Real Salt Lake 1 Fire 0 Game Recap and Player Ratings

The Fire outplayed the MLS Cup champions for the better part of the match but came away empty handed again due to one of the familiar themes that have plagued the team so far this inability to finish.  Incredibly, Steve Kinney provided the Fire's best chances to score while hitting the post twice in the second half. 

The insertion of Brian McBride and Justin Mapp to start the second half seemed to energize the team offensively as the Fire controlled the run of play for a majority of the final 45 minutes.  Mapp replaced Mike Banner on the left wing while Banner moved to the holding midfield spot next to Wilman Conde.  Baggio Husidic assumed the central attacking midfield position due to line up shifting caused by the various injuries the team is currently nursing. 

"The second half the team played better when Brian and Justin Mapp arrived on the field.  I think the team changed in possesion and control of the game" said De Los Cobos "We had two or three clear options (chances) but we didn't take advantage".

 You can listen to the entire De Los Cobos post game press conference here.

The first half was fairly evenly played as neither team was particularly dangerous until Robbie Findley rattled the post in the 38th minute.  One minute later Findley attempted a run into the box which was challenged by CJ Brown.  Brown made some shoulder contact with Findley while lunging to defend Findley's charge.  Brown's lunge missed Findley's foot but the RSL forward tripped himself as he tried to jump over Brown's challenge.  Terry Vaughn, as he is accustomed to doing, blew the whistle and proceeded to make an incorrect call for the spot. 

Player Ratings

GK Andrew Dykstra (6) - Played a more sure handed match than some of his earlier efforts.  Managed to provide two saves.  Cut off a late second half charge from Findley that could have resulted in a more dangerous RSL opportunity if Findley had not dribbled himself out of position to shoot. 

D Steven Kinney (7) - Was the Fire's best player all night providing excellent support while tracking back dutifully.  Provided chances on crosses/passes as well (19th, 29th, 71st minutes).  Hit the post with headers in the 48th and 57th minutes.  Tim Ward and Dasan Robinson may not get the right back spot again any time soon.

D Krzyzstof Krol (5) - Decent effort.  Provided one cross to McBride in the 73rd minute which resulted in a missed shot on goal.

D Kwame Watson-Siriboe (5) - Another rookie defender with a solid effort.  Saborio and Findley were not particularly dangerous for most of the match. 

D CJ Brown (6) - Questioned the team's attitude earlier in the week and came through with an excellent effort although he was victimized by a very questionable foul call leading to the penalty kick. 

M Marco Pappa (5) - Not many opportunities for Pappa although he tried to force several trademark long bombs which were not on target. 

M Wilman Conde (5) - Conde seems fairly comfortable pushing the attack from the defensive midfield spot.  He was active while the defense played well behind him.

M Logan Pause (5) - Was substituted at halftime in favor of a more offensive approach.  Did reasonably well against Morales while he was in the match.

M Baggio Husidic (4) - Played the central attacking midfield role out of necessity but it's not a position he looks comfortable in.  Shot a header wide in the 19th minute and whiffed on a clear look at goal in the 48th.  The pass in the 48th minute was received from Steven Kinney.

M Mike Banner (4) - Provided the corner kicks that enabled Kinney to hit the post on two headers.  Passed up opportunities to attack the goal instead choosing to dribble against multiple defenders.  Moved to the defensive midfield spot next to Conde when Mapp entered the match at halftime. 

F Stefan Dimitrov (4) - Not much accomplished during the first 45 minutes before being subbed out for McBride.

F Brian McBride (5) - The energy of the team seemed to pick up with the addition of McBride and Mapp although McBride only had one real scoring chance, a header wide in in the 73rd.

M Justin Mapp (5) - Was better than Banner on the left side and provided more controlled possesion enabling the Fire to get forward in the second half. 

M Corben Bone (5) - Came on for Baggio Husidic in the 85th minute, which was much too late to provide much of an impact. 


The Fire do not play another MLS match until August 1 in Los Angeles.  The remainder of the month of July features three SuperLiga matches against Monarcas, New England, and Pumas.

Media Watch

I'm sure that I'm not the only person that feels this way, but the local media's incessant, disgustingly hopeless fawning, and eventually fruitless speculation regarding the possibility of Lebron James coming to Chicago made me as a Bulls fan actually root for James to sign anywhere but Chicago.

The Sun Times for one provided over the top, daily senseless pages of speculation that resulted in much to do about absolutely nothing. 

On 670am last week it was revealed that one of the hosts, Jason Goff, was rooting for Ghana to defeat the United States in World Cup play.  Not out of any sense of fandom for Ghana mind you but rather just so people could stop talking about soccer. 

