Fire 3 Earthquakes 0 - Game Recap and Player Ratings

The Fire's passing was sharper than it has been all season and the end result was their biggest margin of victory this year.  A 3-0 win with a more agressive line up while eliminating some of the repetitive errors made throughout the first 24 matches should create some higher spirits heading into Dallas on Saturday. 

San Jose had a few chances in the first half but the Fire responded well and took the lead on Steven Kinney's header in the 40th minute.  The goal marked a reversal from one of the more disturbing trends this season as the Fire finally managed to score a late goal.  It also ended a club record string of 401 minutes without a goal. 

Freddie Ljungberg's fantastic chip for the second goal in the 72nd minute also put an end to an even more disturbing trend.  It marked the first goal from the run of play since August 21 in Houston.  The Fire will now head to Dallas hoping to end their 17 game unbeaten run. 

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Another solid game from the rookie keeper.  Stayed in front of everything and in control of the box.  San Jose tried to challenge him from distance in the first half to no avail.

D Steven Kinney (6) - Scored his first MLS goal on a header in the first half which gave the Fire the lead.  Fair on the defensive end. 

D Kwame Watson-Siriboe (7) - Impresive two games for the rookie center back.  Solid play in the middle is a good sign for 2011.  Marking was better and cleared everything his way. 

D Dasan Robinson (6) - May be better in the middle than at right back.  San Jose had some space in the first half and early in the second but not enough to break through. 

D Krzyzstof Krol (5) - Did well getting forward in the first half but Wondolowski was allowed way too much space at times on his side.  Picked up a yellow card on a pretty weak call. 

M Logan Pause (6) - Nice effort from Pause defensively breaking up passes and also pushed the ball forward at the right times when needed. 

M John Thorrington (5) - His trademark effort and hustle were evident while colliding with Busch on a run in the second half. 

M Marco Pappa (5) - Seems to be slowly finding some form. Provided nice crosses in the 11th and 35th but his second half was so-so.

M Bratislav Ristic (7) - Started on the right side and looked solid again.  His passing seems to pick up the motion and flow of the attack.  Provided excellent balls throughout.

F Freddie Ljungberg (8) - A designated player worthy performance with 1 goal and 2 assists.  The chip shot on Busch after a touch to himself was a thing of beauty.  

F Calen Carr (5) - A less than stellar first half was followed up by an impressive second half.  Several nice passes and runs highlighted by a well taken shot forcing Busch into a tough save in the 66th minute. 

Patrick Nyarko (6) - Came on for Pappa in the 61st minute and provided more possesion than Pappa did.  Even managed to score his first goal of the season to put the icing on the cake. 

Wilman Conde (5) - Came on for Thorrington in the 82nd minute and managed to stay yellow card free.

Brian McBride (6) - Entered the game in the 92nd minute for Calen Carr but that was enough to make a mark.  His chemistry with Ljungberg returned on a pretty touch eventually leading to Nyarko's goal.

The Earthquakes were playing their third match in seven days so that may have played a factor in the Fire's ability to move more freely and attack like they should have been attacking all season.  Regardless, winning on the road against a playoff contender is something to work with ahead of another game in three days.  It was also a good sign that the Fire did not sit back and bunker with a 1 goal lead in the second half. 

Next Match

The Fire will play their third game in a week on Saturday when they travel to FC Dallas hoping to reclaim the Brimstone Cup.


Leave a comment
  • Fire continues to play well in San Jose as they are now 2-0-1 in their last 3 games there, 2 years in a row they score 3 goals in San Jose.
    The team does very well against former keepers , they have never lost to Zac Thornton , Matt Pickens , or Jon Busch.

  • The schedule for San Jose could have been a factor , but they took the opportunity and took advantage of it , why couldn't they do the same Saturday against a Seattle team that also played alot of games in a short amount of time , things would sure look better if they did.

  • That is what Ljungberg is capable of,I wish we would have seen more of this.
    I am still not sure if this is the same stadium in San Jose that was around in the 1980s when the Sting would visit there.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    No, you're thinking of Spartan Stadium, with its barely-60-yard-wide field.

  • Enjoy the win, don't partake of the Kool Aid...San Jose was tired. Sorry to be a downer, but keep it in perspective, all problems have not been magically solved. Team still set a pretty dubious scoreless streak. Like Ristic though, hope he keeps it up!

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Ristic is playing great... maybe we should of signed him earlier???

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Watson-Siriboe should be starting from here on out... Him and Conde would be sick together, I hate to say it but I think CJ's time is up... maybe we can get him and Mcbride to take over Los Cobo's job!

  • In reply to DerSting:

    i'll be fine with it if conde doesnt start the rest of the season

    pappa needs to stop trying to dribble so much - once he came off the field the attack flowed so much better. i did like pappas shots tho. at the time he was the only one taking shots.

    kinney still gotta work on his defense. krol too for that matter. couple times the defense looked like too many players on one side of the field and an open quake player on the wing unmarked by the fullback

    glad to see mcbride involved in creating a goal. would love to see him score one before the season end

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Feels good to finally have a positive result. But how disappointing that Nyarko has only now notched his first goal?

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Fire played a great game, the last 70 minutes were the best I saw the Fire play in 2 years.
    Sj may have been tired, but still they were totally outclassed most of the game.
    Although, Freddie may have been the star, the catalyst was Ristic.
    Even on some of the passes that he failed to connect on, he kept pressing the ball forward and kept
    it out of harm's way. A far majority of his passes were of high quality and added both pace and spacing for the game.
    It's too bad the Fire didn't sign him sooner, he's been around for two months and could have been helpful during DLC experimenting with players playing out of position and formations.
    If he started 10 games ago, the Fire would be in the playoffs. The Fire didn't play very well during that period, but managed to remain in the game until the last minutes. Ristic's presence in those
    games could have tipped some ties into victories and some losses into ties.
    Probably after the smoke clears at the end of the season, the highlights of 2010 are the emergence
    of Sean Johnson and Bratislav Ristic. If the Fire doesn't protect Ristic, then indeed they're morons.
    Thought the game really opened up when Nyarko came in for Pappa, though I thought Thorrington
    should have been pulled. Two solid games for Kwame, pleasent surprise in view of his previous efforts, maybe he'll be the third highlight.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    I love dthe fact that we came forward in numbers constantly, Krol and Kinney were upfield at every opportunity which kept San Jose back defending, even Logan Pause moved and passed forward yesterday!

  • In reply to DerSting:

    i probly woulda scored kinney as a 5. great goal on the corner, and a nice shot in the 2nd half as well, but he seems a bit weak on the defense

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Yea...he was a little spotty on defense but the goal pushed it higher.

  • In reply to cesba:

    To me, Sean Johnson would had gotten a 7, continues to be solid behind the net and has been a bright spot during the losing streak. Ljungberg looking like the DP that the Fire expected. Nice shot to ball pass Busch and nice movement of the ball. I hope De Los Cobos would go with the same lineup vs. FC Dallas. Too bad they were on the road because a perfect question for De Los Cobos if he going to stick with the same lineup and use the same formation.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    btw i notice our seattle "friends" havent posted in here after the san jose game about the freddie curse

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Jinx must be over......

  • In reply to cesba:


  • In reply to cesba:

    So far, Ristic looks like the poor man Joel Lindpere (not a scorer but contributes with is ball movement and known as for assist).

  • In reply to longoria3:

    so many ppl been screaming for strikers but what we needed most has been passers. we got guys who can score IF we can get enough chances. the last few months the scoring chances have been very few, the shots fewer, and the goals non-existent.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Did the P*rtscum in drag say something?

Leave a comment