Tuesday, July 08, 2008

US Open Cup Quarterfinals - DC United vs Chicago Fire

DC United welcome longtime playoff nemesis, Chicago, to suburban Maryland for a Round of Eight game in the US Open Cup. The longer United stay in the tournament, the more important it becomes in relation to the rest of the season. United catches a break in that they haven't played a league game in nine days and several of the top players should be well rested. I expect Gallardo, Moreno, Emilio, Fred, Gonzales, and Namoff (my top six players) to all play at least sixty minutes. In fact, the starting lineup may well be the same one that finished the first half against LA, with Burch in for Quaranta.

United have never beaten Chicago in an elimination game. The rivalry extends back from the 1998 MLS Cup which Chicago won to the 2-1 comeback win for United in extra time while down a man in Chicago. The recent addition of Cuauhtemoc Blanco to the Fire has only enhanced the rivalry in that he is the object of much of the hatred/respect that DC United supporters throw Chicago's way.

I expect the starting eleven to be Emilio, Moreno, Gallardo, Fred, Simms, Burch, Namoff, Peralta, McTavish, Martinez, and Wells. Look for Kirk, Dyachenko, Carroll the Younger, and Doe to get time off the bench.


DC United 1:1 Chicago Fire
United advances on penalty kicks 5:4

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