KINGS OF THE DRAW! KINGS OF THE DRAW! KINGS OF THE DRAW!
Add DC United to the list of teams that have succumbed to the Chicago Fire's unstoppable draw powers. Another disappointing, disgusting 1-1 home draw. Look things have gotten so bad that my indoor team wore Fire kits for our game tonight and we DREW 6-6 in INDOOR SOCCER. The power of this hex is strong people. Hopefully you don't need a win while wearing Fire gear in the near future.
Join me after the break for some positive comments followed by some negative comments and then I'll complain about the coaching. Sound familiar? IT IS! As a meaty bonus I'll throw in some kvetching about ESPN for those of you who didn't have the uh privilege of listening to John Harkes and ESPN Generic White Guy 75.
1st Half: Again with the stellar first half. This time it didn't produce any goals but that had to more to do with Dom Oduro's finishing than anything else. There was good passing, patient possession, urgent runs down the flanks, excellent play up the middle. We looked like a real live soccer team. My goodness was this great to watch.
Sebastian Grazzini: This guy has the goods. Great touch, can hold the ball, can hit a nice shot off the volley (how great was that goal?). How about we leave him in the game for more than 70 minutes? There was no reason for him to come off tonight, he looked like he still had gas in the tank. I get they want to make sure he is healthy and ready for August 30th but sometimes as a fan you just want to win. You know?
I'm rapidly becoming quite enamored with the Argentinian. This is a completely different team with him on the field. Klopas and company should be commended for acquiring him.
Patrick Nyarko: Another excellent game full of speedy creation and terrific effort. A top flight MLS winger. If he actually could shoot the ball he'd have been gone a long time ago. Excellent work to create the opportunity for Grazzini's wonderful volley.
Pavel Pardo: I thought Pavel had his best game in a Fire uniform tonight. Really fitting in quite well with Grazzini. When Grazzini leaves the game everything falls apart but that isn't Pardo's fault. We don't have a single player that can slot in and back up the middle position. Pardo was instrumental in keeping the flow and middle of the field locked down during that really great first half. I would like to see him back next year screaming at former B level US National Team players. Seriously that's good stuff.
Not quite good, not really bad, but somewhat heartburn inducing: Dominic Oduro
Look Dom is going to, rightfully, get a lot of crap for his awful finishing. Yet a lot of his awful finishing is on the end of chances only he can create with his ridiculous speed. I'm on record saying that Oduro is a winger and shouldn't be playing up top. I'd rather see him start on the right wing and flip Nyarko to the left. Marco Pappa can sit and come off the bench. I think that would be a great benefit to everyone involved. You can live with Oduro's finishing follies as a winger. Plus he should have more options in the box instead of no one there (will someone please teach guys to make diagonal runs towards the posts? This has been an issue for three seasons now). Can we just move him to winger and watch him run someone's left back ragged? That would be great.
Special Acknowledgment: Gonzalo Segares
He wasn't awful tonight. He was average to slightly above average. This is a good thing.
Dan Gargan: He was also serviceable again. Seriously we may have a decent Brandon Prideaux like piece here.
Frank's White Shirt: Seriously all I could think about was Dennis Hamlet and his white shirt. This is not a good thing.
The officiating team: Look that goal was offsides. Clearly missed. Annoying beyond all belief. Also way to let this game turn into a rugby exhibition in the second half.
Marco Pappa: Was pretty invisible tonight. He will continue to be invisible until he is sold or that deal falls through (Seriously Chelsea can you just purchase Modric so Tottenham can by Ruiz so Twenty will by Pappa so we all can just get the f*** on with our lives?). If there is anything predictable about Marco, outside trying to score goals with his left foot and not passing quickly and playing really slowly, it is his MLS motivation. Completely non-existent right now.
The Coaching: Look if you insist on taking Grazzini out in the 70th minute the formation MUST CHANGE. It can not remain the same. Might as well moved to a one man strike force and put in Chaves to help distribute amongst a five man midfield. You were up. I don't see what would be wrong with that kind of move. Your last two subs were used way to late to have any sort of impact on the game if that was your goal. Frank is not a good in game tactician and it is costing this team points.
The ESPN Announcing Crew: So John Harkes is legendarily bad. I know this and you know this. But fricking Generic White Guy 75 was extremely awful tonight. Seriously this is what constitutes the A team for MLS on ESPN these days? They were unprepared, kept referencing players who were subbed off, talked about Josh Wolff like he never played for KC, weirdly referred to Pardo as the Fire's only summer signing (uh Grazzini guys), and had an honest to goodness Damani Ralph reference that was mind boggling as he hasn't been with this team for a long time and they were talking about all the players they lost from last season. My god I hope NBC and FSC split up the rest of the TV rights when they come due. Just a jaw dropping horrific performance. Hey ESPN Max Bretos is RIGHT F******ING THERE. I know he isn't everyone's cup of tea but at least he isn't Generic White Guy 75 or 76 or 77. Plus I really want him to scream Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaasssssssss one more time just to watch Big Soccer implode in rage. Please ESPN just give me this. I know you won't. I hate you so much.