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Fire in a Flash: The Toronto loss & 24 under 24

We catch up on some news we’ve missed including the Fire’s loss Saturday to Toronto and four players being named to the 24 under 24 shortlist.

MLS: Toronto FC at Chicago Fire
Jonathan Campbell and the Fire took a tough 2-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday, but he has a chance to crack MLS’ 24 under 24 list.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Anytime you see a title with the word ‘Roundup’ in it, you know it is because someone has slacked and things have fallen a bit behind. That someone is me.

You may have noticed there was no recap for the Toronto FC game. That is because I was fresh off having multiple needles stuck in me to take care of a rather gross and incredibly painful medical issue. The result was of that was some painkillers. And that of course resulted in me not being able to write or organize thoughts very clearly.

What it also shows is WE NEED MORE WRITERS (more on that in a later post).

So let’s just do a little catchup.

Toronto beats Fire 2-1 in a game the Fire could have won

I’ve been saying it for a few weeks now, but I am past the point of concerning myself with the result of matches at this point. I just want to see the Fire play well and improve to see this season out. While I wouldn’t call their performance on Saturday an improvement over what we have seen recently, I do think they played pretty well.

An unfortunate error by Sean Johnson in the second half was really the difference, but the Fire kept pushing in the second half and probably deserved a point from this one based on the performance. The performance we saw Saturday is not something we would’ve seen early in the year. That, to me, is a good sign.

Michael de Leeuw is proving to be incredibly resourceful, always popping up in the right place at the right time to get his goals. His score was mostly created by David Accam, but that’s OK because before de Leeuw came onboard the Fire didn’t even have anyone capable of taking advantage of a situation like that. De Leeuw may be a poacher, but they count all the same.

The team also received a good amount of praise from Toronto players and coaches, which is certainly positive as well. It’s easy for us to say something is good or bad from the comfort of our couches but when opponents start noticing a team was tougher than the last time they played them, you know the changes are real.

So all in all, a pretty OK day at the office for a loss.

24 under 24

This is what I really want to talk about because it is pretty fun. If you are unfamiliar with 24 under 24, it is an MLS countdown of the best 24 players under the age of 24 for that given year. The dudes ranked No. 1 usually end up being pretty incredible players.

The Fire have four players named to the 50-person short list to make the final list of 24. They include Brandon Vincent, Jonathan Campbell, Rodrigo Ramos and the one and only Matt Polster. I could see the Fire getting two of them into the final list. Ramos is almost assuredly out as his MLS future looks cloudy at the moment.

I have only one expectation and that is for Polster to be in the top-3. There is so some stiff competition with Cyle Larin, Keegan Rosenberry, Kellyn Acosta, Jordan Morris, Jack Harrison and Walker Zimmerman littering the list among others, but Polster is awesome and I want to see him in the top-3. Make it happen MLS.

So there is our little catch-up on the happenings in Fire land. Chicago has a game Friday against D.C. and a chance for revenge.