Fire vs DC Player Ratings and Recap

After a badly needed win the Fire improve to 1-2-1 on the season.  The match wasn't exactly pretty but it was effective nonetheless for the Fire.  DC was held to very few real scoring opportunities while the only truly dangerous chances were 2 headers from Julius James. 

Offensively the Fire looked more composed and fluid than in the three previous matches.  De Los Cobos' decision to play one striker worked today since Patrick Nyarko and Justin Mapp (yes Justin Mapp) controlled possesion and frustrated United's defenders for most of the match.  Mapp in particular forced several corner kick opportunities on the ragged DC defense.  Nyarko continues to impress with his play on the right side and I think he'll improve on his hesitancy to shoot on net as the year goes on as he finds more space from defenders fearing his quickness.

Overall it was a well deserved and badly needed three points for the Fire.

Player Ratings

GK Andrew Dykstra (6) - Earned his first clean sheet, made a nice save on a free kick, and picked up an assist.  He wasn't really tested but he looked a little more sure of himself.

D Wilman Conde (7) - Conde continues to be the man in the Fire's back line. 

D CJ Brown (6) - Wore the armband and was steady again tonight.

D Krysztof Krol (6) - Made a few nice runs and didn't allow any opportunites against.

D Dasan Robinson (6) - One muffed clearance attempt but other than that he was solid.

M Patrick Nyarko (7) - Continued to be the Fire's most dangerous player.  His run resulted in the first goal.

M Marco Pappa (7) - His ability to finish today earns the higher mark.  Distribution and vision need to improve if he is going to be succesful playing centrally.

M Peter Lowry (5) - Did well to get forward and get off two shots on net.  Did well helping the defense against DC's weak midfield. If he is going to be the man to assume corner kick responsibilities on the left side his service needs to be better.

Baggio Husidic (5) - Decent performance.  Almost scored in the 69th minute on a sliding attempt.

Justin Mapp (6) - Mapp was better in the first half than he was in the second but provided a solid effort on both ends of the pitch.  Hopefully he can maintain the same energy going forward. 

Collins John (5) - Almost scored on a chip attempt early and had a few other looks that weren't as  dangerous. 

Brian McBride (8) - McBride entered the game in the 76th minute and immediately provided a shot on goal followed three minutes later by an assist on the Nyarko goal, and a goal 9 minutes after that. His substitution seemed to change the match.

Mike Banner (5) - Came on in the 84th minute after Nyarko cramped up. 

Ref - Silviu Petrescu (4) - Appeared to miss a handball call in the box in the first half and allowed some chippy defending on DC's end. 

Houston will be a tougher match up next week.  They crushed Chivas USA 3-0 earlier in the day.

Comcast Telecast

Kelly and Doran have done a pretty decent job so far.  The half time and post game shows need some work.  I'll have some thoughts on that for discussion later this week.



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  • pretty amazing that we managed to find a team worse than us, huh? their defending (particularly that "comical" sequence in the first half) was incredibly awful. this was one of the all-around worst games i've seen in a long time. and by all-around i mean not just the play on the field but also the camerawork. anyone else find it nauseating? especially in the beginning, it was zoomed in way too close, they often had the player with the ball out of frame, and routinely cut to replays while the ball was in play, rather than waiting for stoppages. looked more like a high-school sports camera crew.

    as far as the fire's play, let me just say that if there was an expansion draft tomorrow, i'd use all ten of my protected spots on nyarko, and hope that the expansion team took all the rest. as bad as john looked, he's gotten no service from anyone other than nyarko all season. the midfield was a mess tonight. defense a little better: definitely krol >> umanzor and robinson >> ward. hopefully those two stay in the lineup. i still think dykstra is a huge liability. his one "good" save tonight was poor: a hard shot hit straight at him and he punches it back in front of goal instead of outward. he's incredibly indecisive about coming out/staying back, and clearly is unable to communicate with his defense as there were a couple of close calls today with defenders not knowing what he wanted them to do. i hope that klopas or de los cobos (whoever decided to let busch go) know that we're giving dykstra experience at the expense of points.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    I have a feeling an expansion team just might take Conde.

  • In reply to cesba:

    ok, you got me, i'd probably protect conde too.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Glass is half empty huh...

