The Fire fell to the Houston Dynamo 3-0 in their final regular season Match. But still managed to hang on to third place over all. That by the way is a 17 place improvement over last season. While we are talking numbers, sorry I’ll be quick, we are 16-11-7 on the season, one more win than the last two seasons combined. We have two less wins than the 18 losses we had in 2015. We have one less than the 17 draws we had in 2014. Our combined record with wins losses and draws is 7 more than the number of losses and draws combined in the 2016 season. I would venture a guess that 2017 has been a successful season in comparison, ok so hello duh. At a recent media round table General Manager Nelson Rodriguez was quick to point the “season is not over yet,” that’s right Fire fans we are still playing.
The Fire welcome the New York Red Bulls to Toyota Park on Wednesday October 25th in a do or die, winner take all knock out round playoff match. The game is a single elimination one so only the winner can advance. There are only three members of the Fire who have actually played a playoff game, Dax McCarty, Arturo Alvarez and Juninho. But the trio shared their experiences with the rest of the team. David Accam one of the longest tenure members says he is completely focused on the playoffs, he has waited three years to be able to play in this game. ”The first time I came here (my goal was) to play in the playoff,” he said. “I’m really happy and grateful to get this opportunity to be playing in the payoff on Wednesday. I’m not going to look back. There’s nothing that will disrupt me. I just want to play well in the playoff. That’s all.” Bastian Schweinsteiger is questionable for the match but is excited for his first possible involvement in a playoff match had this to say “They are very good in my eyes, but we play at home. We want to use the home advantage with our crowd, our supporters at our back. It definitely helps us, but we have to perform. It’s going to be a very tough game against the Red Bulls.” Head coach Veljko Paunovic says they prepared for every possible scenario before decision day including the play in game, so they will be prepared. The whole team knows that this is the biggest game of the season. The Red Bulls have been very bad all season at defending set piece situations so hopefully the Fire can exploit that during the match. They will certainly need Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic to find the back of the net.
The Fire’s Nemanja Nikolic won the Golden Boot award with his 24 goals on the season. He has now won the Golden Boot award three different leagues in three different countries. He has won the award for four straight years. He would certainly get my vote for Newcomer come of the year. Whatever happens tomorrow I would call this season for the Fire a success.