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Fire
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Rapids, Fire play to scoreless tie

Jul 2, 2007 - 2:52 AM BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (Ticker) -- Two matches between the Chicago Fire and the Colorado Rapids have settled nothing.

The Fire and the Rapids played to a scoreless tie on Sunday, the second draw the teams have played to this season.

On April 15 in Colorado, Colorado and Chicago finished in a 1-1 tie.

"Colorado and Chicago are two teams in a precarious position," Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo said. "Both teams are in desperate need of points, at least we came away with something."

The Fire has fallen on hard times after a 3-0-1 April. They have just one win in nine matches since, including having been shut out in four of their last six contests.

"We weren't as good as our record indicated when we started off 3-0," Fire captain Diego Gutierrez said. "This team is also not as bad as our record indicates since those first four matches either."

Likewise, the Rapids took a four-game unbeaten streak into June but are on a six-game winless streak, although the tie ended a five-game skid.

"This game was a new beginning for us," goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul said. "It has been a rough month for us, so we are now trying to play more aggressive."

In a match that featured seven official shots on goal but very few realistic chances for either team to score, one of the best opportunities was also the last either team had.

In stoppage time, the Rapids' Roberto Brown fired a solid right-footed kick that ricocheted off the top crossbar and back into play, but the ball was cleared without incident.

"We held on and got a point but (in) games like this, we need three," Gutierrez said. "Not winning at home is not the result that we expected."

Chicago had to play the final minutes of the match with 10 players, when midfielder Bakary Soumare was red-carded in the 83rd minute. Soumare exchanged words with Colorado's Colin Clark before pushing Clark to the ground.

"He (Clark) was pulling on me before I pushed him," Soumare said. "I just lost my head there and should not have done that. But the situation wasn't as bad as it looked."

"I agree 100 percent with the card," Fire interim head coach Denis Hamlett said. "I will have a talk with Bakary about that. Our team doesn't need plays like that one."

Clark avoided serious injury but sided with the officials' call on the play.

"When I landed, my neck snapped back and my head hit the ground," Clark said. "I was just going with the flow of the play. The red card was deserved."

Colorado's Herculez Gomez and Kyle Beckerman - two of the Rapids' top offensive options - are fulfilling their commitments to the U.S. team for Copa America and did not play. Rapids teammates Conor Casey and Mike Petke also were held out with injuries.








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    Rapids vs. FireJul 1 9:38 PM


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