Welcome to this week’s Mailbag. Remember you can send questions to us on Twitter with the hashtag #AskHotTime and I’ll answer them every Friday.
How does our agreement with Tulsa work? Bakero was on ths bench after scoring midweek for the Roughnecks. #AskHotTime— Michael Welch (@mhwelch1211) April 26, 2018
This is a really good question, actually, and something I haven’t put much thought into. I don’t think two way contracts are allowed under the MLS CBA, but maybe it’s like baseball and you have an unofficial roster of players on their farm teams who can be sent up and down at will. Regardless, the fact that Bakero is back at Fire camp tells me a few things, 1) the midfield is bad and they were more aware of what was going on, 2) They didn’t know what they had with Bakero and getting just a glimpse of him in Tulsa was enough to realize their mistake and they called him back as soon as they could. He’ll probably end up in the 18 again against Toronto, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the lineup. Alan Gordon has been bad and Elliot Collier has been disappointing since his debut.
What kind of Toronto team do you think the Fire will face on Saturday? Will their usual starters be getting some rest or do you think they'll be out for their first W? #AskHotTime— Troy Wahl (@rad4lyf3) April 26, 2018
One thing we know for sure is that they’re gassed. They could have been more gassed, but CONCACAF in their infinite wisdom decided that they would go straight to penalties instead of the standard 30 minutes then penalties. That was a fantastic final and TFC should have won when Marky Delgado had a wide open net in stoppage time... but they didn’t. Jozy Altidore went off with a hamstring problem (again), and there’s no word at the time of writing on his status. Assuming he plays, however, he’s going to be less then 100%. Michael Bradley did a lot of chasing playing the sweeper role vs Chivas. I’d be worried about Giovinco as always. He can go forever. As for the rest of the starters, they’ll play if they can go. In short, I think we’ll see a tired group of players, and the Fire better take advantage of them.
This is the first week of the ESPN+ experiment. Let us know what your experiences were using it. And I’ll talk about it with you next week.