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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Chicago Fire Fan On Who To Watch Out For

Ahead of our game this evening, Guillermo Rivera from Chicago Fire Confidential has taken time to answer a few questions for us.

Scott the Red: Are you excited about the game?

Guillermo Rivera: I’m excited about the game because it’s an opportunity to have one of the top clubs in the world come into Chicago to play against the local side but the feeling isn’t one of a big match since it’s really not much more than a warm up for United and an exhibition friendly for the Fire in the middle of the season. Maybe it’s fair to say most Fire fans are excited for the spectacle more so than the match itself.

STR: Who do you think is United’s best player?

GR: I suppose it’s easy to say Wayne Rooney since he draws most of the media attention and collects the big paychecks. I’m not certain if Javier Hernandez will be available for this match but Chicago has a large Mexican population that eagerly follows Chicharito’s every move whether it be for the national team or his club side. I’ve always been a huge fan of Ryan Giggs although his career is winding down at this point.

STR: Do you watch the Premier League?

GR: Yes, I love the Premier League and watch it every weekend on Fox Soccer and ESPN here. I’m partial to Fulham though.

STR: Tell us some background about your club.

GR: The Fire have been one of the more successful clubs in MLS since joining the league in 1998. The team has won one league title (in it’s inaugural season of 1998) and four US Open Cup titles (similar to the FA cup over your way). The last two seasons have been a struggle however as the team failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs last year for only the second time and they’re currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conferenec table with 2 wins 5 losses and 12 draws this season. The club does boast a very dedicated, passionate, and loud supporter’s group called Section 8 Chicago which will be hard to miss during the match.

STR: Which of your players should we look out for?

GR: The Fire currently have a fairly talented group of outside wing players in Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko, and Dominic Oduro. Pappa is a first choice right midfielder for the Guatemalan national team and the Ghanian duo of Nyarko and Oduro both have plenty of pace. Nyarko may be more technically gifted but Oduro’s pace is blinding (although he tends to outrun himself from time to time). Oduro has been playing in an advanced role of late with Colombian striker Cristian Nazirit, who has reportedly drawn some interest from overseas. If you recall Pappa was a member of the MLS all-star squad that Manchester United faced last year. The team has also recently acquired Argentine central midfielder Sebastian Grazzini and he is expected to see some of his first action with the club on July 23.

STR: What are your predictions for the game?

It’s always tough to predict these matches because they don’t mean much to either side and some of the younger players in MLS are quite honestly star struck at the sight of the “big stars” they’ve been watching on television coming up. I’ll say 4-1 United.

Follow Guillermo on Twitter. He will be keeping us updated on new before, during and after the game.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. Zelh says:

    Rafael that cheeky little bastard :)

  2. xol says:


  3. FletchTHEMAN says:

    I mark Rafael was on for 47seconds. Any got a better number?

  4. Mahesh says:

    Ando’s moving well, put his touch seems to be as lacking for the most part as cleverly’s. Both will get it right soon enough, but I still think that position needs reinforcement – Sneijder or no Sneijder!

  5. Mahesh says:

    Great take by De Gea! He’s found his feet after that first goal…

  6. Mahesh says:

    Nani, you beauty!!!

  7. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    LOL at a yellow card in a friendly. Somehow seems odd in this atmosphere. :P

    Macheda’s on-the-ball skills are also really nice. But I still feel he would be better off spending a season long loan in the league.

    De Gea’s ball distribution is also good it has to be said.

  8. FletchTHEMAN says:



  9. xol says:

    Good grief what a goal. Slinky.

  10. thedonmassawe says:

    Hands down, Nani has got the best celebration in any sport

  11. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    Nice one-two by Nani with the Chicago Fire player. :lol:

    It also has to be noted that Macheda is almost a like-for-like replacement for Berbatov.

  12. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    @thedonmassawe, I always liked Lomana Lua Lua’s celebration. Remember that guy. :P

    But I fear the day when that celebration results in an injury of some sort for Nani. Every time he does that backflip, my tummy does a somersault. Anyways, I though Sir Alex had banned Nani from doing that a long time ago.

  13. Dre.FU= Forever United says:

    De Gea also looks amazing, it’s seriously fascinating to see a young keeper with such a cool head, you never see that in young keepers there usually erratic, If anyone needed any reassuring why we went for him player then look at his performance today. Never fluffed or flapped or wet himself when he was being bombarded always kep a cool head. Great

    He really is Van De Gea

    Great goal by nani, by the way

  14. slim says:

    ando and jones in a starting 11 actually sounds good,i’m intrigued

  15. thedonmassawe says:

    @Balaji Sivaraman Got tired just watching Lua Lua do his. Nani should shelve the celebration unless if its a champions league winning goal .

