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Fire’s focus shifts to MLS; Patrick Nyarko out vs. Impact



The facts: 7:30 p.m., Ch. 50, 107.9-FM

Updated: September 11, 2013 6:13AM

The sudden excitement surrounding the Fire, fueled by the prolific scoring of new forward Mike Magee, thudded to a stop Wednesday night with a shocking 2-0 home-field loss to D.C. United in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup.

“Definitely it’s going to hurt us tonight, and for tomorrow we have to regroup and now really focus on the league,” Fire coach Frank Klopas said afterward. “We’re right there, and some big games are coming up to put ourselves in a spot in the playoffs.’

The Fire must regroup quickly against the Montreal Impact, an Eastern Conference foe, on Saturday night at Toyota Park. The Impact is in third place with 35 points. It shut out the Fire 2-0 on April 27 in Montreal.

Adding injury to insult, the Fire (8-9-4) lost midfielder Patrick Nyarko, who suffered a head injury in the 37th minute against United and has been ruled out by team medical personnel.

The Fire is catching a somewhat slumping team seemingly at the right time. The Impact (10-6-5) is coming off a loss against United last Saturday, and the team has won just once in its last seven league games.

The Impact is led by Italian-born striker Marco Di Vaio, one of the league’s top scorers with 11 goals. His goal helped power the Impact over the Fire in April.

The Fire was aggressive in acquiring talent before the closing of the international transfer window Tuesday.

After his international transfer certificate was finalized, Ecuadorian forward Juan Luis Anangonó is available. Uruguayan star midfielder Arévalo Rios practiced with the Fire on Friday, though he is awaiting an international roster spot to be cleared.

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