Fire 0 - New York 1: Off in the opener

Chicago Fire Fire v New York Red Bulls

Disappointing night for the Fire, as they drop the opener 1-0 at New York. You can read most of my thoughts on the match over at [](, but I wanted to take the time to share a few extra opinions over here.

Here goes... I was pretty disappointed by the roster moves de los Cobos made tonight. I thought taking off McBride was completely off point. Really, really bad move in my book. The man is the leading returning goal scorer and bringing him off for Justin Mapp (while the team was down a goal in the 80th minute mind you...) was ridiculous. I understand the notion that McBride and John play a similar style of forward and the coaching staff wanted to vary the look up top by sliding the speedy Patrick Nyarko up from the wing. However, I think the move made the Fire worse at both winger (where Mapp replaced Nyarko) and forward (where Nyarko filled in for McBride). Again, not the best move in my book.

I would also liked to have seen Krzysztof Krol play tonight. Mike Banner struggled at times defensively and it would have been nice to see how Krol would have acquitted himself to MLS.

I mentioned this in the article, but I did like how Collins John played. Thought he did well out there. I think him and McBride will do well when paired up together for a full 90 minutes. Nyarko was also a bright spot.

I'll be out at practice on Tuesday to ask a lot of questions of de los Cobos and the players. For now, feel free to share your thoughts about the match below. I'm guessing a lot of you will be pretty disappointed with the Fire's effort. And deservedly so...


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  • I thought Banner played well tonight. Not his fault he is being asked to play out of position. I figure coach thought Krol was not running fast enough to keep up tonight. Hopefully, Krol will get a start next game. If not why did they sign him?

  • In reply to Bitz:

    Don't assume Krol isn't faster then Banner.

  • You're assuming speed is why Banner played, which is why you assume Banner is faster then Krol. Go to a Fire practice this week and see for yourself.

  • Haha...I love it. First win for the Red Bulls against the Fire since becoming the Red Bulls. Frank's plan is coming together nicely. If only his head wasn't up his ass, he could have seen his master plan in motion. Solid start d-bag.

  • I agree with all the sentiments here. Krol should have played and got his feet wet; after all, this guy was getting offers from Napoli over the winter transfer window.

    And wtf was Mike Petke doing by interfering with John and Nyarko when they were pressuring the keeper? That's not allowed, methinks.

    Other than the team's composure with short passes, we looked incredibly slow, despite the fact that we as fans were promised attacking football this year.

  • To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. It was an amazing stadium, Section 8 was louder than NYRB's excuse for a supporters group, and no one came in until 5 minutes before the game. The Fire were passing most of the time and not playing long balls, but the problem was that they were not creating chances. The goal was good, and Dykstra had no hope of saving it. Collins John was probably the best player on the field for when he waS in. He was creating opportunities. It took us 2 hours to get back to our hotel that was two miles away. Banner played horrible at wing back. He was not getting back and was getting torched every time by New York's quick wingers. McBride's bicycle kick was by far the best play of the game, and second was Mike Banner's curling free kick. The referee missed a few calls. It seemed like he wouldn't call anything in the attacking thirds. also offsides calls were missed. That's about all the stuff I can think of for this match. I would like to see a 4-3-3 with the same back line

  • I think it was the right move taking off McBride. At least we have a coach willing to do that. John and McBride were doing the same thing but McBride wasnt doing it as well. Nyarko was every where last night but should never be on the left side. His crosses were dreadful yesterday. Conde was spectacular last night. Dykstra looked shaky but played fine. Looked good coming out on crosses and stopped shots that were stoppable. Lowry should not be a starter for this team. We looked very slow in the middle of the park and thats where we lost the game. Pause and Lowry just didnt cut it and were exploited on the goal. I would like to see Nyarko and Pappa on the wings with John and McBride up top and maybe Martinez in the middle instead of Lowry. I guess we'll see next week...

  • Can you get a straight answer on if Krol's speed is the issue? DLC said he was slow, but Milicz said that at the lunchon they backtracked on that or at least said it was a translation issue. I'd like to know why Krol isn't starting.

    I was most impressed with John. I thought after McBride left the field John had room to operate and was much much much better than McBride in the target forward role. I don't think any CBs are worried about McBride (except when a corner is coming in). Nyarko has speed and John is a monster.

