The Fire advanced to the SuperLiga finals last night after defeating the defending SuperLiga champion New England Revolution 2-1 at Gillette Stadium. The Fire, which is now 6-2-3 on the road in all competitions this year, had several players turn in good performances on Wednesday night and hopefully the team can continue their momentum into the weekend.
Here are my full player evaluations for the match...
GK - Jon Busch - 7
Busch, who couldn't do anything at all about New England's lone goal (it took some wicked deflections...), played well making several key stops throughout the night. His diving save of Michael Videira's blast was very nice and Busch did well again winning crosses in traffic and with his distribution.
DEF - Tim Ward - 6.5
Ward, as always, did a very nice job getting up the field and into the attack. He put a good number of crosses into the box and I thought he did a good job defensively as well. The Revs weren't able to generate much from his side of the field and he made some good tackles.
DEF - Bakary Soumare - 6
Baky did a nice job defensively but his distribution wasn't that great. It seems that every single time he gets the ball in the back he plays it long and that (while sometimes it is definitely the right play) needs to change, at least a little bit.
DEF - CJ Brown - 6.5
The Fire captain did a great job in the air on Wednesday winning nearly everything that came his way. His distribution from the central defense was good as well and he made several key defensive plays throughout the game.
DEF - Daniel Woolard - 4
Woolard struggled a bit with the speed of New England's wingers as they beat him quite a few times last night, leading to a lot of their chances. Woolard didn't do badly in the attack though and his first half long ball right to the head of Baggio Husidic nearly led to a goal.
MID - John Thorrington - 6
Thorrington flew around defensively Wednesday night and overall, had a solid match. His distribution looked good throughout as well but his deflection of Edgaras Jankauskas's shot ended up sending the ball into the back of the net.
MID - Baggio Husidic - 4.5
Baggio got himself into some good places in the attack last night and nearly had his first goal for the Fire, putting a Daniel Woolard long ball just over the bar. Despite his good attacking play though Baggio looked a bit lost on the defensive side of the ball. He had problems marking all night and he probably should've been on Jankauskas before the Revs' goal.
MID - Chris Rolfe - 5
Rolfe played a pretty average game last night. He had a nice work rate but he got caught with the ball at his feet a few too many times to have last night be considered one of his better matches.
MID - Marco Pappa - 5
I didn't really see too much from Marco in Wednesday's game. For the most part he did well when he had the ball but his touches seemed pretty far between in his 82 minutes of action.
FWD - Brian McBride - 7
McBride played a nice match last night. He played a crucial role in both Fire goals as he coolly finished the Fire's first and drew the foul that led to Cuauhtemoc Blanco scoring the match winner. I thought McBride did well in his role of target forward as well, winning plenty of balls during his 90 minutes of action.
FWD - Cuauhtemoc Blanco - 8 (Man of the Match)
Last night's match was fantastic for Blanco. His free kick finish was great but I thought that his assist, an inch perfect cross to McBride after evading several New England defenders was even more impressive. Temo also cut down on the turnovers last night and that (along with all the other heroics) was very refreshing to see.
MID - Patrick Nyarko - 6.5 (Chris Rolfe/70th)
Nyarko looked good in his 20 minutes of action last night. As usual Nyarko hustled all over the field and he looked dangerous at times. His low cross to Brian McBride in the 71st minute could've easily sealed the game for the Fire.
MID - Mike Banner - 5.5 (Marco Pappa/82nd)
Banner didn't have a whole lot of time to make an impression on the match but he did well in his eight plus minutes of action. I thought he did a nice job defensively and, like Nyarko, he provided a lot of hustle off the bench.
Denis Hamlett - 7
Hamlett definitely put the right starting lineup out there and I thought his substitutions were good. Both Nyarko and Banner provided a little spark to the team. It'll be interesting to see if the Fire is fatigued on Saturday though and I actually would've liked to see the subs come a little earlier than they did.