Face the Fire. Sounders FC travel to Chicago Saturday to face the Chicago Fire. Realistically the Sounders should feel a swell of momentum in their favor from the remarkable win against Real Salt Lake at their fortress, and home pitch, Rio Tinto Stadium. On the road last week in Salt Lake City, another heavy downpour match, Sounders FC ended Real Salt Lake‘s 29 match unbeaten streak at Rio Tinto Stadium. A 2-1 win from unexpected heroes Patrick Ianni and Lamar Neagle. Goals from unexpected heros means momentum is building for Seattle. Right?
Adding confidence to the Sounders momentum is a Chicago Fire season record smoldering at 1-win, 4-losses, 6-draws. Chicago Fire coach, Carlos de los Cobos was dismissed last Monday for the poor season results, with Technical Director, Frank Klopas taking over for an interim basis.
Two trains running. One headed East, and the other standing still. Sounders look poised for victory.
If we have learned anything by now, it is that the existence of confidence in this particular sport has less an impact on the final result than any other. The only way to prepare for a match like this. Tear up the records, discard momentum, forget last weeks heroics, and be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
Prove and excite. It is possible every player for Chicago, instead of feeling down, is seeing opportunity. A clean slate. Prove to your new coach, your team, your fans, even yourself what it was that brought you to become a professional soccer player. Create, assist, defend tough, score, and win. Excite your home fans and reignite a fading season.
So much for confidence and momentum. Soccer is a bizzaro-world team sport. A week after defeating Manchester United to win the UEFA Champions league, and cement themselves as one of the greatest clubs in the history of soccer, Barcelona would appear to be a more favored opponent for Seattle this week than the Chicago Fire. Chicago will fight with a harsh bite for every ball. The first 15-20 minutes for Seattle may need a boxing like rope-a-dope strategy. Take punches. If Sounders FC are still standing by halftime, then chances will come. Otherwise, it could be a long ride home Chicago.
It’s hard not to root for the underdogs. With Chicago down, yet built with likable talent, it is hard not to hope they do well. Most of the non-bias fans will take their side. Sound familiar? This was not unlike the Sounders position going into their match with Real Salt Lake last week. The unlikely David going into Goliath’s mansion. Good luck getting out alive. The Sounders are from being a Rave Green Goliath, but that is precisely how they will be perceived facing the Fire. We already know how that story ends. In fact, the Sounders saw it played out to their satisfaction last week. David and Goliath, part II: Meet Karma. Sounders face the Fire.
© 2011 by Ryan Sales – Sales on Sounders