Well, after Philadelphia continued their recent bed shitting earlier in the day to give Montreal 3 points, and after New England just about got the job done against the Columbus Crew, eking out a 3-2 win, Chicago were next up to try and get a win to keep things tight in spots 3-6. Against TFC, that surely wouldn't be a problem right?
Well, like many teams seem to do, they were dragged down to TFC's level and a curiously meek performance left it looking like they might slip up and only get a tie, which would have been no good to anyone really. But fortunately for those hoping for a Fire win, the ref stepped up and got the job done. A ridiculously harsh handball was called against Jonathan Osorio, think Canada v USA in the Olympics last year but if the defender had her arms at her side, seriously, I have no idea what the ref expected Osorio to do.
That was a penalty, Mike Magee Panenka'd it cheekily down the middle (can a Panenka ever not be cheeky?) and it was 1-0 Chicago.
Kurt Larson tweeted this after the game.
Which is nice I guess, if a bit meaningless.
Before that, niether team had really looked like scoring. Robert Earnshaw probably had the best chance for TFC, but clipped his shot high and wide in the first half. He did get the ball in the net later on that half, a Kyle Bekker volley didn't look all that dangerous, but Earnshaw, though obviously miles offside, decided to flick it on into the net rather than let it go and see what happened, a shocking decision really. In the second, very shortly after the goal Alvaro Rey had a shot well saved by Sean Johnson. That was about all TFC had, and before the penalty it's not like Chicago did any better, though they had a few more chances after going up, Juan Luis Anangono hit the bar and the post and put another good chance wide late on.
It was of course Stefan Frei's first MLS game in over 2 years, likely his last. He didn't have a lot to do and the woodwork spared him a worse result, but he did make one fantastic save in the first half to give us something to remember him by. As is fitting for his TFC career in general, he was given barely anything to work with, so it'd be harsh to blame him for the result, given how things have happened I doubt it's something he's losing sleep over anyway.
Kyle Bekker also got the start, alongside Jonathan Osorio in central midfield, he looked alright I guess, had the odd pretty pass, one truly atrocious shot/cross/something/i don't know what, and was generally ok in an unthreatening anonymous kind of way.
Not much else to talk about really. We're one game closer to it all being over, that's a relief. Today's results mean that that one game does have meaning, here's the east playoff standings currently.
|1||x - New York Red Bulls||56||33||1.7||16||9||8||53||39||14||29||15||24||-1|
|2||x - Sporting Kansas City||55||33||1.67||16||10||7||45||29||16||29||14||16||2|
|5||New England Revolution||48||33||1.45||13||11||9||48||38||10||29||13||19||-3|
Given that New England, Houston and Chicago all play on Sunday next week (bravo MLS, that's genius) TFC can't eliminate Montreal right there and then, but we can make it possible, at least give them a sweaty nervous 24 hours or so before they know their fate. That's what we're left with.