Enjoy the Carlos Boozer era Jason. 



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  • In a way, I feel sorry for guys like Jason Goff and Glenn Beck. Their world is changing and there's nothing they can do to stop it. I gotta believe at least half the employees of the Tribune are with Goff. People are increasingly demanding intelligent analysis on soccer and they don't know what to do. Full disclosure, I was rooting against the Hypes throughout the playoffs because I was sick of the HypeyTown nonsense. It's funny that you see comments about ESPN shoving soccer down people's throats. But, this Lebron and Hypes love was beyond over the top.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    I feel ZERO sympathy on Jason Goff what so ever. Him mentioning on the radio that he was rooting for Ghana to beat USA makes me nauseating. I stop watching the NBA 5 years ago and couldn't be more happier than the outcome of the NBA free agency circus. I felt the same way that GR's analysis about the Lebron James coverage. It is a farce and scripted by Bosh, Wade and James with this NBA free agent along with that sleezebag Pat Riley.


  • I don't know how it happened but there is a letter in the Trib today that speaks the truth about baseball being the truly slow sport.

  • soccer knockers will be thrilled with this news.

  • I was impressed with Kinney for sure. Overall, his game was solid; he provided enough support with the attack and damn near scored a couple times. Given our situation, I wouldn't mind seeing more Kinney, Watson-Siriboe and Bone.

    We drafted these kids for a reason and it's not like our traditional starters have impressed so far. Seeing this is becoming more and more lie a rebuilding year, let's start giving our future players more field time.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Even though they lost vs. RSL my Player(s) of the Game were CJ Brown and Steve Kinney. I wanted to see more intensity from the Fire like CJ Brown did yesterday. GR, you forgot to rate Terry Vaughn, which is a 2; the worst referee in the MLS. Stefan Dimitrov rated a 4 was a bit too generous. He was a non factor in the 1st half and it is bad at soccer; I give him a 3. I believe that Kinney, Watson-Sirboe and Bone will be the future of the team for the next five years. Watson-Siriboe is a poor mans Bakary Soumare and Bone needs seasoning alongside with Steve Kinney.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    i think the ratings are pretty spot on from my perspective as well

    Banner frustrates me, because he is fast, he does a good job of finding space off the ball (which is why you see him recieve the ball so much during the game), but when he gets the ball in the final third, he just seems to lose his head.

    conde did a decent job at DM, winning the ball a lot, was very active, a bit thuggish as usual. sometimes careless in passing the ball out, but at least when he is at DM he is not the last man back being sloppy. i think the guy wants to be a CAM the way he plays hehe

    i still think our forwards are being used wrongly. they are not a good focal point of the attack at the top of the box. either use them as set up men to flick on a pass to a midfielder on a run, or have them make runs into the box for receiving crosses (which mcbride does a couple times a game)

    more kinney please. even tho a couple of hits shots were off target, good efforts. also some nice headers, just a bit off in direction but soooo close

    except for the last 10 minutes of the first half, and some parts of the 2nd half where they were throwing men forwards, the defense looked very organized. really the only bad defense was the time findley got in alone on the keeper, and dykstra did well to snuff that attack out

  • In reply to fireman451:

    its great to see young guys come in and make an impact...its also good that starters dont get too comfortable being starters. whats the incentive of superliga? the cash?

  • In reply to fireman451:

    i mean,,,what other sport plays a tourny in the middle of a season?

  • In reply to bert:

    I think the cash would be a motivator for me if I was making what they are.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    How does Watson-Siriboe get a lower rating than CJ when CJ was the one who fouled Findley in the box to set up RSL's only goal?

    Also, I hate listening to Glenn Davis. Hate.

  • In reply to tacologic:

    I strongly disagree with the foul call on CJ. Brown actually spent alot of time on the field directing Watson-Siriboe on where to be. Watson-Siriboe was solid but I thought Brown stepped it up a bit.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Glenn Davis and Martino are horrid. How many times do they need to mention that RSL never won in Chicago? Did the Fire not lose to RSL last season in the playoffs at Toyota Park?

    Anyways, I can't wait to see which ringer KlopASS brings in as a DP. But at least we can all rest assured that they will be playing inspired and attractive soccer, they have been lights out thus far this season. So to you Mr. Frankie, thanks for keeping to you word and keeping us entertained week to week. Not by the style of soccer but by guessing on the level of suck put forth.

  • In reply to ChristohperWallace:

    This immature name calling post should be deleted , change your photo !

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Not sure which part was so off base but anyways I changed my photo for you amigo.

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