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Excuses, Excuses: Columbus Crew 3, Chicago Fire 0, MLS game recap

The Men In Red post one of their most dismal performances of the season in Columbus

MLS: Chicago Fire at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew 3 Higuain 28’ (PK), Zardes 50’ 70’

Chicago Fire 0

People come up with all sorts of excuses or rationalizations for why they do what they do.

“My dog ate my homework.”

“It’s not cheating if it’s in another zip code.”

“I don’t like Trump but I voted for him anyway because I can’t stand liberals.”

“The language I used came during a heated moment and does not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian community.”

Excuses only go so far. At some point you have to own up to who you are and what you did.

You could make all sorts of excuses for why the Fire took the L in Columbus tonight. This was the third game in a week. They were tired. The travel ground them down. Bastian Schweinsteiger didn’t play. The Crew were het up for what might be their last home game against the Fire. Any of those excuses and explanations are reasonable, in isolation.

But at some point the Fire, and us fans, have to face reality. This team, as currently constituted, isn’t enough.

From kickoff you knew, you knew, this was going to be a long night. Cheap giveaways in midfield. Chicago’s backline giving Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes too much space. Richard Sanchez getting bailed out a couple times by the woodwork. You could see it in the eyes of Fire players— THEY knew this was going to be one of those games. That the Fire went into halftime down only 1-0— off of a dubious PK won by Zardes and converted by Higuain— seemed flattering to the visitors.

They would not be so lucky in the second half. Maybe it was fatigue catching up with them. Maybe it was Tony Tchani coming on at halftime and blowing his chance to get back into starting contention. Maybe it wasn’t just one thing. Whatever the reason(s), the Fire had nothing in the tank. Zardes took the Fire to task with a pair of goals, killing off the game by the 70th minute. Chicago players dropped their heads. Columbus fans went into cruise control.

I want to say I can’t begrudge Columbus tonight. They might lose their team at the end of the season. Maybe they needed this result more than we did. And then I remember that it’s Columbus, and then I begrudge them every fucking thing.

The Chicago Fire (3W 2D 5L, 11pts, 7th in the Eastern Conference) are back home next Sunday when they face the Houston Dynamo.