Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thursday Night Soccer – Chicago vs. DC - Can United finally beat the Fire?

Chicago Fire vs. DC United
7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT
Chicago leads 1-0 on aggregate

So it comes down to this. Will it be a repeat of 2005 when the Fire came to DC the underdogs and walked out with four goals and some of Christian Gomez's spit or will United finally find a way to put out the fire (I promise, this is my only fire pun) in the playoffs?

There are some big differences between the clubs that meet today and those that meet in 2005 with the biggest being scoring ability of the Fire. Back in those lazy days of two years ago, Chicago were much more of an offensive team averaging 1.5 goals per match while this year, they pop in at just a hair over 1 goal per game. The only thing that kept Chicago from being a wash was the ability to defend, where they were second best in the East. The problem for them, the number one defending and scoring team in the East was DC.

United is going to come out expecting Chicago to play a bunker style match because the Fire really does not have any other option. They tried to push the offense in the first leg, but they feel flat thanks to horrible control in the midfield and there is nothing from their season that suggests this will change tonight.

This should give Fred lots of room to move and try to free up Emilio and Moreno, but to fully counter the Chicago wall, they will need to call on Ben Olsen, Bryan Namoff, Bobby Boswell and others to create messes in the final third that might open up the space needed to place one into the net. The problem for Chicago is if one goes in, it will not be the only one.

If United tie of the series score, especially if they do it early, they will not sit back and wait for penalties. They will find the errors and Chicago will go home. One last thing, don't be surprised if the Fire give up a goal after the 80th minute as they have done so on many occasions.

Predictions: Me DC 2-0 CF, Wife DC 2-1 CF (DC on pks)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

you were both wrong

10:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H said...

Thanks for pointing that out, I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.

10:40 AM  

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