After royally screwing up the thread on Wednesday, I am back home and back on track for this weekend's preview. That can't be said for the Fire, though. Unfortunately, we have some tough things to discuss. Fortunately, the Fire sucking at everything, everywhere all at once, is NOT the toughest thing to discuss. Let's start with the game: The mighty Fire kept their post Leagues Cup streak intact with the 3-0 game on Wednesday against that team from Ohio that begins with "C" -Columbus. Sadly, the "streak" is a winless streak, that sits at 6 in the league and 8 in all competitions (including the Puebla match, which was "officially" a draw, and then a loss in penalties). Tonight, our favorite MLS team comes up against our long time foe, the evil spawn of Matt Reis' mom- New England Revolution. This marks what might be the 87th (or 89th) meeting between the two. According to the Fire's website, the Fire lead with 34 wins, 20 draws and 32 defeats. What is strange is that the Revolution website has it as 37 wins, 19 draws and 33 losses overall. Come on, MLS, at least give us consistent records. According to the Rev's site, the Fire are 25-11-8 at home against the not-quite Bostonian bastards. This is probably not a surprise, but the game day preview on the Rev's site is way better than the one on the Fire's site. Why? Because there isn't one on the Fire's website. Just a page with the 34-20-32 record and the results of the last three matches, plus a few generic blurbs. https://www.chicagofirefc.com/competitions/mls-regular-season/2023/matches/chivsne-09-23-2023/ Fortunately, the Fire have NOT lost to New England since September 22, 2021! Unfortunately, the Fire have not beat New England since 2019, a 5-0 shellacking in May 8, with goals by Nikolic (2), Gaitan, Frankowski, and, surprisingly Brandt Bronico! Recent record between the teams: 2017- 3-0-0! 9 goals for, 1 against. Those were the days! 2018- 0-2-0 2019- 1-0-1 2020- 0-1-1 2021- 0-1-1 2022- 0-2-0 2023- 0-1-0, with Saturday being the second match Note, this does not include Playoff records...because the Fire have only had a single playoff game since 2017 (the 4-0 capitulation at home to the Red Bulls. One of the Fire's worst ever performances. That game was just awful, down 2-0 within 11 minutes, an injured Bastian was subbed into match in the 65th minute to try to do...something and David the moderately tall Arshakyan actually played in the game). New England, despite being on their third coach in two weeks, sit comfortably in 5th place in the East, with 48 points from 28 matches. The Fire, of course, are sitting comfortably well outside the playoffs with 33 points from 29 matches. Fortunately, the Fire are 6-6-3 at home, so there is chance the Fire could actually get something from the match. Unfortunately, the last time the Fire were home, they were beaten by Vancouver. The Fire's last win at Soldier Field was July 15th, a 1-0 crushing of Toronto (on a 90th minute goal by Kacper Przybyłko). New England are led by Carles Gil, with 8 goals and 13 assists. The other DPs are Gustavo Bou and Giacomo Vrioni. By the way, the salaries of all three do not equal Shaqiri's salary this season. No idea who will lead the Fire tonight. One thing for certain it won't be Shaqiri, as he has privilege of standing around and watching the game from somewhere other than on the field, with his red card on Wednesday. Also out are Navarro (F), and the usual suspects of Mueller, Bezerra and Casas (Jr.). Pineda is listed as doubtful. I read on mlssoccer.com that Souquet is out on yellow card accumulation, but I did not read that on the Fire's website, of course. The Fire could conceivably be back "above the line" with a win tonight (and DC United and NYCFC lose). Unfortunately, DC United play a terrible NYRB team and NYCFC play an even worse assemblage of suck from Toronto. New England will clinch a playoff spot if they avoid losing to the Fire, something that is easier done than said (unfortunately). In light of the long history between the two teams, the Fire cannot let this happen. The Fire MUST win this game. Actually, even with a loss, New England can secure a playoff spot, if DC United fail to beat NYRB. Clint Peay is the new interim coach. Tonight is his second game at the helm, after losing to what might be the worst team in the history of MLS, the 2022 Colorado Rapids. Colorado are so bad ("How bad are they?") they have more points (22) this season than goals scored (19). Yes, they are averaging .67 goals per game and have a -23 goal differential. They have given up more than twice as many goals as they have scored. And this is after they put 2 in against NER last weekend. And, Toronto (with two of three highest paid players in the league), are almost as bad. 22 points, 24 goals scored, -21 goal differential, winless on the road. I can confidently (or, at least, Optimistically) say that the Fire will not compete for the Wooden Spoon this season. However, it is mathematically possible. If Toronto win their remaining matches, they would end up on 37 points. If Colorado win out, they would end up with 40 points. The Fire could end up anywhere between 33 points (lose every remaining match, and they are giving that their damnedest) and 48 points (if they win out). Somewhat surprisingly, the "Win" probability (according to google) for tonight's encounter actually favors our men in light bluish, with a 40% probability of a Fire win, 34% probability of a Fire loss (can't write "New England win") an 26% of a draw. So, the Fire have 66% of NOT losing! Woo! Hoo! Fire WILL win 2-1, with Kei Kamara FINALLY getting a goal. Now, for the real news related to the game: New England hierarchy has been in shambles, with Bruce Arena being suspended in August and officially departing from them over a week ago for “inappropriate and insensitive remarks.” According to at least one news outlet, he made racist comments, although that has not been confirmed. His interim replacement, Richie Williams (ABMOD), was also relieved of his coaching duties, as the players refused to train for the little dickhead. According to news reports, Williams is still with the team in some capacity. Assistants Shalrie Jospeh and Dave van den Bergh were let go. Clint Peay is the new interim coach. There is this bit of bad journalism: Commentary: Bruce Arena's ugly exit from MLS shouldn't tarnish his immense legacy I call bullcrap on that. If he said something racist or bigoted (as has been alleged), it absolutely should tarnish his "immense" legacy. If he was "inappropriate" and abusive (as has also been alleged) it should tarnish his legacy. Legacy is based on the entirety of one's experience, not just the "good points" of it. https://www.latimes.com/sports/socc...legacy-mls-resignation-inappropriate-language I say that especially in light of this statement from MLS This is a pretty strange statement, a coach with more than 30 years of experience, the winningest MLS coach of all, who has multiple coach of the year awards, multiple MLS Cups and US Open Cups, must "petition" the Commissioner if he wants another job. It is a bit weird that the team and MLS have been so tight lipped on what it was that he said that set off this firestorm. The Boston Globe has made a formal request for the actual investigation report, so I suspect we will know more at some point. I suspect it will be pretty bad. I guess we'll see.