I'll get right to the point. It's time for you to sell the Chicago Fire. Please, sell the club to someone who cares about, well anything. Someone who cares about the City of Chicago. Someone who cares about the club. Someone who cares about the supporters. Someone who cares about winning.
Ask any of the 5,100 folks (No, the actual attendance wasn't even close to the pathetic 9,000 announced) who sat in the freezing cold last night to watch this team post yet another embarrassing performance what the problem is and 90% of them will tell you the same thing - this team has no attacking threat. Unfortunately, many of those same people will say that it's time for the club to sack Frank Klopas and move in a new direction. I see a bigger problem. I see a club with a staff who has yet to be given the tools they need to have sustained success.
While New York gets Henry, Cahill, etc..., and LA gets Beckham, Donovan, Keane, and likely Lampard, what does Chicago get? Puppo? Robayo? MacDonald? Nazarit? Puerari? And on and on and on. Now, I'm not saying that Chicago Fire needs a big name player, it would be nice - but not necessary. What we need is a player who can actually play. Not some garage sale find who might be able to make an impact on the team.
Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and a major sports town, yet only 5,100 people showed up last night. Why? It certainly wasn't because of the cold, just look at the crowd that showed up in Colorado for the USMNT match in the snow. It wasn't because Chicago doesn't like soccer, look at any big time match held at Soldier Field. The reason people don't show up is because the product on the field doesn't warrant spending the money. I know *former* season ticket holders who have said that they refuse to put another dime into this club because clearly the owner can't be bothered to do the same.
It takes money to make money. If you invest in this club and put a product on the field that will compete with the top tier clubs in this league, people will come out. It's been 7 years since Chicago has had silverware. Either open up the checkbook, give the staff the tools they need to put together a club that can compete, or do all of us in Chicago a favor - sell the team to someone who cares.
JR Patton, Season Ticket Holder]]>
The loss will send the Fire to 0-2-0 (0 pts) on the young 2013 season, and will certainly get the fans in a tizzy. The club has not had an 0-2-0 start since the 2000 campaign when they opened with losses at Dallas and at Kansas City. We'll break down the bad, the worse, and the flat out awful after the break.]]>
It's a chilly one tonight even though the official sheet from the club puts the temperature at 40 degrees.
Our Referee tonight is Hilario Grajeda with Kermit Quisenberry and Paul Scott as the assistants. Jorge Gonzalez is the 4th Official tonight.
The visiting Revs come in like this:
GK: Matt Reis
DEF: Andrew Farrel, A.J. Soares, Jose Julio Gonclaves, Kevin Alston
MID: Juan Toja, Kalida Cisse, Clyde Simms (C), Donnie Smith
FWD: Jerry Bengston, Lee Nguyen
BENCH: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes, Scott Caldwell, Andy Dorman, Kelyn Rowe, Chad Barrett, Diego Fagundez
The Men in Red look like this:
GK: Sean Johnson
DEF: Jalil Anibaba, Steven Kinney, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares
MID: Patrick Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz (C), Joel Lindpere, Dilly Duka
FWD: Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald
BENCH: Paolo Tornaghi, Michael Videira, Yazid Atouba Emane, Daniel Paladini, Wells Thompson, Alex, Maicon Santos]]>
After an off season that saw the retirement of midfielder Pavel Pardo, the departure of veterans Dan Gargan and Dominic Oduro, and the addition of several new players, the Fire were looking to move beyond the disappointment of 2012, and move into 2013 with a fresh start and all eyes on an MLS Cup. With a promising pre-season behind them, Fire players and supporters alike were bubbling over with excitement on Facebook and Twitter as the opening kick neared on Sunday afternoon. Everyone knew that opening the season on the road against the 2 time defending champions wouldn't be easy, but there was still a sense of optimism in the air, the feeling of freshness that you get with each new season. LA was playing without Landon Donovan, and had lost the legendary David Beckham in the off season, why couldn't the Fire start the season off right?]]>
July 14th, 2012 - Toyota Park
85 degrees and partly cloudy
Chicago Fire (8-6-4, 28 pts) v. Vancouver Whitecaps (8-5-6, 30 pts)
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Referee's Assistant: Adam Wienckowski
Referee's Assistant: Peter Manikowski
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Chicago: Johnson, Anibaba, Friedrich, Berry, Segares, Rolfe, Pause (C), Alex, Pardo, Nyarko, Oduro.
Vancouver: Cannon, Young-Pyo, DeMerit, Bonjour, Harvey, Robson, Davidson, Koffie, Rochat, Nanchoff, Mattocks
Chicago: Nolly, Gargan, Bone, Paladini, Pappa, Robayo, Puppo
Vancouver: Knighton, Klazura, Mitchelll, Richards, Teibert, Camilo, Hassli]]>
Sure, you can take a look at the starting XI that Frank Klopas fielded, and even the gameday 18 and say that it's not a huge surprise that this side couldn't bring back the victory and move on to the next round. But even an MLS reserve squad should be able to beat a PDL team, if not than why are they playing on our reserve squad? What does that say about the depth of this club?]]>
Dallas: Hartman, Loyd, John, Hedges, Benitez, Jackson, Marcelin, Jacobson, Hernandez (C), Leyva, Perez.
Chicago: Johnson, Gargan, Anibaba, Berry, Segares, Nyarko, Robayo, Grazzini, Pause (C), Pappa, Oduro.
Dallas: Seitz, Guarda, Hernandez, Rodriguez, Sealy, Top, Ulloa
Chicago: Tornaghi, Jumper, Bone, Paladini, Pardo, Barouch, Puppo
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistants: Peter Balciunas, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
The first thing that jumps out right away is Robayo starting in place of Pardo.
It'll be interesting to see how Robayo handles himself with the opportunity to start and get some solid minutes.
Coming off the loss in Portland, the Fire need to get out to an early lead and build on it - no giving up the first goal, and no sitting back if they go ahead early.
The lineup has Patrick Nyarko listed in the midfield with a 4-5-1 lineup - no big surprise there.
It's time for the pregame pagentry, I'll check back in with you guys at halftime - make sure to follow along on Twitter if you're not at the park tonight.]]>