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Wednesday, May 22

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Fire Thu Sep 13 2012

Canadian Double Tests Fire's Depth

After last night's 2-1 victory over Toronto FC sent them to 2nd place, the Fire have a chance to shore up a top spot in the Eastern conference against the rapidly improving expansion team, Montreal Impact. In order to do that, they something they haven't done all season: win twice in a week.

Throughout the season, coach Frank Klopas has been hesitant to go deep into his bench and the team has suffered when they've had a quick turnover. Tired performances against Columbus and New York spring to mind.

Klopas has strengthened the depth of the squad since then. He can choose to have Dominic Oduro lead the line one game, and Sherjill MacDonald play the next. He has also just added Wells Thompson, who could play on either wing or provide cover in the center of midfield, where Daniel Paladini is out with a calf strain after filling in admirably for Logan...Pause.

Additionally, Klopas got the chance to see some of his underused players during last week's friendly with Mexican Champion Santos Laguna. The likes of Dan Gargan, Michael Videira and Corben Bone got to shake off the rust after not seeing much of it in the past two months. Homegrown player Victor Pineda got his first senior team experience, which could lead to time off the bench.

During a fairly routine win in Toronto, Klopas played the usual starting eleven, but did go to his bench a little earlier than usual, adding Thompson for Fernandez in the 63rd minute, and pulling Pavel Pardo and Sherjill MacDonald in the 70s. Will that be enough of a rest, or if Klopas will inject one or two pairs of fresh legs into the lineup on Saturday?

The Fire definitely need to find a way to play their usual high energy pressing game on 2 days' rest because that is the kind of scheduling they will have to deal with in the playoffs.

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