Fire seeking spark from forward Robert Earnshaw
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media August 22, 2014 6:33PM
TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 30: Mike Magee #18 and Marcelo Sarvas #8 of the Los Angeles Galaxy play against Robert Earnshaw #10 of the Toronto FC in an MLS game on March 30, 2013 at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC played to a 2-2 tie. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Updated: August 23, 2014 2:11AM
The never-ending Jermaine Jones saga has overshadowed much of what has happened to the Fire in the last few weeks. Each news item and piece of discussion about the Fire has focused on how Jones would or wouldn’t help fix one of their many deficiencies.
But whether Jones eventually finds himself at Toyota Park or not, the Fire need to figure out a way to address one of their most glaring
When the Fire play Saturday at Toronto, they’ll be trying to score more than one goal in a Major League Soccer game for the first time since June 7. Since then, the Fire (4-6-13, 25 points) have been blanked twice and have struggled to generate much pressure on opponents.
Recently signed forward Robert Earnshaw is hoping to be ready for the game. Earnshaw scored eight times last season for Toronto, and the Fire are hoping he can overcome his lack of action this season and give them some kind of boost.
‘‘As soon as we can get him on the field, I think it will help us,’’ coach Frank Yallop said. ‘‘The goals have dried up for us lately, so we’re adding a quality player that’s played in the league, which I like.’’
Though Earnshaw isn’t the kind of signing Jones would be, he has the potential to help fill a void and at least provide depth behind Mike Magee and Quincy Amarikwa.
‘‘Obviously, I’ve heard about how the season’s been, a lot of ties this year,’’ Earnshaw said. ‘‘But if I can give something to the team and give them energy that changes those ties into wins, then that’s what I’m after.’’
Even with all those ties, the Fire are only three points out of a playoff spot, something that gives them hope that a late push could get them into the playoffs.
‘‘It is reassuring,’’ captain Jeff Larentowicz said. ‘‘We have to push beyond the ‘We’re still alive’ mantra and say with a win or two we’re in. We can push ourselves forward.’’
NOTE: The Fire traded defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to Chivas USA for allocation money. Hurtado was acquired in January with defender Patrick Ianni and the No. 13 pick in the MLS SuperDraft from the Seattle Sounders for defender Jalil Anibaba and the No. 8 pick in the draft.