Previous
Juventus
Malmo FF
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Atletico Madrid
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Ludogorets Razgrad
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
FC Basel
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Benfica
Zenit St Petersburg
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Galatasaray
Anderlecht
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Leeds United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Blackpool
Watford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brentford
Norwich City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cardiff City
Middlesbrough
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Charlton Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Huddersfield Town
Wigan Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ipswich Town
Brighton & Hove Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bolton Wanderers
Rotherham United
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Reading
Millwall
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colchester United
Sheffield United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Crawley Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Gillingham
Peterborough United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Chesterfield
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Rochdale
Walsall
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Coventry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Oldham Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Burton Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Stevenage
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Exeter City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Southend United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Morecambe
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Hartlepool United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Newport County
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
York City
Luton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Braintree Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
AFC Telford United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Nuneaton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Southport
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dartford
Dover
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Forest Green Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Halifax
Grimsby Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Altrincham
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Gateshead
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torquay United
Woking
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Lincoln City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Barnet
Wrexham
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rangers
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Waterhouse
DC United
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruz Azul
Chorrillo FC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Olimpia
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Gimnasia La Plata
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Cerro Porteño
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Caracas F.C.
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Peñarol
Deportivo Cali
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Guadalajara
Tijuana
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Atlante
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Morelia
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Necaxa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Zacatepec
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Monterrey
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
UNAM
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América Mineiro
Bragantino
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Sampaio Correa-MA
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
América RN
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
Joinville
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Ceará
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Boa MG
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
ABC
AA Ponte Preta
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Icasa
Vila Nova-GO
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Luverdense
Santa Cruz FC
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Al Hilal
Al-Ain
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Amazulu
Postp
Game Details
Kaizer Chiefs
Maritzburg Utd
Postp
Game Details
Next
Sep 19, 2007

Surging Fire hope to maintain form against Dallas

When the Chicago Fire last appeared on "MLS Primetime Thursday," on July 12, new head coach Juan Carlos Osorio received a brutal MLS baptism; a 4-0 beat-down at home to defending champions Houston. The loss completed a 1-8-3 stretch for Chicago, and any mention of making the playoffs would have seemed unfathomable.

Two months later, Osorio has not only gotten the Fire off life support, but the word "playoffs" is once again part of their vocabulary. Chicago has gone 4-2-2 in its past eight games, and the run has been enough to propel the Fire into the eighth and final playoff spot. With Colorado and Columbus nipping at their heels, however, the Fire will need to continue their solid form against Brimstone Cup rivals Dallas (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2), which would love nothing better than to deliver a crushing blow to Chicago's postseason hopes.

Five story lines to watch

1. Cuauhtemoc Blanco vs. Denilson

Thursday's match will allow each team to showcase a high-priced, midseason acquisition.

Blanco has been a revelation since joining Chicago at the All-Star break. He has tallied three goals and five assists in just eight matches, and his exemplary attitude has put to rest concerns that he would be a divisive presence in the locker room.

"What Blanco brings to the field is not only the ability to see the final pass, but the ability to execute it," Osorio said. "His vision is second to none, and his creativity can match anybody."

Denilson has found it a bit tougher to settle in, though he has only played in three games since joining Dallas on August 28. Still, the Brazilian's dribbling should provide an interesting contrast to Blanco's precision passing.

"[Denilson] has shown glimpses of just pure brilliance on the ball," said Dallas head coach Steve Morrow. "As he nears full fitness, I think we'll see a little bit more from him."

2. The Brimstone Cup

The Chicago-Dallas rivalry is one that was forged in 1999 during a particularly contentious playoff series in which Dallas prevailed on a late goal from Ariel Graziani. In 2001, the Brimstone Cup was born, and since then, Dallas has been the primary holder, having kept possession since 2002.

