The duct-tape-and-bailing-wire Seattle Sounders will try to start a winning streak this weekend at the Chicago Fire. This narrative is getting tired, but the depleted Sounders’ roster will be even thinner without keeper Stefan Frei. Luckily the replacements seem to be figuring this soccer thing out lately, as the Sounders got their first victory last weekend against a very good (yet down a man for 60 minutes) D.C. United.
The Fire aren’t very good. In fact Chicago is the worst team in the league, even worse than Philly (which is good, ‘cause Philly beat us). The Fire own the absolute worst points-per-game average in the league (.94). They don’t cede too many goals (24), but man do they score at a sloth’s pace (18). And Chicago hasn’t won a league game since May.
The Fire’s roster isn’t decimated by Gold Cup call-ups at all (Joevin Jones went in for Trinidad and Tobago) and is getting mighty healthy right at the wrong time for Seattle. Mike Magee, the one player on the Fire you always think of, hadn’t played in a year. But he recently made two appearances with limited minutes in league games before making his first start in the recent Chicago USOC victory over Charlotte. Patrick Nyarko, that other dude on the Fire, is also getting closer to 100% and coach Frank Yallop expects them both to start this weekend
Oh yeah, Frank Yallop. Remember him, the coach of the San Jose “Bash Brothers”? I loathe Yallop’s coaching ethos. He is the last man holding on to O.G. American soccer, i.e. ugly, physical, slow boot-and-chase. He’s been holding back the growth of the game in this country for far too long with his Neanderthal tactics, and all Seattle needs is to lose another player to injury.
Though we are a depleted team, we’re finally learning to work together. Hopefully this is an edge against a Chicago 11 who aren’t used to working together yet.