The Fire and FC Atlas are just over 30 minutes away from kickoff and I'm ready to provide some kick-ass coverage for you guys. I'll be ditching class (sorry Dad, I promise I'll check out the lecture slides asap) to provide updates throughout. I should be receiving some in-depth descriptions of important match events from sources on the ground in Guadalajara so be sure to stay tuned for that. Enjoy the game.
**9:35 a.m. --**
The Fire has released the starting lineup. De los Cobos has decided to field a nice little mix of regular starters and trialists today, it should be interesting to see how they mesh.
GK: Jon Busch
DEF: Tim Ward, Cristian Moran*, Wilman Conde, Krzysztof Krol
MID: Logan Pause, John Thorrington, Patrick Nyarko, Justin Mapp, Jose Luis*
FWD: Aaron Padilla*
*-- indicates trialist
I'm assuming the Fire will be using the 4-1-4-1 formation that they've run out in past friendlies today. I will be checking to confirm that however. **9:59 a.m. --**
I'm a little disappointed to not see Collins John in the starting lineup. Thought it would have been good for him to get some minutes with the first team before the Fire left Mexico. Maybe another day...
**10:11 a.m. --**
Match has kicked off. They should be about 10 minutes in at this point. I'm still awaiting updates from the Fire's twitter feed/emails.
**10:28 a.m. --**
Still no updates from Guadalajara. I'll post anything as soon as it comes in.
**10:35 a.m. --**
Mike Banner comes in for Jose Luis in the 27th minute of the match. No real chances as of yet, hopefully there will be more frequent updates to come.
**10:40 a.m. --**
Atlas takes the lead in the 32nd with a free kick goal from 25 yards that beats Jon Busch. Awaiting an update on the specifics of the goal.
**10:43 a.m. --**
Unfortunately, I have no more specifics on the goal. There's been some communication problems between the people on the ground in Guadlajara and those back in Chicago working the twitter feed (who are the people I'm in contact with). As always, I'll let you know if anything comes in.
**10:51 a.m. --**
They're at the half in Mexico, with the Fire trailing 1-0. Expect to see Carlos de los Cobos make wholesale changes at the interval.
**11:10 a.m. --**
My horrible prediction skills are outed... again. De los Cobos only makes one change to the lineup, bringing Collins John in for Krol and shifting the formation to only include three defenders.
**11:16 a.m. --**
Peter Lowry comes on for Logan Pause in the 54th minute. Combine the switch to three defenders with this move, and it's pretty easy to see that the Fire are pushing for an equalizer. We'll see if they're able to get it.
**11:30 a.m. --**
Wasn't aware that Stefan Dimitrov was in the game, but Calen Carr has come in for him in the 64th minute. Carr will play on the right wing with Nyarko moving up top. I would be very interested to see how Nyarko combines his speed and work ethic with John's skill. I think that could be a very good combination for the Fire.
**11:36 a.m. --**
The Fire falls further behind as Atlas doubles their advantage courtesy of a player beating Busch on a 1 v 1. Several subs are made as Cuesta comes in for Thorrington and Johnson replaces Busch. Not the best match so far for the Fire. They'll be looking to get one back in the last 20 minutes.
**11:50 a.m. --**
Only three minutes left. Still 2-0...
**11:58 a.m. --**
Full time in Guadalajara and the Fire fall 2-0 to Atlas. Disappointing result from the Fire who -- from what I've been told -- did next to nothing in the chance creation department. The team will now leave Mexico and head to Jackson, MS, where they will train until March 9th. The Fire will play two more friendlies before the end of preseason, the first coming this Sunday at 3 p.m. central time against FC Dallas.
Apologies for the lack of unique content in this post. The people on the ground in Guadlajara weren't giving out anything more than what was on the twitter feed, leaving the people I was talking to with no extra info.