Fire falls to ninth in rankings

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire took a small step back in the ESPNsoccernet.com MLS Power Rankings, dropping from eighth to ninth place this week following their 1-1 home draw against Chivas USA on Saturday at Toyota Park.

The middle-of-the-road ranking suits this team at the moment. Chicago is 1-1-1 at home, 1-1-1 on the road, and is coming off a match where the control and possession factors took a drop in comparison to the Fire's previous 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo.

"They possessed a little better, and we struggled at some portions of the game possessing the ball," Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko said of the Chivas draw.

One defensive lapse on a set piece proved to be the difference between a win and the eventual draw, and Chivas' attack proved to be merely a long-distance threat.

"They had some shots, but not all of them were dangerous," Nyarko said. "We just worked on trying to keep them in front of us and make them hit those long shots."

The Fire prepare for a two-game road trip before hosting the Sister Cities Cup later this month. This short road swing starts against a team that typically knows how to maintain its home-field advantage, Toronto FC. Chicago heads to BMO Field this Saturday, where the Reds are 2-0-0, compared to a catastrophic 0-4-0 on the road.

Among other ESPNsoccernet.com MLS power rankings this week, Toronto is near the bottom in 13th following a 2-0 road loss to 2009 MLS Cup winner Real Salt Lake. Chivas USA rose a couple spots to 10th after earning the road draw in Bridgeview.