    And I think we should make it a rule to not mention the release of Jon Busch as a bad move, everyone knows that so it doesnt need to be said anymore.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Also Robinson is not better than Ward at outside back. Ward was a BEAST last year until he got hurt. He was our best player. Last week was his 3rd game back in something like 10 months. So relax. We need Ward out there and Dasan can give CJ a rest sometimes.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I agree he was better last season. and i like that he tries to get forward often. but his passing leaves a lot to be desired and he has a tendency to lose his marks as we saw on the goal last week. so while we have a shaky goalie i'd rather see robinson there than ward

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Ward's passing leaves a lot to be desired? Robinson is a terrible passer of the ball. He never gets forward, and thats a good thing, because he doesnt know what to do with it when he does get it in the attacking third. You must not remember how good he really was last year. If he didnt get hurt, he could have been the best signing in the league last year. He was easily our best player and we never found a replacement for him last year which was why everyone wanted Thorrington to go back there because he would have been capable of providing some of the things Ward does. Robinson is a center back and that is where he belongs.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I agree that Robinson offers very little offense, but I don't think Ward is much better. So I'd rather a defender with minimal passing skills leaves it up to the midfielders. I guess we have a difference of opinion on how good Ward was/is. I like my defenders defending and my forwards scoring. Once they're doing that well enough, then they can start trying to do other things.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Let's lighten up a little! No glaring defensive mistakes. Mapp has shown a bit of his previous self. Defense is stabilizing even though Dykstra may be shaky. McBride off the bench was a real winner--limits the stress on the old legs!!Nyarko continuing to excel. We still need a truly creative maestro in midfield. Why no DP rumors regarding Chicago??

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    I think you'll see rumors start to fly in late June and July when the transfer market opens.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Rumor #1: Michael Ballack

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Joe, how did Mcbride do as a sub? I know you think they should have switched, but it definitley worked out better with McBride coming on late.

    We are in dyer need of an offensive mifdielder and a very good holding midfielder. Use 2 DP's and go get them!

    DC is awful! Never the less I'm so happy we got the 3 points. I liked the stating lineup a lot. Our passing was better and we created a lot more chances. We just need to be sharp and finish in the final 3rd.

  • In reply to jking:

    I do think they should have been switched with McBride starting and John coming in for him, but his fresh legs gave DC problems that we took advantage of. I would like to see McBride not play the full 90 because of his age. Give him 60 min and John the other 30 or start off in a 4-4-2 and then take him off at the 60 or 65 min mark and bring on Mapp and switch to the formation we play last night.

    I dont think McBride has a full season at 90 min in him by any means, so rest him early so he will be there late is a good idea.

    Isnt Michael Ballack out of contract this season? I think he would be a great fit in our squad.

  • In reply to jking:

    As much as I have a man crush on Ballack, I don't think he would be happy here. He still has value at many mid-level clubs in Europe. That said, I'd love to see him sign on, but from a marketing perspective, I think another big-name Mexican player would be best.

  • In reply to MyOwnBobblehead:

    He does have value still but will he be willing to play for a mid table English side or be a role player on Bayern? Or would he rather be a star on a MLS side like ours.

    And what big-name Mexican players are there? Blanco is the biggest and we already know what he can do...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Don't make me put names with my comments. I'm no Mexican soccer expert! Maybe we should try to steal up the American Torres out of Pachuca.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    My ratings by position (since I need to go to a meeting)!
    Dykstra: 6
    Conde / Krol: 6
    CJ: 5:
    Robinson: 4
    Husidic: 7- I like this kid
    Pappa: 6.5 (he's growing on me)
    Mapp: 6 - I'm usually a hater, but not this weekend.
    Lowry: 4
    Nyarko: 7
    John: 5
    McBride: 9

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    i think it's worth mentioning until that "promise" of dykstra's turns into actual skill. do we know why we let busch go? i never heard a legitimate reason.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    What will come from knowing the reason why we let Busch go?

