"Mexico, lindo y querido!" the unofficial anthem of Chivas USA is being sung by a guy with pink shoes and a woman wearing an armband bandage.
This game is not a sell-out, but they are putting people in the upper deck, which is very good for Chivas USA on a Thursday night. There are a considerable number of Blanco Fire jerseys here. Most of them are the home version.
Chicago: Busch, Prideaux, Brown, Soumare, Guiteirrez, Thorrington, Blanco, Pause, Mapp, Barrett, Rolfe.
Chivas USA: Guzan, Tally, Burling, Suarez, Mendoza, Klejestan, Marsch, Nagamura, Wicky, Braun, Razov.
No one on either team gets a bigger cheer than Blanco during the intros.
1 - Temo! Temo! The crowd is chanting for Blanco at kickoff.
2 - Trivia - who is the shortest starting goalkeeper in MLS?
3 - Barret feeds Rolfe, but Rolfe gets no mustard on the shot and Guzan catches easily. Going the other way, Kljestan lets loose with a shot. This one is harder, but Busch parries it and the Chicago defense clears.
4 - Blanco to Mapp to Barrett, who only has to touch it into net, but somehow manages to put it side. He's horrified, and he should be. Bad.
6 - Corner for Fire. Chivas USA clear. Blanco gets it back, but no one gets on to his pass into the box and Guzan catches.
8 - Braun is big. There aren't many guys who can make CJ Brown look small. Corner for Chivas USA. Wicky takes it short, then it's crossed in. Everyone misses it, the ball drops, players kick wildly and the ref calls a foul. Goal kick.
10 - Kljestan gets called for standing still while Thorrington goes high for a header and keels over Sacha's back.
11- Chicago pass the ball around near the arc, don't get shot off.
12 - Chicago with a long run of possession, but no shot. Ball finally goes out for goal kick.
15 - Wicky with a shot just outside the box - it's wide. Barely.
16 - CK Chivas USA - Razov takes it, Braun misses the header, but Marsch collects it next to far post. Problem is, he's facing the wrong way. He half-turns to get the shot off, but he doesn't put enough angle on it and it flies across the goal instead of in. Chicago are able to clear.
19 - CDCUSA with the good stint of possession now. Fire pinned back in their half. Marsch has ball in box, for some reason crosses instead of shoots. Fire clear - barely.
21 - Gutierrez shoulders Razov off the ball, takes it toward midfield, gets fouled hard.
22 - Chivas USA freekick off a Rolfe foul. Kljestan has to wait because players are shoving in the box. Header attempt by Talley is caught by Busch, but was offside anyway.
25 - Fire free throw deep, but the Chivas USA defense soon breaks up the play.
26 - GOAL! Klejestan takes a touch pass from Razov into the box, has Gutierrez on his shoulder, but holds him off and slides his shot past Busch far post. Then he runs over to the corner flag and celebrates by kneeling down and parodying Blanco's gun stance. Cheeky! 1-0 Chivas USA.
30 - Nagamura fouls Blanco - who goes down for a bit.
32 - GOAL! Nice interplay by Chivas USA - Mendoza to Razov, who chases down the ball on the left of the box and knocks in a dead-straight cross in front of goal for a sliding Braun to push past Busch.
34 - Nagamura sees yellow for a foul on Mapp. Fire FK comes to nothing.
36 - WOW! Barrett on a breakaway, beats Guzan coming out of the area for the ball, has the whole goal, but misjudged the angle. Wide, and on the outside side netting. He's more horrified than he was with his first miss. He should be. Yikes.
40 - Razov and Braun nearly connect again, but this time, Braun leans in for a header and just misses it.
43 - Suarez karate-kicks a Blanco pass to keep it out of the area, but Blanco just gets it back and dribbles in this time, then dumps off a pass that Guzan is able to collect just before Rolfe.
44 - Blanco knocks another pass in for Rolfe - Guzan goes down again, just snatching the ball off his foot.
45 + Red card! Nagamura is sent off for his second yellow - a foul that sent Barrett tumbling. Blanco lines up the FK - he doesn't wallop it, though, sending a soft chip over the defense to Prideaux, whose header attempt pops over the crossbar.
Halftime: Well, if Barrett can't score, he can at least affect the game by helping the Fire get a man advantage. Course, it didn't really help the Fire in their last game with a man advantage - they lost to DC.
48 - The pressbox is debating the merits of the second yellow to Nags. They are split.
49 - Wicky is out for Bornstien, a move neither Luis or I like.
51 - The Fire thave more possession, but Chivas USA are playing smart defense and countering when they can.
53 - A whole section of yellow-clad America fans have banded together to stand and cheer Blanco on.
55 - Besides Blanco, the incisive passes to open up the Chivas USA defense are missing from the Fire players.
57 - I wonder if Bob Bradley is reconsidering calling in Barrett - perhaps thinking about Braun instead. Seriously, it might be that callups were a distraction, because the Fire trio called in haven't looked good tonight. Thorrington, Rolfe, Barrett. Thorrington gets a yellow.
60 - The Fire don't look like they have a man up. Gutierrez sends in a cross that Guzan catches easily.
63 - Brown lays out Kljestan, no call.
64 - Blanco gets yellow for dissent.
65 - Blanco tries to cross off a Mapp pass, but it hits Marsch's hand. FK for Fire - ball gets cleared for Thorrington to take a crack at it, but his shot is wide.
67 - Razov goes out for Atiba Harris.
68 - Rolfe comes out for Frankowski.
69 - Blanco backheel sets up Thorrington, who gets fouled, FK taken fast, but the shot goes outside side netting.
70 - Corner kick, Chivas USA. It's cleared, though Chivas USA regain possession for a bit in the corner to kill time. Crowd is doing the wave.
73 - Andy Herron (replaced Prideaux) heads the ball over the goal. He's gained weight.
75 - "If he's not missing goals, he's blocking them." Luis says about Barrett, who just got in the way of Herron's shot. Ball bounces off Barrett's back.
77 - Brown leaves, handing off armband to Pause - Nyarko comes in. Corner drops the ball right in front of goal, but somehow Chivas USA escape danger again.
78 - Sueno! Jorge Flores replaces Justin Braun.
80 - Flores beats the defense of Blanco to start a breakaway.
81 - Thorrington is still running, at least, chasing down a pass that was meant for Flores. FK goes to Busch.
83 - the Fire are stuck on the edge of the box, where the defense line is set. They can't seem to over come that. Chivas counter results in a Harris shot right to Busch.
85 - Bornstein takes a shot near the top of the arc. It's wide.
86 - Kljestan comes in on goal, only Thorrington chasing. Thorrington slips in the box. Busch all alone stones Sacha's shot, starts counter going other way. Chivas USA's defense snuffs that, though.
88 - Harris in the box slips cross past Busch - Thorrington clears - barely misses an own goal. Corner for Chivas USA - they're taking their time with it. Thorrington in frustration kicks ball toward boards.
89 - Gutierrez gets a yellow for foul on Harris.
90 + Fire with a last-gasp corner. It's cleared.
Blanco passes in to Barrett. Guess he's a sucker for punishment. Barrett pops header wide. Another corner. Herron puts header barely wide, after Guzan was beaten.
Final whistle. Blanco is having a chat with the ref.