Frank is interviewed, says this is a tough game, that the Fire are playing well, but it's great to have the playoff chance come down to one game.
Frank says, "We'll see." as far as getting David Beckham on. As I predicted, he's not in the starting lineup.
The Fox announcers just suggested Frank for Coach of the Year - yikes - what are they thinking. Frank is doing well to hold on to his job.
Now they're doing a Cobi Jones tribute, but they just called him CJ. Excuse me, but CJ is the Fire guy. I'm switching over to TeleFutura as soon as they start coverage.
YAY! Telefutura is on and they are already pimping this match as Blanco versus Donovan. I have a few quotes from Landon on that exact topic.
It’s going to be fun. I probably won’t be near him at all, but it will be fun. I’m excited. No, (I haven't told other Galaxy players what to expect from Blanco) but I will. I think most guys know him and watch him and know what he’s about. You’ve got to be careful with all his antics and what he does. I have to assume that our guys know what they’re doing.
Here's what Mike Randolph said.
I’m looking forward to that a lot, especially since they have Blanco up top. He brings a lot to the table. I’m excited about the game and what it means to the franchise, my teammates and Cobi. We’ll be ready to go.
Toyota Park looks great.
1 - Wow, Rolfe with the early shot. He could be the overlooked big factor in this match. Corner for Fire.
2- Another corner for the Fire. They've come out on fire.
3 - Fire definitely look like they're playing for the win and to bury the Galaxy. Wanchope on an open counter. Cannon takes it off his foot. Wanchope complains, but the announcers agree it was clean - no foul.
4 - Dasan Robinson, down holding his head. Fire dominant early, and Blanco hasn't really been involved.
6 - Juan Carlos Osorio has his tie tucked in funny - like he's eating soup. I guess it's windy out there. Frank Yallop has his suit jacket on. Osorio is a super-animated coach.
7 - Glinton in the box. Oops slipped. Pavon slipped, too.
9 - Galaxy with a little better control in the midfield. The announcers are asking where was Josh Tudela in the beginning of the season. Actually, he was with the team, but not getting playing time. Corner for Galaxy, Pavon (I think) missed the volley chance.
10- It is windy. The announcers are making gone with the wind jokes. Blanco with an outside shot. Cannon tips over, corner for Fire, cleared for a deep free throw.
12 - Another corner for the Fire. Blanco takes short, then serves into box, headed around, eventually out for goal kick.
15 - Cobi on the right gets a corner with hard work. It's cleared out. A Chicago counter comes to Cannon. This game is end to end action, good ad for MLS so far. The Galaxy have put hardly any pressure on Matt Pickens, though, while Cannon has been up against it.
17 - Barrett offsides. Donovan is on the wing, not really his best spot. He's been struggling a bit. The entire Galaxy midfield, actually. Randolph saved what looked like a Barrett break there.
20 - Blanco is arguing offsides with the ref. Game has settled down a bit. The announcers are worried that Blanco is losing his head. He's just getting fired up, guys.
21 - Now the announcers are complaining about how crappy the MLS refs are - they say that they tolerate all sorts of contact.
22 - Cannon saves the Galaxy! Blanco free kick finds CJ Brown, who heads on goal, but Joe just gets a hand on it to get it over the bar. WOW.
25 - The announcers are mocking Barrett, he had a weak pass up front that ruined a break.
27 - The Fire are closing in on the Galaxy goal - working the ball around for chances. The Galaxy are defending like crazy, but essentially possessing the ball almost none of the time.
29 - Now the announcers are impressed by how long Cobi has lasted and the fact that he is still a starter. Landon is so far back he seems like he's playing defender.
32 - Cobi passes into the ref - Chicago wins the ball back. The break nearly yields a scoring chance for the Fire. Now they have a corner. Blanco is talking to Barett about something. He probably wants him to pass. Gonzalo Segares takes the corner, which is headed over the bar for a goal kick.
35 - Now the announcers are talking about how Osorio has orchestrated a great turn around for the Fire. True dat.
36 - Vagenas and Blanco in a spat. Not sure what happened. No replay of the foul yet. Ok, they finally showed it. Blanco took Pete out with a tackle, and Vagenas looked to step on him, then came over and pushed his shoulder when Blanco rolled around complaining. One announcer is sure the step was accidental, but thinks Pete shouldn't have gone over to Blanco.
39 - Cobi bad pass leads to Fire counter, Blanco leads, has shot chance - Cannon comes up big again with the save.
41 - Damn! Barrett misses a practically open goal. Wilman Conde great long pass to Blanco, who sends a perfect pass to Barrett, who beats a diving Cannon, but puts it over the bar.
43 - The announcers keep calling Donovan "the captain-general" of the team. He's only seen the ball on defense it seems. Blanco with another great pass to Chris Rolfe, who slams it over the bar.
