Preview: Union vs Chicago Fire
Who: Union and Fire What: MLS soccer league match Where: PPL Park, Chester, PA When: Saturday, May 21 @ 8pm. Why: Because the schedule says so.
The only question left is “how,” as in how in the heck will Union finally find a way to score some goals?!?!?!? They even tried sitting Carlos Ruiz last match, in favor of the normal starting forwards from last season, Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux, and it STILL didn’t work. Not only did they not score goals, but they conceded their most goals in a game this season. Back to old drawing board.
The Chicago Fire have found success playing a 4-1-4-1 in recent matches. This means that Union will, likely, go back to playing “bunker soccer.” Coach Nowak will have his normal starting back line, and he’ll have two defensive midfielders cozy up to them. There will be no such repeat of last match’s relative defensive debacle, if Nowak has anything to say about it (which he does because, you know, he’s the manager and all). I’d also expect to see Keon Daniel and Justin Mapp starting on the wings this match. Last match against Dallas was Justin Mapp’s best performance of the season, and that will convince Nowak to start him, in spite of the evidence from the rest of the season that he’s purely not the right kind of player for this team. And, since I’m already jaded about the starting XI, I’m conceding that my friend and yours, Fat Chooch, will be in at the start. He’ll be up top with Le Toux, who will look confused by everything Ruiz does, as if Carlos is some guy who just walked onto the field and says he knows how to play.
I see this match being pretty ugly. I think we’re going to see Union in a defensive shell for the first half-hour. Chicago will create the better chances, but the back line will do the job they’ve done for the entire season, save for one game. They’ll likely go scoreless into half-time, which will prompt Nowak to get his “kitchen sink” substitutions ready. Mwanga, Jack McInerney, and Roger Torres will likely be introduced at various points, in an attempt to actually get shots on net and maybe even a goal. Unfortunately, until this team proves me wrong with their offense, I expect this match to end in a draw, and I wouldn’t rule out the score being 0-0.
Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union