Fire v Chivas USA Match Preview

A typical match preview is tough to put together when two teams that have nothing to play for are the combatants.  Similar to the Fire, Chivas USA is suffering through a miserable season with a new coach after qualifying for the playoffs in 2009.  They also played on Wednesday night and were victims of a Chris Wondolowski hat trick en route to a 3-0 defeat in San Jose.  However, the Goats have been respectable at home with a 6-6-2 record. 

If you're looking for reasons to watch this game you should consider that it will be the final time CJ Brown and Brian McBride suit up in a Fire kit.  Another interesting angle could see Fire originals Brown and Zach Thornton on the pitch together for the last time, albeit on opposing sides.  It was also be US International Jonathan Bornstein's last game before heading to Tigres UANL in Mexico. 

Martin Vasquez started MLS pool keeper Kevin Guppy on Wednesday night and both starting central defenders, Michael Umana and Yamith Cuesta, had to be substituted due to injury so the back line may see some late season patch work.  Chivas reacquired Paulo Nagamura during the transfer window and the Brazilian, along with forward Justin Braun are the players to watch from the opposing side.  Forward Alan Gordon is also available after serving a suspension.

Carlos De Los Cobos had not decided on a starting goalkeeper as of Wednesday afternoon but I would expect Sean Johnson to start if his eye injury is completely healed.  Hopefully both Brown and McBride are both starters in their final MLS match. 

Referee

Paul Ward

Injury Report

Fire

OUT: Dasan Robinson D (L quad strain); DOUBTFUL: Mike Banner M (bilateral Achilles tendintis), Gonzalo Segares D (R quad strain)

Chivas

OUT: Dario Delgado D (R foot fracture), Blair Gavin M (L hamstring strain), Dan Kennedy GK (L bicep surgery), Alex Zotinca D (lower back strain); PROBABLE: Justin Braun F (concussion)

Prediction

Hard to pick when both teams are playing out the string, but then again has anything been easy this year?

Fire 1 Chivas 1

The Rest of The League

Seattle 2 Houston 1 - The game is in Houston but the Sounders appear to be on a roll and Houston has been done for quite some time.  It seems like so long ago that the Dynamo were back to back MLS Champions but it was only three years ago.

Toronto 1 DC 1 - Jamie Moreno's swan song in DC is the only reason to watch this one.

San Jose 2 Kansas City 1 - Will Wondolowski score again to wrestle the Golden Boot award away from Edson Buddle?

Real Salt Lake 2 Colorado 1 - I believe RSL is the best team in the league and a win will put serious pressure on Los Angeles in pursuit of the Supporter's Shield. 

Columbus 1 Philadelphia 0 - The Crew are staggering down the stretch and have already lost the Eastern Conference title so this game means little. 

Los Angeles 1 FC Dallas 1  - The marquee match up of the weekend is the final MLS regular season game of the year.  If RSL wins, the Galaxy will need three points to capture the Supporter's Shield. 

Thoughts From DC on the Old Guard

DC United President Kevin Payne had these thoughts recently regarding the state of his team, the Fire, New England, and Houston.  Four teams with a rich history of success........

"All four of those teams missing the playoffs, and for them, having very, very bad seasons - there is a cyclical nature to our league. It doesn't mean you can't overcome it by making better decisions, and we're not shirking the fact that we made mistakes. Clearly, we made a big mistake, I think for the right reasons, but we made a mistake in blowing our 2007 team up to try to improve dramatically in 2008. I think we probably overreached what our league permits, but if you look, there really is a clear pattern in our league...

"It's not a coincidence that Chicago, Houston, New England and D.C., the four teams that have been the most successful in the history of the league, are all missing the playoffs at the same time. Some of it is natural. We're all trying to figure out, how do you prevent that? You don't want to be in a boom or bust cycle. I was just at a competition committee meeting, and we're all trying to figure this out, how do we not punish the best teams in trying to make the poorer performing teams better, and how do we achieve a balance that lets teams have hope but not at expense of better teams."

 

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  • From twitter.....Sam spoke to Conde's agent today.....

    "There are no plans for Wilman to visit Macabbi Haifa in the foreseeable future. We have had conversations with them, as we have with a few other clubs but Wilman hasn't been asked to try out anywhere. He has already proven himself as a superior defender while in Chicago."

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