This year's edition kicked of with the Hoops prevailing 2-1 over the Fire on May 17, so the odds are long that Chicago will be able to wrest back control of the trophy. Even if the Fire were to win on Thursday, the points would be even at three apiece, and unless the teams meet in the playoffs, Dallas would retain possession -- a split in the season series results in the current holder keeping the cup.

3. Chicago's resurgence

Having only been in the league for two months, it's doubtful that Osorio will receive much Coach of the Year consideration, if he proves successful in getting the Fire into the playoffs, he'd be more than deserving of a few votes. At the heart of Chicago's revival has been an attack boosted by the arrival of Blanco as well as an improved Fire defense that has conceded just five goals in its past eight games.

"Without being arrogant, I think the main change has been work," Osorio said. "We work on defending every single day, as well as attacking. I think the hard work is paying off."

4. Dallas scuffling

After getting off to a surprisingly good start, the Hoops have slowly reverted to the kind of inconsistency that many predicted for them at the beginning of the season. Dallas is an even 3-3 since the All-Star break, and like the little girl in the nursery rhyme, the Hoops either been very good, or downright awful – like they were in the second half of Saturday's 4-2 loss to New England. Injuries to the likes of Kenny Cooper and Juan Toja and the team's exertions in the U.S. Open Cup are partially to blame for the team's uneven form, but Morrow is more intent on getting his defense back on track.

"We look at our defensive record, and we've certainly conceded too many goals," Morrow said. "I think there have been a couple of 4-0 games that have made our goal difference a little lopsided, but it's something that I believe -- and the players believe -- needs to get better."

5. Chicago shuffling

Osorio's acquisition of defender Wilman Conde has bolstered the Fire's defense; it allowed the Chicago coach to use his preferred three-back alignment. But with the Colombian suspended due to his ejection last week in a 2-2 tie with New York, Osorio is pondering a switch back to four defenders. The Fire coach added that the availability of injured midfielder Chris Armas will have a bearing on which system he employs against Dallas.

Five players to watch

1. Carlos Ruiz, F, Dallas

Six goals in 18 league matches represents a lower strike rate than usual for the Guatemalan, but against New England, Ruiz showed signs that he may be heating up at the right time. He scored twice against the Revolution, including a bullet header late in the game that brought Dallas within a goal. He also appears to be benefiting from the presence of target forward Abe Thompson, whose hold-up play has allowed Ruiz to find more space on the field.

2. Paulo Wanchope, F, Chicago

Another midseason acquisition, Wanchope has been slower to adapt to MLS than Blanco, although his goal in a 1-0 victory over Columbus on Sept. 8 could prove to be a turning point in the playoff race. Although the Costa Rican has been ineffective at times, Osorio refused to single him out, noting that the entire forward line, "needs to be more clinical in front of goal." With Blanco providing the service, Wanchope should get plenty of chances to show off his goal-poaching instincts.

3. Pablo Ricchetti, M, Dallas

With a right ankle injury continuing to hobble Toja, more will be asked of Ricchetti, including making the kind of simple passes that will help Dallas keep possession. Given that the Argentine tends to occupy a deep-lying role in midfield, he'll also be called upon to track Blanco, who tends to pop up all over the field.

4. Gonzalo Segares, D, Chicago

The fact that Osorio can employ various defensive alignments comes down to Segares' versatility. The Costa Rican can be used as a man-marker in a three-back system or as a left fullback in a four defender alignment. Systems aside, Conde's suspension means that it will be up to Segares to help lock down the left side of the Chicago defense. Segares did just that on Saturday, and even popped up for Chicago's equalizer when he nodded home Blanco's free kick in the 70th minute.

5. Drew Moor, D, Dallas

After getting torched by New England midfielder Khano Smith last weekend, it's imperative that Moor has a strong bounce-back game against the Fire. It was Smith's blistering pace that proved too much for Moor against the Revs, and although Chicago's attack isn't as quick, it does have skilled players like Chris Rolfe who can make the most of their opportunities.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPNsoccernet. He can be reached at eljefe1@yahoo.com.