The World Cup semifinal will be freshly in the books when another, slightly more important contest kicks off: The Fire's quest for their fifth US Open Cup trophy, continuing this evening in Atlanta. This one won't be on ESPN, though; the Men in Red have gone for a more modern solution, opting for a livestream, the better to capture the gritty, unvarnished charms of our nation's premier cup competition.
The main questions on Fire supporters' minds this evening - besides "how is anyone going to beat Germany?," which isn't relevant here - revolve around Frank Yallop and squad rotation. With the exception of the suspended Quincy Amarikwa and the newly-fatherly Jeff Larentowicz, Yallop started a first choice XI on Sunday in Kansas City.
When the answer came in about squad rotation, it was "Not much." The two guys who sat out Sunday are in there, and the outside backs swap out for fresh legs, but there's seven returners here from three days ago. The subs bench includes the four guys who got rotated out (Palmer, Segares, Alex and Ritter) as well as Patrick Ianni, whose gaffe arguably cost the Fire a couple points on the road against the defending champs.
Let's get to the semifinals! Dale Fire!