The 1st place Chicago Fire are only two days away from their key
Eastern Conference battle with 2nd place D.C. United, so before I post
the full match preview tomorrow, I thought that I would go through a
few key individual battles that should go a long way in determining the
Cuauhtemoc Blanco vs. Clyde Simms
Designated Player Cuauhtemoc Blanco will make his return to the lineup
Saturday night after missing the last two games while on duty with the
Mexican National team. The Fire will likely run a lot of their attack
through Blanco, so him playing well will be imperative to the Fire's
success. D.C. defensive midfielder Clyde Simms will likely be doing a
lot of defending on Blanco, and don't expect good things for the Fire
if Simms shuts Blanco down.
C.J. Brown/Dasan Robinson vs. Jaime Moreno
Luciano Emilio suspended for the match due after drawing a red card in
D.C.'s last match, Jaime Moreno will be United's main threat up top on
Saturday. Center back fill-ins C.J. Brown and Dasan Robinson should
have their hands full with the veteran striker, but I expect them to
build on last week's performance and shut down Moreno.
Brian McBride vs. Dejan Jakovic
forward Brian McBride will be looking to get back to his goal-scoring
ways against D.C. United and it will be D.C.'s central defender Dejan
Jakovic's job to stop him. McBride should be able to take advantage of the extra room in the box afforded by D.C.'s 3-man defensive formation and hopefully that extra room will translate to some goals for the Arlington Heights native.