With all the craziness in the last week what with the Brian Mullan fiasco, the Rapids losing their third straight game and the whole #MLS4RSL thing clogging the collective arteries of the United States football community leading up to what was basically an embarrassment when RSL couldn't pull out the final at home, it's a relief to finally get another game with a clean slate basically against the Chicago Fire.
Chicago are a much better team than they were last year, that much is certain. Last year's Chicago squad was filled with wily but fairly ineffective veterans like Brian McBride and CJ Brown, players who were more historic than effective for the Chicago squad that finished a disappointing 9-12-9. While never really out of the playoff race, the offense was lacking as they failed to top 40 goals on the season and ended with a GD of -1.
The Fire as of right now have looked better with some strong performances out of the gate this season including points against FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City, but have stumbled recently. Fire newbie Diego Chaves currently is the leader of the offense, with four goals on the year, only a single goal short of the current leader in goals Charlie Davies. Considering their leader in goals last year Marco Pappa only had 7 the entire season, it's looking like a better year already in terms of having a big goalscorer as opposed to just having a bunch of guys scoring about 4 goals on the season. If they can keep their offense up they'll be a dark horse in the East.
These two teams met in Open Cup action earlier in the season, with the Rapids B-side losing 2-1 in some random middle of nowhere field in Illinois.