The Chicago Fire have something of an issue with the New England Revolution, largely stemming from their playoff loss to the Revs in last year's MLS playoffs. It's turning into something of a rivalry, insofar as there can be rivalries between teams with smallish fanbases and minimal exposure. And usually, the Revolution have the upper hand.
Not last night: The Fire won 3-0 at Toyota Park to advance to the conference finals, beating the Revolution and exercising Gonzalo Segares' pain from 2005:
The Fire defender's game-tying goal in stoppage time was disallowed because of an offside call. The Revolution won the game and went on to the MLS Cup final. The Fire went home. "It's always in the back of my mind," Segares said. "I remember every part of that play."
It doesn't help that Segares' mother has a framed picture of the Fire players' reacting to the referee's call in her house in Costa Rica.
That's just cruel. Either Segares' mother has absolutely no love for her son -- and is maliciously decorating her house with psychologically damaging artifacts -- or she doesn't really understand the game of soccer (or, in her case, futbol). Either way, Ms. Segares: Get it together. Your son is very hurt.
In the meantime, Fire fans were not so polite about their ascendancy last night. See the photo at left, culled from Deadspin this morning. Ah ... ahem ... that's not very nice, men. Though there is nothing like spotting that ESPN HD camera, zeroing in, and letting the bird fly. In soccer, it's all about being aware of one's surroundings.