Well, it had to end sooner or later. The Fire's 11-game undefeated streak came to a screeching halt Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park, where they lost to FC Dallas 3-0.
The Fire, although they were playing their third game in a week, are very disappointed by the result against Western Conference bottom-feeders FC Dallas.
"It was just one of those days," said Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett. "Giving up that first goal made it hard to try and come back... I think our guys went out and competed today but it goes back to making those mistakes which lead to goals."
The Fire will look to bounce back from Sunday's embarrassing defeat this Friday, when they will go up against the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park.
Here are a few thoughts/observations I had on the match:
The Fire were flat:
The Fire really didn't come out with too much energy today (especially in the first half) and the match looked to be on its way to becoming very drab before Jeff Cunningham scored in the 15th minute. There is no doubt that the Fire were outplayed by an FC Dallas side that really isn't in their class.
Despite the match being the Fire's third in a week, Denis Hamlett refused to blame the loss on tired legs. "I just think we weren't sharp," said Hamlett. "I spoke to all our guys and they said they felt good in the last two days."
More ref issues:
The Fire received five yellow cards (and one red) in a game that saw referee Shane Moody issue a total of eight cautions. Defender Bakary Soumare was tossed from the match after his second yellow in the 79th minute.
"I thought the second one was a bit harsh," said Soumare, who will miss his next match due to yellow card accumulation.
Denis Hamlett also offered his take on the Soumare's second card (and on the officiating so far this year).
"I actually thought that the referee was a little out of position," said Hamlett. "I thought [Soumare and Dallas Forward Kenny Cooper] were even and shoulder to shoulder...to get two cards like that I just thought the referee today was a little inconsistent," Hamlett continued. "But, referees are going to make mistakes. We've seen it all year, we've seen it every game."
Wilman Conde sat out today's match with a shoulder injury that he picked up against Chivas USA. No word as of yet on whether or not he will be available for Friday's match.
C.J. Brown was subbed out of the match with a back injury. Brown said that it was just a knee to the back and that he will be ready for Friday's game.
Justin Mapp made his first start since the April 11th match at San Jose. He said that he is feeling good and that his hamstring is completely ready to go.
Congrats to C.J. Brown who, with his start Sunday, moved into the top 20 in all time games played in MLS history. The Fire defender took this news (which he was unaware of until after the game) with some disappointment though, as his own goal contributed to the Fire's loss.
Overall, it was a disappointing day for the Fire. Sunday's match afforded them a great opportunity to distance themselves from other teams in the East and they were unable to capitalize against a relatively weak FC Dallas team. Hopefully the Fire won't look back at this one with regret at the end of the season, but who knows?
Look for some more coverage of the match coming your way tomorrow.