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Struggling Fire aims to kick-start season

Updated: August 30, 2011 12:17AM

The Fire is struggling in Major League Soccer play, but its U.S. Open Cup game tonight against the San Jose Earthquakes might be the tonic it needs to turn the
season around.

The Fire, which is winless in its last eight MLS games (0-4-4) and is 1-4-5 in league play overall, faces the Earthquakes in Santa Clara, Calif., with a berth in the U.S. Open Cup proper on the line. The Fire has won the U.S. Open Cup four times and posted an encouraging victory in its first tournament game this year, beating the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids 2-1 on March 30 in Peoria.

The game tonight will present an interesting goalie matchup if Jon Conway starts for the Fire and Jon Bush for the Earthquakes. Conway played on two MLS Cup champions (2001, 2003) when he was with the Earthquakes, and Bush guided the Fire to the Eastern Conference finals
in 2008 and 2009 before
being released a week before the 2010 season opener.

If the goalie matchup doesn’t materialize tonight, it might happen when the teams square off in MLS play Saturday at Toyota Park.

Len Ziehm

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