Matchday 11/1: Fire vs. New England

We're finally here. 

After 7 months of grueling regular season action, the Fire is just two hours away from kicking off Game 1 (1 p.m. on FSC) of their two game Eastern Conference Semifinal against New England.  Today's game should be a hard-fought, physical battle (as it always is between the two long time rivals...) and it should go a long way towards determining who will advance to the Eastern Conference Final.

I'll be following the game and sharing my thoughts/observations in the comments thread below so be sure to keep it here while you're tuned in. 

Get excited people. 


Leave a comment
  • Starting lineups from Gillette Stadium:

    Fire --

    GK: Busch
    DEF: Prideaux, Robinson, Brown, Banner
    MID: Rolfe, Pause, Husidic, Pappa
    FWD: Blanco, McBride

    Bench: Mapp, Thorrington, Woolard, Segares, Lowry, Nyarko, Dykstra

    New England:

    GK: Reis
    DEF: Heaps, Osei, Barnes, Alston
    MID: Mansally, Larentowicz, Joseph, Nyassi
    FWD: Dube, Jankauskas

    Bench: Igwe, Colaluca, Thompson, Knighton, Phelan, Tierney, Castro

    No Conde for the Fire, who didn't travel with the team this week. Should be interesting to see if he can get back in time for next Saturday's game 2.

  • 17th --


    Marco Pappa hits a low cross into the middle of the 18 and Reis isn't able to control it, deflecting the ball to the feet of Rolfe who hit a right footed shot into the top right corner.

    Great start for the Fire who have enjoyed a lot of possession and created numerous chances throughout.

  • 20th --

    The Fire almost double their lead when McBride smashes a 15 yard effort off of the right hand post. The ball was crossed into McBride from the right hand side, which the Fire is absolutely owning right now. Great play from the Fire right now, hopefully they continue the attacking play.

  • 25th --

    Busch goes down while challenging Joseph for a ball and doesn't give up -- leaving New England with an open net. The Revs can't take advantage though, as Larentowicz's shot goes off the far post and out of bounds.

    Scary moment for the Fire though as not only did they nearly give up the equalizer, but looked for a moment like they might lose Jon Busch.

  • 47th --


    Osei gets his first goal at the death of the first half, spoiling a good first half from the Fire. NE got the goal through a Kenny Mansally free kick from 20 yards out on the right side. Mansally hit a curling left footed ball right at the center of the Fire's net and Osei flicked it over the head of Jon Busch for the equalizer.

    CJ Brown committed the foul to give NE the free kick and Mike Banner lost Osei on the set piece.

  • Halftime thoughts:

    I thought the Fire started off the half very well. They controlled possession, created numerous chances and almost found the back of the net on multiple occasions. I really liked the play of Chris Rolfe and Marco Pappa (especially when they were on the right side) and I thought Brian McBride, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Brandon Prideaux (somewhat surprisingly) did a nice job in the attack.

    Obviously the main negative from the first half was giving up the late goal. Hopefully the equalizer doesn't take too much wind out of the Fire's sails and I would like to see them come out strong in the opening minutes of the second half. C.J. Brown needs to be more careful around the box as well.

    He's committed two dangerous fouls just outside the area -- one of which led to the Revolution's goal.

  • working on getting my kids car it...missed first half,,thanks sam....buschy ok?

  • 52nd --

    New England makes the first sub of the game as Pat Phelan comes on for Jankauskas.

  • 54th --

    New England is turning up the pressure on the Fire -- who has struggled a little bit this half. The Fire needs to step up soon or they run a major risk of giving up a second goal.

  • 63rd --

    Would like to see Denis Hamlett make a substitution soon. The Revolution has been dominating the second half and the Fire need to shore up the lineup. I would look for something in the middle, possibly Thorrington (if he's able to go) for Baggio Husidic.

  • 64th --

    And here's the first change for the Fire as Gonzalo Segares comes on for Mike Banner. Like the move by Hamlett, hopefully Gonzalo will be able to slow down Nyassi (who has been terrorizing the Fire in the second half) and get into the attack a little bit.

  • 69th --

    Revs make their second sub as Castro comes in for Mansally.

  • 71st --

    Baggio Husidic comes so close to giving the Fire the lead as he smashes a volley from 25 yards off the crossbar and down into the ground but not quite over the line. It was an absolutely awesome strike from Baggio and the Fire came oh so close to taking the lead.

  • 74th --

    Nyarko comes on for Pappa.

  • 75th --


    New England takes the lead after the ball eventually finds Shalrie Joseph after a wild scrum in front of the net. Joseph put it away from inside the 6 leaving Jon Busch with no chance.

  • 88th --

    Mapp comes on for Rolfe. Interesting move there... thought Rolfe did very well today.

  • 93rd --

    Thompson comes in for Nyassi. New England just killing the clock here.

  • Final: New England 2-Fire 1

    Disappointing result for the Fire, who played pretty well today. Today's result sets the table for what should be a wild Game 2 coming up on Saturday at Toyota Park. I'll be back with a full match report later on this afternoon but until then feel free to share your thoughts on the game in this section.

  • Atrocious set piece defending and the inability to finish in the final third burned the Fire it has all year.

    Why sub in Mapp for Rolfe with three minutes remaining in a game you're trailing? Why change your formation in the second half (according to Sullivan on Fox) when you had the better of the play in the first half?

    I know this is unheard of around here, but McBride looks like he's pretty close to done.

    The only good thing about this result is that if they don't advance next week Hamlett will have to be gone.

Leave a comment