Home Season Starts In Frustrating Fashion

A bad start to a season is not necessarily an indicator of what the remainder of the year holds for MLS teams (Houston started last season 0-2-2 while Columbus started 0-2-5) but dropping points at home against one of the weakest teams in the league is not a good sign by any stretch.  The Fire continued their maddening habit of sloppy and frustrating performances in front of large home crowds by losing to San Jose 2-1 in front of twenty thousand plus at Toyota Park. 

The Fire managed to score for the first time this season from the run of play and actually looked more dangerous throughout the majority of the match but two careless breakdowns on defense and more missed opportunities on the offensive side of the pitch cancelled out any minimal progress made after the first two games.  Baggio Husidic started in the central midfield position while Peter Lowry moved into Logan Pause's spot in front of the defenders.  Husidic provided an improvement over the effort of the New York and Colorado matches but he was subbed out at half time in order to move Marco Pappa into the central role.  The move resulted in Pappa's first goal of the season but provided little else since Pappa's first instinct is to fire left footed bombs from any position and distance rather than locate his forwards advancing towards goal. 

San Jose was not particularly dangerous at any point during the match but capitalized on two mistakes; a terrible Tim Ward back pass/indecision from Andrew Dykstra and Tim Ward being caught flat footed by a rookie defender for an uncontested header. 

We may have to be patient while Carlos De Los Cobos adjusts and figures out what his best options and combinations are but that is difficult to swallow considering San Jose was thouroughly thrashed by Real Salt Lake 3-0 in their home opener. 

Player Ratings

GK Andrew Dykstra (4) - Indecisive and shaky throughout.  His next big save will be his first.

D Deris Umanzor (4) - Only trained with the team for a few days this week before being given the start and did not look particularly good.  Too early to tell if De Los Cobos' faith in him is justified.

D CJ Brown (5) - Looked bad trying to cover for the terrible back pass and indecision from Dykstra on the first goal but there wasn't much he could do about it.

D Wilman Conde (6) - Solid as usual but not as dominant as he was in New York.

D Tim Ward (3) - A terrible second half resulted in both San Jose goals.  He was caught flat footed on the second goal.  Probably the worst game in a Fire uniform for Ward.

M Peter Lowry (5) - Was more active today playing Logan Pause's d mid spot.

M Marco Pappa (6) - Scored the only goal for the Fire which moved his rating higher.  If Pappa ever learns to use his right foot and pass effectively.......

M Patrick Nyarko (7) - Was probably the best player on the field for the Fire.  His crosses improved and he gave San Jose fits with his speed but he also needs to look for his own shot at some point. 

M Baggio Husidic (5) - Better getting forward than Lowry at this position.  Didn't play badly.

F Brian McBride (4) - Maybe it's just me, but I'd like to see forwards spend more time in the box and less time in the midfield.  Maybe I just expect more from a forward of McBride's caliber.

F Collins John (5) - Always dangerous but the first half miss at an open net from a Nyarko cross brought back nightmares of Fire forwards from the recent past.  A little more elevation on the shot that was cleared from the goal line by Hernandez and the Fire take the lead 2-1.

M Justin Mapp (4) - Another 45 minutes of jogging around accomplishing little.

D Krzystof Krol (5) - I don't know if he's faster than Umanzor but he is better.

D Mike Banner (5) - Came on for Ward with 6 minutes left and tried to get forward. 

Ref - Mark Geiger (5) - Was not a factor, which is a good thing for an MLS referee.

Comcast Telecast

Tonight's game marked the debut of the Dan Kelly/Chris Doran led Comcast broadcasts.  I thought Kelly was fine on the play by play call and Doran provided his usual analysis.  The production value of the broadcast is a definite upgrade from the My50 version although there were some technical glitches.  The most disappointing of the glitches resulted in a lost feed which snipped the promised De Los Cobos post game presser and locker room interviews.  Comcast did run brief interviews with CJ Brown and Collins John during their wrap up show. 

