BRIDGEVIEW, IL - APRIL 15: Arne Friedrich #23 of the Chicago Fire grabs the jersey of Bobby Boswell #32 of the Houston Dynamo during an MLS match at Toyota Park on April 15, 2012 in Bridgeview, Illinois. The Fire and the Dynamo tied 1-1 after a suspension of play due to weather.
Stephen Piggott, Section 8, Whiskey Brothers Aught Five, Chicago
The Fire is in a tough situation, coming off its second bye week of the season already. Frank Klopas and the players have voiced their dismay at the bizarre scheduling by MLS meaning some teams have played six times already this season – three more than the Fire and Houston. Last time out, the team’s momentary loss of concentration meant suffering our first loss of the season at the hands of Colorado.
The loss of Cory Gibbs to a long-term knee injury is a big blow, but thankfully German Arne Friedrich seems fit and ready to replace Gibbs at center-back. Rafael Roboyo looked unimpressive in his first start in Denver and Daniel Paladini, coming off a great preseason, deserves to replace the Colombian. Houston will be missing three of its starting midfielders, Colin Clark, Adam Moffat and their best player Brad Davis, which is a major boost. Defending set pieces will be key for the Fire in what I expect to be a very tight match. Look out for a special display in Section 8 before the game celebrating Chicago’s diversity in an unprecedented way!