We’ve reached a point in the season where the Fire are technically in the playoff race, but realistically, they’re not going to make the playoffs. The Fire are seven points back of seventh place and have played more games than anyone else fighting for the last playoff spot, 23 to Toronto’s, New England’s, and Orlando’s 22.
It’s the same old song and dance with this team over the last decade. Out of the running by August, and limping towards the finish line. This season is slightly different in that there’s some interesting prospects on the roster the team should be taking a look at as the season winds down. Andre Reynolds and Grant Lillard should be seeing more of the field, as should Jeremiah Gutjahr. The old hats should start talking more of a mentor role for these kids, and should be getting less minutes as the season winds down.
Let’s see what they can do.
Chicago Fire home MLS record vs DC United: 11W-11D-7L, 46 GF / 33 GA, 44 pts out of 87
DC are coming in in a bit of meh form. They’re 1 W-2D-2L in their last five games. Their win was a 4-1 destruction of Cincy, and their losses came at the hands of FC Dallas and Atlanta. They also got destroyed 8-1 by Marseille on Wednesday in a friendly, so that happened.
In keeping with the play your kids theme, this lineup I propose has two of them. Lillard at CB and Reynolds at left back. Andre played so well against Cruz Azul on Tuesday that it would be kind of a let down to see Jonathan Bornstein there. And Lillard also had a decent game.
This pushes Bastian back into midfield and McCarty out of the lineup, but Dax hasn’t played all that well recently, and I feel like it’s time to shake things up a bit.
Keys To The Match
Play Freely: Look, the season’s over pretty much. The players can now play with little to no pressure on their shoulders. Hopefully, this means that the players are more relaxed and can finally perform they way they’re meant to.
Stop Rooney: If the Fire really want to win this game, this is the most important thing they have to do. He’s there most well known player, and leads the team in goals by a large margin. His eleven goals scored is six more then next highest player Luciano Acosta’s five goals scored, and five of his goals have been game winners. The best chance the Fire hae to win is to not let Rooney score.
Score Goals: To quote Chicago baseball legend Ozzie Guillen, “You don’t score no runs, you don’t win the ball game.” He also said “When you win, the beer tastes better.” And I like better tasting beer, so score some goals and win the game.
How To Watch
I’m 95% sure the Fire are going to lose, but if Reynolds and Lillard play, I’ll feel like there’s something to watch for, at least.
2-0 D.C. United.
What do you think? Should the Fire use this game to see what the kids can do? Let us know in the comments below.