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Fire, FC Dallas play to 1-1 draw
By Orrin Schwarz | Daily Herald Staff

FC Dallas' David Ferreira, left, fights for the ball with Chicago Fire's Logan Pause during the second half.

 

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Published: 5/27/2010 9:38 PM | Updated: 5/27/2010 10:26 PM

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Chicago Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos went looking for something to get his team a better result. He's likely to continue looking.

Unhappy with the play of midfielder Marco Pappa, de los Cobos left Pappa on the bench at the start of Thursday night's nationally televised match against FC Dallas, putting Mike Banner on the left wing instead. Still, the Fire could only manage a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park.

"Marco hasn't had a good performance in the last games," de los Cobos said through a team translator. "A player has to be able to play the full 95 to 96 minutes. Scoring a goal doesn't actually mean that you had a good game. I know that Marco can give me more that I want. He can give more that the team wants. He has a lot to give.

"If you want the Chicago Fire to be a more competitive team, you have to find balance in our performances."

The Fire (2-3-4, 10 points) fell behind quickly, giving a goal in the sixth minute to Dallas' David Ferreira.

"Thank God I was able to score what I think was a pretty goal," Ferreira said. "That gave us the edge for a few minutes, then we lost control of the ball and they were able to find the equalizer. Our goal coming here was to win, but at the end it was important for us not to lose tonight."

"We just got caught out," Banner said. "I guess it was early in the game and we weren't really ready at the time. They punished us."

Banner nearly had the equalizer in the 36th minute, trying to slide into the ball as it slid across the Dallas goalmouth. Somehow, from about three yards out, he knocked the ball over the crossbar.

"That one was a sitter," Banner said. "It should have been a goal. I don't know what happened. It hopped up on me and over the goal."

The Fire found the equalizer in the 40th minute when Justin Mapp sent a long pass to the Dallas penalty spot, where Fire forward Brian McBride headed it into goalkeeper Kevin Hartman's net for his fourth goal of the season.

With the tie the Fire will finish May 0-1-3 in MLS games after ending April with 2 straight victories.

"A tie is always better than a loss, but to be honest we need a win," Banner said. "We haven't won a game in awhile. It's tough for us right now."

The Fire gets another brief break from the MLS grind when it hosts Italian power AC Milan for a friendly at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.