44 - The announcer and I are giving Cannon credit for the last two Fire misses. When a goalkeeper plays so well, opponents start to put too much on their chances. On the other hand, a tie, if Cannon does get the shutout, won't save the Galaxy. They have to score.
Halftime - forget Blanco versus Donovan or Beckham. It's been Blanco versus Cannon (and maybe Barrett versus his nerves)- and a draw only helps Chicago.
The announcers are fawning over the play of the Fire and Blanco, but along with the compliments are chastizing them for not putting away chances. Highlights are all Chicago, as well they should be. Barrett is getting roasted for his miss.
Interestingly, the news update is all about a bad fire in Malibu. Hmmmm
Beckham looked antsy on the bench during the game. I wonder if he and Frank planned on him playing the entire second half. I wonder if he'll come in on the right.
2 - Telefutura starts the clock over in the second half, which drives me nuts, but I'm not going to do the math to figure out the overall time, so I'll go with it. The Galaxy actually had the ball for a bit there. Randolph is playing well.
4 - Landon with a free kick, but it's pretty far out. Pickens collects. Oh, that's what he looks like. Cannon has his lucky dark blue shirt on. It's working so far.
5- Prus lets some manhandling of Cobi by Blanco go.
8 - Cannon again takes the ball off Barrett's foot again. Announcers agree no foul. Landon nearly reaches Glinton for a counter chance.
9 - Rolfe with a shot. Cannon save. Rolfe muggs Chris Klein and then tried to draw the foul, but Prus makes a good call there. It kills the announcers to admit it, but they do.
10 - Corner for the Galaxy - Donovan takes. Cleared away - Ante Jazic breaks up the Fire counter.
12 - Now the announcers are speculating if the Fire are playing for the tie. They do look like they've taken their foot off the gas. Beckham getting ready to check in. Fans boo.
15 - Beckham is on for Vagenas and the play is completely bypassing him. He looks a bit lost. The Galaxy actually play the ball well out of the back for once, but Jones is whistled for offsides just when the break starts to look dangerous.
17 - Glinton down. Buddle coming in, Pause out, Thorrington coming in. The Galaxy cut him earlier this year - wonder if he'll get a chance for revenge.
18 - Beckham still hasn't touched the ball. The Fire without about three chances to score on their latest attack. Cannon saves one, one is blocked, and the other goes out for a corner which is finally cleared.
20 - Announcers discuss the rising quality of MLS and how many players on the field have played in World Cups.
22- Scramble in front of the Galaxy goal. Galaxy players miss about eight chances to clear. Beckham looks tentative, announcers say. A free kick finally gives him a chance to play, but it's far out. Still, he serves a decent ball to Pavon, who puts it over the bar.
24 - Blanco is mad that Tudela wasn't called for a foul for a tackle.
25 -- Galaxy breakaway, but Pavon shoots over the bar.
26 - One announcer maintains that Blanco tripped himself to get a free kick, but it works and is in a great spot. Strangely, he doesn't take it. Segares does, and puts it over the bar.
28 - Galaxy sub, Alan Gordon on for Josh Tudela. Yallop is throwing everyone forward.
30 - Cannon saves another shot on a Fire counter, this time from Wanchope. Osorio is covering his eyes.
31 - Corner kick for Galaxy. Buddle couldn't connect well and ball is out for GK.
32 - Galaxy with another attack that ends in a Beckham shot over the bar.
34 - Fire counter - Thorrington shoots, Cannon parries for corner. Chicago can taste the playoffs now.
36 - Wanchope sits, Soumare in. Blanco earns a free kick by holding the ball near the corner. It's dangerous, and this one he takes. He shoots for the goal. Cannon saves again.
37 - Now Cobi earns a free kick deep in Fire territory. Troy Roberts nearly gets to Beckham's service. He complains that he was held by Dasan Robinson and the announcers agree, but the ref missed it. No PK.
40 - Big fuss in the box on the Galaxy corner. Pickens is rolling around, saying he got hit. It finally gets sorted out with a goal kick, but Pickens is not happy. I think Buddle thinks of it as payback for the way he was shouldered off the ball on the play before.
44 - Chicago holding on, the Galaxy pressing for the goal. Chicago is putting everyone behind the ball for the tie. Klein earns a foul, Beckham takes, it's cleared.
45 - We're into injury time now. The Fire sub in Calen Carr. That's not exactly a defensive move.
I guess I called it on Thorrington. He gets his revenge. Bad Galaxy backpass gets cut off and since everyone is forward, they pay bigtime. Thorrington has all the time in the world to chip Cannon.
Galaxy lose, and the Fire will play DC. KC will face Chivas USA.