[Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article listed the kickoff time for Fire vs Timbers as 3pm CT. It’s actually 5pm CT. We regret the error.]
We here at Hot Time In Old Town are deeply dedicated to bringing the Chicago area coverage on all things soccer, from both the men’s and women’s sides, and rarely do our goals align better than in the rare Fire/Red Stars doubleheader coming up this Saturday, March 31st . So here I am reaching over the metaphorical WoSo aisle to cordially invite you all, in the spirit of the season, to stick around for the second match.
The Fire and the Red Stars have done this once before, but not since 2014, long before the Red Stars made Toyota Park their permanent home, and even before 2015 World Cup glory brought a heightened awareness of the women’s side to the area (remember that time? I don’t want to!).
When the Fire kick off against the Timbers at 5pm on Saturday afternoon, it’s going to be warmer than much of the past month but likely consistently raining, and after 90 minutes of enduring the elements the tiny thought of “what if we just went home and watched the Loyola basketball game after instead” is naturally going to pop into the back of your mind. Fight it. Stay for the second game.
If you’ve never had a chance to catch the Red Stars live before, this is going to be a very fun and weird time to check them out. They’re missing a bunch of starters, which means the younger elements of the team are going to have to shine to keep an intimidating Portland Thorns team from running up the score sheet (the Portland Thorns won the whole dang thing last year! Stay for the second game!).
One of the ongoing frustrating issues of following the NWSL is the lack of optics from much of the streaming, which is usually designated to Verizon’s Go90 app most weekends. That’s why the women’s sport really shines when it’s right in front of you. Don’t give up the opportunity to turn to both friends and strangers and say ‘Wow, Katie Naughton’s play in the back for Chicago should usher her into the national team conversation!” or “Damn, Christine Sinclair is a literal living legend of the game and what an immense privilege to watch her play for the small price of not leaving the place I am already at!”
We still don’t know how the financial breakdown of this arrangement is going to shake out, and it’s possible that just your dollars will be helpful in making this a productive day for both the Fire and the Red Stars, but my hope for Saturday is that it will be treated like the impressive soccer event that its weight deserves.
I mean, the Cubs and Sox aren’t even back in town until the middle of next week. Stay for the second game.