The Seattle Sounders are in the Windy City to snuff the Chicago Fire.
Oddly, we have lost 3 of 4 away to Eastern Conference foes (at Philly, SKC and Columbus). This is an ugly trend, as losing to the inferior conference should be, but Seattle teams (MLB, NFL) always perform poorly in relation to long travel (remember when the Seahawks couldn’t win east of the Rockies? (and how was that for a hypotactic sentence?)). And yet we have never lost to the Fire (6-0-3). Something’s gotta give.
BOLD PREDICTION: Chicago is getting its attack healthy (Magee and Nyarko, plus the always-dangerous (but silly as hell) Harry Shipp), but Seattle’s D hasn’t suffered much despite the absences. Yes Perkins is another new starter, but is MLS-starter quality and Ozzie’s improved match fitness will only help. I expect Seattle to shut down Chicago, but it is the flipside that’s curious.
This match features a stoppable force versus a movable object. Seattle, the stoppable force, only has 2 goals from the JV (Neagle’s temporary equalizer against Portland and Mears’s salvation against 10-man DC). The Fire’s defense is the movable object, as they have many absences on the backline (remember this is the team that thought Jhon Kennedy Hurtado would improve their defense). My big question for today is: will Seattle’s ragamuffins score? I say, why not? Seattle 1-0.
Bonus Bold Prediction: Freiberg, who finished his paperwork Thursday and has been in training, is in the 18 but doesn’t play.