Fire 0 - D.C. 1: Disappointment for the Fire

Bryan Namoff

Coming off of last Sunday's thrilling, come from behind 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids, the Fire put in a very disappointing performance tonight, [falling to longtime rivals D.C. United 1-0 at Toyota Park.](,0,7420722.story)

Bryan Namoff scored the lone goal of the match in the 11th minute, when he flicked home a fantastic Christian Gomez free kick from the top of the 6 yard box.

"We talked about it during the week, they aim for Namoff [on set pieces] and Gomez sent a good ball in and namoff got his head on it," said Fire keeper Jon Busch. "It's the same old story, we break teams down in scouting reports, we know where they're dangerous and then they beat us on what we talked about. It's frustrating."
Namoff's goal was one of only two D.C. shots on target and it's very disheartening to see the Fire revert to their nasty little habit of conceding on set pieces in a match were the opposition had limited opportunities.

"The story's getting old," said Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett. "We piss points away to D.C., Seattle, New England, Houston; all games at home where we just don't do well enough on one play and we get punished."

The Fire's attack did very poorly in the match and - despite controlling a lot of possession - they never really looked like a threat to score. The chances the Fire did have were taken poorly too, as the club botched several very good set piece opportunities.

"We didn't test [D.C. keeper Josh Wicks]," said Busch. "That's what's frustrating. We should've been more dangerous tonight with all the free kicks we had and all the corner kicks and what not and we weren't."

So, all in all, it was a very disappointing effort from the Fire tonight. They lacked any attacking bite and gave D.C. a goal on one of the team's few chances. The match really gave me shades of all those early season ties/losses in which the Fire performed much like they did tonight and that is NOT a good thing. Hopefully the team uses the upcoming bye week well and comes back ready for their next match, September 12th at Salt Lake.

But before I sign off for the night, I did want to pose a couple questions to you guys...

**What do you think about the home form?**

Really the Fire has been abysmal at Toyota Park all season. The loss drops them to 4-4-4 in Bridgeview, giving them the third worst home record in MLS - ahead of only Kansas City and New York.

"It's screwed up for us," said Fire defender C.J. Brown. "We can't figure it out. We're not doing what we should be doing at home and we're disappointed. We disappointed the fans, they come out to see us play and we seem to make it look really, really bad somehow."

**How do you rate the Fire defense?**

I actually thought the makeshift back four did a pretty nice job tonight. They gave up the set piece goal but other than that they limited D.C.'s chances and looked good defensively. Their offensive play does need a bit of work, but overall I'll take it, especially given the ragtag group that was thrown out there.

**What was up with the attack?**

The Fire attack was just really bad tonight. Not a single good chance created in the 90 minutes and a very slow tempo. They better bring it next time out or we'll be looking at a similar result against RSL...

**What about those set pieces?**

The free kicks really killed the Fire tonight, on both ends of the field. Not only did they give up the goal on a dead ball, but the many set plays the Fire did have (D.C. committed 23 fouls...) were wasted.

"We had a few free kicks and we just didn't serve anything good," said Hamlett. "Our decision making in terms of serving the ball or shooting on goal just wasn't right."

Hopefully the Fire work a little bit on the set plays in the two weeks before heading to Salt Lake as they can be a real asset to a team if done right -- look at D.C. for instance...


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  • Maybe Hamlett should start a fight in the locker room.....

  • We disappointed the fans, they come out to see us play and we seem to make it look really, really bad somehow."
    here's all the somehows
    Hamlett and his destroying team chemistry, transferring the best defender in MLS and butchering our lineup by playing Rolfe in the midfield and starting Banner in favor of Mapp.
    All of our injuries, especially McBride, Conde, Segares, Ward, Woolard, and all of the other first-teamers that aren't on the list. Coming into the season, the Fire was the deepest team in MLS. But now...
    This team is a disgrace. Locker Room fights, losing to a team that commits 23 fouls, every good player injured or transferred except for Blanco and Pappa. Transferring a player over a personal issue. Taking Hamlett over Baky. This is ridiculous. Hamlett needs to be fired, because we can't win with this.

  • Can we talk about Hamlett's tactics? Who takes off Rolfe but leaves on Blanco, the worst player on the pitch all night? Who makes wholesale substitutions late in the match and brings on inexperienced players while asking everyone else to change positions to accommodate? The Fire went from ineffective to utterly disjointed, eliminating any slight chance they might have had to score.

    While we're on it, what's with letting Blanco take corners from the left side with his left foot? They never, ever go anywhere near a dangerous spot in the box.

    Plus, does anyone think it's odd that DC's 23 fouls never resulted in a single player receiving two yellow cards? Quaranta should have been carded on at least three occasions. Namoff earned at least a second late in the game. Burch should have been carded for hitting his keeper. The list goes on. The ref must have been taking notes from the ManU-Arsenal game, where Fletcher, Carrick and Brown should all have been sent off, but miraculously it was Arsenal who got most of the bookings.

  • In reply to tribhater:

    I always said that there was something going on between the league and DC...

  • In reply to tribhater:

    Rolfe's ankle got clipped shortly before he was subbed. When he walked on the field at the end of the game, he had taken off both the boot and sock on just that foot. I'm guessing that's why he was subbed off.
    But I do agree with others that Pappa should not have been taken out.

  • In reply to tribhater:

    How do we sub the coach out?

  • Our house, in the middle of Illinois...

  • is the front office watching the same game as us?

  • whats our home mls record? 4-4-4?

  • In reply to bert:


  • In reply to bert:

    How about subbing off Rolfe and Pappa and leaving Pause on the pitch when you're down a goal and desperately need to create offense.

  • What do you think about the home form?

    They haven't played well the last 3 games. LA was the worst I have ever seen the Fire play. You can not win games with Austin Washington and Mike Banner playing at the same time.

    How do you rate the Fire defense?

    Austin Washington... enough said.

    What was up with the attack?

    Blanco has to be the oppositions dream opponent. He is terrible. We can't win with him in the pitch. He is a counter-attack killer. With players like Rolfe, Pappa and Nyarko on the pitch we should be running up and down the field terrorizing teams but Blanco has to be there screwing things up. We didnt score against Josh Wicks... and how does a 36 year old, going on 66, stay on the field for 90 min, 3 games in a row? When we play a 4-5-1, you can't win. We had no business beating Colorado last weekend either.

    What about those set pieces?

    Blanco used to be good at set pieces and now he isnt even good at them anymore. He barely makes the near post on corners when he hits them and if it makes it to the far post it is 25 feet in the air and the keeper goes up and gets it. We

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