TNF: The Over the Hill Gang Rides Again!

A week ago, this match was pretty much inked in as Chicago +3, with the Galaxy continuing their Johnny Pointseed tour of the Eastern Conference. Then Chicago - you know, I don't know what the hell happened. Blanco's become a liability. Justin Mapp apparently retired back in July and forgot to tell anyone. The defense started believing their own hype. Losing at Colorado was pretty bad, but getting killed at home in the Brimstone Cup? Good thing Wanchope scored the garbage time goal, otherwise it would have been pretty embarrassing. Oh, wait, not Wanchope. McBride's the former CONCACAF superstar who transferred to Chicago from the Premiership. I wonder why I could possibly have wrote Wanchope instead of McBride. How very very very very curious.

Maybe the Fire promised to lose every time they played the last-place team in the West. Bad news for tonight, then, as the Galaxy are back to thinking they are qualified to play soccer in exchange for money. Well, I asked my close, personal friend Captain Bringdown his opinion. First - the official Galaxy blog is happy that Arena has been able to pick from his full squad the past couple of games. Steve Cronin, call your agent. People love Josh Wicks because he's not Cronin, but the goals given up to DC United last week should be on sale for Christmas, they were so squeezably soft and cuddly.

You know what, I'm going to say it. Chris Klein's consecutive start streak says a lot of things. First, he doesn't quit. Second, he doesn't get hurt and stays in shape. Third, he plays clean. Fourth....he's not good enough to be called up anymore. Fifth...he's not good enough to play abroad. There's going to be a double-edge to a lot of MLS records, and this is one of them. Sixth...Klein is an automatic starter for a team with a defense that, in the words of Mickey Spillane, would gag a maggot.

Then there's Beckham, who will wear white tonight, has a neck, and hasn't called his fans garbage. If there's any other difference between him and Blanco, I can't tell at this point. Competitive, bitchy, miles out of form - they'll probably cancel each other out.

About eleven months ago, the best player in American history took the field in Bridgeview knowing that a win would send his team to the playoffs...and the Fire shut him down like a Trappist rap label. Presumably Osorio let Hamlett keep the game film. Donovan lives for revenge, but he might decide he'd rather live for not getting injured and blowing a transfer to Europe.

Right now, this is the stoppable force against the moveable object. The Galaxy give up two goals a game, but who on the Fire can score that many? 1-1.