Go Fire Go! Lo Lo Lo Lo Lo Lo Lo!

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The year keeps hurtling along. I keep expecting life will slow down at one point, but that point has proven elusive for now. Despite the Cubs season ending, the Fire have been going strong of late. A lossless streak that extends back to early September has seen the Fire climb from last place into the playoffs. This would have been a remarkable feat were the squad the same one that had plummeted to the bottom of the table earlier this summer, but they've brought in some new players, a new coach, and turned it around.

After making an April resolution to become a Fire fan, the move to Thunder Keep interfered with those plans, but after establishing myself a bit, I've been going to matches since late July... and I've got to tell you, I love it. Soccer is awesome. It's completely short shifted around the U.S., but that's just ignorance of the game. There's a reason it's called, "The Beautiful Game."

Anyhow, last Sunday, the Fire were at home against the LA Galaxy and David Beckham. Nate, Jarrett, Adam, and myself had all purchased a two game package in April that included a game with the Wizards, and the "Beckham" game. Little did we know at the time that Beckham would miss most of his games this year and that we were fortunate to see the Brit in action. Furthermore, we also lucked into a match featuring two teams that each needed points to make the playoffs. The Fire went in needing a win or a tie, the Galaxy needed the win. The place was packed and rocking, the game was exciting... and the score was tied at zero in the ninety second minute when John Thorrington chipped one over the Galaxy keeper and into the back of the net. Toyota Park went crazy. It was awesome. Not quite Wrigley at it's best... but awesome nonetheless.

Last night, the Fire hosted the first leg of the first round of the playoffs. The setup is a home and home where the team with the most aggregate goals advance. Despite having 4,000 fewer bodies in the house, there was a decided lack of suburban families more worried about sodas and hot dogs than the soccer. Section 8 (the rowdies) were the loudest I've ever heard them... and the Fire dominated the first half. We netted a goal in the fourteenth minute, and looked ready to accumulate one more, but no... we never did.

In the second half, D.C. United came out strong and really maintained possession for the first thirty minutes of the half. I was deeply concerned that they would tie up the affair... but the mid-fielders and defensemen pretty much denied any serious attempts. Toward the end, the Fire started attacking a bit more and the ball moved back and forth across the midfield a little more freely, but neither team scored.

All in all, I would feel more secure if we had managed another goal, but I'm pretty confident we'll at least force penalty kicks in the second leg next Thursday. In conclusion. Soccer rules. Fire rules. Woot!

1 Comment

short shrifted... with an r