Late Wonder Strikes Lead United Past Fearless Fire

After following the dominant, tour-opening 4-1 win over New England with a 7-0 shellacking of Seattle, you could be forgiven for feeling like another massive Manchester United-MLS mismatch would end up being yet another mauling.

Alas, the Chicago Fire proved to be the toughest competition United have faced thus far, and had they been able to produce a better end product, an upset could have well and truly been on the cards. However, class shone through in the end, as United showed their counterparts how it’s done with three fine goals in the late stages of Saturday’s 3-1 win.

The final scoreline didn’t do justice to the effort that the Fire, second-half substitutions and all, put in over the course of the 90 minutes. The lead that they took in the 13th minute was certainly a surprise, but it could have been 2-0 or even worse had a clear-cut chance or two been put away as should have been the case.

Those misses didn’t prove costly for Chicago for quite a while, as they held United at bay for more than an hour. But with the gulf in talent between the two sides, especially with United’s big guns on in the second half, the breakthrough was likely to come eventually, and it did almost midway through the second half. Surprising as it was that it took that long for United to find an equalizer, it might have been even more surprising to see none other than Rio Ferdinand providing a brilliant long ball to set up Wayne Rooney for an equally brilliant lob over the keeper.

That goal would be hard to top on many a day, but the same argument can be made for the go-ahead strike less than 20 minutes later, as Rafael finished superbly from the tightest of angles to put United ahead. And for the icing on the cake, Nani produced his own contender, making the most of a fortuitous deflection and coolly chipping the ball past Fire keeper Jon Conway.

Perhaps Chicago took a look at United’s Wednesday win over Seattle and vowed to do their best to avoid a similar embarrassment, but they didn’t show any fear or hesitation about taking United on and creating chances.

For United’s part, going from playing two night games in reasonable conditions to playing an afternoon game in the searing summer heat didn’t help the cause.

A lack of continuity and familiarity with the starting XI could also have been a culprit, with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Mame Biram Diouf, and Gabriel Obertan all starting along with United debutants David de Gea and Phil Jones.

De Gea likely didn’t have nearly as much to do in his United debut as he normally did with Atletico Madrid, but he did what was required of him. There wasn’t much he could have done about Chicago’s goal, but even if he had been at fault for it, he would have more than made up for it later on with an excellent slide ‘n save that kept it at 1-0. More than anything, I was impressed that he wasn’t afraid to bark out instructions early on. For those who have a concern about whether or not he’ll be able to communicate well with his new teammates, that should help to alleviate some of those worries.

Jones was the beaten man on the Gibbs goal, but overall, he had a solid debut, and of the others who were making their first starts of the tour, I was most impressed with Welbeck, who should have had something to show for the quality performance he had in his hour on the pitch. Such showings can only serve to reinforce Fergie’s reasoning behind not loaning him out again, but we’ll have to see how plentiful opportunities are to come by for him, what with the amount of options there are in attack.




  1. Hello everyone. I’ve had some technical problems the past week that have made it impossible for me to come on and say my goodbyes.

    It’s with a heavy heart that I must say adios to all my friends here on Red Rants. After a long thought process and sifting through the facts I have come to the conclusion that I need a long break from this blog and due to the hostility directed at me of late, I feel that perhaps I have outstayed my welcome. Criticism of my views is ok but personal attacks and insults directed at my person just because I do not and will not see it the way of some or my unwillingness to conform has led me to this decision.

    So without further adieu, let me wish Ian and this blog all the luck in the future with it’s growth. I also want to say a special goodbye to some of my friends on here who I have shared a lot of rants, laughs and even the odd argument with. Let me say a fond farewell and all the best to Eddy, TonyMontana, Johnsom, Karl, PhoenixRed, Eddie Griffin, Colver, Stephen, Moscow, OPTI and Gator. Apologies to anyone I have forgotten. Also special thanks and goodbyes must go to a few of our brotherhood who have decided to leave the blog before me. CraigMC (Luv ya Bro), RedRich (Nobody I respected more) and Owen (the pebble in my shoe but a decent bloke). It somehow makes it easier to leave knowing that you guys have preceded me as I will miss you. In fact, I will miss all of you and the day to day banter. And on the chance he is reading this, a special thanks and gratitude must go out to Red Ranter wherever he may be. Thanks mate for making this blog something special.

