- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 21, 2008
- 2 Comments
- Brian McBride, Bruce Arena, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, David Beckham, Eddie Lewis, Landon Donovan, MLS Primetime Thursday
Usually a high profile match at this point in the season should get the hype it deserves. On paper Chicago and LA have some major star power for ESPN to get all giddy about but when MLS made their schedule they forgot one thing, that FIFA would be doing their dates in the midweek for World Cup qualifiers.
Yup, take a look at those Fire and Galaxy rosters because you won’t see most of those players on the field tonight in MLS Primetime action.
David Beckham? No, he’s doing the soccer version of being the Pope in China at the Olympics this week. Blanco? Probably a no as well, at least starting wise since Mexico played last night in Mexico against Honduras. Landon Donovan? He’ll probably come off the bench at best if he gets back from Guetamala in time. Carlos Ruiz? Haha, nope he got traded to Toronto but he is probably still home in Guetamala. Eddie Lewis? No word on if his deal has even come through officially for LA, so no. Gonzalo Segares? Nope, he was in Costa Rica last night. Marco Poppa? No Poppa in this one since he was too in Guetamala for last night’s qualifier.
You get the point right. The only two left are Edson Buddle and Brian McBride. While those two certainly have the chance to make things happen for their clubs, it just doesn’t pack the same luster as it would have if all the parties were good to go here.
I’m not upset over the scheduling error on the league’s part but not seeing the full A-team for each club will definitely hurt tonight on the week’s showcase game. And I have sympathy for the schedule-maker, probably one of the hardest jobs in American soccer.
So speaking of the game. Chicago visiting LA tonight in Bruce Arena’s debut, at least the game has that going for it. We know who is missing and who should be playing. LA as we all know is in a sort of funk that is tough to get over right now. A new coach could help that out but right now I just doubt Arena has had enoguh time to make his mark on the club. Sure shipping Ruiz off to Toronto will help and possibly getting Eddie Lewis is a good thing. I just don’t think a weeks time is enough.
Chicago is playing fairly well right now and they are the best road team in the league this season. Something about going on the road doesn’t bother this club and they actually play up to the challenge better than they do at home for some reason.
The Fire should have little problem even with the possible absense of Blanco in the middle. They have to get the ball wide and beat LA on the wings. I look for McBride to score his first MLS goal in a Fire uniform tonight. It seems like the perfect chance for him to get on the boards with his new club.
LA has to show me they are going to turn a corner here under Arena going into these final 8 or 9 games though. Lately they haven’t shown much at all. Its definitely going to be a work in progress for Arena from here out. I just don’t think that corner will be turned tonight. The Fire’s defense is still the best in the league and that will be more than enough tonight.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, LA 0