Fire vs Chivas USA: Player Evaluations

Chicago Fire v Chivas USA

As most of you know, the Fire was able to continue their winning ways in SuperLiga on Tuesday night, defeating Chivas USA 1-0. The Fire's lineup was chock full of normal reserves and youngsters and for the most part, they impressed.

So without any further ado, here is the latest installment of the Fire player evaluations. If you are interested, [click here for the scale. ](

GK - Jon Busch - 6
Buschy didn't have too much to do on Tuesday night but when called upon he came up big, giving the Fire its second consecutive clean sheet and securing the win.

DEF - Austin Washington - 6
The youngster looked a bit shaky in the first half in his right back slot but that block on Chukwidi Chijindu's shot was absolutely tremendous. Overall Washington did well but he definitely needs to work on his crossing...

DEF - Wilman Conde - 6.5
Conde, as always, was a rock in the back for the Fire. The big center back even got up the field on occasion and had a couple chances on goal, but his finishing (or lack thereof...) wasn't so hot...

DEF - C.J. Brown - 5
Brown left the game with a left hamstring strain in the 16th minute but before the injury was playing just fine for the Fire defense.

DEF - Gonzalo Segares - 6.5
The Costa Rican international played slightly below his high standards in the first half but came back strong in the second. His forays into the attack were good and he was able to pull quite a few nice moves on Chivas defenders to go along with his solid crossing and set piece deliveries.

MID - Logan Pause - 5
Didn't see a whole lot of Logan but (as a defensive midfielder) that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I thought overall he turned in an o.k. performance playing in front of the Fire back four.

MID - Justin Mapp - 7.5
Mapp made the most of his minutes logged on Tuesday night. He did very well throughout the match. His goal was very solidly taken and he was dangerous throughout, making some good runs down the line and hitting good crosses/shots.

MID - Baggio Husidic - 4
Baggio was one of the few Fire youngsters that didn't really show his stuff in Tuesday's match. The UIC product didn't do anything terribly wrong, but he was invisible for large stretches (not good for an attacking mid) and had some bad giveaways.

MID - Mike Banner - 4.5
Banner was able to consistently get himself into nice positions but his crossing was (for the most part anyway) ineffective and he was bit slow to deliver at times. That being said, he did make a very nice attacking run at goal in the first half but he needs to gain a little bit more confidence in his left foot.

FWD - Stefan Dimitrov - 6
Dimitrov made his first start as a member of the Fire on Tuesday and I thought he played pretty well. He had a strong aerial presence throughout the match and he had a nifty (though ultimately unsuccessful) flick to a storming Baggio Husidic in the first half. I would've liked to see Dimitrov put a few of those headers on goal though...

FWD - Patrick Nyarko - 7
Nyarko again and again torched the Chivas USA defense with some very nifty moves and pure speed on Tuesday night. The youngster from Ghana was hustling all over the field and his passing was great (it was his pass that led to the Fire's lone goal). However, Nyarko was (once again) unable to score in a match in which he certainly wasn't lacking for opportunities.


DEF - Brandon Prideaux - 6 (16th minute/C.J. Brown)
Prideaux had to get acclimated quickly to the match after his unexpected insertion for an injured C.J. Brown but I thought he did well, especially defensively. He marked well and provided a nice stop gap in the center of the back line (not his usual position).

MID - Marco Pappa - 7 (69th minute/Justin Mapp)
I loved the energy and creativity that Pappa brought to the match after his insertion in the 69th minute. He looked dangerous the whole time he was in and his runs down the line and crosses into the mixer were stellar.

MID - Tim Ward - 4 (70th minute/Stefan Dimitrov)
Really didn't see too much from Tim after his insertion into the central midfield in the 70th minute. It'll be nice to see him return to his right back spot (where he looks quite a bit more at home...)

Chris Rolfe - N/A (89th minute/Baggio Husidic)
Rolfe will be kicking himself after failing to put a Marco Pappa cross in the back of the net, but otherwise he did fine in his very limited action.


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  • speed,speed, seeing the young guns

  • Sam thank for all the work I'm really enjoying even if I haven't had time to comment.

    2 questions I'm wondering if you can help with.

    1) What is the tiebreaker in SuperLiga? Goal Difference or head to head? Thnkinga head to what result they need on Saturday night.

    2) Just saw the US Gold Cup roster included Busch and Pause - Is there any chance those guys would be called back tot he Fire for the semi if they make it?

    Relative to 2) it is going to be a long July without Segares, Busch and Pause. Suddenly a playoff spot is no sure thing.

  • Thanks for the compliment NaperSteve, now to address your questions:

    1) The tiebreaker procedure in SuperLiga is as follows:

    -Head to head
    -Goal differential
    -Goals scored
    -Coin toss

    With these tiebreakers, the Fire only need a point from Saturday's match to ensure qualification. If the Fire do end up losing and then San Luis defeats Chivas USA (leaving the Fire, Tigres, and San Luis with 6 points) then the tiebreaker would go to goal differential. The Fire currently have the best goal differential at +2, while Tigres is at -1, so the Mexican team would have to do some serious work to catch the Fire in that category.

    2) This surprised me as neither were on the preliminary 30 man roster but both will be going to the Gold Cup. What you saw is the final roster. I will devote a separate post to this issue though, look for it later on in the day.

    Also, if you're interested below is a link to the U.S.'s full 23-man roster for the Gold Cup.

  • Sam - thanks for the effort with the blog.

    If I may, I'd like to make a suggestion for you about the player evaluations. Have you considered a "rubric" of sorts?

    I'm an English teacher in Costa Rica and my students are really anal about their grades. (I grew up in Chicago and follow the Fire on-line).

    To help me be more objective with their essays, I break down the 10 point scale into five different categories: 2 points each for content, punctuation, effort, organization, and comprehension.

    You could do the same with your player evaluations.

    My suggestion, which you can tweak as you please,

    2 points passing / distribution
    2 points attack
    2 points finishing
    2 points defending
    2 points effort or impact on the game

    If you like the idea, it might work better to create a different rubric for each general position. (Obviously, Jonny Busch would score pretty low on attack and finishing).

    This would help me understand how you rate each player and give your evaluation more credibility.

    Keep up the good work! Pura Vida.

    ps - I'll be in Chicago for the Gold Cup Semi-finals. I'm hoping for a Costa Rica vs US rematch!

  • In reply to jonnytouchdown:

    Jonny B,

    I think that's a cool way to look at the ratings. I'll definitely look into using your suggestion as part of the current (admittedly very unscientific) method of rating the players. I'll probably make a few changes to it coming up soon (maybe not til next weeks match) so keep a look out for that and keep the suggestions coming my way.

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