From this moment on, it’s all about the playoffs. Yes, we were shooting for the playoffs before, but this time for real. After losing 3-1 to Toronto, I think it’s time to put the Supporter’s Shield fantasies away and start looking at where we’ll be seated at the end of the season. With Matt Polster apparently coming back from his injury on Saturday and Brandon Vincent improving, we should be looking to find a good seed in the playoffs where we’ll hopefully be back to full strength. This game is going to be very important for that journey.
So to be perfectly honest about this Minnesota United team, they’re not good at all. I just watched their 4-0 win over DC United and even though that result sounds impressive, their defense has the consistency of a wet paper towel and their offense has about as much potency as coconut water. That may sound mean, but I think that’s a fairly accurate sentiment for a team that seems to have gotten lucky to be in the weakest Western Conference since probably the early 2000s. They’ve gotten reinforcements, but this stuff is bad. Come on, let’s watch.
Vs. DC 7/29
Vs. Seattle 8/5
Vs. Seattle 8/20
A New Hope
So I did say that Minnesota was absolutely and utterly terrible. And then you saw video of them being the worst team on the pitch even when they’re winning by a blowout. But I did also mention they picked up reinforcements. The biggest recent standout has been first overall draft pick, Abu Dunladi, who has picked up 3 goals and 2 assists in just 9 starts. Really, he’s proving to be a great player, especially with Christian Ramirez possibly missing another game with a hamstring injury.
Darth Bane: Rule of Two
So I’ve talked a bit about this before, but I couldn’t pass up the oppurtunity to reference a Legends book. In the Star Wars universe, the “Rule of Two” is the idea that there can only be two sith, a master and an apprentice. That is the Fire’s midfield right now. I think that Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty are our two guys who can play central midfielder and anyone else in there is just superfluous and gets in the way. Yeah, this is about Juninho again. It’s sad but true that the team just plays better without him on the field and with him gone, Basti moves up more to suddenly create more offense. There can only be two.
The Force Awakens
Earlier this week, I wrote an article on why I think we suck right now. One of the things I mentioned was that the Fire need to get that winning mentality back. This is one of those games that you can pad your stats and fuel your ego with. We need Niko to use this golden opportunity to get back on track. I can honestly see a hat trick in store for him this week if he just goes out with confidence (and distribution to his position).
How To Watch
Kickoff: Saturday August 26th, 7:30PM CDT
TV/Streaming: CSN-Chicago, MLS Live
So how badly with the Fire crush this team out of Cloud City? Or is everything going to go all Jar-Jar and midichlorians? Let us know in the comments!