The Chicago Fire won’t win awards for stylish soccer after their first two matches of the 2017 campaign, but there are plenty of indications that they are on the right path. Their 2:0 win on Saturday over Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park was built on pragmatism, hard work, and taking advantage of opportunity.
On the day, RSL won just about every statistical battle, generating more shots, generating more corner kicks, and coming out on top in the possession battle. All of their possession amounted to precious little, as only one of their twelve shots was on target. Their mostly toothless attack was missing that final decisivetouch and it makes one wonder whether they jettisoned Javier Morales too soon.
Both the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew come into 2017 looking to turn a page and forget about their respective dismal 2016 campaigns. They squared off on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in the season opener on a chilly afternoon and battled to a 1:1 draw. Based on the soccer on display it’s unlikely that either side learned much about whether 2017 will bring more joy than 2016 did, but both teams have a lot of work ahead if they want to be competitive. The Crew controlled play in the first half, while the Fire were the better team in the second. Given the sparse number of shots that found the target the 1:1 result can be considered a fair one.
There was a point, eons ago, when OTF covered on-field soccer events in addition to domestic soccer culture. …This is one of those posts.
Witnessed on the field last night was the kind of grit, resiliency, and determination that Fire Supporters had been hoping to see the whole season but rarely had. Even if the game had ended in a draw (which Eric Gherig made sure did not happen) the experience was pure pleasure.
Let it all hang out, kid. (photo: chicagotribune.com)
T.J. Zaremba brings the heat (maps) behind Chicago’s first three-pointer of 2014…
Making us think we have wings…
OTF’s Stephen Mangat drinks a pint glass of vodka with a shot of ‘energy drink’ every morning…
OTF’s Stephen Mangat can’t believe that this is the end, my only friend the end…
Beware the Pink Cows. (photo: zimbio.com)
Back again for the third time in a week, show some love for our favorite tactical expert, Mr. Stephen Mangat! [cue the applause]