The international break could not have come soon enough.
Two losses and a draw is not how anyone wants to start the season, and yet here we are. Despite the Fire playing well by the numbers— they’ve won the possession battle in all three of their games, as well as put up more shots. Their attacking play looks good from the halfway line to the eighteen yard box. However, they can’t keep the ball in crucial moments, and one of the key pieces on this team looks like he should probably think about hanging ‘em up.
And now we come back. All refreshed and healthy. And yet the anxiety over the team still is here. I think about this game against the Red Bulls and We can all probably guess the outcome. Bradley Wright-Phillips is going to score at least once. The Fire defense will collapse at some point.
Or will it? The extra week of training has to mean something. One of the biggest issues during the match against Seattle has been defensive communication. Once the Fire switched to three at the back, a lot of their mistakes were communication issues. To my knowledge, that was the first time that the Fire had played with that tactic, so there was bound to be confusion. The extra week of training can and should be used for creating comfort and lines of communication with all members of the back three.
And bolstering the back three theory? This happened yesterday:
Roster News | The Club has waived defender Nicolas Hasler. #cf97 https://t.co/JX9z47HKe7— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) March 29, 2019
Not even a loan! Just goodbye and thanks for all the fish. If we have more than one Nico with a “C”, the singularity happens and the universe will collapse into itself.
To be fair, Hasler was absolutely atrocious in his 35 minutes against Seattle. And the Fire had to pull him off for Edwards in the first half. But still, this seems a bit harsh when you’re playing your back up right back at left back. Regardless, this means that it’s pretty likely that we’ll see 3 CBs tomorrow.
Or Corrales gets the start. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs New York Red Bulls/NY NJ MetroStars: 27W-12D-18L, 92 GF /74 GA, 93 pts out of 171
Chicago Fire home MLS record vs New York Red Bulls/NY NJ MetroStars:15W-9D-5L, 49 GF / 29 GA, 45 pts out of 39
The Red Bulls have had an average start to the season, going 1-1-1 in their three games, as well as getting Thanos Snapped out of the CCL by Santos Laguna with an aggregate score of 6-2. There loss was also to Orlando City, the only team from which the Fire have taken points.
Ousted; Edwards, Marcelo, Kappelhof, Campos; McCarty, Schweinsteiger; Sapong, Mihailovic, Katai; Nikolic
This is the boring lineup they’ll probably go with, instead of a back three. I have Frankowski on the bench, because he had a midweek transcontinental flight back from his international duties, and sometimes players don’t get starts after that. But don’t be surprised if he’s in there for Katai, or they both play and Sapong starts up top for Niko.
Keys To The Match
Contain BWP: Bradley Wright-Phillips is one of the best players in the league and has been for a long time. The best way to win the game is to prevent him from scoring multiple goals, because he’s going to score one. That’s just a fact.
Finish Chances: The Fire’s biggest issue has been not finishing the chances that the midfield has created. With a defence that’s good for at least one mistake leading to a goal scoring opportunity a game, The Fire need to start putting the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis.
Control the Game: The Fire have been really good about this their first three games. They’ve won the possession battle in all three, and for the most part, have been able to play at their own pace. In order to win on Saturday, they need to keep doing that.
How To Watch
Don’t expect Nico Gaitán at all on Saturday, Even if he’s in the 18. If he does get on the field, expect it to be when the game has already been decided, or the Fire are ahead. The Final Score will be a 2-2 draw.
How do YOU think the game will shake out? Let us know in the comments!