Sean Spence from our friends at Hot Time in Old Town stopped by to answer a few questions about the Chicago Fire season so far, their new additions, and their chances to be the most dominant team in the world.
Did you think that the new additions this season would be nearly as impactful as they turned out to be?
I'm not surprised in the slightest that better players ave led to better football - but the heights the team reached in June, in terms of style of play as well as results, were well beyond expectations. The midfield duo of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty is simply outstanding, as they've each adapted slightly to make space for what the other does best. Obviously, Nemanja Nikolic's 16 goals speak of a striker who does what good strikers do.
That said, the Fire's best player during this scrappy stretch has been David Accam, who's been here since Frank Yallop was boss. And cracks are showing around both the vaunted Basti/Dax pivot and Niko's game, as the league has now had some time to experiment against this shape.
What would you say is reasonable for the Fire come playoffs?
If the Fire don't host a playoff game this fall, that would be a disappointment. I'd be loathe to predict any kind of playoff result, since one-off outcomes are so subject to luck.
What are your impressions of United’s season so far?
I have to confess I haven't devoted a huge amount of time to following the Loons from afar, so my impressions have been largely shaped by the media narrative around the team - which is to say, epically terrible start to the season, jettisoning Demidov and starting over; since then, a team with a lot of fight that plays simple, direct countering football through a stable of fast wingers. Interestingly, Minnesota United now plays like a bit like a Scandinavian team, which seems to support the 'football-style-is-a-kind-of-terror' hypothesis.
And bonus! Who do the Fire beat in the World Cup?
They obviously beat the Michael Jordan All-Stars (feat. Neymar & Pals) 7-6 in sudden-death overtime on a buzzer-beating touchdown from Schweinsteiger to Accam. Nike sues the referees in the World Trade Court for deleterious brand impact.