Fire vs Chivas USA Game Recap and Player Ratings

The Fire followed up their best effort of the season with a fairly uninspired and lackluster 1-1 draw at home.  Chivas USA had the advantage in play during the first half as the Fire seldom seemed threatening.  The Fire was better in the second half and took advantage of their first real scoring opportunity of the match when Patrick Nyarko's cross was sent into the net past Zach Thornton by Baggio Husidic in the 53rd minute. 

Chivas USA tied the match in the 76th when Maicon Santos headed a corner kick into the net.  Santos, a 69th minute substitute, managed to free himself in between Brian McBride and Wilman Conde to get the shot away. 

Collins John was originally in the starting line up but was scratched due to hamstring tightness. 

Player Ratings

GK Andrew Dykstra (6) - Not a bad effort but still manages to mishandle balls that he should hold on to.  The goal was not his fault, but despite his "save of the week" against Houston he has not really been tested yet this season.

D Deris Umanzor (5) - Better than his debut effort but not particularly impressive either.  Nowhere near as dangerous in advancing runs as Krol and not as good a defender either.

D Tim Ward (6) - Chivas never really threatened on his side.  Some involvement going forward resulted in little offensively.

D CJ Brown (6) - You always know what you're going to get.

D Wilman Conde (6) - Effective as always while physically taking Justin Braun off the ball several times.  Difficult to tell if Santos was his mark or McBride's on the Chivas score.  Seems to me it was Conde's.

M Peter Lowry (6) - Stayed back defensively for the majority of the game.  Klejstan was not a huge factor offensively for Chivas.

M Baggio Husidic (7) - Being in the right place at the right time enabled him to score for the second consecutive week.  The more I see of Husidic the more I like what he brings to the team. 

M Justin Mapp (5) - Only played 22 minutes after being fouled in the 14th by Michael Lahoud during a tackle that should have been at least a yellow. 

M Patrick Nyarko (6) - His cross resulted in the lone goal. Had several other opportunities for dangerous chances but only delivered on one.  Passed up another look at goal in the 37th minute when he slowed down and allowed Chivas defenders to recover.  Did reasonably well against USMNT defender Jonathan Bornstein.

M Marco Pappa (6) - Other than the service to Nyarko leading to the goal, Pappa was fairly quiet.  He has started to look better playing centrally in the last two games but Chivas' 5 man midfield seems to have caused him some problems.

F Brian McBride (5) - Never seemed to be much of a factor or threat to score.  It seems that his "off" games are spent pursuing the action in the midfield when he is not involved up front.  If Collins John is healthy, De Los Cobos has the right idea by subbing him in or out of games. 

M Mike Banner (6) - Involved in the run up to the Chicago goal.  Did not play badly as a substitute for Mapp.  Subbed out in the 81st for offense.

M Julio Martinez (4) - Unfortunately the offensive player Banner was subbed for was Martinez, who played 9+ unimpressive and nearly invisible minutes.

F Stefan Dimitrov (5) - Subbed in for McBride in the 88th minute.  Did a reasonable job of trying to get a PK call late. 

Ref Jason Anno (4) - Missed a yellow card call on a studs up tackle (Lahoud on Mapp).  The sideline referee also blew an offides call on a Nyarko break away in extra time.  I think I'm going to stop rating the referee since I don't believe any MLS official will rate above a 5 at any time.

Next week's opponent Toronto FC lost to Real Salt Lake 2-1. 

The Fire found success by utilizing a 4-5-1 formation against two sides employing a 4-4-2.  Chivas' additional midfielder and two rookie central midfielders slowed down the attack and possesion game that made the Fire so effective against Houston.  This further illustrates the Fire's need for a central attacking midfielder who can create.  Unfortunately this is the most difficult position to fill in MLS. 

Random Thoughts

My50 post game included interviews with Nyarko and Klopas.  Some people would still like to see the coaches post game press conferences.

Someone please tell Safway Insurance that Blanco is not on the team any more.



