Editor’s note: most of this conversation happened before the huge three-way trade involving the Red Stars was made official. We’ll have more to say on that news later today.
James Bridget Gordon: Happy Monday, y’all.
There’s not a whole lot to talk about on the Fire front, so let’s just dive right into the USOC game in Atlanta on Wednesday.
First: should the Fire go all in on this thing? Is this really our best chance at salvaging the season?
Ruben Tisch: I don’t see why not. They may as well.
And no, because in MLS the Fire are currently tied for 6th with Orlando, and Orlando are in free fall.
Ruel Gutierrez Apostol: I hope they do. Why not go for USOC glory and a potential deep run in the playoffs?
Adnan Bašić: We’ve gotta beat New England and Orlando to get the 6th spot in the East. I love the Open Cup, but I think playing a weaker side in Atlanta would be the right call. Partially cause I don’t think our best team would have much of a chance anyway.
Ruben: It’s MLS. Any team can win on any given day. You should always go for it.
James Bridget: I mean, strictly speaking it’s not MLS.
Adnan: t e c h n i c a l l y
Adnan: Although I don’t think Atlanta will play their entire first team.
James Bridget: No it’s literally a separate competition. MLS teams compete in it but it’s not the same thing as MLS. And that’s relevant here because the nature of the USOC is that anyone can win on the day, which is not how MLS works.
Ruben: Either way, you play your best XI on Wednesday. With allowances for Daniel Johnson over Luis Solignac.
Adnan: I’d go Campos over Solignac in the starting XI.
James Bridget: Should Basti start?
Ruben: My gut says yes. Basti on the field gives them the best chance to win. My head says he should come off the bench. Because the kids need to play more then he does.
James Bridget: Yeah, I’m inclined to agree.
Ok, predictions for Wednesday?
Saul Garcia: Pauno should put his strongest side. Fire win 1-0. I don’t think Atlanta is going to put their strongest side.
Adnan: Pauno names a first choice XI minus Bastian that loses 2-0.
Ruben: Fire win in penalties.
James Bridget: I’m... not feeling very optimistic about all this. 3-1 Atlanta.
Adnan: Should we hold out any hope for getting a result in Seattle either? Heart says yes but brain disagrees.
Ruben: Seattle are bad, there’s no reason to expect at least a point.
Adnan: We’re not much better.
James Bridget: If the Ruidaz deal is wrapped up and he’s available to play, I’d be a bit nervous. Otherwise, I think we can get a draw, probably.
So I think we covered everything we can without major news and a weekend game. Let’s move on to Red Stars stuff.
And... hoo boy.
Ruben: I thought we weren’t talking about it.
Claire Watkins: I’d prefer to talk about it more in the form of a primal scream. Or perhaps an interpretive dance.
But yeah, next time you see your ol HTIOT Red Stars Desk out in these streets, buy them a drink or seven. Our hearts? Weary. Our heads? Heavy. Our drafts? A mess.
Ruben: That was the second full 90 I was able to watch (due to Fire duties and other stuff) and I don’t really know what to say other than “They should be better than this. I remember them being better than this.”
Claire: I mean, they went direct. It was a different sort of game for them.
James Bridget: W/R/T the game itself, I think they did fine under the circumstances. They always have a tough time against Portland and they were missing some key players because of [REDACTED], so the fact that they were able to get a point out of the game isn’t bad.
I wish there were more goals scored just because we’re getting close to the end of the fundraiser.
Claire: Yeah. It’d be great if at the very least we get through the rest of the season with at least one performance that we really love.
Adriana Hooper: I thought there were so many opportunities that they actually could’ve won that game and just didn’t capitalize or missed some prime chances to score.
They didn’t play wholly bad, especially considering the opponent but definitely kind of put themselves in the predicament they were in. Thought they did enough (besides finishing) to win.
Claire: For me it felt like another restart, with some players out (for....forever?) and Short and Dibernardo coming back for a bit. This season has been so stop and start.
Adriana: Hmm that makes sense too. They’ve kind of played in waves or stages like that this season.
James Bridget: So, uh. Do we want to make any predictions for Saturday? Apart from Seething Resentment Among Players and Fans?
Claire: They are playing the Royals.
James Bridget: Big, if true.
Adriana: Anger, tears, and 3-2 CRS.
Ruben: And we’ll never be Rooooooyals....
James Bridget: Aaaaand we’re done here.