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Greetings from Chicago


Good morning all. I’m coming to you from Chicago, where the New York Red Bulls are preparing for tonight’s crucial regular season finale against the Chicago Fire (9:30pm, ESPN2).

Tonight’s match is shaping up to be a good one and the sense I’m getting is that the Fire won’t be resting many, if any, key starters. Left back Gonzalo Segares is suspended due to yellow card accumulation and that is sounding like the only absence we will see in the Fire lineup.

One person who will be in attendance tonight at Toyota Park is Chicago Fire owner Anrew Hauptman. There’s no truth the rumor that he showed up at O’Hare Airport with a bag full of Rolex watches to give Fire players if they beat the Red Bulls tonight.

If you don’t get that joke then you may not remember the ugly divorce between current Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio and the Chicago Fire, which he coached last year. That split left Hauptman and Osorio on poor terms and you can rest assured that the animosity between the two men is adding to tonight’s suspense. As you know by now, the Red Bulls can clinch a playoff berth with a victory.

Apologies for the lack of posts on Wednesday. I will be back this morning with some other posts on a variety of subjects. For now, feel free to discuss tonight’s Fire-Red Bulls match and what you see happening.

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Thanks for the suggestions guys, keep’em coming! There are so many parts and viewpoints to Section 8 (and the supporters groups that it represents) that it is a major part of what keeps us moving forward. So as to not take up Ives’s blog with this banter, may I suggest going to the Section 8 forum to carry on this discussion?

    This kind of talk between different parts of teh stadium and crowd will only make us stronger and Toyota Park that much better of an atmosphere. So do everyone a favour, just google “Section 8 Chicago” and sign up for the message boards there–we’d love to hear from you.

  2. Welcome to Chicago Ives! I just interviewed John Thorrington yesterday on my show MontzTV but the show and podcast won’t be ready until early next week otherwise I would tell you to check it out on my website.

    Dress warm it has been chilly here in Chi town the past few nights….

  3. giaco – can I speak for some of the rest of the stadium that “starting your own song” is difficult when no one around you is willing to sing or knows the words. That’s why I think the sheer numbers in S8 should be used to start up a song. The rest of the stadium will follow, especially when we have the words in front of us. Thus, the songbooks are a great idea. Plus this would let the stadium sing along to more than “Fire!Fire!Fire!”

    May I suggest:

    “You know that it would be untrue

    You know that I would be a liar

    If I was to say to you

    Boys you couldn’t get much higher

    come on baby light my FIRE

    come on baby light my FIRE

    Try to set the night on FIRE!”

    Or something with more of a marching beat to it and less words, cause that might be hard to keep everyone together. Either way, good work with the songbooks and let’s bring the atmosphere in the playoffs.

    Thanks Section 8

  4. giaco- i was merely pointing out that S8 should in fact do everything they can to aid in getting more people into the environment…. and these booklets are 1 way to go about this.. there are plenty of people in the stands that have no idea whats happening.. be it their first game or 70th, not everyone understands the concept… i simply think an active role, such as the song books seems a good start..

    since im actually from Indy, the games i attend occure sporatically…. i bend over backward to get as many people from indy to go up as well…. in fact i have even brought up people new to the sport…. but when i come i tend to sit in 1 of 2 places… either the west or the north west… typically the northwest unless someone else gets the tickets…

    and i was at the last Crew game singing it up… unfortunately i sat in front of some people who continued to tell me to sit down… and i made a comment that the next game i go to, regardless of where im sitting i will be moving to S8 where i can at least stand….

  5. dave- yes it is on espn360…. 9pm game time… most every live sporting event on espn will be shown on 360… or at least thats my take on it..

  6. “i agree… i would think getting the whole of the complex into the atmosphere would be the first and foremost plan Section 8 should take up…”

    Brett—-those of us in S8 are only us, it is up to everyone to decide to particpate or not. That aside, as we are supporters, we do what we can to create the homefield advantage, and we would hope that the Fire organization may help to involve the rest of the stadium.

    After getting back from TO, I can tell you that at least the rest of their casuals and fans (mind you supporters are a different case) were more active participants and created their own bit of the total environment.

    It would be nice if the idea of ownership or creation of atmoshpere wasn’t just thrown out there as though S8 NEEDED to “take up” getting everyone else involved.

    It’s not a dig, it’s not a confrontational statement, but it is a challenge to the rest of the stadium to step up and make some noise themselves.

    hell, get a bedsheet and some damn spraypaint, make a banner or flag; come over to the section for 5-10 minutes and sing your guts out; or even better yet, get YOUR section, box, row (whatever/wherever) to start a song or chant that they CAN do to boost the team.

