FuegoCast #64: Preparing for Re-Entry

The gang returns to talk Player Insanity as the Fire look to sign more players from Scandinavian leagues, talk about who the Fire should nab in Round 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, discuss the Liga MX Leg 2 Final, quickly review the Club World Cup, and, of course, the usual Tweets and Huddalis.

Also, Elle recovers from finals chaos, Nick tends to work chaos again, Sara tends to chaos involving her sister and knives, Nick is woefully absent during talk about defenders, Joey sits on the sideline while the cleaning crew vacuums his office, Sara and Rudy get catty over the Liga MX Final, Gregg shares a story of mistakes made by Stephen, and Joey asks the listeners to help select a Sideshow Bob XI.

Host: Gregg Mixdorf
Panelists: Rudy Gomez, Stephen Piggott, Sara Corona, Joey Tollefson
Producer: Nick Fedora

TRT: 60:26

FuegoCast #63: Drafty Windows

The gang is back! We talk about MLS for a good FIFTY MINUTES. MLS Cup Final, Special 4 hour trade window, Expansion Draft, Waiver Draft and Fire talk all INCLUDED!

No time like the present to listen to this one! It is going to get dated real fast with Friday’s Phase 1 of the Re-Entry draft looming.

Host: Gregg Mixdorf
Panelists: Rudy Gomez, Joey Tollefson
Producer: Gregg Mixdorf (fixed audio file now up. I am not Nick)

Ep. 63

FuegoCast #62: Feed him Balls

The gang returns to discuss all the news in Fire land, MLS Cup playoffs, preview the final, a quick trip around the world and uhh Aaron Rodgers?

Also Rudy brings us the sweet Liga MX update, Joey previews the Club World Cup, Gregg returns from France and enjoys speaking English again, Elle gets her texts read on air, Joey recaps Cohiba Don’s state of MLS and coins the title of the episode.

Gregg once again handles production duties as Nick is being worked like Patrick Nyarko circa 2012.

Host: Gregg Mixdorf
Panelists: Rudy Gomez, Joey Tollefson
Producer: Gregg Mixdorf

Episode 62

FuegoCast #61: The Lesser Filth

The gang returns to discuss the recent MLS Playoff matches, preview the MLS Conference Finals, go ‘round the footballing world, and, of course, the return of the usual Tweets and Huddalis.

Also, Joey is adrift in a land of sketchy wifi and snakes, Nick continues to captain his Foley team, Elle comments on Joey’s FIFA stamina rating, Sara and her father are filth buckets, Rudy earns an indirect yellow card edit, Nick joins the call midway through and immediately drops tactics and filth, Elle fires shots at Yankee Steve’s former countryman, Sara’s accent comes out and Nick refuses to edit it, the gang gets aroused over mustaches, Sara is the anti-Tweed Thornton, and Elle reminds the podcast they’re supposed to love freedom.

Host: Gregg Mixdorf
Panelists: Rudy Gomez, Stephen Piggott, Elle Harrer, Sara Corona
Producer: Nick Fedora

TRT: 75:46

FuegoCast #60: Caress the World

The gang touches on the MLS Playoffs, Logan Pause’s new job title, Liga MX, The Asian Champions League Final and . . . Rugby???

Also we have 2 new panelists making their debut, Stephen talks about Man United, Rudy expresses his opinion of a certain Liga MX club, Gregg gets giddy about Asia, Sara talks about her Dad, and Joey talks about everything.

Any audio issues are due to Gregg taking the production rains from Nick who desperately needs a rest like the 2012 version of Landon Donovan. We apologize for the disruption in normal service.

Host: Gregg Mixdorf
Panelists: Rudy Gomez, Stephen Piggott, Sara Corona, Joey Tollefson
Producer: Gregg Mixdorf

Fuego 60

FuegoCast #59: Riding off into the Sunset

The gang is back this week to talk about the Fire’s 2-1 season finale win against Houston, the last game for Fire legend Logan Pause, discuss the highs and lows of the season, player of the season and roster adjustments for next season, and MLS Playoff talk.

Also, Elle is busy, Nick continues to drown in work, Rudy causes audio chaos while commuting, Nick, unfortunately, was too busy to get this episode out in time rendering some of the Playoff talk obsolete, and Stephen gets his falsetto voice on.

