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Let’s Do The Time Warp Again: Fire vs. Colorado, MLS Week 11 Preview

The Fire haven’t looked this good since 2009. Can they keep it up?

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Chicago Fire
The biggest story from Saturday was not the score, but the sell-out.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Hello fellow time travelers! Welcome back to the year 2017. I assume we all enjoyed that wonderful dominant performance the Fire put on back in the great year of 2009!

/Producer runs out and mumbles something into my ear

Well, color me confused. That packed house, nationally televised blowout win against the defending MLS Champs was not time travel. It actually happened! The Fire did (almost) everything right Saturday night: they held off Seattle’s crossing pattern, they let those empty pockets of the Seattle defense open up, and we didn’t even slow down when we were up by 2. That’s how you put on a show and it appears our visitors this Wednesday might be the next volunteers.

Colorado aren’t the worst team in the league... /checks tables/ ... Well aren’t we learning a lot today? Yes, although they crushed a weak San Jose team 3-0, they’re still in Wooden Spoon position with just 7 points. So how does a playoff team fall off of the top? Simple, lose key players. No more Marco Pappa, Jermaine Jones, or really any of the major players from last season (Except DPs Shkelzen Gashi and Tim Howard). Instead, players like Mohammed Saeid and Dominique Badji are trying to piece those plays together. And, well, you’re only going to see one video where that works:

Vs. Orlando 4/29

Vs. Vancouver 5/5

Vs. San Jose 5/13

Three Keys

Keep Feeding Niko (He’s Hungry)

This is a continuation of something I said a few times at the beginning of the season before Schweinsteiger: we need to get service Niko correctly. It looks like we’re finally finding him in his stride now and all we need to do is keep feeding him. We need to put in good crosses. We need to make sure that he gets the ball in front of the goal. If we do that, we’re going to keep winning.

Be “Willing To Wait For It”

The Colorado defense is last for a reason. The Fire don’t need to apply any special pressure because the Rapids do a fine enough job breaking their defense down on their own. What we need to do is be deliberate and wait for those spots to open up wide.

Don’t Forget That They Can Attack

I mentioned earlier about how their new attack centers around Badji, Saeid, and Gashi. While it hasn’t worked out all the time, let’s not let it work out against us. We can see what happens when they get going against an admittedly terrible San Jose team. Saeid seems to be the creator, Badji is the target, and Gashi is the clean-up finisher (or poacher, whatever terminology you want). The point is that we need to cover for their specific strengths and tedencies so that it doesn’t blow up in our faces.

Projected Lineups

Chicago Fire

Colorado Rapids

How To Watch

Kickoff: Wednesday May 17th, 7:30 PM CST/7:30 PM CST

TV/Streaming: CSN-Chicago, MLS Live

So will the Fire keep that home train going or will Colorado teach us the meaning of “Trap Game”? Tell us in the comments!