Led by Tomasz Frankowski’s two first half goals the Chicago Fire routed the New England Revolution 4-0. In the first game of the season for the Revolution they seemed to be ok offensively even though they will be without leading goal scorer Taylor Twellman for 6 weeks with an injured knee. Against Chicago he was sorely missed as the Revolution lacked any offensive firepower.
In the 4th minute the Fire scored, as Chad Barrett gave Chicago a quick 1-0 lead. Only a couple of minutes later Frankowski scored on a rebound on a shot from Barrett giving Chicago a 2-0 lead. Even though the Revolution were down 2 goals early, the game turned for New England’s after Jeff Larentowicz was sent off the field with a red card for a hard foul on Brandon Prideaux. Replays showed that Prideaux could have been tripped up by the cold and wet surface at Toyota Park and not by Larentowicz.
Revolution head coach Steve Nichol stated, “After two goals, you could say it was a bad start. (But) if we are going to send people off with calls like that, there will be nobody left at the end of the year. If you are going to ref like that, do it for both sides. Ten minutes later, (Chicago midfielder) Justin Mapp does a straight leg tackle and we only get a free kick – that spoils the game.”
Matt Reis, the Revolution goalie was also not happy with the ref or the conditions of Toyota Park stating, “It’s a situation where you adjust being down a man when it happens that early in the game. We did the best we could under the circumstances. You’re playing against the elements, the Chicago Fire and the referee.”
In the 39th minute Chicago made it 3-0 after Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored on a penalty kick in the 37th minute. Justin Mapp was fouled in the box by New England’s Sainey Nyassi to give the Revs the penalty.
In the 39th minute Frankowski tallied his second goal of the game giving the Fire a 4-0 lead. Barrett sent a cross to Frankowski, who one-timed a great ball to the back of the net. Frankowski said, “My two goals (were) a result of Chad Barrett’s hard work and (my) being in the right position. I am happy to score and help the team.”
Fire goalie Jon Busch made 5 saves and recorded his 27th shutout while in a Fire uniform. The win for Chicago was a sweet one, as New England has knocked them out of the playoffs for three years in a row. Chicago midfielder Diego Gutierrez said after the game when being asked if this was a revenge game, “No, but does it sting a little when you think about them ending our season last year – yes. But really, we need to get off to good start this season. I think we are now ready to play any team.”