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Fire Tue Jul 29 2008

Where Will The Goals Come From?

This Sunday the Fire ground out its second shutout in a row and it’s third in three games. The defense continues to look solid and Jon Busch has to be one of the best goalkeepers in the league this year, whatever the All-Star Vote says. Even while they’re not playing particularly well, the Fire can still keep on pace with the rest of the league thanks to their defending. That’s the good news. The bad news is this: those three shutouts have all been scoreless ties and it’s starting to get really boring.

Worryingly, unlike previous games, this week the Fire rarely came close to scoring. Those who had been calling for Polish striker Thomas Frankowski to start in place of Chad Barrett got their wish, with Barrett not making the trip to Kansas City because of his imminent trade to Toronto. Frankowski, may indeed be a better finisher than Barrett, but odds are we’ll never know because he’s too lethargic to get himself into positions to score.

With Brian McBride not due until after the Olympics, it leaves the question where will the goals come from until then. (And by the way, McBride still hasn't officially signed with MLS - what's up with that?) Chris Rolfe will be a big part of the Fire’s attack, but he's not the kind of player that should be playing as a lone striker. With Calen Carr out for the season, Andy Herron still woozy from that concussion, and Frankowski not doing much, it’s time to see more of rookie Patrick Nyarko. He looked good in his few minutes against Kansas City, setting up one of the Fire’s best chances of the night for Stephen King. Wednesday night's friendly in Everton will be a chance to see if he's ready against top level opposition, without throwing him in the deep end in a league game. Expect to see him play a lot in the game, and if he does well, don't be surprised if he starts against Chivas USA on Saturday.

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