Legia Warsaw 3 Fire 0

The Fire finished the Sister Cities Tournament in fourth place after being defeated by Legia Warsaw 3-0.  After a scoreless first half which saw some improved play from the previous effort on Wednesday against Paris Saint-Germain, the Fire provided a second half effort reminiscent of the disorganized effort againt Toronto two weeks ago. 

Carlos De Los Cobos changed the starting line up in order to find minutes for players who have not seen much time this season.  The back line consisted of CJ Brown and Kwame Watson-Siriboe in the middle with Deris Umanzor on the left and Logan Pause on the right.  Justin Mapp started at right mid while Mike Banner manned the left side.  Baggio Husidic and Peter Lowry returned to their central roles in front of the defense while Corben Bone was given the nod as the central attacker.  Stefan Dimitrov played the lone forward in the 4-5-1.  Andrew Dykstra returned in goal. 


The Fire enjoyed a slight advantage in the run of play during a fairly uneventful first 45 minutes.  Corben Bone and Justin Mapp provided the best opportunity of the half for the Fire when Bone's lead pass sent Mapp in for a chance in the 39th minute.  Mapp's left footed attempt from the right side was blocked away by the Legia defense.  A right footed attempt one second sooner would have lead to a clear goal opportunity but Mapp's effort to shoot from his stronger side allowed the defense to recover.

A cross from Bone to Dimitrov also provided an opportunity in the 31st minute but Dimitrov's left footed chip on the run sailed high.  In the 32nd minute hesitation by Dykstra on a long ball into the box nearly resulted in an embarassing goal and Legia's best chance of the first half.  Luckily for the Fire, Legia's attempt on goal was chipped high over the net. 

The second half began with Wilman Conde replacing Brown.  Problems started in the 52nd minute when Dykstra came too far out of the box and missed a slide attempt at the ball resulting in an open shot on net which went wide.  The Watson-Siriboe/Conde combination did not appear to gel as the middle of the field was taken over by Legia. 

Legia broke through in the 59th minute as the entire Fire defense seemed to stand around flat footed while Maciej Iwanski buried a shot that Dykstra could do little about. 

The Fire did respond with several opportunities of their own but Legia goalkeeper Kostyantyn Makhonovskyy made two impressive saves to keep the score level.  In the 67th minute the keeper made a diving save on a Husidic shot from close range after a corner kick. In the 68th minute Mike Banner broke through the Legia defense for a one on one break on goal.  The keeper came out just far enough to get a finger tip on Banner's shot and send it wide of goal. 

That was as close as the Fire would get.  In the 69th minute Sebastian Szalachowski got behind the defense after Conde was dispossesed at midfield.  Deris Umanzor could not contain Szalachowski on the break away and just like that the score grew to 2-0 Legia.

The 71st minute saw another diving save by Makhonovskyy on another Banner attempt.  At this point Brian McBride entered the match for Lowry as the Fire switched to a 4-4-2.  The 74th minute saw another big save from the Polish keeper this time on a blast from Collins John just outside of the 18 and to his right. 

The Fire's defensive follies continued when Umanzor fell in his own end resulting in a chance for Legia from 20 yards out but the shot sailed wide.  The embarrassment continued in the 85th minute when Szalachowski beat Conde inside the box and fired a shot past Dykstra for a 3-0 lead. 

The 3-0 thumping at home while hosting an international tournament did not sit well with De Los Cobos.  "We're repeating what we saw on the field today with frequency" said De Los Cobos, "in just about every game we've played we have created chances and failed to finish...in soccer when that happens you will pay for it".  "In the first half we were organized and disciplined in the second half we were disorganized in the back".

De Los Cobos continued, "When you put on the Chicago Fire jersey you have to play with responsibility and there were some players that did not".


Conde for Brown (45')

Pappa for Bone (57')

John for Dimitrov (63')

McBride for Lowry (71')

Kinney for Husidic (86')

Martinez for Mapp (89')

Not Used : Krol, Johnson

Misc. Notes

The Fire actually outshot Legia 23-10 but careless play in the back and lack of finishing doomed the team again. 

Red Star Belgrade won the Sister Cities Cup by defeating Paris Saint-Germaine on penalty kicks after the teams finished tied 1-1.  Ludovic Giuly was not on the PSG game day roster after suffering an apparent injury during the first half of Wednesday's match. 

The Fire returns to MLS action on Thursday when FC Dallas comes to Toyota Park.  FCD has thumped the Fire hard in Toyota Park during the last two seasons while maintaining the Brimstone Cup.  De Los Cobos was clearly not happy after this match and Thursday's match is needed to restore confidence and order to a struggling Fire team.







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  • Ouch. I can't say anything else.

