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Roundtable: The Walls Are Closing In

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The Hot Time crew unpacks the loss to RSL, Wednesday night in Philly, the return of the Red Stars, and more

MLS: Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

James Bridget Gordon: Happy Monday, everyone.

So I think we’re just going to spend a little bit of time on the RSL game and then dive right into the Open Cup game with Philly.

There’s not a whole lot to say about RSL, but I wanted to know where y’all sit with it. Was the result about what you expected? Worse? Slightly better?

Ruel Gutierrez Apostol: It was worse. I honestly thought the Fire would at least snag a point.

Adnan Bašić: Didn’t think we’d get anything going into the game, but as it went on, I started to have some belief that they could snatch a point

Ruben Tisch: It was about what I expected. I feel like the games the rest of the way are going to be almost exactly like this. Hopefully with Niko and Katai on the field for 90 minutes will be able to bag some goals and win some games 4-3 or whatever.

RJ: Let’s give credit to the “B” team. They put up quite a fight at times.

Ruben: I feel like a lot of that comes down to the non b teamers in the squad. Campos and Edward’s were real bright spots going forward. I think they had a shot at a W if Solignac could finish at all.

RJ: The backline has been in shambles, but the Fire would in in a better position right now if the front can finish just a tad bit better.

Ruben: The back four has cost them so many games. Brandon Vincent is not a centerback (tm).

Adnan: Brandon Vincent is not a centerback.

Edwards has been very promising which is nice to see. Already better than Solignac. Which isn’t too difficult to be fair.

RJ: Coming soon to a store near you:

Yeah Edwards is pretty good, but he needs to control the ball better.

Ruben: He reminds me a lot of Patrick Nyarko. He’s dynamic and exciting on the ball and entertaining as hell.

RJ: Cleveland was also decent that night.

Adnan: Really did well to prove my article right. Which was nice of him.

Ruben: Validation is nice.

Adnan: Has to start on Wednesday.

Ruben: I agree completely. The only real error I can recall was him not being more aggressive on the cross for RSL’s second goal, but that’s kind of a hindsight thing.

James Bridget: I’d imagine he’ll be getting more starts in the league come September and October.

Ruben: If he turns out to be good enough, that would be so rad.

Otherwise, Colorado is paying a whole bunch of money to Zach McMath to watch Tim Howard suck. And I want a piece of that action.

James Bridget: I think we’re very quickly approaching a situation where the Fire don’t have anything to play for. Clearly the draft doesn’t mean that much to the club right now. So I can definitely see Cleveland and a few other fringe players getting minutes after the upcoming month-long break.

Adnan: I just know if Sanchez comes back in on Wednesday he’ll cost us the game.

Ruben: I am conflicted about Djordje and MDL. On the one hand It would be great to see them back out there. On the other, I kind of want them to stay far away from whatever this season is turning into.

James Bridget: I get what you’re saying, I just don’t know if it’s any better to be part of a Wooden Spoon team while not playing vs getting minutes in the last handful of games.

Ruben: Alright then. Question for the panel— Will MDL be in the 18 on Wednesday? And should he be?

James Bridget: No. I think he needs more time, and the “Lion Returns” stuff they’ve been posting and local media has been producing is just for the sake of #content.

Ruben: For the sake of argument, Campos is really hurt, and they’re really thin.

Adnan: Wednesday is too soon but I think MDL would be able to return for a possible final. I’d want him and Djordje to get some game time this season, because then that mental block of “I haven’t played in a legit game” is gone before next season.

RJ: MDL shouldn’t be rushed in to play against DOOP. Maybe he can be a sub against the Energy Drinks next Saturday.

So....the Fire terminated Ramos’ contract.

James Bridget: Yup. Bakero gone, Ramos gone, Campos injured and was playing out of position before that, Collier on the bubble. Not a great year for the youts.

RJ: Bakero had some potential, but tbh Ramos wasn’t that great.

Adnan: And Lillard has been on the shelf for a while now.

James Bridget: Yeah I’m really upset about that.

Ruben: At least he showed something when he was fit.

So what do we think about Wednesday? I still have hope of a W. What about the rest of you?

James Bridget: I’m emotionally preparing for a loss tbh.

RJ: Cautiously optimistic. I want it to come home so bad.

Ruben: What about being emotionally preparing for penalties? Is that possible?

James Bridget: I suppose.

Ruben: I honestly think it’s the most likely outcome.

RJ: I’m never emotionally prepared for penalties. My heart races so fast.

Ruben: Goalie penos for the win!

James Bridget: smh

Ruben: So score predictions?

RJ: 4-3 Fire

Ruben: 2-2 draw. Fire in penalties.

James Bridget: 2-1 Philly.

Adnan: 3-2 Fire. If only to set up a more heartbreaking loss in the final.

James Bridget: If the Fire do lose on Wednesday, where does this team go from there?

Ruben: Into the bottle of scotch.

James Bridget: Sure, but in a sporting context.

Adnan: Ṯ̷͕͕̻̥͟ ̴̩̤͠H̜̩̹͞ ͏̷̜͈̣E̴̤̤͙̰͓̳͘ ̛̘̪̭͔͙ ̶͈̻̥̥̟̳̕V̨̳̩̰͓̀͜ ̧̯͉̝̞̮͓̯̪͠ͅÓ̞͎ ̸̵̧͙͕̪̭̩̤̥͉Ì͚̹̲̭̝͢ ̢͚̱̹̮̙̗D̷̸̫̼́

Ruben: They enter a dead end. It’s play your reserves and fight for roster spots time.

RJ: I’m still hoping for a Seattle-esque miracle where the team somehow makes the playoffs and wins the MLS Cup with zero shots on goal.

Adnan: Seattle is going to do that this season though. You can’t have two teams pull a Seattle.

James Bridget: And Seattle has more experience being Seattle.

Ruben: They have a 3% shot. 3% is not zero. But it’s basically zero.

Adnan: Is this the part of the roundtable where I make a Scott Steiner reference?

Ruben: Basically, the Fire have to draw perfect and fade their opponent’s draws, then not screw up the math when storming off through a Rest In Peace.

James Bridget: And on that note: Shift Change!

The Red Stars actually have a game this week! Imagine that!

Sandra Herrera:

James Bridget: Will we even remember their faces?

Will they remember ours?

Claire Watkins: They’ve been powering up Dragonball Z style for the last 27 days. which they will need against North Carolina.

James Bridget: Would you say that this isn’t even their final form?

Claire: Schrodinger’s Red Stars. Infinite Forms

James Bridget: Eldritch Horror Red Stars

Claire: For real though I don’t know how to preview this game.

James Bridget: I would say definitely don’t give in to despair. That’s where we’re at on the Fire Desk and I cannot recommend it in good conscience.

Claire: If anyone though, the Red Stars have an ok shot at this one I think. NCC just beat Lyon, just won the Shield, if there was gonna be a lapse it’d be Friday. And the Red Stars should be healthy.

Sandra: Agreed. While a good chunk of the team hasn’t played, 5 of their starters are coming back and they all had a pretty good showing at Tournament of Nations.

Claire: I really hope the time off doesn’t throw Chicago into a third preseason, but there’s no controlling that.

Sandra: Yeah. Although, turns out Chicago is good at managing themselves through these types of ‘hit the reset button’ patches. The final stretch of games will be something for sure.

Claire: There are going to be ups. There are going to be downs. There is going to be drinking.

James Bridget: There is going to be crying.

Claire: Plenty of booing.