Chicago Fire vs. New York City FC Preview

This is an important match for two foes fighting for relevance in the Eastern Conference.

With teams like Columbus, Red Bulls, Toronto and New England always in the mix you wonder if there is room left in the top six for these two clubs.

Both finished in the lower half last year and both have new mangers looking to flip the script.

Chicago Fire’s manager, Veljko Paunovic, enjoyed preseason as his squad went undefeated through all six matches.

Patrick Vieira joins NYCFC with high expectations to bring his club into prominence. But let us not forget that this is only the 2nd season for the Blues and the first full season for “The Maestro” to connect with his brass section….or woodwind…whatever.

It should be interesting to see how Andrea Pirlo performs. His level of comfort has certainly increased, but so has his age. Judging by his sidewalk strut and fashion sense he seems to have settled in. He recently spoke about enjoying the anonymity that comes with playing in MLS. Pirlo is used to life in Milan. He loves a  chill in the air  and the night life as long as he has the proper shoes. New York suits him and judging by his first goal in pre-season he is ready to roll in 2016.

David Villa has also embraced life in NYC and is even starting to learn the English language.  Despite Dice’s post, we can’t trivialize this. In order to be a true leader and captain he must have known he would have to speak the language.

We know what these two can do when they are in sync and a rising tide raises all ships. A win to start the season would set a nice tone for this club and their emerging talent.

Lampard was subjected to very heavy criticism in 2015, but he did close the season strong. He is 37 years old, so let’s see if he can get some momentum going early. He is going to need the push of supporters to overcome the inevitable deterioration of body tissue. That being said he is out for today’s match.

Chicago’s hope hinges on Gilberto, their 26 year old Brazilian striker. His time in MLS has not been very fruitful, but he is coming off a strong preseason. If he can be productive Chicago could make things difficult and not be amd easy teams to beat for clubs like NYCFC.

 

 Pirlo practicing his New Yorker look of disgust like he just witnessed someone trying to use the MetroCard kiosk for the first time.