Fire vs. Rapids: Match Preview

Nick LaBrocca, Patrick Nyarko, Jamie Smith

This morning, I wrote a brief piece for MLSsoccer.com detailing some key points the Fire will need to focus on if they want to come out of tomorrow's match at the Colorado Rapids with a result. I mentioned the skill of the Rapids' forward tandem of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. I discussed the strength of Colorado's central midfield pair of Jeff Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni. I failed to talk about the identity crisis the Fire currently find themselves in.

All offseason, we heard that this year's version of the Fire would attractively attack. They were supposed to use possession in build up, moving the ball from the back line, through the midfield and -- ultimately -- to the forwards. The thing is, we didn't see that at all in last week's match against the Red Bulls. Sure, there were some bright spots. Wilman Conde was his usual solid self. Patrick Nyarko played well. And Collins John looks like he won't have any trouble adjusting to MLS. But for a team planning on contending for a MLS championship, that isn't enough. A true championship contender wouldn't get bossed around in the midfield to a team coming off a historically bad season. A true championship contender wouldn't have several players lay an absolute stinker. A true championship contender wouldn't come out flat.

Unfortunately, the Fire did all of those things in last week's loss to the Red Bulls. Now, the Fire travels to Colorado, where they only have one win in the last ten years. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the Rapids, who won 1-0 last week at Chivas USA, are a better team than the Red Bulls. They are a veteran laden squad that has a significant amount of talent -- especially in the attacking part of the field. The Fire is going to have to bring a much better effort this weekend if they want to come back to Chicago with points. Finding an identity wouldn't hurt either...

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Well. Now, that I've got that thoroughly optimistic preview out of the way, it's time for my prediction. I know I told you all last week that I wouldn't be making any more, but I'm still here, so why not? No one correctly predicted a Fire loss last week, so instead of giving a shout out to myself (that would be a little strange...) I'll take this space to thank all of you for reading this blog over the past 11 months. It's been fun. It's been real. And I hope you all enjoyed it.

Anyway, Fire 1-Rapids 2. Goals from Collins John, Colin Clark and Omar Cummings.

I'll be back later with a farewell post. Until then...

Comments

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  • Fire should win this week. As long as Lowry, Banner and Martinez don't start.

  • Wow as long as those 3 don't start huh? LOL
    Yeah pretty shocked to see Lowry and Banner start last week for the season opener and not Collins & McBride since the played together good in Fulham. Also to see Banner ahead of Krol was shocking! I don't know about this team I'm really hoping for the best. Hard to replace Busch, Rolfe, Segares. I'd like to see Krol start instead of Brown in the central defense, I hope Krol can play that position, the aging Brown off the bench and I guess Banner the left side defensive winger until this new El Salvadore guy we are courting sees the field for the Fire. You are right Sam, the Fire will have their hands full with the Rapids big forwards!

  • I would like to see Brian Mcbride,Collins John as forwards on top.
    In Midfield on the wings Patrick Nyarko, Julio Martinez,
    in central midfield Logan Pause, Baggio Husidic, and Corben Bone.
    In defense on left eing Wilman Conde right wing Tim Ward right wing
    and Central defense Krysztof Krol in goal Andrew Dykstra.

    Frank Klopas or the owner need to enlighten Coach Carlos de los Cobos that loosing prety does not win championships and last weeks
    loss was far from prety. The fast attacking style of soccer was also missing. Sofar coach Carlos hasn't impressed but disapointed, in releasing John Busch a Fans favorite player and all the hype
    about Juilio Martinez sofar is unjustified by last weeks performance. I hope the fire made the right coaching decission will
    know more about that after saturdays game.

  • 1-0. John on an assist from Nyarko.
    Would DLC ever run a 4-3-3? It fits the team's talent, and their aggressive style.
    Krol-Conde-Brown-Ward
    Martinez-Pause-Pappa
    Nyarko-John-McBride

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