I am looking forward to Comcast's post games shows since that is an element which has been sorely missing from Fire broadcasts for the last few years. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

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  • Do we know if the Fire are looking for a new keeper? I know its still early but the guy has not made one play this year and the saves he has made, he has made extremely difficult. Krol needs to be starting. If SJ was any good they would have exploited that new left back with diagonal balls all day in the first half, but they were terrible... We need a attacking midfielder, Ballack would be nice. CJ looked good today, just as good as Conde. John HAS to put away those chances. McBride didnt do anything last night, and thats not the first time this season. Lowry looked pretty good. The losing at home is getting kind of old.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    They seem pretty high on Dykstra's ability and they also like Sean Johnson so it's doubtful that they're considering a change at keeper this early even though Dykstra has been very shaky.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Very frustrating loss at home. I will give Dykstra a few more games to see if he is the answer behind the net. So far, he has been indecisive and look scared at times. The Fire should pull the plug on Justin Mapp due to his lack of work ethic. It is hard to unload him because of his high salary. Since Mapp was named MLS Best XI in 2006, he stopped playing soccer. I was impressed by Husidic in that lineup and have Krol starting from now on. Nyarko is getting better every week and can be a elite player in the MLS. One thing I give credit to Lowry is those corner kicks yesterday and John has to finish those scoring opportunities. Next week, they have to beat a terrible DC United team or else it is going to be a long season.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I like this debate Joe.

    By winning headballs do you mean just getting a head on it,or actually heading the ball with a purpose(to try and keep possesion)? I didn't see alot of either last night. This isn't the first time thats happened by the way.

    When did I say McBride should take defenders on? Thats the last thing he should do. you're right a team shouldn't be full of dribblers. However, if McBride has space, taking the ball down, turn, look up make a pass to keep the attack going is something completley differen. John's job isn't to take defenders on either. His ability to hold the ball with composure and dish it off is second to none. Example being pappa's goal. Plus we will see him start to finish with a missile of a shot. John's headers are even better than Mcbride's! A forward's job is not to to take on defenders all the time,however a forward should be able to turn with the ball, look up and distribute in dangerous ways.

    Ok, have you been watching carr the last 3 years. I'm going to stop debating with you if you're going to use examples like this. The last time I saw carr play his touch was terrible and he has lost all his speed. If both are healthy they have nowhere near the same technical ability. Nyarko is on another level. Carr will always be a non-factor, unless the front line gets killed. Mapp is getting close to that point now if he's not already there.

    PS. I want Pause out because he sucks. When you have Lowery (the new better version of pause), baggio and a healthy thorrington.I'll take any 2 combo between those 3 over Pause. There is no way you would prefer Pause over those options.Even Lowery has better and more dynamic ball control and holds the d-mid better. Especially after last night. Baggio had a hell of a game too before he got subbed. Which baffles me because mapp is soo terrible.

  • In reply to jking:

    jking,I agree with you on Pause 110 percent. I had it with Pause and Mapp inconsistency.

  • In reply to jking:

    This is great. The Fire are turning into the Chicago Storm right before our eyes. I don't understand why professional sports teams insist on bringing in individuals to run the organization that have no proven success. Aside from his playing days, what credentials does Frank have to make him a viable option to run this team? Yes he was an adequate player, but I get the sense that the players have lost their trust in him and if you have upper management in any organization that is not credible or respected - yours results are always going to suffer.

    From an outsider looking in, the team is falling apart - they are set on brining in these bush league Salvadorians and continue to make blank promises about playing beautiful soccer and how it will be more attractive.

    The only beauty I am seeing right now is that Frank's master plan is about to slap him right in his goofy ass. If things don't work out at the Fire I am sure Greek Islands will let him be part of the wait staff at the very least.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    troll...

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    I like Frank, for most part I like what he did before CDLC was brought in. He should make the decision on what players to bring in and the coach tuning those players to his style of play, not bringing in players that he thinks will give him the same result. Why isn't Martinez playing if there was so much hype about him? Is there any other word on the midfielder that came in on trial?

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    I agree that patience is necessary to let all these new ingredients marinate. Chemistry is very important for any successful soccer team.

    As far as the game was concerned, having been there, the energy was great and we definitely created a lot of chances. The only thing is we didn't put any of them away apart from Pappa's beautiful strike. John should've had 2 goals, Nyarko should have tried to finish his breakaway instead of passing the buck to John, McBride had chances that were definite goals with McBride version 2 years ago.

    The changes in the back have put off the rhythm on defense. 3 new LBs in 3 game, plus a new GK, plus Ward not playing great, plus CDLC wanting to pass the ball out of the back EVERY time (and all MLS teams now on notice of that and pressuring the back line)... all lead to some of the shakiness and indecision in the back.