    Fact is I need to leave because United makes me angry these days and that negativity comes with a price. I have upset too many with my honesty and so rather than fight I have decided to take an indefinite hiatus. I may return in time, I may not, but know this, I appreciate each and everyone on this blog and what you all have meant to me for the past six years. This is not an easy decision for me but it is something I need to do until I can start feeling good about the game and the team again. Right now I just want to ring Fergie’s neck for yet again ignoring the obvious. Oh well. United Forever.

    CHEERS! Grognard

    • I hope you come back after your hiatus and drag CraigMC, RedRich, and Owen back with you 🙂

      Enjoy your time off and l am sure we will both be watching United “together” in spirit!


    • Grog, ask Ian if he’ll give you my Email. I don’t want to lose contact with you completely!!

      • I’ll do that mate. Heck we are so close to each other that hopefully one day we can meet, share a beer and really get into each others faces about Fergie. 😉 😆

    • I salute you my dear friend, wish you all the best and looking forward to debating with you again soon.

    • hope to rant with you soon if not here ill find you somewhere im sure 8) safe travels bro!

    • You son of a bitch! 😆 You think you can leave just like that?? I won’t let you, no way I’ll let you just say goodbye and then you’re off! You mean too much to me for me to allow you to do that. At least tell me how I can contact you! 🙁 Argh!

      In all honesty, you deserve a break. It’s really sad that you are leaving, whether on vacation or permanently, because without your doom and gloom I’ll make this place to shiny and sunny! 😆 We may have disagreed a couple of times(okey, A LOT! 🙄 ), but I’ve still enjoyed reading your rants. You know I am a very positive figure, so reading your pieces gives me an insight to troubles and negatives I struggle to see, and definately understand. Without you mate, I would be high and too positive to understand the cruelty that is within football. Of course you are not all doom and gloom, you do have the occasional really insightful pieces that contributes to my understanding of football, which relates to history instead of pessimistic opinion. In your words you’re a realist, but you know me… I enjoy dreaming once in a while. 🙂 The critisism you recieved on this site last time around was uncalled for, I think it went a little too over the top, but unfortunately that is the price one has to pay for offering his views in a 100% honest way. You yourself have rediculed my opinions for being delusional, so you know how it feels. But as I said, this time it was way to harsh and it’s really sad that this is what makes you leave. I will really miss you mate, this blog won’t be the same without you. 😥 God bless!

      I won’t fucking let you get away that easy! When Anderson is the best player in the World, you owe me a fucking apology! 😆 When he is awarded the Ballon Do`r, I expect you to come on this site and say the words “Eddy was right all along, Anderson is the best.” I will hunt you down if you don’t! 😆 :mrgreen: Cheers mate!

        • You certainly have that with the Chubby one bro, lets hope us Ando non believers are proven wrong!

        • Am really sorry to see your leaving us mate. Cant say i blame you really, as some of the responses youve had directed at you has been disgusting really, but then i know this was just one of several reasons youve decided to go.
          In case this is a long term thing and we’ll not be seeing much of you for the forseeable future, then id just like to say what a pleasure it was knowing you, debating with you and reading your posts.
          Some of your posts were downright scary, as i used to sit there thinking, christ, its like ive got a long lost twin brother out there somewhere, such was the way your outlook on all things united, and indeed football, totally mirrored my own.
          Despite the criticism others used to throw at you, it should have been blatantly obvious at the end of the day you were just a man who has been a die hard red for nigh on 30 years, and only wanted the best for his beloved club.
          You always had and will continue to have my respect for that, as will the likes of red rich and any other elder reds out there (no offence fellas) who have passionately followed their club for longer than ive been alive.
          Maybe one day when weve got rid of these leeches in charge, you’ll make the trip over to england to witness the amazing spectacle, that is united at old trafford.
          You’d be most welcome mate, as regardless of what others think of you, i’ll always consider you one of our red brothers.
          All the best with this business venture you mentioned a while ago (if its still happening) and i hope you make a success of it.
          Best of luck for the future mate, and hopefully we hear from you again some time.
          All the best.

  2. Fergie says it all: Barca > United
    “I’m quite happy to be in second place at this moment in time. Our challenge is to get to that level.”

    Not sure I am too happy with this statement.. 😡 😡 😡

    • Brutal…, but true!!