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  • If this is supposed to be a more possession type of game, I don't think Conde has gotten the message. He keeps sending long balls up field that are usually easily intercepted, losing possession. I know after the game was tied, they tried pushing things up farther, but the Fire midfielders are not winning those long balls. They seem better on the dribble.

  • Positives: Lowry and Baggio are playing well. Wonder how Thorrington is going to get in the mix when healthy... Nyarko is dangerous on the wings once again. Not so much up top thought. Dimitrov should get more minutes. I remember watching him last season and he play similar to McBride. he brought that ball down and I have seen PKs given for less than that.

    Negatives: McBride is fading, looking like he should be the late game sub instead of the starter that I thought he was... We played way to many long balls last night. Nyarko has no finishing ability whatsoever. Not a fan of Banner so I hope Mapp is alright. McBride didnt even move on the goal they scored, might have been Condes mark but if McBride jumps he would have thrown off the player at the least. Umanzor will make a decent backup defender for us. Did Krol only get one game or was it more?

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Also, when Nyarko beat that defender and then had that terrible shot on goal in the 2nd half, if he plays that ball low and hard right after he beat the defender it would have been a goal. Instead he had that terrible attempt on goal...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Red cards are automatic one game suspensions. Thorrington is probably a few weeks away.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I know it is one game, but it was a straight red for a head butt. Thought the league might look down on that and give him more.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Maybe Garber wasn't watching. If he connects with that head butt it may have been a different story.

  • In reply to cesba:

    "Someone please tell Safway Insurance that Blanco is not on the team any more."

    Somebody please tell ChicagoNow that Blanco is not on the team anymore... (See:banner)

  • In reply to cweimers:


  • In reply to cweimers:

    Dykstra has looked kind of solid, in an "I'm only here because the guy who should be starting got dumped because of his salary" way. Nyarko is going to be named Fire MVP. If he actually takes a shot. On paper, we should have beat this team. We didn't really play with that much urgency.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    He did take a shot this week, but he shouldn't have. I dont really understand why everyone wants him to shoot more. What good is that going to do? It's not going to change the way the defender is going to play him. If he keeps putting some good crosses in and others score, it's just as good.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    We want to see Nyarko takes some shots because when you've got the keeper 1-1, it would seem a higher probability of scoring than crossing the ball back into the pack of defenders he just outpaced down the pitch. He's so fast, he beats his men, but then when he passes, everyone catches up.

    On Dykstra, I agree. He's pretty decent at getting himself in position, but those hands. Catch the ball and hold on to it. As for that, if people were watching closely in warm-ups, Sean Johnson made an unbelievable stop on the last play of shooting practice, jumping high in the air and catching a missile in his hands (ala an NFL receiver.) The entire row of fans I was sitting with just looked at eachother when he made that stop and started talking about how much longer until he takes the starting job. I'd love to see him play a full 90 and see if he's as impressive as he's been during some of his warm-ups.

  • In reply to Byron:

    We have alot of friendlies coming up so we will see him for sure.

  • In reply to Byron:

    GR--please don't stop the referee ratings. Hopefully it will eventually reach the wingnuts at the top who think that MLS has to resemble the NFL in order to be successful.

  • In reply to Byron:

    Going to explain this one more time,,,,,
    If Nyarko takes a few shots , his crosses will be even more dangerous because teams will not be able to concentrate on a cross coming from him, it will also keep the keepers honest.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I'd like to see him shoot more just because he's passing up opportunities to score and allowing defenders to catch up while he looks to cross. I can't fault him for the shot he did take late in the game since he probably only saw Chivas defenders from the angle he was positioned in.
    He will be even more difficult to defend if he develops a consistent shot.

  • I think after Mapp went out we should of switched to 4-4-2. Also I was disappointed the when the Fire allowed that goal Pappa was sitting in the far post then step out and was looking at the ball when it went in. 4 shots on goal also disappointing. I think Chicago will have some problems playing in Toronto, just saying...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    The Fire switched to a 4-4-2 late in the game when Dmitrov came in. He and Nyarko were positioned up top.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    I am not convinced on Dykstra. His hands still look way to soft. Those bobbles are going to turn into goals.

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