Host: Gregg Mixdorf
Panelists: Rudy Gomez, Stephen Piggott
Producer: Nick Fedora

TRT: 51:53

Breaking Down the Breakdowns: at D.C.

Oh boy, here we are again talking about goals conceded. Alright, let’s get to it.

Compensate the Overload

Normally teams will attempt to overload a defense by pushing their fullbacks to overlap the winger and pulling one of their strikers to the channel to give a numerical advantage or to force defenders into making bad decisions. One such way to combat this is to compromise your shape to address the immediate danger.

This instance reminds me of the second goal conceded against San Jose earlier this year when Gonzalo Segares loses out on a 50/50 ball exposing the Fire’s backline. Bill Hamid’s goal kick is perfectly placed as it is too far behind the diminutive Harry Shipp to get the ball and drags Segares to challenge for the header against United forward Fabian Espindola and forcing Jeff Larentowicz (#3) and Patrick Ianni (#2) to slide over to mark the other overloading forward Eddie Johnson and the wide positioned Nick DeLeon. A giant gap opens between Ianni and Lovel Palmer for the D.C. attack to exploit.1 Pontius 1

DeLeon collects Espindola’s header and holds the ball expecting Johnson to
1. attack the wide open space or
2. bisect the centerbacks to run onto a through ball.
Instead, Johnson chooses door number 3 and overlaps DeLeon, which is probably the smartest option since Ianni covers Larentowicz well enough to cut out the through ball.

Meanwhile, the gap between the center back and right back still exists. If I were Matt Watson I would abandon my central midfield zone to fill that gap allowing Palmer to mark Chris Pontius on the weak side. 1 Pontius 2

With the Fire defense retreating and in a 3v3 situation, the margin for error does not exist. Larentowicz shepherds Johnson into making a cross taking away the surprise scenario of a cutback, Ianni retreats and sticks close to DeLeon but is really out of the play, and Palmer tracks Pontius until taking the position of the center back atop the six yard box while Pontius ghosts to the far post.1 Pontius 3

Johnson’s cross is dead on the money. DeLeon starts celebrating before the ball even hits Pontius’ head. The overload worked. 1 Pontius 4

Staying Out of Pressure

When distributing as a defender, large amounts of time and space greatly help when trying to pick a pass to build the attack. There’s a reason defenders defend instead of attempting to dribble through players or play killer balls. Dribbling into that time and space is like going to The Oakwood after closing out The Globe. You’re going to try to force the replays out of your mind as you think back in shame and avoid eye contacts from your teammates the next day.

In this first screenshot we see Ianni with the ball at his feet with the time and space to comfortably distribute to any one of four open teammates with Kyle Reynish back as an additional safety option.2 Johnson 1

Instead, he makes the grave mistake of dribbling into pressure triggering D.C.’s high press and the Fire attack to get open for an easy pass largely do nothing. Let’s take a look at Ianni’s options now:
1. Palmer is still open, but Ianni can’t see that and would need to completely turn around or do a Blanco-esque heel pass.
2. Go all the way back to Reynish for the safest pass.
3. Larentowicz is still open but Chris Ritter is now obstructing the passing lane and…
4. …draws Johnson with him.
5. Segares starts attacking the wing running away from the play.
6. Harry Shipp is open for a pass if Ianni passes behind him away from his mark.
7. Matt Watson calls for the ball stationary behind Espindola and with a man marking him.
8. Alex is on the field for some reason.
9. Quincy Amarikwa is too far removed from the play to be an option.
10. Florent Sinema-Pongolle is wearing number 99 and allegedly exists.2 Johnson 2

Yeah, whoops. Truly Fedora-esque from Ianni there. Still, there’s defending to do and Larentowicz could close down Johnson’s right foot forcing the play to go wide and to Reynish’s near post. However, committing to that aggressive step could allow Johnson to burst forward with speed and in on goal against Reynish.2 Johnson 3

Instead, Eddie Johnson cuts back and has the whole goal to shoot at. 2 Johnson 4So there we are. Two more goals conceded in this nightmare season. Ianni is completely to blame for dribbling into pressure even though Ritter deflects the pass to Larentowicz. Shuttle run for Ianni.