Sloppy defending, inexcusably bad man marking and ineffective offensively. That pretty much sums up a disaster of an opening to the 2010 SuperLiga tournament. The Fire was hammered at home 5-1 by Monarcas Morelia and the loss was well deserved.
Steven Kinney scored the Fire's lone goal which at least kept the home side from being shut out completely. The Fire hierarchy has some critical decisions to make and some difficult questions to ask themselves after this mess of a loss.
1. Finishing has been a major problem for most of the season. While goal scoring is a concern, the glaring deficiency and number one cause for dropped points so far has been the careless and sloppy defending that continously results in easy goals for the opposition. Far too often, multiple attackers have appeared unmarked inside the box.
2. Injuries are common place in professional sports. The Fire currently have more than their share. Multiple injuries are no excuse for the lack of defensive organization that was on display today. Monarcas Morelia are a solid side but they're not Manchester United.
3. Additional roster maneuvers must be completed. A central attacker would be a nice addition but the defensive deficiencies must be addressed.
4. The Jon Busch decision looks questionable nearly half way through the year but there was not much Andrew Dykstra could have done to reverse the outcome today.
5. If one or two impact players are not added during the transfer window, the Fire organization must decide if this is indeed the rebuilding year they claimed it not to be. Relying on the return of players with unreliable histories to suddenly return from injury (i.e. Thorrington, John) and lift the team is a gamble at best and blind hope at worst. Bratislav Ristic and Miguel Caneo aren't exactly what most would consider impact additions.
You can listen to the De Los Cobos post game press conference here. I'm sure there will be some comments on the issues discussed and answers provided.