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
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
Logan and co. will be desperate for three points after last weekend’s disappointment against Seattle | Photo credit: ESPN LA
Match Preview: Chicago Fire at Chivas USA (Home Depot Center)
Friday, May 4 (ESPN 3)
Tactics is at once the easiest thing to comment upon and the most difficult thing to get right; I would venture that this is an absolute truth for pundits. For managers, the axiom is a little iffy. A manager can see a string of luck, good or bad, that overrides any tactical tweaking or consistency. On the bad side we see Aron Winters experiencing this every day in Toronto and Peter Nowak getting an earful every week, while on the good side Ben Olson is quietly making a case for manager of the year, Peter Vermes is mining gold, and people still think Sigi Schmid is a grandmaster and not some high-rent Hans Backe. The point is, tactics for the supporter and pundit is a vast arena of speculation, one that demands engagement but where you can’t honestly expect to ever be right. Too many variables. But tell that to the sport betting crowd. Continue reading
Can the Chicago Fire dish out a small dose of revenge for last year's loss to the Sounders in the US Open Cup final? | Photo credit: zimbio.com
The last time Chicago saw Seattle was the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final, and it was not a night to remember for Fire supporters. Although Chicago was on the upswing making a last ditch run for MLS playoffs, the team that faced off against Seattle in the US Open Cup final, it could be argued, reverted to playing as the Carlos de los Cobos’s Fire and not the Frank Klopas’s Fire. In that final, Chicago played spastically, failing to maintain possession by frustratingly playing head-tennis rather than orchestrating any kind of attack. Continue reading
Chris Rolfe: Good to have you back.
The headlines have all been about Chris Rolfe this week and they have the potential to be the same this weekend with the 29-year-old in line for a first appearance in a Chicago Fire uniform since 2009. Rolfe told Chicago-Fire.com that he is “excited and ready to play” on Saturday. It remains to be seen whether Rolfe will be handed the start up front alongside Dominic Oduro or if he will be brought on as a substitute – or if he will even play at all – but hopes are high that he will be given the start and add some much needed attacking fuel. After all, the Fire’s new #18 has a history of scoring against Toronto FC.
One of those goals against the reds came at a crucial time in the 2008 season (Remember those days with Dennis Hamlett?) In the midst of a five game winless streak, the Fire welcomed Toronto FC to Toyota Park on July 12th, 2008 in hopes of regaining sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference standings. John Thorrington was the hero that day with a fantastic 92nd minute winner, but Rolfe’s contributions can hardly be downplayed. Watch his stunning sixth minute goal and the rest of the highlights from that match. Let’s hope we see a repeat of this on Saturday. Continue reading