In less than three hours. the madness returns to Toyota Park. The 14th home season of theSoccer Club will get underway. It will be loud and I have no doubts the voices of the many will be a warm relief to the hearts of everyone. What can you expect to see on the field?
I would be surprised if Carlos de los Cobos does not run out the 3-5-2. The team spent too much time working on it in pre-season and continues to practice with it on a daily basis. As I stated in my Three Questions with Andy Edwards of The Daily Wiz, I think the 3-4-3 or 4-4-2 is an in game Plan B. The ceiling for greatness is not as high as the 3-5-2 but I would like to see the team fight to make the playoffs while waiting for something to click rather than test out the 3-5-2 and fail all year long. Based on all training reports from this week I think the Starting XI for the Chicago Fire will be Sean Johnson; Cory Gibbs, Josip Mikulic, Jalil Anibaba; Gonzalo Segares, Marco Pappa, Baggio Husidic, Logan Pause, Patrick Nyarko; Diego Chaves, Gaston Puerari. Gaston Puerari missed Wednesday's practice and left Thursday's practice but the team says he is fit. If he doesn't go, there is something really bothering him. Mike Videira might get the start over Baggio Husidic again but I just have a feeling. I have been known to be a sucker for favoring players from Chicago before....
What can we expect from Kansas City? The Wizzer himself Andy Edwards predicts that Kansas City will start a 4-3-3 but notes the team has been hit hard by injuries and calls of international duty. Given everything, we should look for Sporting KC's Starting XI to be Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Julio Cesar Santos, Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza; Stephane Auvray, Milos Stojcev, Davy Arnaud; C.J. Sapong, Teal Bunbury, Omar Bravo.
I've predicted all week that the Chicago Fire will win 3-2 and I'm not turning back now. I expect a great home opener. Let's hope I'm right.