not register a shot on goal until the end of it, when Wilman Conde headed a corner kick delivery just high.

The win moved the Fire two points ahead of FC Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings.

"I think it is a huge turning point, especially to start off with a win in a stretch of three road games." Hamlett said. "If we continue to play like we did today we know we can get better because our offense is talented and we just need to be committed in defending."








  • MLS
    CHICAGO 2
    TORONTO FC 0 FINAL

    May 16 5:56 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 2
    TORONTO FC 0
    CHICAGO SUBSTITUTION: Dasan Robinson for Cuauhtemoc Blanco
    in the 90th minute

    May 16 5:52 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 2
    TORONTO FC 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Brian McBride in the 81st minute

    Fire 2, Toronto FC 0  2nd - 81'May 16 5:43 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 28 roots

    Fire 2, Toronto FC 0  2nd - 81'May 16 5:43 PM
  • 28
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 28 roots (Close Finish)

    Fire 1, Toronto FC 0  2nd - 75'May 16 5:37 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    TORONTO FC 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Chris Rolfe in the 59th minute

    Fire 1, Toronto FC 0  2nd - 59'May 16 5:23 PM


  • MLS
    CHICAGO 0
    TORONTO FC 0 HALFTIME

    May 16 4:55 PM