    And for FCKSAKE, if you are in the EAST SIDE of the stadium, when ‘who’s the best’ comes out, I wanna hear it come back from your end “FIRE” loud and clear…..b/c the West side has been blowing the East side out ALL SEASON LONG.

  7. It was chilly last game for the BUlls so I don’t think that will be a factor…. All I want is for the Red Bulls to give it there all…play with passion and play to win… It is really tough to beat any team 3 times in a season… (yes I know you the Fire beat NE thrice this year…but they have always had their number). Go Red Bulls!

  8. I’d rather have the whole stadium singing one song for 90 mins than the deafening silence that “fills” Giants Stadium.

  9. Why do you need song books when Section 8 sings the same damn song for the entire 90 minutes (and how hard is it to remember “Fire, Fire, Fire Fire Fire?”)?

  10. i agree… i would think getting the whole of the complex into the atmosphere would be the first and foremost plan Section 8 should take up…

    hopefully they’ll do the same at our home playoff game… i would like to get one of those…

  11. This game is going to be phenomenal. Section 8 is handing out songbooks to the first 10,000 people and is recruiting section capos to make sure the noise never stops.

    You better get your popcorn!

  12. The way we (Fire) have been playing lately is shaky. We play well toward the ends of the half but very slow and uninterested at the start. Like Columbus, up 1-0 at half and then a blip and were down 2-0 in a game we dominated. We need to make sure that we take our opportunities and score early to get the game out of reach. Is there anything better than ending a teams season? We can let Osorio and his wife go shopping in New York together. All while we will be in the playoffs.

  13. kpugs- to be fair, anyone is beatable in this league…

    true the fire’s strongest point this season has been shakey in recent games (the defense) but the offense has been doing much much MUCH better and once our back line get their act together, we shall be a force to deal with….

    saying that, its COMPLETELY possible the fire will come out flat and disolve as the game goes on, but as we’ve noticed from the past 2-3 games, the defense has had a 20 min spurt in those games where they suck royal… the question will be, “can the redbulls capitalize, or will the squander every chance they’ll get in those min”??

    its going to be a close match, i think…

  14. The Fire are not the least bit intimidating anymore, like they were earlier this season. They are definitely beatable.

    Having said that, I have to be brutally honest. The Red Bulls didn’t look all that great last weekend, and we have seen how stupid mistakes have cost them games, some of them extremely close games. I literally have no prediction, I just want them to keep the mistakes to a minimum and take their chances.

  15. C’mon this is MLS we’re talking about. There’s no such thing as bad blood!

    Juan, Andrew, and Dawson Olsen are probably shopping togehter at Dick’s Sporting Goods this morning. Then they’ll pick up a Sierra Mist and head to Home Depot to pick up some Glidden paint for Andrew’s office. Then together they’ll hand out Makita thundersticks to the frist 10,000 kids at Toyota Park. After the game they’ll go with Blanco and Angel for a few Budweisers (more players would go but they can’t afford it).

  16. It’d be interesting to see what Marmol does. How just would it be if he puts in an own goal because he feels the Fire screwed him out of playing time with the Red Bull just for a vandetta? It’d certainly force a trade, at least.

    That would be some justice right there…

  17. Well enjoy your day in Chicago, and if you are in or around the Loop around the lunch hour allow me to buy you some food (or libations 🙂

  18. “Can we beat a full strength Fire squad in Chicago?”

    Uh, yes. The Fire hasn’t been dominant at home this season, and despite the talk I don’t think the whole team’s pumped for this match. Thorrington, Blanco, Sega, Busch… sure. But then you’ve got your Mapps, who, well, seem to show up when it’s convenient. I hope tonight suits his schedule (got his first goal in a long while last game), but if we’re lucky we’ll see Pappa start ahead of him.

    Hey, maybe for laughs Hamlett will play Marmol… of if Hauptman really wants to make a point.

  19. How’s Chicago this time of year? Windy and cold?

    All signs point toward the dreaded 4-5-1 tonight for the metro. Kandji and Mbuta are likely to be the ones left out. This is according to speculation on

    All signs point to draw tonight, it seems to me. Chicago, while they want to win, certainly don’t want to exhaust they’re players in the process, yes?

    Is it wishful thinking that the fire will take it easy on us? Can we beat a full strength Fire squad in Chicago?

    You certainly can’t write this stuff.


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