Fire fall to Houston 1-0

The Chicago Fire fell to the Houston Dynamo on Friday night, losing a hard fought match 1-0.  Houston midfielder Stuart Holden scored the match's lone goal in the 4th minute, and the Dynamo made it stand up despite a bevy of Chicago chances. 

Despite the loss, I thought the Fire played pretty well.  They controlled a lot of the run of play and certainly mustered a ton more chances than the Dynamo.  If it weren't for some stellar goalkeeping by Houston net-minder Pat Onstad, the Fire would have walked away from Toyota Park with at least a point. 

To me, the Fire standouts were Marco Pappa and Patrick Nyarko (despite blowing a couple gimmes).  Both consistently wasted the Houston defense with their moves, and their distribution and positioning was excellent throughout the match.

Click on the link above to see a piece I wrote on the match for the Tribune (sadly without any post-game quotes) and check back tomorrow for a lot more post game reaction (including the controversial player ratings feature...).


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  • Denis is proving that he has the ability to absolutely ruin players, what is happening with Rolfe right now is sad, that man should be up top scoring for us but instead he's at mid where it's now abundantly clear he does not belong. Two years in a row he has managed to turn prolific scorers into nothings.

  • I will agree with you about Pappa and that's about it.

    Nyarko should be benched for missing those shots on goal. He should not be the second coming of Chad Barrett.

    Hamlett has the idea of putting players out of their positions wonder where he got that....(see USA vs. Costa Rica)

    How can you expect Rolfe who is a goal scorer to make this trade as a mid-fielder. He is a forward and should always be up top with another forward. Enough of this one forward BS.

    Maybe you can explain to me why the team insists on using long balls when they hardly ever work. Maybe Im missing something.

    Missing Blanco, Sega and Baky not to mention Conde with an injury didnt help but Houston did not have their full strengtgh team either. When did Toyota Park become a place of blah for the team. The fans are starting to show up when will the Fire.

  • I agree with Guapo.. Being dangerous is great to watch, but he is not getting results. It was frustrating to watch all the pressure go for nothing.

    On the plus side it seemed like Dasan was solid and Thorrington didn't really play as out of control as has been his usual this season with the reckless tackles.. but Pause looked bad, and McBride seemed a bit invisible. Maybe its time to give him a little rest He is 37

  • Oh where to begin?

    Sick of this one forward BS? FYI - there were 2 forwards up top... hence a "4-4-2." With 4 starters out, you put the best team possible on the field - that's coaching 101. If that means you drop someone into the midfield, then you do it - and an attacking mid is essentially a striker anyway - I should know, since that's what I've played since my days in the U11s.

    DH is "ruining" Rolfe and has a reputation of doing so with other players? How about global warming? Let's blame him for that, and the crappy economy, and whatever other problems we can find. I'm so sick of people who don't have a clue about how to actually read the game and pawn off their opinions as valid and knowledgeable. We all know that if Rolfe's shot hadn't been deflected and gone over the crossbar & if Nyarko puts in his two sitters that everyone would be singing Hamlet's praises of putting both Nyarko & Rolfe in the lineup. So start taking your meds, read a book about football, do some chillaxing, and then come back with an opinion.

    The key issue is this - what has happened to Logan Pause? His poor marking has been the primary cause of 3 goals allowed in the last 2 losses, and we all know this is out of character for him. Any chance you could get him in for an interview Sam?

    The Fire have SuperLiga for the first time, are 3 points shy of being on the top of the table, and have only lost twice this season. Put it in perspective people.

  • Great post by Graeme, Hamlett's line-up decisions were solid given the players unavailable, and people blaming every little thing on Hamlett is not only getting old but annoying. Also great read from Sam - I definitely agree with you about the Fire creating chances and for the most part looking like the better team Friday. I thought Dasan and CJ had particularly strong games, and after watching Friday's game am more convinced than ever that the long ball strategy most people blame on Hamlett is actually all on Baky and not a coaching tactic.

    I'm really enjoying your blog so far - please keep it coming! :)

  • Considering DH has managed only 2 goals from Rolfe all season while playing him out of position, and considering he did the same to Frankowski last year, I'll stick with my belief that he is ruining Rolfe this season. Rolfe should not have been our center attacking mid on Friday, he should have been up top.

  • This little debate on Chris Rolfe is very interesting to me. I think that both sides are raising some good points and I have decided to devote a short little post to the topic.

    Expect it to come your way either tonight or tomorrow.


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