The Fire showed its confidence in forward Chad Barrett during the off-season when it didn't bring back the team's two leading scorers from the 2006 season.
Barrett repaid the Fire's vote of confidence Saturday when his goal and Chris Rolfe's penalty kick were enough to beat the Kansas City Wizards 2-1.
For Barrett, it was the second game in a row in which he scored. He had the Fire's lone goal in the 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids last Sunday.
Where is Barrett's confidence after Saturday's match?
"Really high," he said. "With Rolfe getting his first out of the way as well, now we can start enjoying this roller coaster."
Fire captain Chris Armas delivered the key pass on Barrett's goal in the 36th minute from just over the midfield line as he found an open Barrett in stride.
Although half of Armas' right eye is red as a result of the elbow he received during the New England Revolution game April 7, he insisted before the match that he would not let it—or the stitches around his eyebrow—affect his game.
"If it gets cut open, we'll just re-stitch it," a nonchalant Armas said. "It was a little bothersome the first few days, but now there is no problem."
The Fire's second goal came after the Wizards' Nick Garcia tackled Ivan Guerrero in the penalty box. Rolfe, who is known as a lefty, buried the penalty kick in the 73rd minute with his right foot.
The Wizards' Carlos Marinelli scored on a penalty kick in the 90th minute after Diego Gutierrez fouled him in the box.
Fire midfielder Justin Mapp had a quiet first half and was then replaced by Calen Carr in the 56th minute.
"His hamstring felt tight," Fire coach Dave Sarachan said. "He looked at us and said it's something that might develop, so we took him out."
There were 11,717 fans on hand at Toyota Park, and those sitting in Section 118, a.k.a. Section 8, were not required to go through a security check before the match as the club had announced earlier.
The Fire sent out an e-mail earlier this week stating there would be security checks from now on for Section 8 fans as a result of smoke bombs and alcohol found in the section, but the team decided against it before Saturday's match.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun