Ya'll ready for some soccer? Here's my score call, before the game starts. 2-1 Fire, Goals by Blanco and Rolfe, DC goal by Moreno. Predictions welcome and accepted up to kickoff.
The pregame is covering all the basics of the MLS season so far. Not earthshattering, but a good review. Crew surprising, DC and Houston disappointing. Foudy brings up a point I think is too often overlooked - teams without international callups have an advantage during the season. They can continue relatively undisturbed. Is Tim Howard the only USMNT-eligible player in England not in danger of relegation? Oh, right, Spector.
Foudy and I are simpatico tonight - she scoffs at Kreis' punishment for criticizing the refs of MLS. Granted, I made fun of Kreis himself for even bothering to complain, but the one-game suspension goes to far. Fine the fellow, sure, but the suspension makes the league seem really over-sensitive and thin-skinned.
Olsen! Methinks if the surgery doesn't take, Olsen could take over as DC coach if Soehn doesn't right the ship.
It certainly didn't take VW long to jump into their sponsorship - I've heard them mentioned at least 20 times and the game hasn't even started yet.
Blanco is taking a style cue from Taylor Twellman - his shirt is kind of tight. Marcello Gallardo isn't even going to play tonight. Groin injury.
Thorrington reps the South Bay in his player intro - which technically isn't even a home town - its an area.
Pedro Gomez is in the midst of the Barra Brava, but Dellacamera cuts off his fervent description of the experience to start covering the game.
I guess it was just Cuauh's warm-up top that was tight. His Fire jersey looks fine.
Streamers! Lovely! That looks great, because they're in the stands, not on the field.
1- Ugh, could the announcers actually call the game a little? There's so much commentary around it, but they haven't said anything about the play.
3- Moreno and Soumare tangle up. Morenro gets the foul, Santinto Quaranta takes it, hits it far too low to be effective.
5 - Chicago look calm in the back - DC clearly doesn't have that confidence. How could they after how many they've given up?
6 - Cuauh is down, Quaranta stepped on him when Cuauh was executing a sitspin with the ball.
8 Fire with good play, Prideaux to Barrett, Rolfe ready to in front of goal, but Barrett's weak cross is cut off.
9- Franco Neill gets fouled, Luciano Emilio takes FK, into the wall, Fire recover the ball.
10 - Chicago FK. It's about 50 yards away, but Zach Wells looks nervous anyway. He catches the easy header from Barrett, though.
14 - Announcers discussing the field conditions for the past minute. Dull.
16 Simms rockets a shot from about 30 yards out. It's wide, but Busch dives for it anyway.
17 - Prideaux changes his shoes, going for the longer cleats - o00h, Fire attack, Rolfe, knocks it to Thorrington, who slips badly.
18 - DC corner - way over everybody.
20 - Emilio with a quick turn, shot, over the bar. His scoring touch has deserted him.
21 - Burch with a good run and cross into the box, but the Fire "D" clears.
22 - Neill with another DC high shot.
23 - Mapp with a 40-yard run on a counter, but Wells gets down to collect the low shot.
24 - DC FK deep in Fire territory. He serves it into the box, but the Fire clear.
26 - Chicago corner kick. Side netting.
27 - Gonzalo Segares fights through a tackle and takes an outside shot, perhaps hoping the rain will make the ball slip through the hands of Zach. No luck. Wells collects.
30 - Ha, ha! Burch gets a yellow. Blanco, working the ball out of the back, gets the ball to safety with a nifty backpass. Burch, perhaps thinking he was sure to have a play on a pass, bangs right into Cuauh very late, knocking him down. No emotional control there.
34 - DC with a play in the box - offsides. Burch helped build that up, though, and sent in a good cross, so props there.
35 - Rolfe fouled by Dyachenko, and he's talking to the ref about it, clearly unhappy about something. He probably is lobbying for persistent infringement.
37 - Blanco passes to Barrett, who has to turn back to collect the ball, which gives the DC defense more time, Barrett's shot deflects off a defender, our to Moreno, who sets off on a counter.
39 - GOAL! Justin Mapp! Rolfe with a run up the right, serves a good cross high to Barrett, who nails a knockdown header to a streaking Mapp, who knocks it straight into goal from the top of the box. 1-0 Chicago.
41 - Thorrington down - Simms gets a yellow for basically running over him there.
43 - DC players look pissed and desperate. Not a good look. Quaranta serves in a decent cross, but there is no way that Neill is going to beat Soumare to a high ball.
45 - Gomez has some gossip on a frustrated Wilman Conde. Apparently the Fire refuse to trade him to an East Coast team. The Galaxy could use him, I suppose, but they probably don't have the salary cap room.
Halftime - DC had more possession, but didn't really look dangerous, while the Fire worked the road team counter perfectly.
49 - Soehn must have said something spicy - DC look a lot more energetic, but the Fire are holding strong.
51 - Dyachenko with a low shot - Busch, little shorty that he is, gets down well for it.
54 - The DC songs are really good - nice and loud. I'd give them singing over TFC. Barrett's shot in the box saved well by Wells. Very good job there by Zach.
56 - Fire starting to get the upper hand now.
57 - Wells again saves well from a close-range Barrett shot. Foul on the ensuing corner, DC ball.
58 - Segares in the box, beats Wells, just wide.
61 - Corner for DC - Busch catches it.
62 - GOAL! Blanco! Luis and his prediction are looking great. Thorrington with a nice penetrating pass to Cuauh, who collects in stride, drifts out and then hammers a ball that bends into the top corner past a diving Wells. Sweet goal, a bit similar to Beckham's first this weekend, but on the other side of the field. 2-0 Fire.
64 - Seriously, that goal was coming. Wells could only make ridiculous saves for so long, while the DC midfield was getting run roughshod.
65 - Francis "Grandpa" Doe on for DC. Andy Herron coming in for the Fire.
67 - Neill runs for a ball in the box, manages to get it, lays it back for Emilio, who futzes around instead of shooting and loses the ball. Crowd is getting on his case, rightly.
68 - FK for DC, Burch shoots towards goal - there's a reason there isn't a Bend it like Burch.
69 - A mess in front of the DC goal nearly results in an own goal.
73 - Mapp out for Woolard. "Woolly Bully" hasn't seen much action this season, but he's on the field now.
74 - Yellow to Brain Namoff. I'd almost believe a couple of DC guys are willing to get carded out to get away from the misery of this game. It's not the scoreline that is as painful as how harmless DC has looked.
75 - Moreno falls into another oldie-who-is-a-goodie, Gutierrez. Diego is down and in pain, Moreno might have accidently stepped on his broken wrist.
77 - DC corner, Emilio heads it nowhere in particular and it goes out.
79 - Emilio loses the ball in the midfield - it's an egregious move because Peralta worked hard to win the ball from Blanco before that.
82 - Even if a Fire player gets beat, the shape of their defense stays solid, and DC is not coordinatng well enough to overcome that.
84 - Doe fights for a ball in the box, lays off for Neill, who has shoots into a defender. Corner for DC - it leads to another corner. Fire sub in Stephen King for Rolfe before it's taken.
86 - Crossbar! Off the corner. Oh, that's poor from ESPN. No replay on a crossbar shot? Super Lame. Moreno on the header.
88 - Simms with another outside shot, Busch dives, but it's wide.
90 - DC are looking at least as inept at the Galaxy ever did last season. Another corner chance comes to nothing for them.
90 + - I can hear Thorrington from here - "Fucking jerk!" He's responding to Dyachenko's late and hard tackle on Logan Pause. Pause looks ok, though, and Namoff shoves Thorrington off Dyachenko.
Blanco looses Herron on a counter, who beats his defender and is alone on goal, Wells has come out fast and slide tackles the ball to safety.
Luis has the prophet's touch! 2-0 it is. DC hasn't stopped the pain. Chicago is number one in the league right now.
"We concentrated for 90 minutes. We're in good shape physically and mentally, and every game, we're playing better," says Blanco. Pedro Gomez translates that a little more liberally, but close enough.