Three things to watch for against Chicago Fire


Last week, we asked ourselves three questions about our match against Vancouver Whitecaps. Today, we try to answer some of those and ask ourselves three more for this match against Chicago Fire.

Last week, we watched for ...

Who is the best option in the midfield alongside Ned Grabavoy?

It might be Luis Gil, but Luke Mulholland is in the discussion. He had another strong game and claimed the assist for the first goal (although Chris Wingert should receive some credit for his pass in to Mulholland, too). He interfaced well with Grabavoy, and was generally effective.

How do we handle the counterattack from Vancouver?

By pressing high and avoiding the creation of huge swathes of space, we handled the counterattack quite well. Chris Schuler's ability to step into passes for a quick interception was important. They didn't claim a goal this way, so I guess we should be proud.

How long is our play sustainable?

Eight games unbeaten. I just don't know. We picked up a point where we should have had three, but we still picked up a point. I don't know how long it's sustainable. We'll see.

This week, let's watch for ...

Is Luis Gil back?

We've been asking this for a few weeks now: Is Luis Gil ready to return? Had he lost his starting spot to Luke Mulholland? Will he be as effective on the road as he can be at home?

Can Sebastian Velasquez pick up his simple play he showed last season?

Velasquez has been trying to be a special player for us, and my word, he's got the right skill set. But he's been poor in times of simple possession and that hurts us in significant ways. We talk about being cleaner with the ball, and that has to be something the kid's thinking about. But make no mistake, he needs to be "special" too — he needs to create. It's a tough act.

Plata: Is he the real thing, or just on a great run of form?

Strikers can be notoriously difficult to judge, because their form can oscillate so wildly. Alvaro Saborio, by comparison, is actually less so than most in this regard, and he does have his moments, too. Joao Plata has been absolutely fantastic for us, and while he's not a striker in the traditional sense — he plays a more creative, withdrawn role — he's not really dipped in form. This is remarkable because he was out with an injury. So I wonder: Is this his true form, or is he simply on a good run?

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