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I just can think of no logical reason why they did it. Money, age, Dysktra, none of those make sense to me. It would be easier to accept, and i'd question the judgement of our coaches/klopas less, if there was a good reason. like, i dunno, busch ran over hauptman in his car or something.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    There is no room on a MLS roster for 3 keepers. If Klopas/DLC felt Dykstra is even close to Busch in skill or think he might be, if given the chance, than Busch had to go. We dont know the cap space that we have and if it means losing Busch in order to get a DP then I'm all for it.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    I like having McBride coming on late. He seems to have no impact otherwise. Nyarko is going to be our star and should be considered a premier MLS player soon if he keeps up recent form. I think that the Fire needs to capitalize on scoring opportunities. I also think that Marco Pappa might be another player that we would not like to lose. He has been pretty good this year.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Kudos to the Tribune for having a full soccer page in today's paper with a Fire game review, a Red Stars game review, and some decent stuff on the World Cup. Of course, they lack their own soccer writer and when the writer they had ranked his top 20 for the world cup he put Cristiano Ronaldo at 19. Apparently he didn't get the memo that Ronaldo is in the top 3 players in the world. He also put Iniesta and Fernando Torres farther up on the list than you would think, and included a goalkeeper in his top 5. Still, it's better than nothing.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    Yes, it was nice to see the full page spread. Maybe that's the excuse for relegating back to page 150. Well, at least I know Patrick Kane had supper in a restaurant this week. I was worried about that.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    I was worried about that too. Any word on whether or not Toews had a nice lunch?

  • In reply to cesba:

    No. But I think Dutchie Caray was seen getting her hair done downtown and Gale Sayers signed a football for a sick kid.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    So we played a team that is worse than we are ?? give me a break ! The Fire is one of the more talented teams that happens to be off to a slow start , Columbus started worse last year .

  • Resign Conde now. Pay him whatever it takes. Ditto for Nyarko. The camera work on comcast, if not all stations this season is beyond awful and would turn off any casual fans. The ball, the flight of the ball, are off screen. I imagine this is for HD feeds, but for regular TV's-A majority?-the game is close to unwatchable.

  • MLS's game feeds overall are pretty terrible.. cutting to replays in the middle of play, ball off screen, etc.

    All the MLS networks need to take a page out of UEFA's book. Everyone knows that the Champions League coverage is outstanding, and if the league wants the world's respect and the Eurosnobs' respect, the production quality must improve.

    And finally, a decent game for Justin Mapp for once..

  • Does anyone know how the whole production thing works? B/c I don't. It seems like when ESPN does a game, it's their own crew & equipment. Those games are always produced much better than a non-ESPN game. But who does games like these? I imagine it's a company DC hired? Anyway, it was beyond terrible tonight. It just seemed to me like whoever was working the camera had never seen a soccer game before, which could explain how they found it so difficult to follow the action and know how to position & zoom the camera.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Jesus the camera work was atrocious! Was I the only one getting dizzy with all the jerky-ness and zooming?

    It's not like football broadcasting is something new. Big Ten network does a 100% better job than the crew on Saturday.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Good Monday morning !! I have a question to be addressed in a future column. What is the history and current status of players brought up through the Fire's internal system? Any names to watch for? I watched the Barcelona vs Deportivo la Coruna sp. ?? this weekends and they mentioned that 7 or 8 of their current players are from their own system--absolutely amazing. Almost all are highly skilled and relativelylt short in stature. Are we (the US and the Fire ) subconsciously selecting-out players of smaller stature because we think they can't play against bigger players?? I personally think that this does happen at the youth and younger select team levels. I think that this will drive some of my fellow contributors crazy!!.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    That's a good question for Klopas and De Los Cobos. I'll try to find out if they think there are any prospects on the acedemy teams that can fill the 2 "home grown" roster spots.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Guillermo (or anyone else who attended) can you provide he high points from teh owner meet and greet a couple weekends back for those of us who couldn't attend?

    Much needed win. Doesn't tell us a lot as this transition moves on. I think a draw with Houston is a reasonable hope for this weekend. We're ogin to need patience this year and then the World Cup break and DP / other post Cup improts are goignto turn the season on its head anyway. Just can't lose touch with the middle of the pack.

  • In reply to NaperSteve:

    I posted a short recap the following day. If you'd like you can email me at

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    My ratings are:
    Collins 5
    Nyarko 7
    Husidic 5
    Lowry 4
    Pappa 7
    Robinson 4
    Krol 5
    Brown 5
    Conde 6
    Mapp 5 but almost want to give 4
    Dykstra 4
    McBride 7
    Banner 4
    Bone so close
    I saw monemts in the game I liked but still needs work. Houston will be a better test. And I'm sure the starters will change again.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Consistently game after game your ratings make zero sense. Kudos for the consistency. Conde a 6? Krol a 5? Robinson a 4? Mapp a 5? You are out of your mind.

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