Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew
Saturday May 26, Crew Stadium
6:00 p.m. CT
Written by Daniel Casey. Follow Daniel on Twitter at @winslowbobbins.
The Fire will face more than just the bumblebees on Saturday; they’ll be looking to continue their winning streak which was broke by some sloppy play in Portland. Granted Wednesday’s win over FC Dallas righted the ship, but it wasn’t a proper win, a confident victory. Rather it was a win gifted by poor refereeing.
I don’t like those kinds of wins. I know that many soccer fans will say, “Hey, it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught” or “It is what it is” (similar to Marco Pappa’s attitude after the match of ‘Hey well that’s just how soccer goes sometimes’). But the thing is, it is cheating and it isn’t what it is. Continue reading
May 20, 7pm
JELD-WEN Field, Portland
Peter Vermes made a stink last week, embarrassing himself by going off on rookie referee Jose Carlos Rivero’s decision to give Roger Espinoza a straight red card for flying through the air and deciding to land elbow-first on Sebastian Grazzini. Funny thing about that red card, it wasn’t about embellishment or how much Grazzini was or wasn’t hurt, it was about clear intent to harm. Espinoza went up high and was falling when he started to come down but replays show how Espinoza saw full well what was before him and how he decided to toss his elbow out. No one in the history of sport has ever thought, “I will cushion my fall using my elbow.” Complaints about that red card are, at best, disingenuous. Which I guess is the reason why Vermes was suddenly so taciturn this week when mumbling that the team would not to appeal the red card. Three straight loses makes every manager snippy.
For Fire supporters it matters really for only one reason, Grazzini who has been pushed around all season and gotten no calls from referees was finally given a call. Too bad it had to be so blatant. Speaking of blatant, apparently Arne Friedrich and the team really want to play down his hamstring injury. Continue reading
Match Preview: Chicago vs. Kansas City
Toyota Park, May 12
So far May has been kind to the Fire, undefeated with four points over two games. But things are getting progressively more difficult. The defeat of Chivas in LA came at the last seconds and this last Wednesday’s draw against Real Salt Lake though steady was uninspiring. Chicago’s midweek match was a midfield grind which in a way revealed the true character of the Fire. MLS is midfield-centric league, and Chicago toes the line.
On Wednesday, we saw Marco Pappa put in a third straight excellent performance. Part of this is due to the growing understanding between Pappa and playmaker Seba Grazzini, but part of this is also due to the fact that Pappa has embraced playing the left wing role. Manager Frank Klopas has said that Chicago “are not a team that is going to rely too much on service,” so I suppose I’m going to have to resign myself to the fact that Pappa and Patrick Nyarko will never be played as out-and-out wingers. Yet it can’t be ignored that when Pappa and Nyarko provide service, the Chicago attack lights up. Continue reading
Can the Chicago Fire make it two wins in a row? | Photo credit: zimbio.com
Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake
May 9, Toyota Park (7:30 p.m.)
When Real Salt Lake comes to Toyota Park on Wednesday they will hear cheers. Not for them but for longtime Fire defender and now RSL coach, C.J. Brown. Brown will be inducted into the club’s Ring of Fire which honors the best Fire players. Brown’s retirement saw the last of the old guard leave the pitch for the Chicago Fire and since then the team has been patiently rebuilding, nurturing a new crop of stars. Continue reading
With C.J. Brown set to return to Toyota Park on Wednesday night and receive one of the greatest honors any former Chicago Fire player could wish for, it’s only fitting we look back on some of the highlights from his illustrious 13-year career with the men in red.
The Fire will always be indebted to C.J. for his dedication to the club, both on and off the field. If you wish, feel free to share some of your favorite C.J. Brown memories in the comment section below. Otherwise, enjoy this clip of a player who will always be considered a legend in these parts.
Video credit: officialfiresoccer