[Editor’s note: This conversation took place yesterday afternoon, long before Fernando Torres’ big announcement.]
James Bridget Gordon: Happy Monday, everyone.
So what wrong in Vancouver?
Ruben Tisch: The Fire came out of the gate slow, and didn’t adjust tactically until it was too late. Vancouver were pinching in defensively, and the fire were reluctent to push the ball wide and vomit crosses into the box until like, the 70th minnute.
Adnan Bašić: Midfield didn’t show up, Katai was frustrated early, and Sanchez did that thing he always does— make some really good saves and throw it all away by needlessly coming off his line.
When Tony Tchani gets MOTM that just shows how bad everyone else was.
Ruben: I don’t know. I don’t want to take away from his performance. For as much crap as I’ve given him on Twitter and in here all year, he was legitamatly good yesterday. And he scored a banger.
James Bridget: Yeah he did good on Saturday.
Ruben: I think legitimately this is Pauno’s L. Didn’t adjust fast enough to Vancouver’s stifling defense, and didn’t recognize what was going on fast enough.
James Bridget: I feel like this is a pattern with Pauno.
Ruben: Yep. He’s improving, tho. They did adjust eventually. Before they wouldn’t have done it at all.
Adnan: Tchani’s only other good game was against Columbus earlier in the season. Maybe he only finds motivation against former clubs.
James Bridget: I want to circle back to Ruben’s earlier point about the slow start. Those first 15-20 minutes definitely looked like the Fire we saw at the start of the season. It was really disappointing to see some (admittedly slow) progress just sort of get wiped.
What do we think of Campos being moved back to his natural position?
Ruben: It’s better for everyone. He looked more comfortable playing there.
James Bridget: Agreed.
How are we feeling ahead of Wednesday?
Ruben: Poor, but then again so are Philidelphia.
James Bridget: Predictions?
Ruben: 3-1 Fire.
James Bridget: I’m not feeling quite as bullish but I do think they’ll pull it out. 2-1 Fire.
Ok, shift change!
So, Sam Kerr’s pretty great, huh?
Claire Watkins: She does the soccer good.
Sandra Herrera: 49th, 50th and 51st career goal. Hat Trick. 1st ever in Red Stars history. No big deal
James Bridget: So good.
For several reasons I feel like this performance and result was necessary. Some of those reasons are going to be discussed on the podcast, but for right now we can just focus on the team themselves and the playoff race.
Sandra: Can’t front, a loss against this SBFC team would have felt way worse than a 4-1 loss against a league leading NC Courage team.
Claire: Result even more than performance for me, I think the Red Stars of two months ago would’ve drawn this one.
James Bridget: Yeah, agreed.
So what stood out other than Kerr’s hatty? I feel like Yuki had some solid off-the-ball movement all game.
Sandra: Kerr got the goals, but it was good to see both Nagasato and Mautz collect the assists.
Claire: I thought Ertz and Naughton had a solid match as the center-back tandem. Thought Vasconcelos had a good game as well, though she did miss another tap-in on Saturday.
(I also thought Kerr’s third goal and perhaps Sky Blue’s as well were probably offside.)
Claire: I think it’s gonna rotate depending on who they’re playing, a la Ertz in the midfield against NC, then back to defense for Sky Blue. Her flexibility in both roles, along with Sarah Gorden being available as backup allows the Red Stars to work in their more vulnerable midfielders, and that’s cool.
Sandra: Roster got tested for sure this week, glad to see the team come out with 6 of possible 9 points.
James Bridget: For sure. I think eventually the club’s going to have to sign someone, but conceivably they can make it work with what they’ve got through the rest of this season.
Claire: I’d think so.
James Bridget: So how are we feeling about Seattle this weekend?
Sandra: Feeling some type of way, tbh.
Claire: Eh, as we kind of talk about stumbling blocks, this game makes me nervous.
Seattle’s been playing well, and for whatever reason sometimes the Red Stars come into games they should be prepared for and then whiff it. I’d love for it not to go the way of the past two Orlando matches.
Sandra: If Jess Fishlock is back in any kind of way for Seattle that’s going to impact somethings. Game will probably come down to who out works the midfield.
James Bridget: Yeah, I would say this feels like a trap game except that sort of undersells Seattle.
Claire: It’s just gonna be a tough one, and the Red Stars haven’t won against a Top 4 opponent yet this year - with apologies to Utah who I still consider to be a work in progress.
Sandra: Feels like a statement game, one that I think many have been waiting on from the Red Stars. But last match ended in a 0-0 draw. Wouldn't be surprised if it ends similarly in the second time around, but a 2-0 win would be quite awesome.
Claire: I’m gonna go optimistic and say 2-1 CRS. Maybe a 2-2 draw.
James Bridget: That sounds about right, yeah.
Claire: Goals will be scored. But by whom is the question
James Bridget: <thinky emoji>
Sandra: Flying Nagasato Header for the win! (plz)
Ruben: *overheard from the Fire desk* (muffled) YUKI NAGASATO
James Bridget: Yes thank you Ruben
Claire: 20 more Yuki dive bombs for me please
But actually I mostly just hope either Yuki or Dibernardo have the legs on them to play and play well on Saturday. The normal rest time should hopefully help but you never know how weeks like the last one affect players.
Sandra: More Bananas. More training vids. More defying gravity. More DiBernardo quietly running shit. Más Más Más.
James Bridget: What if Yuki is actually a shark. Like, a shark that plays soccer. A “soccer shark,” if you will.
Claire: Now I’m imagining Yuki the Pool Shark. Chomping cigars and sipping mojitos. Schooling the rubes.
Sandra: Stirring her drink, laughing at the underlings.
James Bridget: God, yes. Very on-brand for #ScamGang too.