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Seattle v Chicago, MLS #26 - Gamethread

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Fire must break poor trends on turf, on the road to keep pace in tight Eastern Conference; broadcasts on NBC Sports Network, LaLey 107.9FM begin at 9 p.m. CST

Limiting the creativity of Mauro Rosales (ahem) could be important.
Limiting the creativity of Mauro Rosales (ahem) could be important.
David Banks

We know the drill by now, right? "Anything less than three points ..."; "Yet another in a series of must-win games for the Fire ..."; etc., etc., ad nauseum. The Fire dug themselves a massive hole in the first 10 games of the season, and here, 16 games later, they're still trying to fill the damned thing in.

Three points tonight - in a city where the club has never won, on a surface which has baffled an astonishing array of Fire talent since 2010 - would be an unexpected blessing, like finding a $50 in an old jacket. If it's ever going to happen, though, this seems an opportune moment. The Sounders have several times the Fire's total payroll sidelined for tonight's game.

As usual, gameday rosters here about an hour before kickoff. Expect wide mood swings. Unalloyed jubilation and bitter sarcasm equally likely.

Prediction: 2-2 draw. I think this is going to be an entertainingly open game. Chicago's wide players can create chances, and if the finishing improves, Seattle could be in for a surprise.