Perhaps somewhat lost in the news that the first team will head to Detroit next Tuesday to take on my former team the Michigan Bucks in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup is the fact that they also have a game tonight vs. FC Dallas. I’ve come down a wee bit from the excitement to focus my energies on the task at hand.
With that, I give you five things to know heading into tonight’s game vs. FC Dallas (Pre-Game LIVE on NBC 5.2 at 7pm).
1) O-FER AT TOYOTA PARK…Let’s be honest. You as a Fire fan don’t really enjoy the Brimstone Cup. That’s because the team hasn’t won it since the inaugural year in 2001. Part of the reason for that, at least recently, is that the Fire have never beaten FC Dallas at Toyota Park, going 0-5-1 in six matches since the stadium opened in 2006.
Is tonight the night that all ends…?
PREVIEW: Fire vs. FC Dallas
2) WELL, I SURE HOPE SO… With this being the only regular season meeting between the Fire and FCD, the winner tonight (if there is one) would be crowed 2012 Brimstone Cup champions. Despite a disappointing result in Portland on Sunday and a dismal record against Dallas all-time, the Fire should be favorites tonight as the visitors come into the match riding a seven-match winless streak (going 0-4-3). Their last victory came in a 2-1 home win over expansion Montreal on April 14…
3) ANOTHER REASON…to favor the Fire tonight is down to all the players Dallas is missing. U.S. international midfielder Break Shea serves the second of a three-match suspension for kicking a ball at an official. On the injury front, attacking talent David Ferreira remains out and is joined on the list by striker Ricardo Villar and defender Ugo Ihemelu.
Attacker Fabian Castillo is listed as questionable and missed the team’s 1-1 draw vs. Philadelphia on Saturday but if he remains out, the team will have only two players that have tallied a goal for the team this year, defender Zach Loyd (with one) and…
4) BLAS PEREZ…If the “never beaten FC Dallas at Toyota Park” thing didn’t give enough pause to not take tonight’s opponents lightly, the Panamanian international should drive that thought home. Leading the team with four goals on the year, the 6-1 striker can be a handful at times and should be the focal point of the Dallas attack.
Young Fire center backs Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry got a bit of a preview of what Perez can offer after having to deal with Kris Boyd in Sunday’s loss at Portland. A handful for sure, if the pair learned some things from defending against the former Rangers striker, they should be well-prepared for Mr. Perez.
5) I’VE HEARD A LOT OF SUGGESTIONS of destruction to the Brimstone Cup when the Fire ever do take it back (this will happen at some point). Some have been about melting it, others running it over with a truck, all of it with the intention of finding a way to earn beer money through its dismantling (how much could it really be worth…?)
This all made me wonder, is this the voice of just a simple few? With Dallas’ domination of the rivalry, does the Brimstone Cup mean anything to you as a Fire fan or does it make you yearn to win it more? Would you like to see the cup destroyed if the Fire win tonight or do you still value the Fire/Dallas rivalry?
Let me know in the comments section below!