Fire vs. Tigres: Player Evaluations

MLS: JUN 13 Fire at United

As I'm sure all of you now know, the Fire's modest two-game winning streak came to an end Saturday night when they fell to Mexican team Tigres UANL by a score of 2-1.

The Fire were still able to advance to SuperLiga's semifinals (courtesy of Chivas USA, who tied with San Luis on Saturday) where they will take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on July 15th.

But enough about all of that stuff, here are my Fire player evaluations from Saturday's match (and as always, [here is the scale...](http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-fire-confidential/2009/06/fire-vs-dynamo-player-ratings.html))
**Starters:**

GK - Jon Busch - 4
Busch came up with a few important saves Saturday night and really couldn't do anything about either of Tigres's goals. Still though, I found his play to be a little disconcerting.

The main reason I found Busch's play to be worrisome was the Fire's lack of organization in the defense throughout the whole match (something that was really exemplified through his shouting match with Wilman Conde). Busch really needs to up the organization in the back in his next start or the Fire will be seeing some more sloppy play out of the back four.

DEF - Brandon Prideaux - 6.5
I thought that Prideaux played excellent defense on Saturday night. He consistently made important tackles on Tigres attackers and although his attacking play left a little to be desired, overall he still played a good match.

DEF - Wilman Conde - 6
I thought that Wilman looked pretty good in defense, but he showed (once again) that he simply can't finish. He did repeatedly get up the field nicely though and his defensive efforts and ball winning was solid.

DEF - Austin Washington - 3.5
Washington did not have a good match on Saturday night. He was beat in the build up to both goals and he really didn't look to good otherwise either. Hopefully he can bounce back in his next match, he will need to if he wants to keep seeing the field.

DEF - Daniel Woolard - 6.5
I liked the way that Woolard played in his first start since returning from injury. I thought he defended nicely for the Fire and he showed good grit and determination throughout.

MID - Logan Pause - 5.5
I thought Logan did well in his final match before heading off for Gold Cup play. He defended nicely and was a good ball winner throughout. However, he got split in the build up to Tigres's first goal and that lowered his rating a bit.

MID - Tim Ward - 4
Ward started the match in the central midfield and while there he struggled mightily with his distribution. He looked better when he got moved to right back after Brandon Prideaux was subbed out but he got beat before Tigres's second goal, lowering his rating.

MID - Marco Pappa - 6
For much of the game, Marco looked dangerous in the attack, but he made a few too many poor decisions with the ball at his feet to warrant a higher rating in my book.

MID - Chris Rolfe - 7
I thought that Rolfe looked dangerous throughout the match. He created numerous Fire chances and was a spark in the attack. However, he (like Pappa) fell victim to holding the ball a tad too long at times (though to be fair, when this did occur he didn't have many other options...)

FWD - Brian McBride - 6.5
McBride didn't have too many clear cut chances on Saturday night but he still played a solid match. His passing and ball winning was excellent and he was one of the few Fire players who looked ready to go from the first whistle on Saturday night.

FWD - Cuauhtemoc Blanco - 6
Though Blanco certainly wasn't at his best on Saturday night (he too often played bad balls and lost possession) his set piece delivery was pretty solid and his PK conversion was never in doubt. I don't know about everyone else, but when he steps up to the spot I have no doubt that the ball will find the back of the net...

**Substitutes**

MID - Baggio Husidic - 4 (Brandon Prideaux/58th)
Baggio really didn't do too much in his 30 minutes of playing time on Saturday night. He didn't take anything away from the Fire but he certainly didn't add to the team's chances either and I hope that he is able to step his game up soon.

FWD - Patrick Nyarko - 7 (Chris Rolfe/71st)
I thought Nyarko looked very dangerous after his insertion into the Fire's lineup. He provided a good deal of speed on the wing and hustled a ton to keep Fire chances alive. Also, it was him that drew the penalty for the Fire, which (at the time anyway) looked to be very important.

MID - Justin Mapp - 6 (Marco Pappa/78th)
Mapp played solid in his limited action and it was his cross that led to the foul on Pat Nyarko that led to the Fire's only goal. Overall though he played well on the wing in his 12+ minutes of time.

Comments

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  • Logan Pause was AWFUL, he should get a 1 for the way he absolutely destroyed attack after attack for the Fire, watch him throughout a game, the man REFUSES to look forward up field, the opposing players know this as well and get to key on him knowing that ball will go to the wings or back. Ward wa not great, but if Ward was a 4 Pause was 1 or 2. Pathetic.

    Rolfe was CRAZY awesome in the first half, I was so angry with Hamlet subbing out the best performing player on the field. Then he took our 2nd best performing player, Pappa, off as well. Maybe you should grade Denis' coaching after each game to, I would enjoy your take. Nice article in the Trib by the way.

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