James Bridget Gordon: Alright friends, the Fire had this weekend off from league play mostly due to the international break. But it was still a big weekend for the #cf97 community, as the club celebrated the 20th anniversary of their founding. There was a big party at the Cultural Center and by all accounts it was a pretty great time.
So with the anniversary finally here I want to go around the room. What's your one favorite memory as a Fire fan?
Sean Spence: I don't have one best memory, but this was a good one: I remember the Fire absolutely smashing Red Bulls in the final game of the season in 2008, 5-2, in a game where Chris Rolfe had a hat trick at halftime ... then the next home game was the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal, and Rolfe started things off again as the Fire romped 3-0. (I prefer not to remember the conference final, thank you very much.)
John Carollo III: Playing skee-ball at Enchanted Castle with Zach Thornton.
Ruben Tisch: I hit Pitor Nowack with a dodgeball, once.
Jake Payne: The entire party last night was my favorite memory in my short time of being a Fire fan.
James Bridget: I'm going to say that walloping of Orlando City (back when they were still a USL team) in the Open Cup back in 2013. That was pretty.
There was also a fun game around the July 4th holiday that same year against San Jose.
So before we talk about the Fire themselves I want to take a quick look at the league. The Red Bulls won their game this past weekend and in so doing clinched the last playoff spot. So, the playoff race in the Eastern Conference is officially over.
My question for the room: how much does seeding matter for the Fire right now?
Jake: It matters a lot. They should probably be hoping to play at home considering their road form. I also still would not want to play Atlanta despite their form recently.
James Bridget: But does it matter enough to override other concerns? Like making sure key starters are rested, for example.
John: Someone put it into perspective for me last night that the difference between finishing 3rd or 4th isn't significant. And it looks like those are the two spots we're fighting between with Atlanta.
James Bridget: 3rd + 4th both mean a home game. The only real difference is who our opponents are.
John: Exactly and both Columbus and NYRB don't have much difference between them with who we play instead. Final four will be the top 4.
James Bridget: Beyond securing home advantage, I kinda really want to face Columbus. I think it would be important to the rivalry.
John: NYRB would be important to THAT rivalry. We'd also probably be finishing 3rd for that one and then going up against NYCFC next instead of Toronto.
James Bridget: I just think the Chicago-Columbus rivalry is both A. really important and B. too easily overlooked.
Ruben: It's the Newcastle/Middlesborough of MLS.
James Bridget: I'd actually put it more on par with Newcastle/Sunderland.
Ruben: The national media cares about that one, tho.
James Bridget: Only fairly recently. I think some high-profile games would give Chicago-Columbus more of a national profile. Hence why I want this playoff match-up.
Alright so, we've got Philly this weekend in our last home game of the regular season. In theory, we should win this pretty easily. Which is exactly why I'm scared.
How are we feeling heading into the game?
John: I think the 20th anniversary was as good of a pick me up as any for most fans and I think it's something that definitely rubbed off on players.
I feel a-ok about this coming game.
Ruben: I feel good. Basti should be fully fit, and it should be business as usual.
James Bridget: Predictions?
John: 3-1 Fire win.
Ruben: Cubs in 5.
James Bridget: Ruben I thought you didn't like the Mountain Goats.
John: Can I say Hawks win 7-2?
James Bridget: No.
Ruben: I was going to do a Bears thing, but they play tonight Same as the Hawks. So it wouldn't make sense for a Tuesday post.
James Bridget: You're all fired.
Jake: Trubisky with 85 touchdowns.
Ruben: Argentina lose, Fire win.
James Bridget: I can't take you kids anywhere.
Anyway, 2-1 Fire win.