    How the first few comments tried to pin blame on Dykstra for the goals is way off. Sure, Dykstra looked a little indecisive on the first goal because he didn't race off his line right away, but Dykstra and CJ wouldn't have been in that position had it not been for an AWFUL back pass from Ward (who was also asleep on his marking leading to the second goal. Yes, I agree that Dykstra is less comfortable directing and organizing the defense as Busch was, but (1) that will grow with experience and he seems to be yelling and directing a LOT; and (2) more importantly, Dykstra (or any GK) can organize all day but you can't fault Dykstra for Ward's horrible backpass OR Ward letting his defender run two steps in front of him for the header. Even if Dykstra told Ward to get goalside, he can't force him to move with his man. Where's all the hate coming from? Of course, we all loved Busch (and it was a nice moment to see him accept a gift from Section 8), but to think that Busch would've done better on any of the goals thus far this season is nonsense.

    The team is trying to play well, creating chances and needs more time to gel. My guess is they'll get into a hot streak at some point where players will mature (Dykstra, Lowry, etc.) and others will learn to play better in our system (Krol/Umanzor, John, Martinez). Patience is key.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    Agree to disagree about McBride

    Lineup: 4-3-3

    John

    Pappa Nyarko

    Thorrington

    Husidic Lowery

    Krol Ward
    Conde CJ

    Dykstra

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    Agree to disagree on McBride.

    My Lineup- 4-3-3

    ----------------John--------------

    Pappa------------------------Nyarko

    -----------Thorrington-------------

    -----Husidic----------Lowery-------

    Krol----------------------------Ward

    -------Conde----------CJ------------

    ------------Dykstra------------------

  • In reply to jking:

    You would rather have Peter Lowry in the lineup over Brian McBride? And you think John Thorrington is an attacking mid? Ook.

  • In reply to jking:

    I like the that starting 11. I think Mcbride will make a great assistant coach on the bench. This line up will be master and more effective. We just desperately need Thorrington back

  • In reply to jking:

    I like that stating XI. I think Mcbride will make a great assistant coach on the bench.

    This line up will be faster and more effective. We NEED Thorington bacK!

  • In reply to jking:

    If you want a legit attacking mid I have another one.

    ------------John----------

    Banner---------------Nyarko

    ----------Pappa-------------

    ------Thor------husidic-----

    Krol--------------------Ward
    -------conde-----CJ---------

    ---------Dykstra-----------

  • In reply to jking:

    I think i would go with the following..
    John -- McBride -- Nyarko
    Pappa -- Conde -- Thor
    Krol-- Watson -- CJ -- Ward

    or if we can move conde back and put lowry/husidic in the middle if needed.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    Sounds like someone stole your breakfast ! Frank was more than an adequate player , he was a world class player outdoors and indoors.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    All,
    This is the most civil discussion I've seen in a long time let's keep it up!!
    regarding the lineup options, I am very intrigued with the idea of both Lowery and Husidic in a 4-5-1. The extra mid should also makes passing the ball out of the back a bit easier. Despite the danger of this tactic I have to say that I love the idea. Defenders comfortable on the ball is sorely lacking in MLS. Way too much one-touch boom!!
    I hope it succeeds.

    BTW -- I'm from St.Louis and have been a Fire fan since the beginning---that takes guts down here.
    GO FIRE !!!!!!

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    4-5-1 or 4-3-3 means either no McBride or no John. Which means that Lowry or Husidic would be in there instead of either of them...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I would choose to start without Mc Bride. I would leave him as a second half sub and remove either Husidic or Lowery and change to a 4-4-2. I love McBride but we need to prepare for his departure and if John isn't the up front answer we should learn that sooner rather than later.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Prepare for his departure with 27 games left? Wit your logic Conde is going to be gone too so why not start KWS? Krol is on a 1 year loan so the new left back should be starting.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I'm not saying to bench McBride but he can't be considered the go-to-guy. He's OLD. If you don't like John alone up top then shuffle Banner into the mix and bring Pappa or Nyarko up front.
    Don't get me wrong--McBride can be valuable but as a sub to shake things up if it's necessary to float some long balls into the box. I don't see the long ball as a primary choice of DLC anyway.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    The front office is ridiculous....... losing rolfe is the real big deal here....... the man flat out made everyone on the field better.....they should of paid him the big $$$$$.....and frankie must be kicking himself now.....play rolfe where baggio played and you get atleast 3 for more shots on goal a game

  • In reply to FLYER19:

    We need to give the "front office" a little time but I have to say that I am a little concerned about some of the recent decisions: 1. the lateness of the Busch departure, 2. Krol's supposed lack of pace (pace is pretty easily identified, why the surprise?) and, 3. What's up with J. Martinez? DLC knew this guy!!
    My concern (slight at the moment) is that there is some confusion or lack of communication between DLC and Klopas or elsewhere in the front office. DLC didn't seem to excited about the Croatian midfielder--who brought him in?
    too early to worry, but just thinking.........

