Fire 2 - Toronto FC 2: Another tie...


Playing without injured attackers Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Chris Rolfe, the Fire played to what they called a "disappointing" [2-2 draw with Toronto FC at Toyota Park tonight](,0,7860822.story).

The second place Fire, who has now tied three matches in a row, fall five points behind the league leading Columbus with the result - effectively eliminating them from the race for the Supporter's Shield.

"We battled hard again but how many times are we going to say that this year?" said Fire goalie Jon Busch. "Enough is enough already. We gift wrapped the goals like its [expletive] Christmas. If they beat us with a good goal fair enough, but if we're giving away easy goals then we're putting ourselves behind the 8 ball and that's the bottom line."
The Fire got off to a rough start in the match, giving up a completely avoidable goal in just the 6th minute of play. The ill-fated play began when Toronto forward Ali Gerba played a long ball towards the center of the Fire backline. The long pass fell to Fire Captain C.J. Brown but - incredibly - he whiffed his attempted clearance and Dwayne De Rosario ran onto the ball and coolly finished his 1 v 1 chance.

The Fire caught a break of their own in the 14th minute, when Toronto defender Nick Garcia chested a Brian McBride header into the back of the net for an own goal.

The sides entered the half knotted at 1 but Toronto struck again within 40 seconds of the opening second half whistle, when former Fire forward Chad Barrett knocked home a De Rosario cross to give TFC the lead.

After falling behind for the second time, the Fire pushed hard for an equalizer and found success in the 78th minute when Brian McBride headed home a Justin Mapp cross to salvage a point.

The Fire could've won the game in second half stoppage time, but substitute Calen Carr missed an absolute sitter after a beautiful Patrick Nyarko cross.

"Give the guys credit," said Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett. "Obviously after giving up the easy goal we worked hard to get the own goal and again, less than a minute into the second half, they get a goal and then we push and we push and we get the equalizer. Obviously we could've won the game at the end with Calen's chance. We're disappointed. We got a point but it's got to get better."

Well that's all for the match report, but (as always...) I have a few questions/updates for you guys.

**Chris Rolfe update:**

Rolfe, who wasn't listed on the injury report this week, was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to a hamstring injury.

"He tweaked it early in the week," said Hamlett of Rolfe's hamstring. "We wanted to give it a try and see how he felt and he came in and said he just couldn't go."

**Who was your Fire Man of the Match?**

For me it was probably Justin Mapp. I thought he looked dangerous for the 85 minutes he was on the pitch and his cross to McBride was excellent. Honorable mention goes to Brian McBride, who not only scored the equalizer but also set up Toronto's own goal with a header.

**How do you feel about the result?**

For me it's kind of a mixed bag. I was pleased that the Fire was able to pull out a point from a match that they trailed for long periods of time but I thought the defense was horrendous. The backline continues to make egregious errors and as Hamlett said after the game "if you want to win championships the defense has got to get better."


Leave a comment
  • I was pretty sure it was going to be a tie. Too bad there goes the support shield. I guess the final three games will show wheather the Fire got it or not. Ok game for me might be different result with Blanco anf Rolfe id line up...

  • Adam, I agree that perhaps the result would have been different with Blanco and Rolfe on the field but then again neither of them play on the back line. CJ's miss was horrendous and allowing Barrett to get open in the front of the goal was unbelievable. The defensive letdowns this year, regardless of who is on the field, have been pathetic and you can't win when you continue to gift the other team goals.

  • OH! SO NOW YOU NEED GOOD DEFENSE IF YOU WANT TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS! MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU GOT RID OF THE BEST DEFENDER IN THE LEAGUE! This is ridiculous. Hamlett is the root of this Fire team falling apart after such a good start. AND he has kept his job, but Baky has not.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    totally agree with you

  • In reply to MythosFC:

    Well said!
    Hamlett may also want to keep a guy who is slower than him away from having to cover Dwayne DeRosario. He may also want to play an actual defender at left back.

  • Are you trying to say that PW is going to run a reincarnated Chicago Sting??? Yeah, whatever.

  • Busch will make a great coach someday.....don't blame him for getting pissed.

  • It's not just you. Teams have figured out that Pappa is only effective going to his left. Once they force to use his right foot to make a move he is usually dispossesed.

  • This game was an embarrassment for the FIre and an embarrassment for the league. Nick Garcia for MoTM. Our defense looked horrendous. No surprise from CJ (for the love of god, retire...) but I'm not sure why Conde was so bad - he's usually solid. You know he had a bad game when he made Banner look like a decent defender by comparison.

    In addition to the horrendous and embarrassing defending is the horrendous and embarrassing FINISHING. tell me how these guys (Rolfe, Nyarko, and now Carr) can consider themselves professional forwards when they can't beat the goalie one on one, or, hell, don't even know how to use their left foot to knock a cross into an open net. For all Nyarko's hard work and aggressiveness, he's a forward, and he needs to know how to score. If he doesn't know how to score, he has no right to be pulling in that paycheck.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Yeah i get what you mean about Nyarko, he's a bad finisher ever time he's 1 on 1 with the keeper i don't feel confident that he will score let. You can talk well he causes a threat with his pace and works hard and all, you may aswell just pick up sprinters for that. Doesn't matter how hard he works if the end product is garbage.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Finishing is for sure an absolutely key issue here. But you should leave Carr out of your judgements. Carr has been injured and recovering all year and has fought for a place on this team when coming back. He looked good in the Toronto game, and in spite of his miss at the end, he should be a welcome relief to our field strength. All these guys have a whole series of misses, including point blank ones. Carr had one, and it was his first substantial time even on the field. I would rather see him out of RB, and on F or M, but he is a contributor. I hope we keep him. I agree with the above remarks on Nyarko.

Leave a comment