James Bridget Gordon: Happy Monday, friends. The Fire are now 0-0-2 thanks to a 2-1 loss to Minnesota.
I want to try and start on a less dismal tone. Give me some positives from the game.
Adnan Bašić: Katai looked quality yet again, which was very good to see. Collier also showed some promise.
That’s all I’ve got though.
James Bridget: Yeah, Katai’s shooting needs some work but his movement was really good.
Adnan: That’ll come with time I hope, and it was probably the first time he’s ever played on turf in his career.
Ruel Gutierrez Apostol: Katai isn’t as lazy as some reports indicate and Collier is good. Why need Gordon when we have him.
James Bridget: Even if he is, you can be lazy in this game and still kinda good. Look at Berbatov.
Adnan: I miss Berba so much.
RJ: Sanchez could be better if he figures out his positioning.
James Bridget: I feel like that’s kind of a low bar though, considering how profoundly terrible that makes his play.
Adnan: Yea we definitely need a new GK before someone chips Sanchez from midfield.
RJ: Do yall think McLain will start the game against Portland? Haven’t heard from him ever since his sub in that supposed game against Indy 11.
Adnan: Decent shout but I think Pauno is gonna give Sanchez at least 5 games before benching him.
[an hour of uncomfortable silence passes]
James Bridget: Alright so I think we’ve exhausted all the good stuff we have to say about the game.
The thing I kept thinking about w/r/t the MNUFC loss was that most or all of the same problems with the SKC loss were also present here, and that the only reason we didn’t ship four goals was that it’s Minnesota.
I guess what I’m asking is, did anyone notice anything new about the Fire’s performance?
RJ: Tchani showed some improvement. Better ball clearances, but still remains a liability out there on the field. He’s a sub for Basti at best for now. Apart from getting a new GK (pending on McLain’s future performances), the club realllllyyy needs someone in the middle so Basti can go back to his position. Then the midfield won’t be so disjointed.
James Bridget: I guess that’s my issue here, because I don’t think the Fire’s problems are fixable without new signings but I also don’t think that’s a useful discussion to have right now. It’s clear that there’s probably no one new coming in for a few months, possibly not until after the World Cup. So I feel like the Fire have to work with what they’ve got, and if the conversation just keeps going back to hypothetical future signings then we’re just going to keep going in circles.
RJ: It’s doable to work what they have. They just need to sync up better. Hopefully these next two weeks will work wonders.
James Bridget: I’d be happy with Stop The Bleeding at this point.
RJ: I don’t want to sound like Mourinho in his FA Cup rant but they can suck as long as they try.
James Bridget: I’m inclined to agree.
Quick aside, I want to briefly touch on Matt Lampson’s comments. For those who missed it, Lampson said this after the game when asked about playing in front of the home crowd at MNUFC for the first time:
”The Minnesota United Supporters? It was awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever played for a team that has this type of support from the city, and a fan base. It happened every now and then in Columbus. Very rarely happened in Chicago. And it’s something I’m really grateful for, because that’s not something that you take for granted.”
And then when asked about how it felt to get a win against his former team, he said this:
”Do you want the truth? Or do you want something to put in print? No, I’ll probably get in trouble. I definitely had this day circled on Draft Day, when I found out. It feels good, I will not lie. But at the same time, I’m just doing everything that I can to help Minnesota United win games now. It doesn’t matter who it’s against, it doesn’t matter who the team is. As long as we get three points, I’m happy. As long as I do my job for the rest of the team, I’m happy. And that’s what we did today. That’s all there is to it, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”
So, like, is anyone actually bothered by what Lampson said?
RJ: No. Not really. Despite some questionable performances, Lampson was a good guy and was a class act off the pitch. I’m sorry that we didn’t fully back him. He has the right the rant all he wants.
Adnan: I’m just annoyed that those words are coming from a guy who was terrible while in Chicago. Like if Accam takes shots at us fair enough he’s a quality player.
Ruben Tisch: True. The quality of his performance while here does not entitle him to “they ran me out of town” feelings. He ran himself out.
James Bridget: He totally has the right to be frustrated with his now-former employers. My read is that people are more upset about his veiled swipe at Fire fans. But frankly, after the last two weeks I’ve had, I’m inclined to agree.
Adnan: I mean we would’ve gotten behind him more if he and the team weren’t so rubbish at times.
Ruben: Meanwhile RE Defense: who’d have thought replacing Joao Moira would be harder then replacing David Accam?
James Bridget: I kinda did lol
Ruben: <gold star>
Adnan: Time to start the Sjöberg hype train.
RJ: Did Meira ever find a club?
Side note I signed Salah for the Fire in FM18 and I’m on the course to an undefeated season
Ruben: He plays(?) For Lorca in the Segunda.
Saul Garcia: Late to the party, but unless Pauno changes formations there is no reason for Tchani to start. Maybe try Mo Adams and give Basti another shot as 10.
He is a replacement level player, pardon the baseball term.
