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Blanco Brilliant in Fire Debut
Daily Southtown, July 23rd, 2007 2:30PM

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On the day after Beckham's landing, Cuauhtemoc Blanco made his Chicago Fire debut against Glasgow Celtic, the team the MLS All-Stars beat 2-0 last Thursday. The Daily Southtown's Nick Firchau says that while Blanco's unveiling was a decidedly lower-key affair, the Mexican star fared better than the injured Becks in his debut. Easily the best player on the field, Blanco scored a fantastic individual goal and created several chances in 58 minutes on the field.

As Coach Juan Carlos Osorio said, the Fire, currently at the bottom of MLS' Eastern Conference, should have won, but "It was through [Blanco] that we created the better chances and to put the icing on the cake, he scored a beautiful goal," Indeed, Blanco went on a world-class skipping between two Celtic defenders with quick feet before rounding keeper Artur Boruc and slotting home to an empty net. He forced a stunning save from the Celtic keeper later in the first half, before working a fantastic series of one-touch passes with Calen Carr and Chris Armas to force another great save from Boruc. Had it not been for a world-class volley from Massimo Donati, the Fire probably would have won.

After the match, Blanco's new teammates were unanimous in their praise: "I think it was obvious that he brings something we've been lacking here for a while," defender Diego Gutierrez said. "He's deceptive and unpredictable, and he definitely has some qualities we haven't had before." Rookie midfielder Bakary Soumare said simply: "He's fabulous."

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