Chicago Fire vs. NYRB, 2 p.m. CT, Unimas/My50, GAMETHREAD

Matt Watson will get his second consecutive start today for the Fire.

Fire return home to cold, blustery Toyota Park, where they hope to keep Gotham New Jersey's worst winless all-time

THREE POINTS! Today's about three points. This is not a 90-minute referendum on style of play. It's not about truth, or beauty, or transcendence.* It's about winning, one possession at a time. It's about finishing the damned game with more goals than the Energy Drink Connoisseurs. It's about not bringing a knife to a gun fight.

As I said earlier today, I've got significant issues with anxiety before most games; this one is no different. However, the starting lineup Frank Yallop is running out there is doing a lot to calm my fears:

Johnson; Watson, Soumare, Hurtado, Cochrane; Shipp, Larentowicz (c), Alex, Joya; Amarikwa, Magee.

This lineup is listed as a 4-4-2, but - if the best passages of play from last Sunday are to be believed - it's likely to play more like an ultra-modern 4-6-0. If it's working well, Magee and Amarikwa should be playing games with the space in the back, while Shipp and Joya pinch in. Especially watch for Shipp to make use of the acres of space Magee creates with every run.

I'm also encouraged to see Watson get more minutes. I'm not sure how he'll do at right back, but last week's performance in Portland deserved more than a ticket straight back to the bench. And he's got to be better there than Patrick Ianni would be. We've heard nothing but good things about Cochrane. Hard thing about sports is, it's a put-up-or-shut-up business. Today's the day, guys. Get 'er done.

As always, chime in here with predictions and sarcasm. I'll be chipping in as much as much obsessive note-taking allows. My prediction: Chicago 3-1 NYRB; Fire goals for Shipp, Magee and Amarikwa; NY gets another from Henry.

* Unless, of course, it turns out to be about some or all of those things, in which case I will claim to have totally, like totally seen it coming.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hot Time In Old Town

You must be a member of Hot Time In Old Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Time In Old Town. You should read them.

Join Hot Time In Old Town

You must be a member of Hot Time In Old Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Time In Old Town. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker