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Roundtable: It’s A Little Bit Funny

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This feeling insiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

James Bridget Gordon: So, true story: I was out all day on Saturday and didn't get home until super late. I got home and checked the score and, like, had to check it again from a few different sources. There was a moment when I thought that literally the entire internet was trying to prank me.

Anyway! We beat Seattle! It was great! Let's talk about how great it is!

Ruben Tisch: The Sounders of Seattle were throughly DESTROYED at the hands of our BELOVED red attired men. The second half rendered them OBSOLETE.

Alex Picchietti: It was like I was watching Primal Fear.

Jack Kelly: I've never been more hyped about an MLS match in May. The Fire beat the reigning MLS Cup champions, which, by default, makes them MLS Cup champions, right?

Ruben: The #SportsMath checks out.

James Bridget: Transitive property!

Jack: Move on over FiveThirtyEight dot com, there's a new analytics-focused site on the Internet, and its call Hot Time in Old Town.

Mike Tooley: Great atmosphere too, it has been awhile since we've had that kind of crowd out for a game.

Ruben: If they can get 85% back for a Wednesday night against a Rapids team without a marquee name, I'll be excited.

Alex: Twellman was NOT impressed by the crowd noise, guys. <rolls eyes>

Jack: 20,140 was the sold out attendance I believe. Incredible to watch. And the prematch display was also awesome.

Ruben: Was just going to say that. I hope S8 takes it as a challenge, rather then just another opportunity to bag on Twellman (edited)

Alex: Agreed. Being that this was the only nationally televised game we have this year, it's nice to put 4 up on the board.

James Bridget: But also: Twellman has been concern-trolling us for years and I'm really done with that nonsense.

Ruben: The bicycle kick was enough, Tay-Tay. You don't have to rub it in. (I also actually agreed with most of what he's said.)

Mike: I don't really care what Twellman says about noise levels. There were a lot more people there than we have seen in recent years. I am going to enjoy it for what it was. I don't expect the Wednesday numbers to be very good.

Ruben: He's come short of naming our owner as the problem, but that's about it.

James Bridget: "But ATLUTD has crowds and noise and-"

/recites an eldritch incantation and hurls Twellman into...

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T̢̢̥̬̯̘̺͓̲̻͌̈͐̔͊H͈̲̻̦̎̐̊̓̕͢͟͟͝ͅĘ̴̧̨͍̭̜̱̪̬͐͌͑̓̆̇͒̉̚̕ V̷̱̖͔̣̭̼̖͉̜̂̌͒̅͌̒Ǫ̴͕͉͔͕̭̬̉͑̑̇̐̒͆̕͜͝͡ͅI̡̛̮̻͍̪̜͑̈̿͗̒D̴̦͚̯͓͂̀̒͒͋͊͑͗͜͠

.

Ruben: DELETE DELETE DELETE DELETE

James Bridget: Oh hey, I don't know why I didn't know this before but: Niko is currently tied for first in the MLS Golden Boot race. So that's pretty neat.

Ruben: Why would it cross your mind? The Fire with a golden boot contender? Scoff.

James Bridget: I try to stay informed on this stuff.

Ruben: I mean, yeah so do I. But it's not something you think about.

Alex: I'm just having trouble finding the direct link between scoring goals and success.

Ruben: To quote Ozzie Guillin: "You don't score no runs, you don't win the ballgame."

John Carollo III: We're finally feeding him. That goal by Solignac was probably the perfect way to do it (except it was just a bit too hot, but as previously established, Soli cleaned up).

Alex: Thoughts on Conner at RB two games in?

James Bridget: I love it.

Mike: Hopefully we never look back.

James Bridget: Don’t look back in anger.

Ruben: Polster is the first choice, and I think he's better.

James Bridget: He's better in general, but I think he should be given a real chance at his natural position before Milnering him.

Mike: Yeah, between Polster and Conner at least we have some alternative options now.

Ruben: Milnering him is the only way he gets on the field, as long as Dax stays healthy.

James Bridget: And more importantly, we get to spend less time talking about how bad Michael Harrington is. Everyone wins

Ruben: Truth.

James Bridget: Speaking of the midfield: what do we think of the two-man central midfield of Basti and Dax? Is the solution to the midfield cohesion issue to just sit one of our core three CMs out?

Mike: It is a very nice problem to have. More so in a week like this where we have two games in which we will likely see a bit of a rotation to rest some legs.

James Bridget: Very true.

Mike: Feel like Basti is due to sit out one of these two games this week, not sure about Dax though.

James Bridget: So this just broke: Niko, Accam, and Vincent all made MLS Team of the Week.

(Also making the team this week: Sean Johnson.)

Alex: That's great to hear -- I feel like Accam is playing phenomenal soccer since he was dropped a few weeks back.

And Vincent just keeps improving. Future USMNT LB in the house.

James Bridget: Word.

John: Accam has been amazing ever since he started passing. Even he mentioned it was a moment of maturity.