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    With all due respect, changing to a more defensive 4-5-1 is NOT the way to go. If you look at the three games, the Fire offense has only scored ONE GOAL during the run of play (and one on a PK) in three games. That's obviously not enough. Defensively, our opponents' goals have almost all resulted from terrible defensive errors (Ward created both SJ goals on Saturday with a horrible back pass and falling asleep on his mark; Colorado - we let their striker trap, turn, slip, recover and shoot from the top of the box with noone closing him down, etc.). Our opponents are not getting many chances at all from the regular course of play -- a sign of a strong defensive unit when you take away the few mistakes from lack of focus.

    SJ had three chances all game. Dykstra made a great save on a breakaway, then came the Ward backpass (which either Dykstra or CJ should have been more decisive in getting to), then came the Convey cross where Ward fell asleep on his marking.

    We need to be patient with the chemistry, which will build. We're playing attractive soccer and creating opportunities. If anything, we're missing a goalscorer's instinct in the box. We should NOT play more defensively at all.

  • In reply to chicsforkicks:

    Have to disagree slightly. Since you highlighted the defensive problems in the first two games, I would say that some additional midfield help might be in order for a struggling defense even if the errors were one offs. Besides, DLC wants to play out of the back which will stretch the midfield. Finally, with Nyarko as a wing you would have sufficient to make sure that Johnis left alone up front.
    BTW -- totally agree that patience is the order of the day.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Excuse the typos *********Have to disagree slightly. Since you highlighted the defensive problems in the first two games, I would say that some additional midfield help might be in order for a struggling defense even if the errors were one offs. Besides, DLC wants to play out of the back which will stretch the midfield. Finally, with Nyarko as a wing you would have sufficient SPEED to make sure that John is NOT left alone up front.
    BTW -- totally agree that patience is the order of the day.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    I don't understand why people are going nuts about McBride. Two games ago vs. New York he was one of the best players on the pitch, according to fans and pundits alike.

    Now after one bad game, he's on the chopping block? I don't know what to say.

  • In reply to satorajaujhely:

    I've been going nuts about McBride because he's too slow and not effectibe enough. Even with his head...

    he def wasn't one of the best players. Yes he hit the post with a bike, but he didn't do anything besides that.

  • In reply to satorajaujhely:

    Doug E. Fresh - Thanks for the random ass thoughts that are in no way related to this particular blog. Maybe next time tell us what types of food you like or your preference of toothpaste.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    What peeves me is the assumption that the NHL is some sports juggernaut. The USA Today mentioned (sarcastically) that the weekend network game just barely outdrew the Monster Truck show.

    In a way, it's good news to hear the aggressive bad-mouthing by the mouth breathers. They must be pushing back against something or there would be equal derision of sports like cricket and rugby. Soccer's on the radar screen and the next generation of media people will we be much more receptive. With time, no one will remember the time before MLS.

    That said, I think the best move that MLS teams can do is target high school kids. They have disposable incomes and are still forming their opinions about entertainment preferences. Toyota Park is a good spot for a cheap night of rowdiness.

  • McBride 5
    Collins 5
    Nyarko 7
    Husidic 5
    Lowry 4
    Pappa 6
    Ward 4
    Krol 4
    Brown 5
    Conde 5
    Umanzor 4
    Dykstra 4
    Mapp 3
    Banner Unable
    Thats just me but I Dykstra needs to open his mouth and organize that d, either that or put the rookie in, Busch may of been smaller but at least he won't make those mistakes...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    I dont think the Fire released Busch because they think Dykstra is better than him...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I think they released Busch because they like Dykstra's potential. It's pretty clear Dykstra is not as good as Busch right now.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    This is the best analysis that I've read of yesterday's game. Keep up the good work.
    I am obviously disappointed in the results so far but there are bright spots, specifically Nyarko and Pappas. I would like to see Husidic get more time as the playmaking midfielder. Based on comments, Lowery may be a better fit as the defensive mid. Logan has been too erratic to depend on. I also think that Mapp has seen his best days. Time for the Fire to move on.