    I just hope that McBride doesn't become the automatic starter just b/c he's a former great USMNT player.

    I was most disappointed with Martinez. I had rated him about equal to Pappa based on national team play, but he was invisible out there.

    If Martinez is a bust, it makes me wonder about DLCs choice of personel. Do you bring in Umanzor after Martinez is a bust?

  • In reply to snkscore:

    I'll be at practice on Tuesday and I'll be watching Krol closely to see just how fast he is.

  • In reply to snkscore:

    I think that the Fire's style will serve them well as the season progresses. Last night's starters may not have been optimal, but they worked hard to implement the coach's desire to play possession soccer. After watching seven of the eight matches from the opening weekend, I think that a lot of teams will have trouble handling the Fire's style of play. There was a lot of baaad soccer on display in Week 1. The Chicago-NY match was the only one in which both teams looked capable of playing competent soccer.

    Sam, I agree with your questions about starting Banner over Krol. Banner was constantly getting beaten 1 v 1 by Richards and we are lucky that Richards doesn't have better technique. Banner got it together a little better after the break. In the end, I think that his positives and negatives canceled each other out.

    Nyarko, IMO, was more than a bright spot. His constant pressing of the NY back four when they had the ball resulted in lots of turnovers and weak clearances. I've never seen him play with such confidence on the ball. For me, it was his best game in a Fire uniform and I would give him Man of the Match. I think that de los Cobos should put on his thinking cap and find a way to get McBride, Nyarko and John in the first 11.

  • In reply to snkscore:

    I thought the first game provided a disappointing result but it also helped answers some questions while raising others. I'm not as disgusted as others by the overall play because after the substitutions were made things started to come together a bit.

    Questions answered/raised.....
    1. Logan Pause is a liability. He doesn't fit the speed/attacking mode that the team claims to want to embrace. His offensive game is non existent (always has been) and his give away which lead to the goal was inexcuseable. I would like see Thorrington start in his spot (if he's ever healthy enough to be relied on).

    2. Mike Banner is a decent fill in at left back but he's not a starting left back. I suspect he started solely to deal with Richard's pace. We need to find out what Krol can do at left

    3. DLC has to figure out a way to get John, McBride, and Nyarko into the first 11. No doubt.

    4. Martinez needs to get in gear quickly. He was invisible yesterday after being mediocre during most of the pre-season by most accounts.

    5. Distribution in the final third will continue to be a problem unless the Fire fills the CAM position. Justin Mapp is not the answer.

    I agree with StaryByk. After watching the other 7 games this weekend I believe the Fire will be just fine once DLC figures out his line up.

  • In reply to cesba:

    1. Who should be the middle 2 then? Thorrington and who else? If Thorrington is in there then Pause gives John more freedom. Every team needs a defensive mid. There is no team that wins trophies that doesnt have a defensive minded midfielder. Makelele scored one goal in 4 seasons with Chelsea and he is the player the position is named after.
    3. Nyarko should play on the outside right and Pappa on the left and that is solved.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Thorrington's more than capable of playing the d mid role. His skills are actually more suited for it than they are for the CAM role. He actually has played d mid in the past in tandem with Pause in formations used the last few years.

    The attacking mid is where the problem is. Husidic played that position in college and so did Corben Bone.

    Nyarko on the right and Pappa on the left is what I'd like to see too.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Sam have you heard anything about us looking for a center-mid?

  • In reply to snkscore:

    I thought this was a very entertaining games. A lot of activity around the goal. You can see DLC putting his stamp on the team. Did Dykstra ever punt the ball? This possession game will serve us well. It was certainly fun to watch. And John was a beast with his back to the ball holding off the defenders. NYRB didn't really show much and were lucky to win. A draw would definitely have been a fair result. The only disappointment was Mapp. It's sad to see that guy fall off the depth chart. Nice to see Baggio with some very good touches.

  • In reply to snkscore:

    On a separate note.....looks like John Busch is set to sign for San Jose.

  • Where should he be playing? He might not be the best defender but he isnt going to be playing on the wing any time soon. Hes a better outside back than he is on the wing.

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