Fire vs Toronto FC Game Recap and Player Ratings

After controlling a good portion of the first half despite being down 1-0 the Fire turned in an absolutely dismal second half defensive effort in route to a 4-1 loss in Toronto.  Not only was the defensive effort lacking but it seems that several players were negatively affected by line up and formation changes.  Carlos De Los Cobos decided to start Logan Pause in a 4-1-4-1 formation which moved Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry away from the positions that proved successful for them over the last three matches.  Pause turned in a decent effort and scored a beautiful goal but his insertion into the line up also moved Patrick Nyarko and Marco Pappa into wing positions.  This formation further exposed the Fire's biggest offensive weakness.  Lack of a true play making midfielder who can play in the middle of the park.

Nyarko and Pappa also seemed to be working on sides opposite their strengths.   Nyarko played mostly on the left side after finding success along the right through the first six matches of the season.  Pappa was a non factor before being subbed out in the 51st minute.  Until the Fire fills the central midfield position or Marco Pappa magically becomes a consistent central midfielder frustrating forays into the final third will continue. 

The Fire created enough opportunities going forward but the lack of a final pass or touch leading to truly dangerous scoring chances is still a problem. 

Player Ratings

GK Andrew Dykstra (4) - Made a few decent saves but he was left out to dry by his defense.  Any time you allow four goals it's not a good day.

D CJ Brown (3) - White snuck behind him for the second Toronto goal and the entire back line was caught napping on goals three and four.

D Wilman Conde (3) - Beaten by White on a move leading to the third goal.  Possibly Conde's worst game in a Fire uniform.  Also whiffed on a first half ball that was cleared by Brown.

D Tim Ward (3) - Late getting back all day and provided little offensive support.

D Krzysztof Krol (4) - Caught lunging on the third Toronto goal which allowed White to continue forward.  Slightly better than the other three coming forward in support.

M Logan Pause (6) - Pause seldom gets forward but his score today was "Goal of the Week" worthy. Also caught ball watching and offered no support on Toronto's second goal.

M Baggio Husidic (4) - Nowhere near as active as he has been over the last few weeks.  Service in the final third was non existent along with the rest of the midfield.

M Peter Lowry (4) - Subbed out in the 36th minute for Collins John.  According to Mike Matkovich at half time the substition was based on getting a more offensive threat on the field. 

M Marco Pappa (4) - Not much of a factor at all before being subbed out in the 51st minute for Corben Bone.  His service was awful today.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Nowhere near as dangerous or productive today. Managed to spend too much time on the left side of the field.  Generated some decent runs that were sabotaged by bad passing or passes to red shirts.

F Brian McBride (4) - At some point hustle and effort have to translate into results.  Outside of the DC game it has not.  Subbed out in the 81st minute.

F Collins John (4) - Came in for Lowry in the 36th minute.  Had a few opportunites to continue dangerous advances but weak crossing and lack of finishing was par for the course today.

M Corben Bone (4) - Came in for Pappa in the 51st minute to see his first MLS action but didn't provide a whole lot. 

F Stefan Dimitrov (4) - The Fire have three forwards who essentially play the same position.  The team lacks a true change of pace at forward with McBride, John, and Dimitrov.

Ref Terry Vaughn (4) - No real damage although the foul call on Nyarko against Usanov after the defender shoulder checked McBride in the box was terrible.  Four minutes later Toronto scored their third goal.

The Fire showed a disturbing lack of discipline and concentration on the third and fourth goals as the entire back line was caught playing too high.  De Los Cobos has six days to ponder which midfield combination is best served to combat Kansas City on their tiny pitch where possesion is critical. 

My50 Telecast

The production in this game was even worse than the Fire's effort in the second half.  The entire match featured shaky shots, missed re-starts, and unnecessary lingering close ups of players who weren't even involved in the play. 

