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The Last Dance: Houston Dynamo vs Chicago Fire, MLS Week 22 Preview

The end is near for both the Fire’s season and DaMarcus Beasley’s career

DaMarcus Beasley #7...

DaMarcus Beasley is the reason I’m here.

I was nine when the Fort Wayne, Indiana native first graced the Soldier Field grass in 2000. Until then, I enjoyed watching games and considered myself a fan, but I was still a little too young to understand what I was seeing. Run DMB came at that perfect time when you finally understand what you’re seeing, but still have that childlike wonder about everything. He was an absolute blast to watch, and was the first player I’d ever saw that filled me with awe and reverence. Whenever he touched the ball, you knew something amazing was going to happen, and you dare not look away.

His departure in 2004 was my gateway to soccer that wasn’t MLS or the international game. We didn’t have cable growing up, so I never got to watch him play live, but I would scour the early internet for results and crappy pixelated highlights of his games. I discovered the Champions League through him, and when we finally did get cable when I got to high school, I was always disappointed when Fox Soccer Channel never showed PSV matches.

This weekend’s match is one of the last times we’ll get a chance to watch him play, and if you only watch Fire matches, this IS the last time you’ll see him play. You and I should cherish this opportunity to see one of the greatest to ever lace up the boots on this side of the Atlantic.

DaMarcus Beasley is American Soccer, I’m going to miss him.

Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs Houston Dynamo: 6W-8D-10L, 28 GF / 36 GA, 26 pts out of 72

Chicago Fire away MLS record vs Houston Dynamo: 2W-4D-6L, 12 GF / 19 GA, 10 pts out of 36

Previously on…

Houston has had an up and down July. It started with a run of three losses in a row, including a 3-2 loss to Cincinnati and a big 5-0 loss to Atlanta. However, they beat both New York Red Bulls and TFC in the month. This leaves them ninth in the West with a game in hand of sixth place FC Dallas, and they are very much in the playoff hunt.

Suggested Lineup

Here’s what I think is the best lineup. Aleksander Katai is listed as questionable with a thigh injury, but he should be good to go after a few games off. Frankowski needs to able to pressure DeMarcus, and as for the back 4, it worked against DC, so it should work here. Also Ousted over Kronholm please.

Keys To The Match

Improve on Last Week: The hope is that last week was finally the breakthrough the Fire need to finish the season on a positive note. The Fire were able to hold D.C. United scoreless and looked disciplined and steady at the back on top of it.

Now, it’s beyond time for the offense to finally get going. Sapong, Katai, and Frankowski need to start putting away the chances that the midfield create for them. Houston has been leaking goals as of late, so the opportunities will be there. It’s up to them to put them away.

Stop Being Careless: I’ve noticed a disturbing trend the last few games. The Fire midfield have become extremely lax in their passing, especially while attacking. Nico Gaitán has been especially loose with his passing. Last week, he only completed around 50% of his passes. The Fire need to take care of the ball better when they have it. Full stop.

How To Watch

Television: N/A

Streaming: ESPN+

Final Thoughts

It’s unfortunate that this match isn’t at SeetGeek Stadium. Win or lose, the send off for a Fire and American soccer legend like DaMarcus Beasley would have been so cool to attend. Regardless of outcome, enjoy watching him play one last time.

2-1 Houston. DaMarcus scores at least one of them.

Do you think the Fire can pull out a result? And what are your favorite memories of Run DMB in Fire Red? Let us know in the comments below!