Monday Musings, Episode V – “Double Header Sunday”

Fire Lose, but Red Stars and Fire Academy top out the Weekend with Victories

The Fire lost to Real Salt Lake in the Fire’s lone meeting with this Western Conference opponent.

On the positive side, Section 8 was loud yesterday and the Chicago Red Stars were greeted with open arms by Section 8 supporters as well as their own supporters, Chicago Local 134.  The Red Stars gave the fans something to cheer about, beating Boston Breakers, 3-0.  Awesome scarf!

For good or for bad, the Fire’s loss did not have the gut punch of last year’s 3-2 loss to Salt Lake with late game goals.  Rather, this time the Fire went down 2-0 and attempted a last minute comeback after Shaun Maloney earned a penalty kick in the 88th minute.  Captain Jeff Larentowicz scored on a strong, well-placed shot.  And credit to him to following up his shot and picking up the ball and running to the center circle with a sense of restrained urgency.


http://www.mlssoccer.com/video/2015/05/09/pk-goal-jeff-larentowicz-outwits-nick-rimando-and-converts-late-game-penalty

That’s two goals for Jeff who last scored on a beautiful set piece goal on April 4, 2015.  It is so great I’ve have to post it:

http://www.mlssoccer.com/video/2015/04/04/goal-jeff-larentowicz-bends-one-net-free-kick

My take?  Purple keepers = goals for Captain Jeff.  The commentary from Kevin Egan and Dan Kelly is awesome on both goals, given the fact that many times Fire “highlights” were posted on MLS media using “away team” announcers.

More goals will surely come, but whether it’s a product of Mike Magee getting back in action or via a new acquisition to replace Kennedy Igboananike, only time will tell.  My hope is that “Magic Mike” hits the ground running and leads the team back to key victories mid-summer.  There is more than enough time for the team to come together with 34 games on the schedule and two previously scheduled games which are going to be made up, anything can happen.  Mike is a competitive guy, and I’m confident he’ll give the team 110% of what he can offer.

In the meantime, if you want to see some immediate goals, head over to YouTube for this humorous gem of a Lego video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ4z-dmXeio

Alternatively, in the not so distant future a Chicago Fire Academy member may hold the key to the Fire’s success.  This weekend the Fire Academy U-14 team won the Cayman Cup U-15 youth championship:

The following link will send you to numerous articles evidencing the quality of the Academy teams.

http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/academy

For example, did you know that two Academy players (Cameron Lindley and Mauricio Pineda, brother of Indy 11’s Victor Pineda) were recently called up for training with the U-18 USMNT team?

http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2015/04/chicago-fire-academy-players-named-united-states-under-18-mens-national-team-training-c

On this day-after-Mother’s Day, let’s give a round of applause to Mrs. Pineda!

Did You Call Your Mother on Mother’s Day?

The United States Women’s National Team did not have to call their mothers after handing Ireland a 2-0 loss because Fox Sports flew all of their mothers in for the match.

That’s a nice touch along with two goals by Abby Wambach, who showed that she still has “got it.”  Here’s her first goal, with respects paid to the Irish player who is hopefully feeling ok today:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2460505-abby-wambach-ruthlessly-punishes-goalkeeper-for-checking-on-injured-teammate#articles/2460505-abby-wambach-ruthlessly-punishes-goalkeeper-for-checking-on-injured-teammate

As for her second goal, nobody is better in the air than she is.  Her header for her second goal was sublime in terms of power and placement:

http://www.ussoccer.com/players/2014/03/15/05/05/abby-wambach

On another positive note, Megan Rapinoe celebrated her 100th cap by donating the customary gift that a player receives by donating her gift to iactivism.org.

And finally, Aron Johannson scored a long-range scorcher of a goal as a present to his mother.

Life and Death

Former England Manager Bill Shankly famously said that “football (soccer) is a matter of life and death, expect more important.”  That’s still true today, where in one second, soccer can suck the life out of player.  In case you missed the epic Vines, Jerome Boateng had a tough day when his soul was taken by a Death Eater (Lionel Messi ) during last week’s Champions League match.  I’ll let Twitter tell the story:

That last one is particularly harsh.

Next Up New  York City FC

The Fire’s next match up is against the new punching bag of MLS, New York City FC, at Yankee Stadium.  Game time is 6 pm central on Univision Deportes.  The New York Red Bulls clearly won the Tifo war yesterday:

Hopefully the Fire will leave NYCFC fans feeling like this after the game:

Moving forward, look for my “musings” to appear mid-week.

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