The half time show consisted of another international soccer scoreboard with no mention of the six other MLS matches occurring today.  The RSL-Philly score was shown shortly after halftime during the second half.

The promoted 30 minute post game show was completed in 15 minutes and offered no interviews or post game locker room coverage.

I like the combination of Dan Kelly and Chris Doran although I don't agree with Doran's over the top profuse praise of every move made by Logan Pause and Brian McBride. 



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  • I don't think Doran is weak, I just didn't agree with some of his comments.

    Barrett has always hustled, he's just never been that good.

  • Doran kept saying Pause this and Pause that was good news for Fire fans, I guess he does not read the blogs.
    Chad Barret will not be heard from again this season , he has 2 good games every year and that is it.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Your typical Chad Barrett stat line: no goals, two missed shots and gets subbed in the 60 minute mark. So far, Barrett has 3 goals in 2 games against his old team. Even though he has played 2 games against his former team, he never played up to his potential when he played for the "Men In Red" before he was dealt 2 years ago for McBride. Barrett with wind up with 5 or 6 goals in 20 to 25 games.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Guillermo, Giving Tim Ward a 3 is too high.

    His errant pass created the Toronto counter-attack on their third goal.

    He also got caught flat-footed later when Dykstra made that nice near-side save.

    His corner-kicks were pretty abysmal, as well.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    I would be interested to see what ratings the Fire organization would receive after all the promises made this off-season.

    Personally I want to know why they are becoming more of a joke?

    Media deals are supposed to be a huge area of revenue for the team and be a main marketing piece. What ever knuckhead set this deal up for the Fire should honestly watch one of these feeds and ask how this is helping promote their product. - 0

    Why does Blano get a huge write up in the Tribune and the Fire get a 2 paragraph review of the game. Screw Blanco, he is 37 going on 52 and far past his prime, time to move on. Placement aside from the Daily Herald have been non-existent. - 1

    Finally, why does Frank still have a job? Sure it might be a rebuilding year but I guarantee this ship is going no where fast with him at the helm. If he is responsible for bringing and signing talent, it is ultimately on him if de los Cabos' guys don't work out. Sure he might have been an adequate player but he has absolutley no resume when it comes to management. - 0

    Sorry Fire-faithfuls, but there is not much hope in this organization other than the off-season being just around the corner with more front-office hyping up some new prospect that won't make it into the starting XI.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    I'd like to see some posts after victories too.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Worry about yourself and not what the Flopas does.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    Lol. Third person references are always funny.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    Patrick I hope you're right. I actually compared my disgust and disappointment of Saturday's performance to The Chelsea Man City Match a couple months ago, it obviously turned out fine for Chelsea but then again the Fire are not stacked with talent like Chelsea.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    What has Klopas done wrong? Were 2-3-2 with 23 games left. We have the most talented roster and a coach that plays how we want the team to play for the most part. The only real move that hasnt really payed off was Busch, but thats it. Get over yourself.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I have confidence in De Los Cobos. The Fire's achilles heel is at the goalkeeper position. I am sure you will see "Sean John" Sean Johnson in for a few games before the seasons end. I would not mind having Blanco back with the team for the minimum but then again they have other players from overseas they are eyeing on.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Actually Doug, he does read the blogs - he just doesn't agree with everything he reads.

  • Great homecoming game for TFC. The Fire got out played. I feel sorry for Collins. What is up with him not starting and what is up with Martinez or Banner. The Fire got clearly out runned yesterday. I guess they were counting on a slow game since Barrett was in the game. Congrats to B-man.

    As for the Telecast, My50 HD was awesome. Thanks to my Sony 50' LED from Best Buy which I bought by not buying my Season Tickets this year!!! Thanks Fire it was the best investment I've made I am so ready for the World Cup and I am enjoying every Tournament. If They keep up this way I wonder what I will spend next years Season Tickets Allowance on.

