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Fire Mon Sep 08 2008

Blanco or Not Blanco?

It's not even a question really. Blanco will start every match he's available — and rightly so. He's not only drawing attention to the league and fans to the games, but he's also proven to be quite good at soccer. But after the Fire's clutch 1-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, it's been pointed out numerous places that the Fire are 3-0 this season without Blanco in the lineup. Thanks to the hard working duo of Stephen King and Logan...Pause, the Fire controlled the game against New York in a way they didn't against Houston with Blanco on the field the week before.

That said, for all their dominance this week, the Fire didn't create that many chances. They had to rely on a terrible mistake by the Red Bulls defense to come up with their only goal. The key going forward into the post-season will be to find a way to combine the work rate shown in the midfield against the Red Bulls with the flair and creativity Blanco brings. Which might mean sacrificing a few other creative midfielders for workhorses. Which might explain why Justin Mapp was relegated to the bench against New York, despite signing a four year contract extension.

 
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