It has been a roller coaster of a week. The Fire held on for their second straight win, first home win, Grant Ward looks to be ready to come off the bench, the piling injuries on the Fire roster, remembering that a year ago the greatest trade in MLS went down, and then LD being cut from the USMNT. It's not even the weekend yet. I would like to focus on the first, and possibly the most important, thing I listed: the Fire secured their second straight win and first home win of this season. The Fire have finally pulled themselves out of the muck and are within striking distance of moving above that dreaded red line.
I will be the first one to say that neither of these games were the prettiest games you will see, but in the end a win is a win and the Fire really needed them. The fact that they picked these wins up off of Henry and the Red Bulls, and Dom Dwyer and SKC just makes them that much sweeter. Harry Shipp finally showed us some goal scoring prowess by scoring his first, second, and third MLS goals against New York and putting him well in the lead as Rookie of the Year. Mike Magee shook off his early season penalty kick jitters to knock home two goals from the spot to knock SKC down a peg. While the offense has been looking better and has started to gel more and more, the back line still looks like four strangers that have never talked to each other. Despite that fact, they managed to garner two wins and double their point total on the season, in other words they're Heatin' Up. This Saturday night they look to continue this streak when they head to Firehouse East in Columbus.
One thing that helped the Fire last week, and will most likely help them the next few games, is a weak opposing back line due to World Cup camps. The Fire offense took advantage of the stretched and inexperienced back line of Sporting last week and will have the chance to do it again this week against the Crew. Although Parkhurst will probably be back in the line up for Columbus, they will be without two of their other starters on that back line. Of course they have to be aware of their offense as well, especially after Higuain's big game in Portland last week. If the Fire defense can keep Higuain in check and stymie the speedy Oduro (do they use him that much?) then they should be able to give their attack a shot at winning this game. Of course this is all easier said than done. But, there is a reason we call it Firehouse East; if the Fire can make their presence known, then so will the busloads of Fire faithful who are attending the game will too. So, here is to looking forward to the game tomorrow and being able to say that they aren't just Heatin' Up, but that They're on FIRE!