      I’d like to see some positive signings though, ones that would back up his words!

  3. We all need a break and Grognard deserves his. These have been difficult times for blog regulars as the focus of our ranting has become somewhat compromised by all the changes here.
    I want to continue where we all left off but Ian has made some changes in the norm. They seems to focus on his desire for new commentators. The ferocity of our debate seems to be a turn off for those new here, and so catching our breath and becoming more thoughtful of peoples feelings seems appropriate.
    Anyway life after Ian is possible, let us all make it work!

  4. Sorry one more thing I forgot. A special word to Eddy. My condolences lad on your loss and the tragedy you and your countrymen had to endure this past week. I know you are a strong chap and you will overcome all of this but still,m it has to be tough and I just wanted you to know that my heart is with you at this the toughest of times. All the best.

    • Thank you mate 🙂 Unfortunately losing you from this blog will feel like losing a dear friend. The fact that Craig, Owen, and now you, visit this blog so rarely have removed some of the feeling I’ve had comiing here. I’ve always felt like this place was somewhere I could come, not only to discuss United but spend time with friends. I still feel that, but not as strongly as before… I hope you and the others will return one day, and this site can become the family it once was.

      • I have to agree with this. living in north america i have very few friends to talk about and watch matches with and you all provide that for me. Groggy is included and will be missed. I have to think we will find him somewhere soon though. Opinions like his have to get off the chest or they will crush it. Cant wait till i read something somewhere and recognize he wrote it and then bust his chops a little for it 😆

  5. So…. after 2 seasons of MF incompetence, Ferguson has decided to sign a winger and a central defender to solve our ills.
    I call “bullshit”!! These are players that we could easily sign and, lets face it, were cheap at the price.
    They are decent players and will probably fit right in to our way of doing things, but they don’t address the main issue – we need a new man in the engine room!!
    Can the richest sports team in the World really be worried about a 35m price tag and the wages due to a world class player? Please, this amount of money is just chunp change in the big picture of things….. and if you were wondering…. the big picture is that the PL contenders, let alone the CL contenders, are spending what it takes to complete their squads without the need to rub their hands together over their cost.

    If we don’t sign a WC MF’er then someone else will!!

    The money we’ve spent is well spent?… like buying new tires for your jalopey while you watch the black smoke pour out the exhaust pipe.

    Is it just me, or do we have our priorities skewed??

    • It is odd isn’t it? The whole World and his wife can see the desperate need for at least one central midfield player, bar Fergie. Do we need another winger? Not really Ashley Young does provide value and is decent player but he was not a necessity. Did we need another centre half? Not really although Phil Jones does look a very good prospect. These combined fees are around £38m, which could have bought at least two very good midfield players. I think the business we have done this Summer is very good, I am a little concerned about De Gea but again he looks like one for the future.
      Does Fergie really believe our midfield is truly good enough? Carrick struggles to get into the England squad, Anderson does get anywhere near the Brazilian squad, ahead of Lucas and even Kleberson. Fletch should be for a club like ours a very decent squad player and Giggs is a 37 year old winger playing in midfield. Cleverley also struggled to start for the England under 21’s and was on the bench for Wigan’s last must win game of the season.
      We are Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the World and we are making do, this for me is not good enough. Fergie is genius manager and gets the extra 10% out of players which many of his rivals can only dream of.
      Come on Fergie bring at least one midfielder in, please.

  6. Also next season will be a big one for Wayne Rooney. He started poorly last season but finished superbly with a notable hatrick against West Ham and cracker in the Champions League final. He seems to have settled down with regards to his personal life and hopefully this with translate into hid football.
    Also with Tevez, he has been heralded as one of the best players in the League and some supporters have stated they would have preferred him to sign rather than the “overrated” Rooney. In the past two seasons since Tevez signed for City he scored 52 in 81. Rooney has scored 50 in 84, very little difference.
    There are certain idiots who hate Rooney for certain reasons, one in particular who is a total muppet, but facts are facts and Fergie should feel justified in not signing the little cunt now.

    • I actually reckon, rooney is going to have his best season this year for some reason. He was on fire from february onwards last season, and the partnership with hernandez just seemed like a dream fit for them both.
      He got something like 13 goals wasnt it, in the last 3 and a half months of the season, so imagine what he could get if he maintains that for a full season, or even 3/4 of a season?
      Hes been on fire in pre season (ok i know its only been against pub side teams), and i have a feeling hes going to even out do his 08/09 season best where he got 34 goals. I really do.

