This is what Jaime had to say about Chicago’s game plan ahead of tonight’s game.
"They are probably going to defend with eight players. In the second half [in the first leg], they didn’t want to know anything about the game; they are just comfortable, they dump it, defend with five or six guys. For me, that’s not soccer. But if they are happy with that, they can go ahead and do that."
In all seriousness, Jaime, this was a pretty silly comment. It’s what teams that are outclassed do when they go a goal up or are content to sit back and watch a side that is decimated by injury try to find a way into a game. Look at the Liverpool/Birmingham game.
This tactical approach is very much a part of soccer. Is it pretty? No. Is it effective? More often than not, yes. I’m sure it brought a smile to many Fire supporters’ faces to watch United’s much-vaunted attack force stymied and then have Jaime, who already showed his frustration by getting a sorry booking, make a comment like this.
So Jaime, you should take this as a challenge. Go around the 8 or so red shirts behind the ball and put 2 past Pickens. Now that would be soccer. It would also be a wonderfully large helping of “them apples.”
As for history, it might be a bit premature to start bandying around the possibility of a curse. Yes, history is on the side of Chicago, but then again United has enjoyed a large part of that history, too. I don’t need to go into it for the five or so people reading this (thanks for the hit tracks to Joe from Bel Air) about United’s storied past or the fact that they still haven’t scored against the Windy City denizens in their previous playoff match ups. If the Fire crushes United tonight, then I might think that some voodoo is going on.
But, as Tom Soehn is so quick to point out, tonight is in our house, and very few this season have managed to come into our house and smash our dishes. And as if that is not reason enough to take heart, Emilio and Jaime are both fit. And they’re both mad. As in hat-trick mad. And when Ben Olsen looks sheepish in an interview, you know he’s going to have a blinder in the next game.
I hope United can dig deep enough to find the pride and class that has won them 4 MLS Cups. If nothing else, you can always rely on the Barra Brava to make some noise tonight.