    When Busch was let go there was a rumor that DLC was looking at a Mexican GK, what happened to that?

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Thanks short passes.
    When Busch was released there was an unfounded rumor circulating on various soccer boards that the Fire was interested in Salvadoran goalkeeper Miguel Montes. This was fueled by Montes' club team being in the States playing a friendly against the LA Galaxy during the week that Busch was released. There was nothing to the rumor.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    The man knows what he is talking about that's for sure , I busted out laughing when I read the comment about 45 minutes of jogging from Mapp and not much else.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    I really couldn't be more dissapointed with the game. though there were so many negatives, there were a couple positives.

    Clearly the cohesiveness of the team needs to improve. I know as the days go on Cobos will figure everything out and put the best lineup he can out there.

    Dykstra will get better. The more comfortable he gets with managing the defense the smoother communication and passing we will have (i.e.eliminating situations like the ward back pass fiasco). Tim Ward had a miserable game. The bad back pass, which I think Brown could have maybe had a miracle slide tackle right away, but none the less Ward was terrible. He also coudln't stay with Opara on SJ's 2nd goal. I would much rather see Krol start over umanzor. Krol looked a lot better. Mapp sucks and doesn't do anything to spark the offense. I thought Baggio played really well. I would like to see him keep getting the start. Pause and Lowery are the same player. Baggio is a lot more versatile in the midfield. He can defend and get forward. his crosses are very good too.

    I think Collins John is very good. Yes he should have had 2 goals no questions asked. But once he scores these gimmies, he'll be a extremely dangerous player. On the other hand McBride is so useless i can't think straight. His never turns and goes forward, he's too slow to beat any defender to a cross or threw ball. Him and John are essentially the same positions. Except McBride has no technicall skills with the ball. Overall, McBride is completely useless. He's too slow, his heading severly lacks, and technicall skills are non-existent. Nyarko is an absolute stud. The only thing he could have done better was too shoot more and have that killer instict. But overall he was outstanding.

    Strategy- Ofcourse McBride is going to start, but I think in or around the 60-65th minute, you sub out McBride for banner. Put Nyarko up top to stretch the field with his speed and give the defenders something to actually worry about. Let banner run at people on the wing, and get crosses in. As well as don't sub Baggio for Mapp at halftime. Baggio is much better and adds more offense than Mapp could ever do at the moment. If you do these things earlier in the second half, we tie up- or even win the game late on because San Jose was terrible team. Either way with those subs and tactics I think we are capable of winning or at the very least save point for our home opener.

    I think next weekend we'll see a better team and better play. After that performance it won't be that hard to improve.

  • In reply to jking:

    Saying McBride has "no technical skill" is saying that he has no technique. Which is not true at all. Sure he might be slow and just a shell of his old self, he still has the best technique on the team. Nyarko should not be up top because he will always have a defender on him then and if he does beat that defender, he doesnt know how to finish so he would miss the breakaway. He should be on the outside so he can beat the defender and then cross the ball like he did for John in the first and second half. Pappa in the middle is a good call. Lets him be creative enough and he is willing to take shots. Isn't that what everyone was complaining about last season, not taking shots when the opportunity presented itself? I don't mind that he is willing to do that. Krol needs to be starting.

  • In reply to jking:

    Valid points Jking, but I wouldn't call McBride useless just yet. After all, Chris Doran thought his "workmanlike effort" was one of the bright spots of the match when asked to name highlights during the postgame show.

  • Wow, that was painful to watch. That might have been one of the worst played MLS matches I've ever seen. I'm now more upset about Busch being cut then I was last week. Nyarko continues to be the best player on the field, IMO. He shows flashes of creativity that remind me of watching Torres in a Liverpool jersey. If Patrick can convert some of those plays into strong shots on goal, look out.

    If last night was any indication, this is going to be a long season :(

  • Communication and organization has to start with the keeper. If this kid is not confident of telling the defenders what to do, then its going to be a long season back there.

    I hope McBride isn't done. He may have decided to come back because with Blanco leaving, they would have been really lacking up top.