Sean Spence: It’s not like anything Tchani brings is up in the air at this point - he’s a longtime MLS player. We know his game, and I can’t see him ever being clean enough with the ball or far enough ahead of play mentally for a team that wants to play possession.
Adnan: I completely forgot about Mo Adams, which is a shame. How hasn’t he gotten any minutes.
James Bridget: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Adnan: But Solignac finds a way to start every game possible.
Polster out 5-6 weeks. UH OH.
RJ; RIP In Piece 2018 season (2018-2018).
James Bridget: I blame Pauno.
Or possibly the Capo Stand.
Wait, what are Fire fans mad about again? I can’t keep up.
Adnan: E V E R Y T H I N G
Ruben: I think this is the least of the Fire’s problems.
Adnan: That’s saying something.
Ruben: I mean, I thought Ramos played okay. Most of The Loons’ success came from the other side of the pitch.
James Bridget: Ramos was fine, just new kid jitters. Vincent was playing out of position.
Like our defensive problems were obvious but also aren’t just We Suck. There were specific issues that are, in theory, fixable.
Adnan: Just need Grant Lillard to heal from injury and take the starting spot (hopefully) (please) (he might be our only hope)
Saul: Agree with James, defense should be ok this season. Everywhere else is ehhh.
And Adnan I agree Lillard can be special.
James Bridget: Well, I wouldn’t go THAT far. We still have serious problems with the defense. It’s just, the specific defensive issues in the MNUFC games were easy enough to identify.
Saul: Fair enough
James Bridget: Anyone else have something to say about Fires?
Ruben: They’re going to win one of these games.
RJ: Portland will be the game that brings everything forward. I believe!
....Then come crashing down when they face Atlanta or Toronto
Adnan: Well technically the Fire are ahead of Toronto
James Bridget: Now’s our chance to whomp on Toronto! We’re coming for you, Jozy!
Adnan: Jozy is shaking in his boots at the prospect of going against Kevin Ellis.
James Bridget: Indeed.
Alright, shift change!
The Red Stars are done with preseason! The league campaign starts next Sunday! Final rosters are out!
So! Many! Things!
Claire Watkins: Our starting lineup is, how do I put this, decimated.
Casey Short, Julie Ertz, Vanessa Dibernardo, Sam Kerr, Yuki Nagasato, all out for opening weekend, right?
Adriana Hooper: That’s what it’s looking like. DiBernardo doesn’t look like she’s back for a while either.
James Bridget: Usually either one team is doing better than the other or they’re both doing well. We might be heading for a time when the Fire and the Red Stars are both playing awful simultaneously.
Claire: Well they are playing the Dash, so, here’s to one point maybe?
James Bridget: lol
Claire: We just gotta hold it together for a couple of weeks
James Bridget: Story of my life.
Adriana: I don’t mean to giggle but that made me lol because same.
I feel like the teams are like, ok Aussies, hurry up, do well, but yea, hurry up lol.
Hey CRS may even get THREE points this opening game, look at that.
Claire: It’s certainly what one could call a soft opener. But also they kick our butts every year so take that with a grain of salt.
Adriana: Yea that opening game has always been weird for them.
James Bridget: So do we want to do predictions?
Claire: Gonna go with a super hot 1-1 prediction. And I’m prepared to be very wrong!
James Bridget: That sounds about right.
Claire: I think at least two very dumb things are going to happen in this match, and I’m excited to see what exactly those things are.
James Bridget: There’s so much potential for dumb things!
Adriana: I say 2-1 CRS.
James Bridget: Whoa
Adriana: And now you have to give us your 2 dumb things Claire lol
Claire: Oh boy, ok
Adriana: It’s March and I’ve gone mad! Lol
James Bridget: Would you say that March has a particular predilection for madness?
Claire: I’ve heard that from sources, but can’t confirm.
1) Last ditch goal-line deflection from one of these teams FOR SURE
2) idk Yuki starts? Nikki Stanton hatty? Christen Press comes on the pitch to the Undertaker bells and body slams Rory Dames?
James Bridget: I like Rory a lot but I would mark the heck out to Press coming in to Taker’s music.
Sandra Herrera: NWSL, hit us up for how to make game days more entertaining, ASAP.
Adriana: Hahaha Claire, you win. Taker music please.
And March is always mad. The sound of my bracket also blowing up every year is not great.
Sandra: While I have traditionally always gone the way of the red stars during season openers against Houston, I feel like this has all the makings of a good old fashioned draw lol
Anyway, to start the season it appears the Red Stars have some injuries, along with missing Sam Kerr for about 5 weeks.
So I am completely here for the rise of Nikki Stanton lol
I am pretty sure a potential midfield of Stanton and Mautz would appropriately strike fear in opponents and officials card pockets.
Adriana: I felt like Stanton didn’t get a whole lot of playing time in preseason but maybe I didn’t pay attention close enough but she was the unsung hero at Sky Blue to me. She’s just very physical.
And with the injuries, CRS really going to need her to shine.