  • In reply to Janjo:

    Collins John did not return to full training until Thursday. That is likely the reason why he did not start. The decision to pull a midfielder in the 36th minute to bring him on was questionable.
    I'm surprised that Banner was not in the 18. Martinez' play so far explains why he wasn't on the field.

  • In reply to Janjo:

    I couldn't watch the game so I'm at the mercy of the reporters but the obvious question is why dramatically change a line up that has been working? With all due deference to Logan Pause, his reinstatement should have been delayed or made less dramatic. Shuffling Pappa's and Nyarko's positions at the same time or because of the insertion of Pause caused needles confusion. With all that said it appears to have also been a real downer for the back line. Need to give the Lowery-Husidic partnership another shot.

  • In reply to shortpasses:


  • Pause was the best player in a Fire uniform yesterday and gets bashed here... Having Pause back IS good news. The only person that it's not good news to have back is Caitlin Carr. The whole team was ball watching on the second goal but Pause is the only one that gets stick for it. He gets the ball and and passes it to someone else. He wins tackles and doesnt make very many mistakes. You guys want him to be attacking and he hits a bomb and its still not good enough. Every team needs a player like Pause. Was it just last year that he got called up to the national team? He must be doing something right...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Pause got the highest rating of any Fire player yesterday. His strike on goal was fantastic but if you watch the replay on the second goal he tracked White the whole time and just stopped. Brown and Ward also let White run to the front of the net unmarked. His performance in the first two games of the year was also sub par.
    Getting called in for the Gold Cup with the rest of the C team was an honor for sure, but he wasn't called back in for a reason as well. Pause's major strengths are hustle, effort, and work rate that is why his teammates love him. There is room for Pause on a squad but most fans realize his limitations.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    One good game which he still had some flaws does not excuse everything.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I'm almost glad that I didn't see this one. I think that this is the kind of game that happens once a year.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    That was Pause's first goal in four years. Last year, he was called up by the National Team with the rest of the C rated players. By the way, they lost to Grenada 5-1. Just because he scored a goal, doesn't indicate that he should be in the Soccer Hall of Fame. "He wins" so far, they are 0-3-1 with him in the lineup; also, they are 2-0-1 without him in the lineup. The offense moves better without Pause in the lineup. The reason why he started because Mapp was injured and De Los Cobos had to reshuffle the lineup. Pause is just a guy in the lineup that doesn't dazzle anybody but they are better players you can start ahead of Pause at that position.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I was soo shocked to see Pause score. I've always called him "Logan Pass." I've seen him pass the ball on a clear shot. Congrats to Pause and I hope he score more often.

  • I give everyone a 4 even Pause his only 2nd career goal, not impresive, Conde had 2 goals last year. I think it was way to cold and nobody could open their mouth so lack of comunication and just being way to high cause the Fire to lack possesion. I was hoping for a tie now I know we we get another loss against the Wizards...

  • God Speed buddy!!! A chocolate protein shake salute to everybody! Sorry for being on a hiatus.

  • The Fire TFC game is the worst performance from the Fire I have seen. Barret sucks, I could have scored those goals. He won't score again this season.

    The commentating needs to go. Chris Doran is gos awful and dan kelley is awful as well. Get Eric Wynalda to commentate with anyone else. i don't care.

    Pause had a bomb of a shot, but he's still not putting together a solid performance. We need to ditch this 4-5-1 because mcBride is awful and it's not working. I really hope John breaks out soon.

    Overall, awful game...period. No one played well at all. Announcing sucked and the camera work was crappy. Too many useless replays, and not enough good camera work. Embarassing all around! Can't wait to watch the Fire-KC game....

  • In reply to jking:

    Hey jking, as I mentioned above, I respect your opinion and if you have anything specific you'd like to offer in the way of constructive criticism, I'm open to that.

  • Hey dj, I respect your opinion and if you have anything specific you'd like to offer in the way of constructive criticism, I'm open to that. And I agree, I enjoyed working with and listening to Kenny Stern.

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