Match Call out Fire

There’s no time for excuses.

That was the message from Michael Bradley at training on Thursday before Toronto FC departed for Chicago.

Yes the Reds have been on the wrong end of a couple of calls this season, but moving forward the incidents in Columbus and Salt Lake City have little bearing on the path ahead.

“Without any complaining, I think certainly we’ve been on the wrong end of a few decisions so far this year,” said Bradley.

“But that’s reality, that’s life, that’s football. You hope as the year goes on that we’ll get a few (calls) in our favour and I know that we will.”

The Reds will be without Steven Caldwell and Damien Perquis for Saturday’s game. Nick Hagglund and Clement Simonin will likely start in their place for the second consecutive game.

The Chicago Fire are coming off their first win of the season, beating the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at home last Sunday.

Harry Shipp continues to impress after a strong rookie season.

“I think the better guys you surround me with, the more effective I'm going to be,” Shipp told this week.

“The smarter [my teammates’] runs are, the easier [they] make it for me to pick out those killer passes."

The Fire Academy product is drawing comparisons to a star of the past. One Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

"I think in terms of body type — I think I weigh a little bit less than he does — but in terms of playing I think he's so clever and I'd say I spend 80 percent of the time during the game just thinking about how I can gain a yard or two of space and I spend a lot of time trying to cleverly set up defenders to maybe think I'm floating in one area of space and then end up in another area of space," Shipp said, in an interview with ExtraTime Radio earlier this week.

"Definitely, we're both not the fastest people or most athletic. So you've got to try to be extremely clever in terms in how you can gain a yard or two of space."

Shipp’s role on Frank Yallop’s squad is that of a rover. He’ll move from the inside to the outside with regularity. Though he poses an extreme threat moving forward, there will be opportunities to attack the space he leaves open.

With Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore back in the fold this is a game that the Reds should control. There are no must win games at this point in the season, but it’s a “should win” game, if that makes any sense.

With another bye week slotting in next week it’s also a time for TFC to get healthy before the tail end of their seven game road trip to start the season.

Three points is on the docket in Chicago.