Tonight is a big night for us at Hook n Ladders. It's the first time we will have someone in the press box at Toyota Park during a match, and the first time we will have our photographer on the pitch and not in the stands in the Harlem End.
We were both a little giddy and nervous on the drive over here but those nerves went away as soon as we got to the media check in. We were given our press credentials and told to head up to the press box to get some food. I settled into my spot in the box and Ryan went on his way to head down to the field to set up for pictures.
This really is an exciting day for us here, and we hope that this will help us enhance our coverage of the match. Stay tuned to our Twitter page for updates throughout the match, and don't forget to check the photos page tomorrow for the photos Ryan takes tonight. Enjoy the match and thanks for your continued support and reading - GO FIRE!
Earlier this week MLS Rumors posted an audio interview from It’s Called Football with Canadian Soccer Association’s General Secretary, Peter Montopoli, about the possibility of a Canadian 2nd Division. A Canadian 2nd division has been talked about for a couple years now and with CSA launching a feasibility study on the possibility of creating a Canadian only professional soccer league it is looking more and more likely. This however would be a mistake. Rather than creating their own league it would be beneficial for both U.S. and Canadian soccer if they kept their club leagues together in united soccer leagues.no comments
The Fire will look to continue their run towards a wild card berth tomorrow night when they host FC Dallas at Toyota Park. With a potential playoff spot on the line, as well as the Brimstone Cup bragging rights, I expect to see a fantastic match. Most of you remember the last time these two teams met, it was the season opener. A brand new season was upon us and everyone had hope for things to come. Diego Chaves helped add to those hopes just 17 minutes into the new season - banging in a Cory Gibbs rebound. Unfortunately, FC Dallas equalised within 90 seconds, and the match stayed a 1-1 draw until the whistle. The Fire couldn't find a winner even after Brek Shea was sent off in the 55th minute after he pulled down Gaston Puerari. The Fire came away with one point and a fairly good feeling after drawing the MLS Cup runner-up from the year before.no comments
After a tough defeat in the USOC Final, the Fire need to turn their attention toward the next match. It just so happens that this is against old rivals FC Dallas in the second and probably final match of the Brimstone Cup. For those who aren't familiar, the name stems from FC Dallas' previous name, the Dallas Burn (Fire, Burn, Brimstone...). The contest, decided by the aggregate score of each match between the two teams, is currently tied. Assuming Dallas and Chicago don't meet in the playoffs, Wednesday's winner will take home the Cup. In the event of a tie, the team currently in possession of the Cup (FC Dallas) will retain it until next season. The Fire have not done well over the years, with only 1 Cup win to Dallas' 7 since the contest began in 2001. It's time to change that.no comments
When he’s not being harassed about expansion MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, has to answer questions on another big debate going on in MLS right now about scheduling and if MLS should move from a balanced schedule to an unbalanced one. An unbalanced schedule would mean that not every team would be able to host every other team depriving some cities of being able to see teams such as the Galaxy or the Red Bulls. This move would really hurt teams that need those games to get people in the seats. The argument for the unbalanced schedule is that it will better promote local rivalries such as Seattle and Portland. However, an unbalanced schedule would mean that in some years rivalries like the Brimstone Cup contested between the Fire and FC Dallas would only have one regular season match up.no comments
A few hours before the Open Cup final I saw a tweet from Jeff at Chicago Fire Blog that had a picture of a British tabloid claiming that Rio Ferdinand was thinking about a move to the US and that the Chicago Fire were the team interested in bringing him here. I asked Jeff if this was a legit rumor and he told me - quite correctly I think - that it probably had no credibility. A few hours later MLSRumors posted the rumor along with a comment from the Fire that basically said they loved Rio but had no intentions to bring him here. I made a comment - basically in jest - that the Fire had the exact same response about Pavel Pardo right before he signed in Chicago.
A couple of days have passed since this rumor surfaced and I've been trying to ignore it as crazy, but now it's popping up all over the place. So, let's talk about it. A little while later the Portland Timbers blog Slump Town Footy posted an article that pretty much summed up my feelings on the rumor - that is to say that it's not very realistic and that no team would pay that kind of money for a defender. The reasoning being that if you're going to spend DP money to bring in a marquee name that you're going to spend it on an impact player, a midfielder or forward.no comments
If you watch any recent interview with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, you will undoubtedly hear about expansion. MLS needs to grow beyond 20 teams and make it to 24. Assuming that New York is granted the 20th team and Beckham waives his right to own the 20th team or maybe strikes a deal to exercise it on the 21st team, the question still remains which cities should be the next to receive MLS teams? One scenario is to give NY the 20th team, move Chivas to San Diego - a place that desperately wants a team. And with its strong Mexican following Chivas would make a great fit, grant LA another team and give this one to Beckham.no comments
I don't think I need to tell you, but we lost 2-0 tonight to the Sounders. Despite playing an excellent first half - and really, we played well all game - we fell short in the end. Seattle managed to score on a corner in the 77th minute, and again toward the end of stoppage time. It wasn't a total shock, considering the Sounders rattled the posts twice earlier in the match, but I'll be damned if I didn't honestly believe the Fire could come back all the way through the 5 minutes of stoppage time. What an exciting match. It really was anyone's game for 90+ minutes. Sadly, the Fire fell short of their 5th US Open Cup trophy.no comments
Before I get into the depth of this article and analysis of the game, I first have to first give a shout out to Chane Keller. As a Fire STH who lives about 200 miles away from Toyota Park, I thought I was the only crazy person who made that drive for the matches. In trying to find a place to watch the match tonight, I found out that he drives up for them also - and he lives about 30 miles further south than I do. A special thanks to Chane for giving me a place to watch the final tonight, and also for making me feel less nuts about the amount of driving I do to get to Fire matches.
Now, onto the actual match. First of all, we are still the Kings of the Cup. I don't care that Seattle has a 3-peat now, or that their new Twitter hashtag is #3attle. We are - and always will be - the Kings of the Cup. In addition to that, I have to say how proud I am tonight to be a Fire supporter. Our side played with a lot of class and guts tonight. They went into the most hostile environment in the US, and held on for dear life. In the end, it wasn't enough but I am not hanging my head too much.no comments