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Roundtable: When will the Fire rise above being ‘So Fire?’

And yeah, your editor didn’t know what schnitzel was

This is schnitzel. Not a sausage-looking thing at all, SEAN. (This photo nabbed from the website of the Schnitzel Hub in Toronto, which looks pretty amazing. Check ‘em out.)
photo from

James Bridget Gordon: So! Schweinsteiger debut, blew a lead late, came back at the death to get a 2-2 draw against a Montreal team we really should've beat. Not terrible, all things considered. But it's 5 points from 12. To put things in perspective: Minnesota Utd, who have had an historically awful start to the season, are on 4 points from their first 12.

Question for the table: is this good enough?

John Carollo III: No.

Right back still needs an upgrade. Bava looked stupid on that second goal. I agree with Dax when he says our defense was "shambolic". (Sidenote: props to Dax for his vocab skills)

Mike Tooley: If it is simply a yes or no answer, I would also say no. But of course it is much more complicated than that.

I really liked what I saw out in Bridgeview for the large majority of the game. Juninho should not have been sent off and Montreal's second goal - well, it was a bad one, we all know that. We need to take our chances better at the other end as well. But I walked away with a whole lot of positives - the glass is half full for me this week.

Also, look at teams like Portland and Seattle both getting draws at home this weekend plus Red Bulls getting blown out. Each and every game provides some sort of difficulty. It starts looking worse when negative results start piling up on top of each other. I personally threw the game in Atlanta out the window. This next one against Columbus is an absolutely massive game.

James Bridget: ... I see what you did there.

Jack Kelly: Goddamnit, John had to bring up Harrington.

Also very much in the ‘No’ boat. I think Saturday's match was peak Chicago Fire, at least of the last few seasons. Start well, get too comfortable, go behind and then scrape something out so everyone doesn't feel too disappointed. I agree with Mike that the match against Columbus is going to be very important.

With that in mind, I don't think we should be calling it a "must win" quite yet. It's only going to be the fifth game of the season and we often see teams who struggle going into the summer end up performing really well.

*coughcough* Seattle *cough*

However, I think getting a win against the Crew could help set a positive tone, especially with the addition of Basti.

Mike: John actually just said ‘right back,’ Jack ... you dropped the H-bomb!

How about that opening goal by Bastian? For all the talk of Accam not passing that was excellent service into Basti.

Jack: I think the Basti goal was actually a really well worked set piece. The delivery was sublime, but that whole series was clearly something they had worked on in training.

Also, it's always fun to see the big signings grab a goal in their debuts.

John: I didn't mention our current right back by name nor did I say he's the worst right back in MLS history. But I can give you references.

Moving over that, Basti really did himself a favor scoring only 17' into his tenure here. Looked really average before the goal, but really opened up afterwards. Beautiful game.

James Bridget: I think this gives credence to the reading of Schweinsteiger's signing that Sean and others have made: pretty wallpaper covering over huge foundation cracks.

Sean Spence: I mean, some props to the folks from Andell for figuring out that a budget-bin roster combined with zero facilities or organizational backing equals ‘Wooden Spoon.’ Bravo, gentlemen.

James Bridget: Rockstar DP signings are fun and good, and I really think Schweini will do well here. But the Fire really can't just ignore the fullback problem. Or the GK problem (I'm still not totally sold on Bava - sorry, y'all).

John: Definitely. I didn't really think much about Bava until that last goal yesterday. My cat could've stopped that and she probably weighs less than the ball.

CM wasn't a major issue, it was RB. The same position that I wanted the Fire to draft and instead they get a left winger.

Sidenote, DJ looked really good out there and honestly looked right in place next to Basti. I like him, but I still think we glossed over a major issue that could've been solved then and there.

James Bridget: So once again: Leighton Baines To CF97. Make it happen, Andy. We need more dad staches in the squad anyway.

John: Right now, screwing over the Milkman is the biggest mistake we've made. He was always our man every day until Pauno decided he wasn't. At this point, I'll start Lamp over Bava next game after that pathetic attempt at a save; but this should've never been an issue.

James Bridget: Alright last question for the day: Favorite German food?

(My vote's for Spaetzle.)

John: Pretzels?

I think they were first done in the German region, right? Sort of like hamburgers.

Sean: My first reaction was ‘schnitzel,’ because there’s this place in Frankenmuth which sells a ‘German plate’ which I enjoy. Then I looked up schnitzel because I wasn’t sure I was spelling it correctly, only to learn that schnitzel is pork or veal hammered flat, breaded, and fried - which presented some problems, as I thought the schnitzel was the sausage-looking thing on my German plate.

Yeah, I didn’t know what schnitzel was, people. BUT! The schnitzel is basically a forebear of one of my favorite foods from my Hoosier childhood - breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches. So I’m sticking with schnitzel.