James Bridget Gordon: Happy Monday y’all.
So, wow, we have a lot to talk about this week. Let’s start off with the game itself. It was another case of the Fire doing alright for themselves before pissing it away and dropping points. Was Saturday an unlucky break? Or could the Fire have done more to get the result they needed?
Ruel Gutierrez Apostol: I think it was a combination of needing to do more + the overall atmosphere of the park.
James Bridget Gordon: I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like to play in this game.
RJ: The boys deserve so much better, but what can you do when the FO goes to extreme lengths.
James Bridget: So I want to save that discussion for a little later on. Right now let’s just talk about the game itself.
Adnan Bašić: I do think the Fire were the better team throughout, but didn’t really dominate. A 1-0 scoreline would’ve been fair until the comedy of errors at the back.
James Bridget:I’m inclined to cut Sanchez some slack on that play but hooooo boy it was painful to watch.
Adnan: There is some blame to be given to others, like Vincent heading it back into the middle, and Ellis not just clearing it when he got the chance. But dropping the ball a yard away from your goal is inexcusable.
RJ: The first-half was a mess, but then the Fire found their place before they managed to Fire’d themselves.
James Bridget: I guess that’s why I’m giving him a break-- it was a stupid mistake, but I also feel like he shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place, and that comes down to the backline screwing up.
Adnan: Does he get the nod on Wednesday, or do you think Pauno is gonna throw another curveball and give Cleveland a chance?
James Bridget: lol I am so done trying to guess what Pauno is going to do for any given game. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays Katai in goal.
Adnan: Or no goalie at all.
James Bridget: Right, yeah.
The Basti goal was pretty nice though.
Adnan: Him and Katai have found some real chemistry on the field. Although sometimes it seems like they only want to pass to each other. Which is understandable at times.
James Bridget: Yeah like if it’s working for them I’m definitely not going to knock it.
Any other thoughts about the game itself?
Adnan: I miss Grant Lillard.
James Bridget: Me too, friend. Me too.
Alright, let’s talk about the bullshit.
Adnan, you were there on Saturday. Can you give us your observations and impressions on the atmosphere?
Adnan: Disturbingly quiet. There was no atmosphere, which took away from the contest. I sat in the upper deck so I got to see just how empty both fan sections were. The only time the fans tried making some noise was when a group of kids lead a “let’s go fire” chant that lasted 90 seconds. They also tried to do the wave but even that died out instantly.
James Bridget: That sounds pretty bad.
Adnan: A couple of section 8 regulars were next to me and they made more noise than anyone else toward the end. Hopefully this serves as a lesson to the front office.
James Bridget: I don’t know. I think the chains in 101 are important to note here. Those chains they laid down would’ve been comically incapable of keeping anyone else. The FO and/or Monterrey couldn’t have not known that. Which makes me think it was more about doubling down than on their actual security ops. I feel like the FO really doesn’t care about optics at this point.
Ruben Tisch: Andrew Hauptman really needs to sell the club. He’s lost the plot, as well as the fan base.
James Bridget: Welp you just activated the Don Signal.
Conspiracy theory time: I think Andrew sees what’s going on in Columbus and likes what he sees.
James Bridget: In general I seriously side-eye any and all conspiracy theories. Buuuuuuut.
Ruben: Sacramento is open for Business.
James Bridget: It’d be a lot closer to home.
Also I can see Garber being onboard with it. MLS might not have been into that idea in years past because Chicago is still a huge media market and (on paper at least) a huge soccer town. But with Lincoln Yards FC in the mix...
Ruben: I think the pressure is on AH and he’s taking the easy way out. (Note that the Idea is dumb and bad and probably not at all true.)
I think it’s just that the FO think SL has been a problem for a long time and saw an opportunity to deal with it. When the reality is it’s people taking advantage of SL’s open and welcoming nature and causing them problems.
James Bridget: Yeah, I think it’s telling that when a smoke bomb went off in Section 8 last year that individual got banned, but when it happened in/around Sector Latino the entire section was cleared.
At best it’s just a case of bad optics and at worst it’s fucking racism.
Ruben: We talked about it on Friday and I agree with you that people using a Latino SG as a cover for fake hooligan shit is gross.
James Bridget: One thing I do want to bring up-- The Chant made another appearance on Saturday. The Banter Buddies weren’t there. Sector Latino wasn’t there. Section 8 was either not there or pointedly standing in the parking lot. So, it appears there’s something to the claim that The Chant is being driven by randos.
I suppose I owe something of an apology to the Banter Buddies. Clearly it was wrong of me to say that they were solely responsible for The Chant at Toyota Park. I made a claim based partly on their reputation and partly on my own dislike of the group. I was wrong to do that, and I’m sorry.
So do we see an amicable resolution happening any time soon? Or is the FO just going to be in perpetual war with the fans until whenever?
Ruben: I foresee WAR!
James Bridget: Not to be confused with RAW IS WAR. Because this is not the late 90s.
Alright. Predictions for Colorado on Wednesday?
Ruben: The Fire are going to beat the Rapids, I think. Colorado is beyond terrible, and the Fire on the field are improving.
I’ll say, 2-0 Fire.
James Bridget: Yeah, why not, I’ll take that bet too.
Alright, shift change!
So how did y’all spend your bye week? I got mad about BroSo and then slept a bunch.
Claire Watkins: Watched some international soccer. Unsure if I recommend.
James Bridget: I didn’t watch it but I heard from you and others that the WNT game was a mess.
Claire: I’m about ready to throw the idea of the international friendly into the sun. Hope all the Red Stars had a nice week off though, went on nice walks, saw a movie, etc.
James Bridget: Pet some dogs. Theirs or someone else’s.
Claire: And we got through one of two friendlys with all CRS members intact, despite China trying to separate Julie Ertz from her feet by the ankles, so that’s a blessing.
James Bridget: Thank goodness.
Claire: I guess we also got the new TV schedule this week, which I’m tentatively in favor of. I’m not anticipating the NWSL doing wild numbers on ESPN news, but the diversity of coverage has to be a good thing.
I’m also a big fan of Saturday night soccer, so I’m glad to see the start time this weekend move back a bit.
James Bridget: Yeah it’s neat that the first game for the new ESPN deal is a Red Stars game.
Claire: Chicago’s one of the few independents that has the favor of the TV coverage, since Toyota Park’s facilities are decent. Helps that CRS still has two Portland games left too.
James Bridget: For sure.
So how are we feeling about the Portland game on Saturday?
Claire: Honestly? The Red Stars would have to show something that up until this point we haven’t seen from them yet for it to go well
It’s possible that the time off could will that into being, but Portland has a way of cutting off progress that they’re gonna struggle with.
James Bridget: This does feel a bit like a Shit Or Get Off The Pot kind of game.
Claire: Yeah, we’re smack dab in the middle of the damn season. It’s time.
I wonder if Morgan Brian is gonna be there.
James Bridget: PLOT TWIST: She sits in the stands wearing a North Carolina shirt.
Claire: Wouldn’t be opposed to some sort of roster shakeup, but that’s not usually the Chicago way of going about things, so I guess we’ll see.
Chicago isn’t usually chasing points this far down the road so it’s kind of uncharted territory.
James Bridget: Yeah, the Red Stars definitely have some ground to make up.
Do we want to take a stab at predictions?
Claire: 2-1 Portland, maybe. Or another CRS classic draw.
James Bridget: I’m kinda leaning toward a draw, if I’m being honest here. And I’m hoping that no one else gets hurt.
Claire: Maybe Casey Short can get 20 or so minutes in, that’d be dope. Portland’s still pretty beat up too.