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Chicago Fire 3, Sporting Kansas City 4: First Thoughts

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That’s certainly a creative way to lose

MLS: Sporting KC at Chicago Fire Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Fire 3 Katai 70’, Nikolic 74’, Nikolic 82’

Sporting Kansas City 4 Gutierrez 9’, Russell 42’, Medranda 84’, Gutierrez

  • Lineups are here!
  • Pregame thought 1: So the Stef Cleveland Experiment seems to be on hold. Thank goodness.
  • Pregame thought 2: Still not sure how I feel about Basti as the #10 tho.
  • Pregame thought 3: Megabandera!
  • Pregame thought 4: Other than Katai, the player I’m going to keeping an eye on most is Christian Dean. He’s got a lot riding on his shoulders right now— can he hack it as a starter?
  • Pregame thought 5: Matt Polster’s mom is rad as heck.
  • Pregame thought 6: Here’s Ruben’s Periscope stream, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Let’s goooooooooooooooooooooooo
  • GOAL 9’— lol that didn’t take long. Russel weaves through the backline and catches Sanchez out. RS blocks the shot but it goes up and Gutierrez heads it in. 0-1.
  • 14’— Honestly, we deserve that. The team has not looked sharp in the opening minutes. Not enough going on up top, and the back is clearly still figuring things out. Of course SKC pounced. This is what they do.
  • 17’— Basti just hit a low free kick directly at an SKC player for a gift turnover. This is going to be a long day.
  • 22’— SKC almost makes it 0-2. Sanchez just about saves a shot from distance from Gutierrez.
  • 24’— Vincent just blocked a potentially dangerous cross from the anthropomorphic man-bun known as Zusi. Good to know he didn’t forget how to play soccer over the winter (unlike SOME folks on this roster apparently).
  • 25’— Fire with a promising attack just outside the six, but Niko couldn’t get a head on it and Soli’s touch on the rebound was lacking.
  • 27’— On the agenda for training next week: playing out from the back.
  • 30’— Their shape has been so weird today. Basti clearly doesn’t want to play as the #10, Soli seemed to think he was a fullback for a few minutes (to Polster’s bewilderment). They’re not communicating well and hardly anyone is where they’re supposed to be.
  • 32’— Katai wins a free kick, Basti and Vincent argue a little over who takes it, Basti wins the argument, the service is worth 2 stars on Yelp.
  • 33’— Noted scrub Tim Melia gets a yellow for time-wasting. In the first half. lol
  • 33’— Oh cool, the P*to chants are back. Happy 2018, y’all.
  • 35’— Katai scraps to hold onto the ball near the edge of the box and swings in a dangerous ball. Niko extends a leg to tap it in but juuuuuust misses.
  • 36’— Kap gets a yellow for a foul on Espinoza.
  • 41’— Tchani threw someone to the ground, got whistled for a foul, complained loudly and theatrically. Clearly taking a cue from #cf97 Twitter this week.
  • 43’— Polster also just threw an opponent down while trying to make a run and got away with it. lol
  • GOAL 44’— A low cross sent across the box that no less than three Fire players could’ve dealt with. But nobody did, and Johnny Russell boots it into the back of the net. 0-2.
  • 45’— Yo, Fires, if you want to watch this game buy a fucking ticket.
  • Halftime! Fire 0-2 SKC
  • Halftime thought 1: Ahh, that familiar creeping sense of despair. Happy New MLS Season, everyone!
  • Halftime thought 2: Team shape, communication, holding onto the ball, and defensive transitions. All things the Fire need to improve on in the second 45. Whether any of that will actually happen... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Halftime thought 3: Here, have some more Ruben.
  • Halftime thought 4:
  • Second half is underway!
  • 46’— No substitutions, huh? Okay then.
  • 50’— Fire win a FK, then Basti is shown a yellow for a foul after the play. Woof.
  • 51’— Katai does a good job to brush off his marker on the win and sends a great cross to the far post. Soli gets his head on it but can’t steer it into the net.
  • 54’— Zusi launches a bomb from waaaaay back to try and catch Sanchez out. Which he does, but the ball can’t get under the crossbar.
  • 59’— Fire keep trying to make something happen in front of goal but they just don’t have it together.
  • 61’— What if... what if the Fire are Actually Bad?
  • 62’— Hahahaha Zusi just swatted the ball out of the six with his hand and the ref is like “what I didn’t see anything.” What a fucking shitshow.
  • 64’— Soli gets cut down right outside the box, actually wins a FK. Whaddya know.
  • 65’— Katai takes the FK, boots it right into the wall, gets the ball on the rebound and sends it to the capo stand. But there was a deflection, so, corner kick! Woooooo!
  • 66’— Aaaaaaand nothing happens.
  • 69’ (nice)— Sinovic is being treated for a possible head injury.
  • GOOOOOOOOOOAL 70’— KATAI BAGS HIS FIRST GOAL FOR THE FIRE! SET UP BEAUTIFULLY BY BASTI! I’M DYING FAM! 1-2!!!
  • GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL 74’— NIKO TIES IT UP! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! 2-2!!!!!!!!
  • 77’—An SKC player is trying to take a corner kick but Sector Latino is engaging in Shenanigans. Ref has briefly stopped play. I didn’t catch what was happening. (If you saw what happened, hit us up in the comments.)
  • GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL 82’— NIKOLIC JUST GAVE THE FIRE THE GO-AHEAD GOAL FROM CLOSE RANGE AND I AM LITERALLY CRYING 3-2
  • GOAL 84’— Ugh, of course. Sanchez fucked up a save and served the ball up for Medranda. 3-3.
  • 85’— The Fire finally make a sub. Kevin Ellis comes on for Katai.
  • GOAL 86’— Oh look, the Fire are caught ball-watching in the box. Again. 3-4.
  • 88’— Collier comes on for Dean.
  • 90’— Fire are doing that U8 bumblebee soccer thing to try and get back into it. Bold strategy, let’s see how it plays out.
  • 5 minutes of stoppage time.
  • 90’+3— Corrales on for Polster.
  • 90’+4— SKC gets a 3-on-2 breakaway and should’ve gotten their 5th, but they don’t time their runs right and it ends with an offside flag.
  • 90’+6— Fire win a FK right outside the box. This is it.
  • 90’+7— Nope. Basti hits it into the wall and the ref blows the whistle.
  • Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Fire 3-4 SKC
  • Final Whistle Thought: It’s going to be a long season, folks.

Stay tuned for more postgame coverage and a full recap here on Hot Time In Old Town. In the meantime, join the conversation in the comments or on social media.