  • Conde thought he was Ronaldinho more so last night than ever before. Mapp played well and so did KWS and Lowry. Pappa, McBride, John all changed the game when they came on. Finishing was atrocious. Banner looked like a high school kid out there both nights of the tournament.

    High points of the night were the Polish dancers at half time. Did we actually pay them for that? It looked like a talent show audition. That new t shirt shooter that they had... The thing didnt even make it to the stands from 15 yards away and then didnt even work in the 2nd game. Then when those t shirt people threw the shirts into the Red Star supporters, and then they threw them back like Cub fans do a opposing team home run. Then they picked them up and threw them back in. It was the most ridiculous half time events that I have ever seen.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Conde was all over the place....in bad way. I thought Mapp, Waton-Siriboe, and Bone had decent games.

  • Wow. The Fire need to get their act together. For a team that traditionally plays their best soccer in spring and fall and their worst in June and July, they aren't looking so good. I think the real problem is a lack of stability. That is one of the best adjectives to describe Dykstra: unstable. Anyways, is this tournament a complete failure?

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    As close to failure as you can get. At least the Red Star Belgrade fans had a good time.

  • The Fire just throw the game out. No disapline at all. What were they doing? !st half looked like pratice just kick and laught at each other. Come on guys anyone want to be serious for a second, just what was the plan. I know you want to give your players a shot but your at home and your fans come out to see you play so you give them crap...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    The first half was actually the better half. The second half discipline was atrocious.

  • In reply to cesba:

    From where I was sitting it didn't look like it. LOL!

  • The total attendance for both games was announced at 12,234. I'm wondering if protein shakes are a good combination with the super tacos though. I know some of the Fire brass does read the blog.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Dj it's on!!
    Gman beans and protein shakes don't mix, phew!! ;)

  • Over-under on how much the Fire lost on this tournament? I say $300,000. With this tournament so close to the AC Milan game a lot of fans had to choose how to spend the $$ they had, they chose the Milan game.

  • In reply to milicz:

    As a season ticket holder, I wouldn't mind a refund... or two bonus tickets. I was VERY disappointed at the lack of effort from the team. I'm one more disappointing friendly away from deciding to just skip all friendlies in the future.

  • In reply to milicz:

    I think if they just try and up the atmosphere things will work out. Dollar hot dog nights once a month! More food stands! Free giveaways at every game! Twenty dollar corner kick seats! Cheaper food! A good DP! Cheaper jerseys inside of TP! That's great marketing. I love it when the fans and management work together.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    They are $10 corner kick seats for Thursday... It would be nice to have $1 hot dog day once a season. I can only recall having it one time in 3 years.

  • In reply to milicz:

    Wins go a long way toward helping the marketing effort. It will be amazing to see what happens if the team ever stops dropping points at home.

    A good DP would be nice. It would also be great if the authentic jerseys were actually available for purchase at the park.

  • If people want to go to the games, guess what, they will make it out to the game. I bet there will be 15,000 at the Milan game simply because Ronaldinho is scheduled to be there. I bet he plays the first half and get out of there. This is probably the last thing he wants to do right now. He didnt make the World Cup squad and then he has to go travel across the world to play us when he could be at home.

  • i was actually kinda pleased with the first half, other than the finishing. playing so many non-starters and they had quite a few decent chances.

    the 2nd half, Conde played about as badly as he possibly could have. very disappointed in conde and the left back, who dove at several balls he couldnt get to and left his man unattended

  • oh, and i thought Bone played quite well in the first half. give this kid a start!

  • Dj!! Don't believe the hype about location. The Fire spent or more likely handed over lots of money to a 4th rate marketing company (which I also bet is a homebased business from a relative or friend of Fire management. To make us believe that the reason for the last years weak as hell attendence was due to location.
    Dj, Toyota Park has been around since 2007. That's a bunch of doggie doodoo inside a brown paper bag waiting to be lit on the front entrance of TP. We all know why, stealing the gigantic banners from S8, racially motivated attacks on fans inside the stadium from rent-a-cops with chips on there shoulders, management thinking season ticket holders are subornent (spelling) fans they are a dime a dozen. Taking away the Super Nachos and the Stella beer stand on the westside of Toyota Park stadium. When will the love fest start. People go to concerts every week all around the outskirts of town. If one is in the Northside nobody complains oh tweeter arena is too far? Or somebody from the southside complaining Alpine Valley is too far. It's all about worth vs. value. There is no worth attending if they don't value your presence. Sweet conclusion !
    Janjo out!

  • I agree with Janjo on this one...noone seemed to have a problem finding Toyota Park during the playoffs last year.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I'd be curious to see the attendance for games where Andrew attends, and games when he doesn't. Not that I'm always aware when he attends, but I feel like when he comes through town, the marketing efforts are ramped up, we get a sell-out, and when he's not around, it's same-old same-old.

    The numbers may disprove me, but that's my working hypothesis.

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