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Bears, more NFL, then Riot on! Just spend your whole day at the Odeum before tonight's Chicago Riot game

The Bears vs. Seahawks and the Jets vs. Patriots NFL games are scheduled so that you can catch all your football action while still getting the Chicago Riot vs. Baltimore Blast game in.  In fact if you do it just right, you can watch the second half the Jets vs. Patriots game in the very comfortable bar on the upstairs level of Odeum Center and just walk a couple of feet to your seats.

The Riot will need the voice of Chicago too as they head into Game #8 of the twenty game season having just one win to show for it.

Team

GP

W

L

GB

WPCT

Milwaukee

9

7

2

-

.778

Baltimore

8

6

2

.5

.750

Omaha

9

4

5

3

.444

Missouri

9

3

6

4

.333

Chicago

7

1

6

5

.143

Only three teams make the playoffs so the Riot will need to win those two games in hand to bolster their chances of getting into the 3rd place scrum with Omaha and Missouri.  What makes it all the more frustrating is that the Chicago Riot are coming off of a weekend where they lost to both Missouri and Omaha by the score of 13-11.  Some breaks might be finally coming the Riot's way however and it all could be starting with the suspension of some key players for the Baltimore Blast.  More on how those players should have saved their fighting spirit for this weekend after the break.

Major Indoor League Soccer Commissioner David Grimaldi suspended three Baltimore Blast and three Milwaukee Wave players following a fight that broke out during a game on January 9.  This will work out to the Riot's favor as Lucio Gonzaga, Mike Lookingland, and Warren Ukah all are forced to take to the bench.

"I am disappointed by the conduct of some of our players in this situation,” said MISL Commissioner David Grimaldi.  “The Blast and Wave have a great rivalry which has existed for years and on occasion the intense emotions during play get the better of our players.  We have fantastic players and coaches that are committed to being good role models and this event provides us with an opportunity to re-focus our efforts in a positive direction."

The absence of Lookingland should benefit the Riot the most as he is tied for third among league defenders in goals and more importantly he has 17 league leading blocks.  Baltimore teammates Pat Morris and Pat Healey are right up there with 15 and 12 blocks respectively but Chicago has to hope they won't be as effective now that Baltimore has a short bench for their rotation.

Unfortunately, the Riot won't be 100% either.  The team announced earlier this week that starting goaltender Jeff Richey's injury that took place during Sunday's game against Omaha will sideline him for a week or two.  Head coach Jeff Kraft will turn to veteran and Chicago soccer legend in his own right, Ante Cop.  The Chicago Riot Reader provides a great video as always as Cop talks about today's game.

I would except another low-scoring game with the physical and gritty style that is quickly becoming the Chicago Riot trademark.   Chicago will need to capitalize on their power plays with their 8.7 goals per game average being the lowest in the league (Omaha is second to last with 10 goals per game).  Baltimore will miss Lookingland in the back and the short bench should leave them even more fatigued when trying to cover 5 players with 4 guys in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Tickets are still available to be a part of the Riot's '6th man'.  Like all MISL games, this one will be webcasted live if you just can't make it out tonight.  I leave you with Go Bears and Go Riot - may teams from coast to coast feel the wrath of Chicago today.