  16. slim says:

    rooney looks like jack bauer. lol

  17. rat1p says:

    @Balaji Sivaraman
    “It also has to be noted that Macheda is almost a like-for-like replacement for Berbatov.”
    can u explain that sentence to me dont get it right now :)

  18. smartalex says:

    Ferguson admits he is looking for Rooney to emerge as one of United’s new leaders.
    “Yes – particularly Rooney.” Ferguson said. “I can see Wayne accepting that role, definitely. He doesn’t worry about that [responsibility] too much and he has great energy.
    “He has been doing really well in training here in America, really working his b—- off. He’ll want to get last season out of the way, but he is one of our more experienced players now.

  19. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Liked de Gae overall. Defense a bit shakey at the off, but settled. Chicago gave a good game.
    Lads were leaving a bit on the pitch.

    That Giggs, such a dirty little player?!

  20. smartalex says:

    Also from ^ link at 0:05

    Despite De Gea’s inexperience, slender frame and language difficulties, Ferguson insists United have signed the right man to replace Van der Sar.
    “The only problem at the moment is that he doesn’t speak English,” Ferguson said. “But he is working on certain calls and shouts with the defenders.
    “At the moment he hasn’t got a great physique. He’s tall and wiry, but we will work on that. He will definitely play in the Community Shield and that will be a test but in the long term he’ll be fine.
    “I’m not worried about his age. I looked at Petr Cech at Rennes. He was 19 and we dismissed him because of that and he went to Chelsea for £3 million. We made a mistake there.”

  21. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    @rat1p, In terms of ability to hold the ball, his on-the-ball skills and his general play on the pitch – it is so reminiscent of Berbatov, at least to me. There was no ulterior motive to that sentence in terms of that I want Berbatov out or something. But Macheda can be trained to take over from Berbatov when we want someone to do his stuff.

    Alright lads, it was a decent enough game, gotta sleep now. It is bloody 3 AM here and I have to work tomorrow. The Middle-East sucks.

  22. Mahesh says:

    Boy, Cech went to Chelsea for 3 million huh? That was some bargain!

  23. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    I see where youre coming from and I believe that a twat that reads and makes a judgement on a first reading is probably the most diabolical wanker the world has to offer. Not that much unlike your self. I said it made arabic suicide bombers look good in the context of the meaningless waste of a suicide without aim or direction whether you believe in such an aim or not. No where did it say I respect suicide bombers you 13 year old chump. Piss off back to school and ask your left wing history teacher what your supposed to believe in this week you sheep.

  24. vishy2in says:

    @ Smartalex- Thanks buddy for the links you provide. Always make a good read!

  25. Dave Malaysia says:

    Centre of defence:


    Right Back:


    Left Back:


    In All: Vidic,Rio,Evans,Evra,Chris,Rafael,Fabio,Jones.

    Jones I beleive will be mainly defensive midfeilder.

  26. soren says:

    Title: Chichago fire ha ha

  27. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    Good match and a good training exercise. I know very little to sod all about the american soccer league but I reckon this was somewhat of a step up from our previous opposition. I never doubted we would win comfortably as fitness and pure ability when defenders are knackered will always shine through. Kiko and Wellbeck are really tring to make a claim for a squad place that really opens up the question, Are we really going to start the season with 6 strikers? 6 I mean its good to have plenty but to destroy a players development by only giving him 3 or 4 starts or 3 or 4 sub appearances is along way worse than loaning them out. I personally would push the boat out and keep 5 of which the 4th and 5th be Macheda and Wellbeck. That means a senior has to go?
    Another point, Anderson just doesnt seem capable of moving up to the next level? He passed well at times and pressed at times but he also looks lazy at times and without the movement off the ball that we became accustomed to with Scholes. Another year of Giggs and Andersson sharing I reckon but it still lacks that something, mainly the midfield running and grabbing of important goals (ala Scholes and Robson).

  28. soren says:

    I miss him too ;)

  29. vishy2in says:

    @ Dave – I agree, mate. Just to follow on that, if Jones plays as a defensive midfielder, then Carrick can be freed of some of his defensive duties and play a more attacking role and hence can be the creative midfielder which United need at times. He certainly has an eye for a pass but the last season or two, I think he was playing quite deep and hence wasn’t creating as much. I remember him and Hargreaves making a good pair for precisely the same reason. Hargreaves bossing, Carrick creating.

  30. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Typo there

    Rooney 1-1
    Rafael 2-1
    Nani 3-1

  31. Dave Malaysia says:

    @FletchTHEMAN: thanks for the vids but while ur at it ,cud u show some Nigellas boobies vids ?


  32. Dave Malaysia says:

    @vishy2in: Carrick is ready mate! he defends the back four well and is capable of foward play.

    It wud be nice to see a proper defensive midfeilder in there ,been a while.

    Anderson ,well this is it, this season he has to prove himself. He being doing it since the end of last season,as Fergie said of him he needs to mature. He certainly looks like he is.

    He doing the whole package but still leaves u grinding yr teeth sometimes watching him.

    Lets see if this samba boy does it, some of the passing at the end there was very good from all the guys. Brilliant.

  33. The team that wouldn't die says:

    The first goal was the fault of Jones. Bad start, much like Pallister and Vidic. They ended up well in the end though…
    De Gae looked like a class act!
    Something is wrong in midfield. Needs to be sorted. Cleverley may come good, but will not comand the center this season. Carrick needs to work alongside a leader.
    Anderson. This year is your last chance. Take it!

  34. Mahesh says:

    Some of the strikers need to go out on loan. Diouf probably will (I would love to be proven wrong, but I think he’s actually being put on the shop window this tour), and the other will likely have to be Macheda. With Rooney, Chicha, Berba, and Owen around there is very little chance of Macheda getting a look in. Welbeck will stay because he is more versatile in where he can fit in. Defensively we are fine, as we are in goal. On the wings, we are again good to go with Ashley, Nani, Valencia and then Park, Obertan and Welbeck.

    My concern is still central mid – Carrick I am fine with, I think he was really good towards the end of last season and he’s looking fine now too. Fletch hopefully will recover well from his illness and find the from of 2 seasons back. But beyond that either Ando or Cleverley find another couple of levels, or we have some genius emerge from the youth ranks, or we’ll still be missing the final piece. Sneijder or no Sneijder, a class creative central midfielder is crucial. Ando hasn’t shown me that yet – his passes were wayward today, and he generally didn’t look like he could take the game by the scruff of the neck and dictate it.

    I would be very surprised if SAF isn’t still looking out for that one BIG signing in midfield – possibly even two!

  35. torontored says:

    Still reflecting on a whole pile of news today – watched the full game in a trance.

    First thoughts – Obertain – his head and his feet are AM / FM – it’s there but it aint!

    TC did a lot more than most commentated on – yeah his final ball was not the best but fuck he was covering for AM/FM

    Ref and his crew were scouser – reckonerd at least two yellows and one red – never called – Berba not offside – Giggs booked when he took the ball and did not go in high

    Smalling really did impress me – this time last last year nervous as anything – this year a stroll – Evans also has his game back. Jones – still under 21 – Wellbeck some decent some bad – still fine tuning – Berba did not like the formation same with macheda when he came on – times when they dropped deep and it became fluent

    Overall Giggs/Park/Rooney /Nani (who was looking to play more inside than outside – where we need it) and Ando showed their stuff – that big arse of Ando is something – just turns his back, sticks out the glutes and 3 opposition players fall down)

    Second half we showed a lot of good movement.

    Now back to the Boddies Toronto is on par with Chicago temp wise and it is fucking hot – really fucking hot, not Manila hot but still hot –

    UNITED 20/4/12

    What is happening with Morrison and what has happened to Mat t James – heard Morrison got another “intimidation charge” – James was under 19 England captain off to preston came back and was brilliant for a few games and has since disappeared

  36. Abar22 says:


    They are actually quite a step down. Chicago currently have 18pts while the Sounders have a 2nd most 38pts. Seattle has made the playoffs the last two years while Chicago has not. Also, the Sounders are two-time defending Open Cup(think FA) champs. The Sounders first team did quite well Wednesday and probably deserved a 1-1 half time score line. They then replaced 9 men to start the 2nd half. They also ran out reserves and a trialist. Chicago didn’t approach the game in quite the same way. MLS teams can field a decent 11 + 2 or 3 bench players but the rest are league 2 quality at best.

  37. smartalex says:

    xol, I hope that Sir Alex’s words don’t start a new panic attack at the FA, who knows with those paranoid pubescents.

    @ vishy2in, that’s a pleasure for the links mate.


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