Alex: Yeah -- it's great, when we're struggling to retain possession in midfield, that Basti/Dax can ping a ball to Accam, and he delivers it to Niko -- three quick touches results in a SOG.

John: Everyone was saying Vincent was MLS-Ready out of the draft, but he was not that at all. Instead, he's growing into MLS and I think that's actually better. That slow burn cooks better and brings out the flavors.

#cookingwithfire

James Bridget: I love puns but that... that was bad. Minus 10 points from Slytherin.

Ruben: #NotAllSlytherins

John: I'm actually Ravenclaw (though all online tests say Gryffindor). The actual sorting hat said so!

James Bridget: Actually

a c t u a l l y

ä̵̧̦͇͈̠̣̬̮͊͛̆̈́ c̱͖̖̳̪̼̆̓͋́͒̆͘͡ t̡̬̗̰̳̳̭̉̆̄̑̓̌̂͝ ṳ͇̬̝̭̿̑̏̑̂̒̃͝ a̵̢͉͓͚͍̮̰̍̋̂̐̆͢͞ l͍̩̲̝̫̱̄͛̀̑́͂ l̢͕͚͍̟̱͉̄̉̃̈́͜͞ y̲̩͚͓̞̮͂̓͂͒̾̀͋̚̚

John: About Conner, I still very much prefer him in the midfield; but as we've said before, he's a solid guy back there.

Mike: I am in the same boat. I'd like to see Polster and Conner get minutes in midfield but given the make up of the squad right now I am okay with them both getting some clock at RB.

James Bridget: One thing I want to touch on before we shift to Colorado: we beat Seattle at a time when they really haven't been doing well. And by "not doing well" I mean they have exactly the same record as Philadelphia. So, how much of Saturday was down to the Sounders being bad and how much due to the Fire being good?

John: That game was honestly just an ego boost. Seattle was on the down-turn, but the Fire were unable to take advantage of the "down" teams on the road. So beating Seattle may not have been that hard honestly, but it will mean a lot for us going forward. Not even factoring in the sell-out and national TV coverage.

Alex: I'm less sold today than I was after LA/NYRB. I think Seattle totally collapsed, mission accomplished by getting 3 points, but I am not very confident right now.

John: "Mission Accomplished" are the only two words that matter for the players and the players and their mentalities are what I think matters most right now. We did what we were supposed to do. Seattle collapsed. So did LA, but we let them back in. This was much more complete.

Mike: I still expect Seattle to turn it around at some point. Besides, we can only beat the team in front of us. I am less concerned about the form of the teams we play but rather, are the Fire picking up points? The answer this weekend was yes.

P.S. It is strange to agree with John so frequently... what is happening?

James Bridget: Talk to your doctor if agreeing with Jigs lasts more than four hours.

John: Ask your local MLS Analyst before trying it to see if agreeing with Jigs is right for you.

James Bridget: Alright, so, Colorado. Currently leading the Wooden Spoon race with seven points after nine games played. The Fire should win this comfortably— and that's exactly what has me worried.

Alex: Yep. As soon as I think the Fire are taking a step forward, I see something that concerns me. Dax and Schweinsteiger seemed to be on different pages a few times Saturday night, which I didn't really expect as much at this point. I may have been a bit harsh on De Leeuw in First Thoughts, but he has been frustrating me more than usual lately. And there's still some issues with the keeper position.

But, like JBG said, we should win this comfortably...

James Bridget: Last question: if you were Pauno, would you keep the same team for Colorado? If not, who would you sit and who would you bring in?

John: Sit De Leuuw (not because he was bad, but because I think he's one of the players that might need a break and I want Conner up in the midfield w/Polster at RB at least once). Sit Accam with his apparent hip injury. Would be nice to save him up. Keep Basti, Dax, and Niko should keep out there as Basti already showed intent to not back down, Dax has been our best player (IMO), and Niko is finally hitting a stride.Sit Solignac and start DJ. Just cause. (Soli did a good job on his rebound though.) Would also like a Campbell start, but I don't know whether to sit Kap or Meira.

Alex: Bava for Lampson. De Leeuw on left, Soli on right. Campbell for Meira. Dax, Basti, Polster in midfield.

James Bridget: I would bring in Juninho. I'm not sure whether I would sit Basti or Dax. It's possible that I would go back to that midfield triangle, sit MdL, and then keep the front three as Accam-Niko-Soli.

Alex: No one’s on the Arturo Alvarez train?

James Bridget: Ehh, I like him as a sub but not as a starter. Though I can definitely be convinced otherwise. I used to feel that way about Soli but he's done pretty well recently.

Alex: Just brought it up, in case he's an option if Basti or Dax get a night off.

Yeah, I'm okay with Soli and I think he will improve with more PT and confidence. He has a sneaky good first touch, if he can just do it more consistently, and he's pretty creative.

John: Fairly certain GR said Juninho was out with a sprained ankle from practice. I don't think he's going to be back out there yet Wednesday.

Just double checked, that's what he said.

James Bridget: Cool. Well there goes my plan.

Onward!