Chicago Fire at New England: Match Day

2008_013_2New_england_revolution_logo

The 2008 MLS playoffs kick off tonight with the Chicago Fire traveling to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Revolution tonight (7:30pm, ESPN2).

The task is a difficult one for the Revs, who must try to beat Chicago without Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston, the team’s two best attacking players. Couple that with the red card suspensions to Khano Smith (who was hit with a three-match ban for his slide-by on Herculez Gomez) and Gabriel Badilla and New England will be missing four starters against a Chicago team that won all three meetings between the teams this year.

Does New England really have a chance, or will Chicago run all over the Revs and move a step toward breaking their three-year playoff losing skid vs. the Rev?

What do you think of the Chicago-Revs series? Share your thoughts on the series, and tonight’s opening game, in the comments section below.

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11 Responses to Chicago Fire at New England: Match Day

  1. Steve says:

    Every logical aspect of my being says that the Fire should be in the Eastern Conference Finals in two weeks.

    But three years in a row and a coach who tends toward the conservative lead me to believe that this will be nothing other than a nail biter.

    Go Fire!!

  2. Bill Barrant says:

    It just ain’t happening for the Revs this year. They’ve had a good run for the last 3 or 4 years, but Chicago is in form and too strong for them right now. Even if Ralston and Twellman were healthy, I don’t know that they would have an answer for Blanco, Rolfe and McBride.

    The Revs have promise with these three African kids–Nyassi, Dube & Mansally– but these guys are still rookies, and haven’t produced the goal tallies of Ralston and Twellman. They need another season or two before they can shoulder the burden of heavy expectations.

    My only hope is that they don’t get humiliated in this series.

  3. Bill Barrant says:

    It just ain’t happening for the Revs this year. They’ve had a good run for the last 3 or 4 years, but Chicago is in form and too strong for them right now. Even if Ralston and Twellman were healthy, I don’t know that they would have an answer for Blanco, Rolfe and McBride.

    The Revs have promise with these three African kids–Nyassi, Dube & Mansally– but these guys are still rookies, and haven’t produced the goal tallies of Ralston and Twellman. They need another season or two before they can shoulder the burden of heavy expectations.

    My only hope is that they don’t get humiliated in this series.

  4. Jimmy Bobo says:

    The Revs will trot out a team of inexperienced and second-choice players, cobbled together. It would be a miracle if they advanced in this home-and-home series against an in-form Chicago. This is probably good for the league to have Blanco and McBride working deep into the playoffs. The Revs will begin a new cycle, perhaps without some keystone players, next year.

  5. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    The question in my mind is how the Revs choose to play tonite. Do they play it close to the vest? Or since they are at home, do they come out swinging in the first half and see what happens? If they play it close to the vest and still don’t get a result tonight, then what? Nicol is a very good coach (despite all his whining about refs), but this time, the task may be too much.

  6. Jonathan says:

    there’s going to be a stream of the game at http://www.mundocramex.blogspot.com

  7. Mike says:

    The Revs are 2-10-4 in all competitions since they won Super Liga.

    Chicago likely wins easily.

  8. kevin says:

    Well the Fire are obvious favorites, but I am still nervous going into a series against the team that has eliminated us three years in a row. I think for the Fire, the strategy of coming out swinging and trying to take it to the Revs and end things in New England is obvious, but for Steve Nichol this series presents quite a conundrum: Come out gunning at home and try to get a lead in the series, or try to play things close to the vest for 180 minutes in a row and somehow eek out a result. On the one hand, I feel like the Fire have struggled with teams that have come out and really attacked us (recent losses to Houston, Toronto, and Dallas, and the loss to DC in June being good examples), but on the other hand the Revs don’t have much to work with and might just expose themselves to a beating if they try to compete end to end with Chicago. I think it won’t matter either way – if the Revs try to really attack they’ll get exposed, and if they try to sit back for the whole game the Fire will eventually break through with a goal or two and the Revs will have a tough hill to climb next week no matter what. On the other hand, my stomach is in knots right now, so I’m obviously not too confident in what my intellect is telling me at the moment. Should be a great series!!

  9. Bahns says:

    the only question is… how have the revs stuck with that wretched logo for so long?

  10. kevin says:

    One other thing Ives:

    I have to say that as a Fire fan it’s kind of annoying that on the day of our match, there are a bunch of articles up about the Red Bulls and only one up about the Fire – Revs game.

    If it is only because you have more access to the Red Bulls and so there are just more stories for you to present, then I understand. But I was just wondering if that is what the reason was, because I feel as though more people would be interested in reading about the Fire today, even though I know a big part of your readership is from Red Bull territory.

    Just curious if you are playing to what you think your readers are interested in, or if it’s just that there happen to be a lot of stories about NYRB that came up today?

  11. Dennis says:

    To kevin: my intellect agrees with your intellect, but if the Revs play with as much as heart as I’ll be rooting with, they should have a real good chance against the Fire.

    To Bahns: As a Revs fan, it hurts me to admit I’ve been asking the same question for a long time. But, I can love what the badge stands for without actually loving the badge, right?