Chicago House Athletic Club’s MPL campaign comes to a close on Saturday afternoon as they travel to Wyeth Stadium to take on Rockford FC.
This will be Chicago’s final game of the Midwest Premier League spring season. It’s been a pretty successful run, and they could finish as high as 2nd if results here and elsewhere go their way. They’ve certainly ended the year on a high, with the House winning their last three, so they’ll want to finish things off with another victory here.
It’s not been a similar story for Rockford, unfortunately. They sit in last place in the Heartland Conference, and they’ve failed to win any of their seven games so far this campaign. There’s still a chance for them to climb a few places up the standings with three matches to go, and that could start with some sort of result here.
As mentioned earlier, Chicago has been flying high as of late. Their latest game was at home to nearby neighbors Edgewater Castle, where they picked up a solid 3-1 win.
That came after an earlier tough victory against RWB Adria, with goals from Shannon Seymour and Jack Kramer proving to be enough to seal three points. The House had their most dominant showing the week before that, putting a remarkable 14 goals past Indy Boyz FC.
Rockford’s July has been rough. A narrow 2-0 loss away to Berber City wasn’t too bad, but then they were beaten 11-1 on the road against Chicago City SC. They did have a good end to the month of June, though, securing a point at home versus RWB Adria.
Last time out
This will be the only meeting between the two sides this season.
The two did face off last year, though, with that contest taking place in Chicago. The hosts controlled possession and the pace of play for most of proceedings, with Rockford trying to hit on the counter.
The House finally broke the deadlock with about 20 minutes to go. Musa Morris floated a corner into the area, and it made its way to Naz Kabbani, who volleyed the bouncing ball past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
That was enough for Chicago, who held onto the clean sheet to secure the victory.
Chicago House head coach Matt Poland – “The league table is all sorts of chaotic. Everybody’s got games in hand and they’re all playing each other, so you could drive yourself crazy trying to do the math. I think the biggest thing for us is just focusing on ourselves and making sure we give ourselves the best chance to finish as high as possible on the table, which means we have to get three points on Saturday.”
Chicago House midfielder Shannon Seymour – “It’s been good in terms of the recent success and seeing the team start to gel towards the end of season. We didn’t have a great start to the season, so it’s about ending it strong. We gotta put ourselves in the best place, so really it’s nothing less than three points and continuing to play a good brand of soccer.”
What to watch for
Chicago had four players in the lineup for USL League One side Forward Madison on Thursday night: Aaron Nguyen, Kikis Avalos, Elias McCloud, and Pau Matteo-Chacon. That’s great news for them and for the House, but it’ll be interesting to see how many of them feature on Saturday, and for how long.
On a more general note, it’s unclear how much Chicago will rotate the side. They’ll want to end the year on a high, but they’ll also want to get some of their younger players some minutes to end the campaign.
The duality of man is undefeated, and that’s once again the case here because it’s hard to predict what sort of game we’ll see. Chicago has blown out teams, and Rockford has been blown out recently, so a demolition could happen. However, both teams have had some real scrappy affairs, and we could see another one of those on this night.
Shannon Seymour might be a real threat in this contest. He’s in good goalscoring form, and his late runs into the area could be lethal if Rockford sit back too deep. Let’s hope that he’s got another dance ready to go in case he finds the back of the net again.
Another player to keep an eye on is Alejandro Mentasti. He’s a big scary Argentine man who’s good with the ball at his feet, which makes him the complete package in terms of holding the ball up in the final third. If Chicago has a ton of possession in dangerous areas, he’ll be a danger in setting up teammates and going for goal himself.