  7. I’ll miss you Grognard. One day the fantasy will return to Old Trafford and you will be proud to see United play. And who knows maybe God will listen to your prayers and deliver Wesley Sneijder to us.

    The Glazers are weakening. This is their biggest cash splash summer since 2007 and although as Redrich points out it is a joke that we have spent £60 million already and not bought a single central midfielder, I think that is more the fault of the management and Ferguson’s misplaced loyalty towards players like Carrick, Fletcher and Giggs.

  8. grongard et al stop moaning about the club weakness and all that and enjoy the champions that is Manchester united.i dont think even chelsea and arsenal fans are this much depressed as you are.

    • seriously get off your soap-box. Moaning and complaining is needed to make a good team great. Would you have done EXACTLY as Fergie did this summer? Or do you see a difference?

      More than 75% of Utd’s 100,000,000 fans (according to Ian ;)) see a gaping hole in the midfield after losing Scholes, Hargo and presumably Gibson, while Fletcher is virus-stricken and Cleverly unproven. (That’s 4 players gone, 1 unproven talent added, and we’re now light in midfield). There is a conceivable chance that Utd’s midfield will collapse this season… and we have no quality back up (unlike our Attack and Defense).

      If you cannot complain about this in “bronx’s” world, then please find another site to complain about complaining or drink some Kool-Aid!

      • We do have to be a little more patient as the transfer window hasn’t shut yet and the guys are still in the States.

        • I never said the transfers are over, but Grognard are definitely allow to complain about current shortcomings.

        • Agreed, but we do need to wait until it has shut before we are truly entitled to complain.
          But I do find it odd that we have known for some time that the midfield is weakest area, I hoped this would be one of the first areas we would address this summer.

        • 2 years and counting…, patience is wearing thin!!

  9. This is a rant site. Piss off to the official club site if that’s how you feel. The criticism offered by ‘Grognard et al’ is thoughtful and heartfelt. seriously, you may just be at a site that’s not your cup of tea.

  10. Lan, did you add RedRants in “Message Boards and Forums” category?

    Coz this category is blocked by websense and now I cannot access redrants in office 🙁

  11. rematch tomorrow 😈

    put whatever team they bring to the sword. we are unbeaten in post season and on a tear. ando to outclass xavi and ini and score a brace. 😈

  12. I just watched the season review of our 2005/06 season, and MY FUCKING GOD Rooney was a beast! I did some research, and despite only getting 19 goals that season he contributed to 76% of all the goals we scored when he was on the pitch. That contribution meaning scoring a goal, getting an assist, or being 3rd last United player on the ball before the goal was scored.

    76%, that is pretty insane…

    • And yet some supporters especially on this site hate him?! Very odd I must say.

      • He almost single handedly carried this team once Nani went off form… Chicharito had his most deadly period when Rooney was on song, and United really looked like World beaters since that overhead kick against City! He’s looked really good in the pre-season as well, with both his assists to Anderson and then Berba being top notch, his hat-trick was deadly effective and he sprays balls all over the place in the opposition half. Now that we haven’t got Scholesy, Rooney will be our most vital playmaker. Rooney always seems to do incredibly well in the seasons which lead up to a major tournament for England, so I’ve got real faith in him turning on the heat this season. In 2004 he had his best season for Everton, in 2006 he was a beast, as mentioned, and in 2010 he scored 34 goals. In 2008 we won the double, very much thanks to Rooney, but since England didn’t qualify for that European Championship I don’t know if I can count that.

        It may be that his mindset controls his body when there is a International Championship coming up, because it all points to him becoming one of the best players in the World, and the Rooney at his best, when that happens. On the other hand it may also be the fact that he gets a good pre-season under his belt those years, something he doesn’t do after the World Cup and European Championships… Who knows, I just hope this becomes another massive year for him!

        • Great post and agree with all of that, he needs a big season and I think he will deliver. He is on the fringes of being one of the truly top players in the World and hopefully he will take that next very large step.

