Local Scene: Fire reject Maloney bid, would host Cup final

SHARE Local Scene: Fire reject Maloney bid, would host Cup final
SHARE Local Scene: Fire reject Maloney bid, would host Cup final

It doesn’t look like Shaun Maloney is going anywhere, and the Fire won’t be traveling if they reach the U.S. Open Cup final.

A club source confirmed Wednesday the Fire have rejected a bid from English second-division team Hull City for Maloney’s services and aren’t interested in selling him at this time. Maloney, 32, signed a three-year deal to join the Fire as a Designated Player and has three goals and two assists in 12 league games.

But right now, another competition could be the Fire’s biggest priority.

After a draw conducted Wednesday, the Fire will host the Open Cup final if they beat the Philadelphia Union in their semifinal next week. The final would take place Sept. 30 against the winner of the Sporting Kansas City-Real Salt Lake match, and would represent a golden opportunity for the Fire to win their first trophy since taking the 2006 Open Cup.

That said, getting to that final isn’t assured despite facing the league’s worst team in the Union.

The Fire haven’t won away from Bridgeview this season, and the semifinal comes in the middle of a stretch of three games in 10 days that starts Friday at Portland. For now, that game in the Pacific Northwest is the Fire’s focus.

“We can’t look past the Friday game, which is our next very important match,” coach Frank Yallop said Monday.

Changing course

It was only a year ago when it felt like the Sky couldn’t beat the Indiana Fever. Led by now-retired coach Lin Dunn, the Fever routinely dominated the young Sky and swept them out of the 2013 playoffs.

Things have changed.

With their 106-82 win Tuesday night at Allstate Arena, the Sky completed a four-game season sweep of Indiana. It’s the first time the Sky have swept the Fever, and continues a trend that began last year when they eliminated Indiana to win the Eastern Conference title.

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