Collective Sigh for Collins

John ready for more action


Photo Credit: 
Getty Images


It’s said in Brazil, no two people can agree on the eleven
players that should start for the country’s powerful national team. After
taking in last Saturday’s season opener at Small Bar Fullerton, I’ve learned
the trend is about the same with the Chicago Fire.

 When the
lineups appeared on the bar’s television screens during the club’s official
watch party, a collective sigh was heard. Then silence, followed by a barrage
of different lineups put forward from a number of different fans -- each one
seeming confident that their 11 would get the desired result at Red Bull Arena.

The only player that wasn’t listed in the starting eleven
that everyone seemed to agree should have been in the lineup was new Fire
striker Collins John.

I heard a variety of different lineups that fans felt head
coach Carlos de los Cobos should have put out. The one player that everyone agreed
was missing though new Fire striker Collins John. The Dutch striker started the
match on the bench after missing almost a week of training in order to complete
the visa process in the Netherlands. Arriving in New York on Thursday, he met
up with his teammates the next day as the club prepared for the opener.

“The trip was good,” said John. “I didn’t like being out of
training for that long but it did give me the opportunity to get some rest
after a tough preseason. I wasn’t sure where my fitness would be after missing
almost a week of training though.”

Without John the Fire still created opportunities, almost
going up 1-0 by virtue of a Brian McBride bicycle kick that struck the bar in
the 23
rd minute. New York absorbed the pressure and took some of the
game back, capitalizing on a misplayed pass in midfield by Logan Pause, Red
Bull midfielder started and finished the play, beating Andrew Dykstra with a
well-hit half volley in the 40
th minute.

John’s insertion in the 54th minute of the match
seemed to awaken the Fire offense, as they created a number of chances, but
Condoul was equal to all of them. Disappointed not to score his Fire debut, the
new striker still took things away from the match.

“Personally I was surprised by my fitness after being out of
training for the week, I felt I put in a good performance though. For all of us
I think it was nice to get the first game going, after putting in a lot of hard
work to get kicking into the season and the result was unfortunate. We were
definitely the better side over the 90 minutes but they still beat us. It’s not
the way we wanted to start, but we take things away from this match and move

After a full week of training, John will hope to make his
first MLS start Saturday afternoon when the Fire visit the Colorado Rapids. The
game has the potential to feature two of the league’s most star-studded
striking forces with John and McBride for Fire and U.S. international Conor
Casey partnering with Jamaican international Omar Cummings.   

“We lost the first game so we have to make sure to get a
result out there. I think we realize that we have to work hard to get the three
points every week and we know Colorado will be a tough team to play against.
We’re going to do our best and hopefully we’ll come home with a win.”

Fire fans can catch the match and again voice their lineup
thoughts at Saturday’s viewing party, set to take place at the Globe Pub,
Saturday afternoon at 3pm CT.