      • They hate him because he wanted to leave for City… if that didn’t put a stinker in your nose, then you must be Wayne Rooney 🙂

        • Yeah it was weird really, as that point rooney was the main man of the team, while ronaldo at times was just the man we used to carry along for the ride. Dont get me wrong, i loved ronaldo, and knew from the first time i saw him, he was going to be the best in the world, but at that time, everything went through rooney, and ronaldo at that time was still the inconsistant, skinny little portugese kid, who could be brilliant one game, and shite the next.
          Then ronaldo seemed to mature, and he became the main man, and whilst rooney was still a beast of a player, just never seemed to have the same sort of impact he did between 04-06.
          Even the 09-10 season where he got 34 goals, i still didnt think he had the same sort of influence as did in his first 2 years.
          That was until this season anyway, whereby he seems to have found his favoured role in behind hernandez.
          Everything now goes through him, and thats just the way he likes it.
          As ive said a few posts above, i think hes destined for his best season ever as a united player, i really do.
          Hes been on fire the last 6 months, so whilst its a big if, if he can keep it up for even 75% of next season, then hes going to be in the running for world player of the year.
          Yes people will probably smirk at that and think, hmm yeah hes not that good, but honestly thats how good a season i feel hes going to have.
          As for the way certain fans still seem to have a grudge against him, well i guess thats to be expected tbh.
          I think we were all pretty hurt at the way he was obviously wanting a move to city, but then id say he more than made up for that, as he arguably won us the title near enough single handed from february onwards.
          Not just any title either, but that precious 19th.
          Still i can understand why some fans will still hold a certain degree of resentment towards him, as he was dead wrong with his actions, but i think for most of us, hes now probably won us round with his performance.
          Fans are fickle and all that eh.

  13. Going into the season I can see Wayne Rooney becoming top scorer AND the best player in the League, Ashley Young getting the most assists, and Anderson becoming the surprise of the season by becoming one of our most pivotal members.

    Be-fucking-lieve! 8)

  14. Rooney has always been one of my favorite players and greatly underrated especially considering all the different roles he has to play. He gets a lot of flak for his lack of consistency but that is improving with each year. No-one ever thought he could score 30 plus goals a season but he managed it. Then he managed to pull himself out of a huge slump brought on by injury, marital problems, contractual disputes and still manage to contribute a dozen assists and sixteen goals.

    Ronaldo got all the plaudits but no way would Ronaldo have won world player of the year without Rooney as his sidekick.

    Keeping Rooney and getting him back on track was one of Ferguson’s masterpieces. It was only fitting that Rooney was one of the few players not to disgrace himself in the Champions League final scoring from the only real chance he got.

    It is a shame we have such amazing strikers when the really big games are won and lost in midfield. Lets hope that Anderson shapes up, Pogba breaks through and we land Sneijder.

    • A few thoughts… Your the first person I have ever heard say that Rooney is Underrated. The flak he gets on this site is because of the opposite, for years he has been incredibly overrated. Hes world class but not on the level of a messi or ronaldo like people once claimed.

      As for ronaldo needing him as a sidekick, I think the last two years in Madrid have disproved the theory that Ronaldo was only succesfull because he had Rooney and Tevez doing all the leg work. Many people on this site predicted ronaldo would struggle with those two.

      I was off the rooney bandwagon for a while but I hopped back on last season. TonyMontana was right when he said he didnt have the same influence he once had. Last season He was back to his best and is becoming the player everyone thought he was going to be.

      • People always on this site have to compare Rooney to Ronaldo. Firstly Ronaldo as the superior player but simply generally plays for himself. Rooney is very much the team player and does a lot of work which he simply does not need to do, buy that is just him.
        Andrei used to do the Rooney better than Ronaldo thing, which was funny and generally a little tongue in cheek hence why many have to compare the two.
        For me Ronaldo slithered off the Spain and generally has very little interest in our club, he has always been a Real Madrid player, not a United player. Rooney is still at the club and is certainly World Class but not at the level of the greasy one or Messi.
        Ronaldo was great for us no doubt, but as I have stated previously he is a horrible selfish little git but a cracking player. As a club we did a lot for him and made him the player he is today, it resonates with me a little when he referred to himself as a “slave” This was crass to say the least, Rooney did himself no favours last season but at least he stayed, Ronaldo couldn’t wait to leave.

  15. a bit surprised by you quiting red rants grog, never the less gud luck to you in the future

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *