May 29, 2012

U.S. Open Cup - Bucks -v- Chicago Fire, Major League Soccer

Finally in the big leagues. 7:30 Eastern, 6:30 Central
@ Ultimate Soccer Arenas - directions here
Last Tuesday the Michigan Bucks upset USL-Pro 3 side Pittsburg Riverhounds 1-0. In the 90th minute, the Bucks were awarded a penalty, which was converted by the reigning PDL defender of the year, Stew Givens. With the victory, the Bucks advance into round 3 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The third round is where top tier (MLS) clubs come into the mix, and the Bucks have landed midwest rivals, the Chicago Fire.

The Chicago Fire have won the trophy 4 times; 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2006. 4th placed in the East and with the 9th best overall record in the league at 5-4-3. The Fire's form seems to be rather up and down this season, with a slight edge in their home match-ups by (3-1-2 home, 2-3-1 away). Their most recent 7 matches are as follows: L W D W L W L.

Their most frequent games demonstrate how their stengths and weaknesses. In a home match against FC Dallas the Fire won off a penalty deflection, however the shot was taken by a player who had encrouched into the box before the kick. Despite what you might say about officiating, they fought back to win a close match, which shows determination. An away trip to the Buck's sister club the Columbus Crew May 26th demonstrated how a defensive minded team can stifle their approach. They have the ability to split teams open and work a set play to their advantage, but smart defense can step up and extinguish their attack. The Bucks can't let up on defense for a moment or the Fire will surely take advantage. Despite Chicago resting a number of key players, the MLS side will be analyzing its depth for players to step up against the lower league team.

This quote was taken from the Chicago Fire's website, in regard to the away match @ Columbus.
"For the second consecutive season the club covered the cost of travel for over 600 supporters to board 10 buses and make the seven hour journey to invade Crew Stadium"
Whether or not this will happen today is at this point unknown, but it is likely that there will be Chicago fans there. Hopefully the Bucks can tap into the Detroit City fervant fans and show them how we do in Michigan. A win over a side from the highest of domestic leagues in one of the most interesting American sports tournaments, coupled with passionate support of the local teams is one of the most crucial part of demonstrating to Major League Soccer that the city can sustain a football franchise.

Ticket information here (if there are any tickets still available, that is):

Don't shout Fire XX XXXX
You'd be a liar XX XXXX
You must be Joking XX XXXX
They're not even smoking XX XXXX

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