Sing along with me: It's a live thread, a f--king live thread, it's the livest thread you've ever seen! It's a live thread, another live thread, because we all need to vent our spleen!
Ok, uh, maybe don't sing along.
MLSsoccer.com has a preview, as does Marty for Fire Confidential, and of course here at Hot Time. For the opposition view, here's Massive Report's Patrick Murphy writing about the rivalry. Patrick and I exchanged questions in advance of the game. The Chicago Fire also released some preview video:
Late rumor has Eric Gehrig restored to the starting lineup in favor of Lovel Palmer - but we're only about 20 minutes from lineups, so all will be revealed very soon. Is it Gehrig over Palmer? How about the 'Mr. X' role - will it be Razvan Cocis, the now-healthy Michael Stephens, or Chris Ritter?
The lineups could be a clear signal of tactical intent - if Gehrig and Ritter are restored to the XI, for example, the expectation is that the Fire will enter this game intending to play on the counter. Ritter is the only midfield option more defensive than Matt Polster, and his long passing comes in handy when the team is intent upon lofting balls for David Accam to run onto.
Section 8 will be there with a certain very special long-time supporter:
Broadcast: Univision Deportes • Kickoff: 7 p.m. CDT • Venue: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, OH
As always, treat this as your home for all online exultation and despair. DALÉ FIRE!