Ryan provided us with the full schedule yesterday and some of his thoughts. After studying the schedule myself, I noticed some interesting things as well
So like the rest of you, I could not wait for "Fixture List Day". As I looked through the list a few matches popped out at me for varying reasons. So lets start:
- Match Day #2: Well for obvious reasons it stuck out because it's the home opener. Another point of interest is because I can bring a barn door with me to the match since I know that Chad Barrett will be there.
- Match Day #3: This will be the first time we can see if the Fire have done enough in order to hang with the 2012 top dog in the Eastern Conference.
- Match Day #5: We welcome the New Jersey Red Bulls to Toyota Park and we will have a lot of new faces to welcome. I have a feeling that this game will be dominated by Lindpere as he shows his former team what they were/are missing.
- Match Day #16 thru #27: A tough part of the schedule as the Fire play 5 matches against 2012 playoff teams, including the 2012 Supporters Shield winners and 2012 Eastern Conference winners.
- Match Day #26 thru #28: As the Fire head down the stretch they have a run of 3 matches in 7 days. First we travel to Seattle, than feature in a midweek match against TFC, and to finish it off we have a home game against New England. This will definitely test the depth and fitness of Frank's men.
- Match Day #32: It's a Brimstone Cup match, what else needs to be said?
- Match Day #34: Hopefully we have the Supporters Shield wrapped up by then and this match will not be as relevant as the final match day in 2012 was. Ideally, Frank can use it to give some of the bench and reserves some playing time before heading into the playoffs.
A couple other things that I noticed about the schedule:
- As Ryan pointed out there are not a lot of mid week matches. This should make the majority of the fan base happy because getting to Toyota Park during rush hour no matter what direction you are coming from can be a pain.
- This may not mean much to some people but to those that like friendlies versus international opponents, there are not many breaks in the schedule in order to accommodate a friendly. I'm on the fence on friendlies. Yes it's cool to see the Fire play teams that I probably will never get to see play in person, but at the same time it could hurt the fitness of some of our key players.