What we learned vs. Chicago Fire

The legend talks game changers, Brad Rusin, and fun times

After a slow first half – and maybe some strong words from head coach Martin Rennie – the ‘Caps overran the Fire in the second half, outscoring them 3-1.

So what did we learn?

Game changers

Manneh comes on, puts the match away

Our ‘Caps had some good early chances in the second half of the game versus the Fire which did not go in and it looked like frustration was going to set in.

Then in minute 62, Kekuta Manneh came off the bench to breathe new life into the match.

Every time he touched the ball fans were on the edge of their seats as he ran at the Fire defence, which also seemed to open up more space for Camilo to work in.

In the last game against the Sounders it was Darren Mattocks who came off the bench near the end of a 1-0 game and scored the insurance goal that put the game away to give us a 2-0 victory.

Rennie has now clearly got a number of game changers to come off the bench when needed, which he has not had in the past.

Players can be confident in knowing if they keep working hard then their opportunities will come.

Look at what Corey Hertzog did to fill in and start for Russell Teibert and help the ‘Caps to a draw and two wins in that time. Guys like Tommy Heinemann and Erik Hurtado, stay ready.

Brad Rusin

Rusin makes a huge block on Mike Magee

When I stood next to Brad Rusin as he was doing his interviews with the media after the Portland game, taking all the blame for the Timbers second goal that tied the game 2-2, he was clearly disappointed.

I could not help wondering how he would rebound from this. Then he injured his calf and that kept him out for weeks. I had to wonder to myself how this would affect him.

Well my questions have been answered in the games Brad has played in since his return.

The last two matches especially I think he has been outstanding playing against some of the top forwards in the league.

On Sunday he made two massive blocks in each half that probably saved a goal going in. He has come back stronger and looks more confident and assured in these past few games and that says a lot about his character.

Fun times

Fans celebrate yet another home victory at BC Place

BC Place has become a great place to hang out, have fun, and be entertained. I have always felt the fans have done an incredible job creating a wonderful atmosphere at each game, but the last two games have gone to another level.

There is an obvious buzz around the team and around the entertainment value at BC Place. I have talked to a number of people that have brought friends to the game for the first time and they are instantly hooked and can’t wait for the next game. Others say they are going to get season tickets for next year. Many have said both!

The combination of an exciting and winning team has charged up the fans even more and it’s not just the Southsiders, Curva Collective and other supporters groups singing and chanting. Now we’re starting to see the rest of the stadium becoming very active in the most exciting moments.

Yes, life is good, and it’s even better at a ‘Caps game.