Lack of Midfield Stars a Problem for the MLS and Chicago Fire

It's evident that Major League Soccer is missing something.As the Chicago Fire take on the Philadelphia Union in a league matchup, with both teams fighting for their playoff lives, the missing ingredient in the MLS is becoming slowly evident.The oldest argument in the book about the MLS is that the players are lower quality, so the games lack the excitement of European leagues.What's lacking, however, is not excitement. It's a game that is controlled by the middle of the field. Certainly in today's matchup, it's impossible to ignore the gaping hole in the middle of the field. This is evident when you view a game from the press box, as opposed to watching it on TV.If you're into tactical observations, the press box is the place for you. A birds eye view is how soccer is meant to be viewed.The recent world football era of small, attacking midfielders (mostly in Spain) may appear to have "ended" with Barcelona and Real Madrid getting worked into submission by the taller, air-attack heavy Bayern Dortmund sides. Maybe, though, America is just a few years behind Europe when it comes to properly utilizing our midfielders. What the MLS is missing—and what every major European league has—is ...
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Aston Villa vs. Chicago Fire: Live Score, Analysis, Recap

The Chicago Fire face off tonight against Aston Villa in an international friendly here at Toyota Park in Chicago.The Fire are looking to build on the success of last year's international matchup against Manchester United. Chicago lost the game 3-1 but held a 1-0 lead on the Red Devils for the majority of the game and frankly should have scored at least three more times for the upset win.  Speaking of international players/teams that typically dwarf the Fire in terms of excitement, Chicago is coming off a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday. Thierry Henry scored what is surely the goal of the season in the MLS and what might be the goal of the year in World Football. No blame can be laid on the Fire for the loss as Henry connected on an extremely low-percentage shot. The hot New York weather slowed down the Fire and after two days' rest they look to surge back against an Aston Villa club that is coming off a dismal EPL season in which they finished 16th. We're coming to you live from the stadium and we'll keep you updated on all the latest action in tonight's showdown. Read more ...
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