Thursday Night Playoff Preview

Thursday Night Playoff Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 25, 2007

In a two part series, the first game always sets the tone for what is to come. It will be no different tonight in the Windy City when the Fire host Supporter’s Shield winners DC in the opening match of the 2007 MLS Playoffs.

A lot of interesting notes in this one because on the surface you have to think DC has a real shot of taking this one and then riding three straight home games to their fifth MLS Cup in club history. But not so fast, they are hampered by some injuries to some key offensive players like Golden Boot winner Luciano Emilio and to the league’s all-time goal scorer Jamie Moreno.

Probably the biggest stat that I uncovered in the process of writing this, DC has NEVER beaten the Fire in the playoffs. Not a single game. Another stat to go with that nugget, United have also yet to score on the Fire in those five playoff matches. The lads from the Windy City have blanked United 10-0 in those five games (four being Fire wins).

The season series this year was a little different story than that but still a pretty close one. In July DC dominated play at RFK Stadium to a 3-1 victory over a club that was going through a lot of turnover and injuries at the time. In the last few games of the seaon the two clubs faced each other twice, once in each stadium, to draws. A lot different than the first meeting of the season in RFK.

So what gives tonight? Will the injuries to DC play a factor? Will history continue to repeat itself? I think tonight will be another close game. DC hasn’t played all that well as of late, and the Fire have done just enough to get themselves into this position. I don’t think here will be a winner tonight but again, this game will set the tone for the series. DC’s injuries worry me for this game but Emilio and Moreno could still play.

I like this game to be close and in a draw. I also see a lot of midfield play controling this one as well. DC should finally get over the hump in the post-season in the scoring department against the Fire as well but they will have to wait for their match in DC next week to win this series.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, DC 1