By Amanda Beemer
The Chicago Fire’s match against the Kansas City Wizard(sleeve)s was not exactly what Fire fans were hoping for. Despite Julio Martinez’s first half (and MLS career-first) goal, and substitute Brian McBride’s bomb in the second half, Kansas City managed to pull off a 2-2 tie with their second goal coming just shy of the 90 minute mark. The rainy conditions on the pitch were reminiscent of the Fire’s prior match against Toronto, as was the disappointing outcome. So, unfortunately, as it currently stands Toronto can’t be regarded as a total fluke, and I am finished with making predictions because they’re clearly not doing anyone any favors.
In lieu of poor speculation, let’s look at the facts. Kansas City lost 3-0 to Houston on May 1, and broke D.C. United’s season-long losing streak on May 5. Prior to Saturday, the Fire had a respectable 20-9-7 record against the Wizards. Given these statistics, a win in Kansas City would seem fairly certain. In fact, it did until the 89th minute when Dykstra deflected a shot but was in no position to stop the rebound. Perhaps the only thing worth reflecting on in this match is the fact that soccer isn’t played inside a vacuum. However, somewhat paradoxically, the tie remains a huge disappointment.
As far as the actual play is concerned, the Fire essentially showcased more of the same. McBride was a reliable striker, Nyarko’s finishing still needs work, and Dykstra’s net-tending skills continue to be unpredictable. Though he’s made some stellar saves, he’s
Photo from fOTOGLIF
also made some glaring mistakes, resulting in seven goals since his back-to-back clean sheets in April. Even Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos was disappointed; he was quoted as saying, “I didn’t like the performance of the players…Even though Martinez scored, it was not enough”. His remarks were succinct, and terribly resonant. If only simply doing more was the key to three points.
Amanda is a long-time Chicago resident and avid Chicago Fire fan, and has been following MLS for the better part of a decade. Although she makes an awesome spectator, she is a god-awful player. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org