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Roundtable: Counter, Quick, Stop

The Hot Time crew wallows in despair and... that’s about it, really

MLS: Toronto FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

James Bridget Gordon: Happy Monday, all.

Let’s start with another Despair Scale check-in. I’m at a 9-- unchanged from last week but it was already pretty high.

Adnan Bašić: 9, but that’s subject to change due to the Open Cup draw in a bit

Which will either go down to an 8 or jump up to an 11.

James Bridget: Alright they just announced it. We’re playing in Philly.

Adnan: 11 it is

What about the final?

James Bridget: The Fire evidently have top priority to host the Final

If they make it that far




But in all honesty I only cared about the final. Cause I think it wouldn’t matter who hosted the semi cause we’ve played there so many times. We would’ve had 0 chance in an away final. But now we’ve got like a 15% one at the least

James Bridget: Folks, you heard it here first

15% chance that it’s coming home

Adnan: No don’t phrase it like that, that’s a cursed phrase.

Well we’ve got a 15% chance to win the final but a 33% chance to beat Philly. But when you’re a genetic freak like the Fire, you’ve now got a 4 and 3/4 chance of beating Samoa Joe at Sacrifice.

James Bridget: So we’re already focusing more on the Open Cup and not talking about Toronto at all. Are we officially giving up on the league at this point?

Adnan: I have, especially with another loss guaranteed to come next weekend.

Ruben Tisch: I too have given up on the season.

I also think we’re looking at this the wrong way. I’m happy it’s in Philly. It means it’s for a large part, away from all the fan/front office drama and politics. They can just concentrate on winning, and Good Fire is better than Good Union.

James Bridget: We were pretty awful the last time we played in Philly though.

Ruben: But that was last time.

I feel like I put less emphasis on where the game is played than other people.

James Bridget: I think your position is reasonable enough, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. For me it’s a function of putting a lot of stock in home field advantage and remembering recent history of our games in Philly, in the league and the cup.

Adnan: We’ve been really bad in Philly in recent years.

James Bridget: But I also think it’s fair to say that the Fire need to win regardless of where it’s at and that they can only focus on what’s in front of them.

Adnan: Oh yea it’s definitely a winnable semi. Because it still is just Philly.

James Bridget: I mean, yes, it’s just Philly. But Philly are also looking at this and going, “it’s still just Chicago.”

And on that note, we kinda do have to talk about the Toronto game.

Ruben: Edwards looked good. That was a nice flick to Niko for the goal.

Adnan: Edwards showed potential, but I’m worried we only think he was good cause he was better than Collier and Lucho have been.

James Bridget: “Good” is relative around these parts.

Ruben: But they blew a very good performance by Bastian Schweinsteiger, and let’s be real, those haven’t exactly been all that common that common this year.

James Bridget: I think Basti has been good this season, but not good enough to make up for playing on a bad team. If you’re a decent player on a bad team, good enough isn’t good enough. You have to be a superhero just to pick up the slack. Basti’s too tired to play hero these days.

Anyway, is there any hope for the Toronto Part 2 on Saturday? Or are we just writing it off?

Ruben: I’m probably just writing it off. I think it’s just better for everyone that way.

James Bridget: I should just starting making one of the Keys To The Match in my game previews be “Free Yourself From Attachments And Desire”

Adnan: My Keys to the Match would be—

James Bridget: Incredible.

Alright, predictions for Saturday?

Ruben: My prediction... pain.

James Bridget: Oh that’s wild because my prediction is... suffering.

Adnan: I’m gonna go with... despair.

James Bridget: We’re a cheerful bunch here at HTIOT.

Alright, shift change!

So, uh, how did y’all spend your bye week? I caught up on Season 3 of The Expanse and slept a bunch.

Claire Watkins: Lots of non-CRS related Woso drama this week, kept the days busy

James Bridget: Truth. And it’s still going! We just saw the final WNT roster for Tournament Of Nations a little bit ago, sans Honkle.

Claire: I guess the other main thing is the off-week went well yet again for the Red Stars. Seattle, Utah, and Orlando all dropped points, and Chicago can grab second place with a win over Sky Blue this weekend

Adriana Hooper: Bye week was spent yelling at officials in the WNBA so you know, the same I do every day lol. It was nice to watch more WNBA than not this week with a little breather on NWSL.

WoSo drama for your mama.

James Bridget: On the subject of Sky Blue-- Chicago is missing a few big names, but it seems like the Red Stars have a solid enough roster to get a win on Saturday? Or am I just being overly optimistic?

Claire: I think it’ll depend more on Sky Blue than on the Red Stars. Chicago will mostly just have to be careful not to totally take a step back should they get the lead, like Portland did over the weekend. Sky Blue can work their way back into games if you let them, and no Sam Kerr bailout this time.

Adriana: I think CRS is hitting a good peak at the right time. Missing some big names could pose a problem but it shouldn’t be a wide gaping problem if that makes sense. Like Claire said, mostly depends on Sky Blue. They really hung in there against Portland and really were just quite unlucky to not at least pick up a point in that game. I think Portland got lulled into taking that 2 goal lead and CRS should be wary of that if something similar happens.

James Bridget: So is it fair to say that Chicago’s approach to Sky Blue this weekend should be “don’t make stupid mistakes?”

Claire: Or at least maybe “don’t get bored”

This is also hard to keep track of since they’ve had so much time off but we have no idea if Gilliland or Colaprico are cleared for this match

Adriana: d) all of the above. No mental switch offs mistake wise and getting bored or complacent in play.

Ertz, Kerr, Naeher, Short, Brian gone. TBD on Gilliland and Colaprico. Yuki/Kerr have had the best link up play, one part is now gone. Sky Blue plays better without Lloyd imo but they’ve also got a few injury bugs too.

Claire: Will Sky Blue have Sheridan?

Adriana: I believe so. I don’t understand why she was pulled in the Portland game of all places. Believe as in, I don’t know of any injuries she has and Canada doesn’t have anything in the FIFA break that I know of.

James Bridget: Do we want to do predictions?

Adriana: 1-0 CRS win. Also keeping in mind this is the first game where sky blue is playing officially eliminated from playoffs, they’ve got nothing to lose so i could be completely wrong lol. It’s going to be a tough game I think.

James Bridget: 1-0 sounds about right. I can also see 1-1 if Chicago get sloppy.

Adriana: Yup that could very well be a thing too. I’m not expecting a lot of goals in this one.

Claire: I’d say 2-1 CRS.

James Bridget: I’m just glad we’re not having to rate our Red Stars Despair yet. It’s a nice break from... well, you know.