Wow. Nothing like a little controversy to help egg on what has become the biggest rivalry in MLS. What I do like though is that several DC fans have invaded the Fire's big-media blog, but no intelligible Fire fans have dared to opine on a similar post in the Insider.
I'm not going to write too much about the game itself because I once again did not witness it like some bloggers, and other radiophiles have already had their say.
1. The legend of Jaime Moreno appears to grow stronger at every turn. The dude enters the game in the 60th minute and is subbed out before the final whistle, yet is still named the Man of the Match by all accounts. And he didn't even score!
2. He's gotten very little love from me before now, but let's give a shoutout to Francis Doe for a clinical finish and other bits of hard work.
1. Marc Burch is really trying to make a name for himself. First he goes and scores two free kick goals, then he gets ejected for retaliating against the most hated player in MLS. Which of course elicits positive "Burch!" chants from the United fans, and racist claims against him on the Tribune's blog.
1. After a good debut against Rochester, Pat Carroll comes up lame and is at fault for Chicago's goal in this one.
We have been asking all year who would be the cold-hearted assassin to step into Ben Olsen's unoccupied role of professional retalator. I proposed a couple of months ago that Burch could be a prime candidate, and that's looking like the truth. Burchie's fan appeal is growing steadily in DC, and maybe regressing elsewhere, but he has quickly gone from a nondescript journeyman player to a guy that all teams are learning to watch out for. Hard to say whether or not thats a good thing, because Burch's crossing ability was far more dangerous last year before teams knew which foot he preferred, but if he can keep taking free kicks while being a physical presence on defense, Burch has seemed to earn his way into the starting lineup. The coaching staff is going to have some difficult decisions to make if they are ever to have Burch, Fred, Olsen, and Quaranta all healthy at the same time.
It's unfortunate that Marc Burch will have to sit out the semi-final. Of course the red card was deserved for his actions, but the fact is that Burch never would have had to push Blanco had the asshole not tried to injure one of our players. As for ol' no-neck himself, his team lost, so his red card doesn't matter so much. And I think most of us are very doubtful about MLS taking any action against one its biggest stars for a match outside their jurisdiction. What I would really like to see is for the Chicago Fire organization to settle this matter in house and bench Blanco for a game. He is supposed to be the leader of the team, and should act as a role model for their many young talented players, and I certainly hope that the team does not condone his actions by letting them go unpunished. Surely a classy organization like the Fire will handle this situation properly and not just try to sweep it under the rug. Right?
With this victory, DC earns another home match against the Revolution in the semifinals, but this time thankfully the match is at RFK. If only Crystal Palace Baltimore could have converted two more PKs to be the third USL club to advance to the semi's. But the Charleston Battery versus Seattle Sounders matchup does guarantee that one USL club will be participating in the Final. How great is that? Name another sport where a minor league team has a legitimate chance to beat major league teams, thus earning their way into a tournament against the best teams in the world.