Home > Match Preview > Match Preview: Union vs. Chicago Fire

Match Preview: Union vs. Chicago Fire

Tonight, 9pm, Comcast SportsNet, from Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

So, who in the hell is going to play right fullback?  Sheanon Williams’ red card against Colorado has put Union in an unfamiliar position.  They are already playing with a mid-season replacement at left back, Gabriel Farfan, but have yet to have to replace their right back for even a minute of this season.  This should be a massive problem, right?

Enter the Chicago Fire, who own the league’s worst home record.  If there was EVER a good time to find out exactly how much versatility this roster has, this is the week.  My guess is it’ll be our other Farfan, Michael, because, well, that’s Nowak’s new philosophy.  When in doubt, just put Farfan in there.  Who knows what he’s going to do if they need another attacking midfielder.  Maybe Gabe and Mike have another brother, or a cousin….

Anyway, the bigger issue here is the need for Union to rebound from their first home loss of the season, and their first time in a long time not atop the standings table.  A mid-week match against a bottom-feeder seems just the remedy.  I normally think these mid-week matches are more arduous for the side, thus not a good thing, but in this case, the team needs to get the bad taste of last match out of their collective mouths.  The sooner the next match came, the better.

I don’t care about Chicago’s team.  Tonight is about Union accomplishing what they should get accomplished.  Which means I do NOT want to see Kyle Nakazawa in the starting XI.  He has looked tentative in attack ever since the friendlies against the European teams.  The person who has looked best in that same timespan is Roger Torres.  Starting him, however, would defy Nowak-logic, thus I expect Veljko Paunovic to start in the CAM spot tonight…. not that I want it that way, it’s just what is likely to be.  And on that note, is it a good thing or a bad thing that we, as fans, have not the foggiest idea of what our starting XI will be from week to week?  I say it’s a good thing, because it gives me something to discuss in previews, and something to complain about in post-match critiques.

So, for what I expect to happen, not what I would like, It will look something like:

                  Mwanga          Le Toux

Mapp        Carroll        Paunovic        Daniel

Garfan      Califf             Valdes            Marfan


I could see this playing as a 3-5-2 also, with Paunovic playing as a CAM/recessed striker, and Neon Keon sliding into a more central position to allow Marfan to play the right wing.  That’s likely how the attack will evolve anyway when pushing forward, but I think Nowak will have them start in the 4-4-2 they’ve played almost all of the season.  Also, if Nowak would like to start Jack McInerney and show Sebastien Le Toux what the bench looks like, I’d be ok with that, too.  Whoever plays in this match, I want a decisive victory for Union, at least 2-0.  I think the clean sheet would be a nice achievement given that their normal right back is not in the lineup.  They need to play more like 2nd half vs Colorado than 1st half vs Colorado.  It’s about results, and Union need one badly to keep up with Columbus and to stay ahead of New York.

Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union

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  1. August 3, 2011 at 10:00 AM

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