Courtesy of reader Dan Brennan, here are photos of this past Sunday’s friendly between Chicago Fire and Celtic.
And here’s Dan’s report from the match:
Celtic FC invaded Toyota Park Sunday in their second match in four days, and, for most of the match, it showed.
The Fire came out roaring thanks to the arrival of Cuauhtemoc Blanco, their new 2.7 million/year Beckham Rule signee that everyone hopes will jumpstart the Fire’s recently abysmal offensive attack. And Blanco did not disappoint. For most of the sixty minutes that Blanco received, he ran rings around the Celtic defense, making moves and breathing some life into an offense that is in definite need of it. In fact, it was Blanco that scored the lone Fire goal, in the thirtieth minute that put Chicago ahead and set off the lively crowd of close to 16,000 (a little over 4,000 under capacity). The fans, particularly from the cheering section, were outstanding, beating drums and singing throughout the 80-degree heat. While their numbers were small today, Blanco’s arrival may soon change that; he certainly gave everyone something to talk about today.
From that point, it certainly looked like the Fire would take the day – while they missed a few opportunities they were still playing well, and Celtic, while playing some outstanding defense, still looked sluggish and uninspired. That all changed in the eightieth minute when Derek Riordan drilled one into the net and woke up the Celtic supporters, who followed up the goal with a few chants of their own. Although this one ended up being a tie, there was some fun soccer played on both sides of the pitch, hopefully a sign of more to come for both teams.