  • Thanks DJ. I really don't think money was the reason for the move at goalkeeper. That being said I also don't believe Dykstra outplayed Busch during the preseason. If money was the main concern you have to think that there are higher paid veterans on the team that were far less valuable than Busch was that would have been more sensible cuts. The Busch move was difficult for the organization and the fans but it seems to have been made out of faith in the ability of the two young keepers. Whether it was the right move or not remains to be seen.

  • Joe; you call McBride heading the ball to San Jose's defense all the time good technical skill. You call bringing the ball down and not being able to turn when he has space good technical skill, I don't know what game you were watching. I'm sure you are capable of trapping the ball and passing the ball backward. He never took a shot, never turned and went forward and never really had a positive header ( not even on goal because he's not quick enough). Name one good technical thing he did last night... He is too slow. Being able to run and apply decent pressure the whole game isn't good enought anymore. We have to have more.

    I also said that Nyarko should play out wide for much of the game because he can beat defenders one on one. Not until the 60-70th minute do you move him up top, because stretching the the defense is so crucial. Banner is good 1v1 as well. you are not going to get any type of break away or through ball with McBride and john up there. that is my point.

    I appreciate that Guillermo. Although I think Chris Doran is trying to be nice to McBride. he has had a good career. However, a workman like effort isn't good enough anymore. We need more production at this point. Anyone can give a good workman-like effort, but when it comes to being a good effective forward, McBride just looks terrible. I would have rather he sucked by missing 1 or 2 great chances than what he did last night!

  • In reply to jking:

    If McBride isnt up there we wouldnt win ANY headballs the whole game. Thats the role he is playing for the team. You want him to turn and take defenders on? That is what John is for. That is what Nyarko is for. That is what Pappa is for. We cant have a team full of dribblers on the field. You probably want Pause out because he doesnt shoot or take people on.

    When Nyarko is up top he is not as dangerous. He has been our best player on the wing. A forwards job is not to turn and take defenders on all the time. That is the only thing Nyarko is good at at the moment. He doesnt have the ability to score goals yet. If you want someone to stretch the field, why not Calen? Nyarko and Calen have roughly the same "technical ability."

  • In reply to jking:

    I like this debate Joe.

    By winning headballs do you mean just getting a head on it,or actually heading the ball with a purpose(to try and keep possesion)? I didn't see alot of either last night. This isn't the first time thats happened by the way.

    When did I say McBride should take defenders on? Thats the last thing he should do. you're right a team shouldn't be full of dribblers. However, if McBride has space, taking the ball down, turn, look up make a pass to keep the attack going is something completley differen. John's job isn't to take defenders on either. His ability to hold the ball with composure and dish it off is second to none. Example being pappa's goal. Plus we will see him start to finish with a missile of a shot. John's headers are even better than Mcbride's! A forward's job is not to to take on defenders all the time,however a forward should be able to turn with the ball, look up and distribute in dangerous ways.

    Ok, have you been watching carr the last 3 years. I'm going to stop debating with you if you're going to use examples like this. The last time I saw carr play his touch was terrible and he has lost all his speed. If both are healthy they have nowhere near the same technical ability. Nyarko is on another level. Carr will always be a non-factor, unless the front line gets killed. Mapp is getting close to that point now if he's not already there.

  • In reply to jking:

    I was being sarcastic with Carr. Carr and Austin Washington are comparable. Its not very easy to be heading a long ball with a defender on your back at all times. McBride is the best we have at winning the first ball. Its the other players job to win the second. John has not won the first ball in the air these past 2 games he has started. Are you saying that McBride doesnt have the ability to bring the ball down and make a good pass? Because that is a little extreme. John is a good player, I know, but his headers are not better than McBride's.

    Pause hasnt been inconsistent. He has played the same way for his whole Fire career. He is a defensive mid. Thats what he does. He stays back and wins a lot of balls for our team. He makes mistakes but who doesnt in MLS. Lowry is not a defensive mid. We were lucky that SJ is as bad as they are because we looked lost in the middle without Pause. I would absolutely take Pause and Thorrington in my starting lineup. Lowry is not a every game starter yet and either is Husidic.

    I would play a lineup like this (assuming everyone is healthy)

    ------McBride--------John------------
    Pappa-------------------------Nyarko

    ----------Thor-----------------------
    -----------------Pause---------------
    Krol-------Conde------CJ--------Ward
    ---------------Dykstra--------------

    And I hope that you're being serious about the debate because I'm enjoying it.

    You're ideal lineup is...

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