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Schweinsteiger and Other Fun: Fire vs. Columbus MLS #5 Preview

Schweinsteiger Schweinsteiger Schweinsteiger. Schweinsteiger? Schweinsteiger.

Montreal Impact v Chicago Fire
Bastian Schweinstieger picks up the fumble. Nemenja Nikolic gives up on the chase as Joao Meira moves in for the tackle.
Whoops... Wrong football.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Schweinsteiger has arrived! 17 minutes into his first MLS match he scores on a header. Then, he continues to go on and play the full 90’, killing it all around the pitch, even getting the assist on a red card.

Our new DP’s performance aside, there was quite a bit wrong with that game. There was a defensive breakdown, sloppy finishing, and one very specific poor piece of goalkeeping. But on the good end: we found out that Daniel Johnson is actually pretty good, plays very well with Basti, and that Solignac is really pushing it up top for the second game in a row. I expect those two things to play into the next game and maybe even in the line-up, but I don’t really expect much change.

Speaking of a lack of change, the Crew are still the same team we drew in Columbus, except now they’re on a winning streak and leading the East/League. Yes, the same team that I said we could startle early on is back with a vengeance. After us, they were crushed by Houston 3-1 while short-handed, but have bounced back with three in a row. Their strengths haven’t changed, but I’ve definitely seen their weaknesses recede. Their breakout scorers have been Ola Kamara (which was kinda expected) and Justin Meram (also no big surprise). Expect our wings to have another rough day; but before that, watch how their streak has gotten to us:

Vs. DC United

Vs. Portland

Vs. Orlando

Three Keys

Schweinsteiger... Again

Why is Schweinsteiger the first key to the match again? Because he’s still a freaking key to the match! His signing was built over the course of a week, culminating in his beautiful finish and a fantastic game. As I said, he needed to push past the mental block early. In the 16 minutes before his goal, he looked a bit lost, but from the moment the ball hit the back of the net he was Superman. Hopefully that will carry over to this game without the awkward start.

Grudge Match

This match gives a bit more fun as it is the first “rematch” against a team we’ve already played this season. As previously stated, we barely skated by with a 1-1 draw. But now we have Schweinsteiger. That should make a difference and even though he didn’t play in the first game, he should want to win as much as everyone else does.

Hold Onto That Feeling

Good news: Our team can gain a lead. Bad news: We’re world champs at hot potato because we can’t hold onto it! This is on the defense including the goalkeeping position. The leadership on this team should be strong enough to have built up the squad’s mental toughness. We were able to make up for the mistake with a late goal (and almost won it on a late missed pk call), but we should never put ourselves in that sort of position.

Projected Lineups

Chicago Fire 2017 opening day - MLS - Football tactics and formations
Columbus Crew - Football tactics and formations

How to Watch

Kickoff: April 8th, 2017, 1:00 PM CDT

TV/Streaming: CSN-Chicago, MLS Live

So, do you think the Fire will get their revenge for a slow start, or will the Columbus win train streak through Bridgeview? Give your opinion in the comments.