Fire 4 Chivas USA 1 - Game Recap and Player Ratings

The Fire saved their first four goal match of the season for the final day of the campaign.  After a fairly even first half that saw the Fire grab a 1-0 lead on a fantastic back heel flick from Brian McBride, Chivas USA defenders allowed the Fire room to operate and the attack lead by Freddie Ljungberg made them pay. 

After failing to make the playoffs, a 4-1 victory is an appropriate finish to the playing careers of McBride and CJ Brown.  The leadership and class of both players will be sorely missed in 2011. 

The Fire end the year on 36 points (9-12-9) and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.  A busy offseason with big decisions to be made lies ahead. 

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Made several big saves (total of 5) keeping Chivas USA at bay.  The best was probably a 52nd minute diving stab at Bornstein's shot.  Returned to the starting role after missing the last two games with an eye injury.

D Steven Kinney (5) - Left in the second half with an apparent ankle sprain after battling to get a shot off on a header. 

D Wilman Conde (6) - Played a better game in what could be his last Fire match.  Did well in the air although he did pick up the customary yellow card caution late in first half stoppage time. 

D CJ Brown (5) - Maldonado got behind him on the Chivas goal.  I would hope that he is back on the sidelines next season as an assistant coach. 

D Deris Umanzor (5) - A fairly decent effort from Umanzor although Zizzo did pick up an assist playing from his side.  Beaten by Braun in the 75th but the header attempt was wide. 

M Logan Pause (6) - Pause picked up an assist feeding the ball forward to Carr to open up the match in the second half.  Defended Braun well on a set piece late in the second half. 

M Peter Lowry (6) - Came forward more in the second half and managed to get off a few shots on net.  Chivas had a little too much space mid way through the first half accounting for their best run of the game during that period.  Provided a great long ball to Pappa which resulted in the second Fire goal to start the second half. 

M Marco Pappa (6) - Good all around effort from Pappa.  Played balls through when he had to and shot at the right times.  Actually even managed to get a right footed shot off which resulted in the fourth tally. 

M Bratislav Ristic (6) - Played well at right mid and right back after Kinney was injured.  Ristic's versatility and skill will be very welcome in 2011. 

F Freddie Ljungberg (8) - These are the types of games the Fire was expecting when he was acquired.  Ljungberg attacked at will and was dangerous every time he touched the ball.  The addition of Ljungberg was a positive one when all is said and done but he holds a player option for next season. 

F Brian McBride (7) - A fantastic finish proves to be an excellent and appropriate end to a classy and legendary career. 

F Calen Carr (6) - Came on in the 51st minute for McBride and added pace and width to the attack.  He may have been offside on the play leading to his goal but a fine touch to juke Thornton out of the way ensured an open net look. 

M Patrick Nyarko (6) - Didn't figure into any of the scoring plays after entering the game in the 60th minute for Steven Kinney but the signs of maturity as a player were evident as he tracked back and covered the right flank any time Ristic ventured forward. 

M Baggio Husidic (6) - He's just one of the guys that always seems to be in the right place at the right time.  A five goal season is an impressive sophomore year for Husidic. 

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Solid game, perhaps a look at the future,
    with Brown/McBride retiring, most of above
    probably will be on the Fire's protected list,
    can't see them protecting Thorrington (injury prone)
    the way Husidic and Lowry are playing.

  • Don't see why Husidic was on the bench. He always seems to be in the right place and pick up goals.

  • I'm starting to have mixed feelings on whether or not dlc should return. There have been unforgivable bad moments like when the fire were trying to mount a playoff push in the second half of the season, and the players he brings in r pretty poor. But then there were also times when the fire played incredibly well.

  • Maybe you could update your banner this off season Guillermo as 2 of the 3 players will definitely not be back next year. Something to look forward to... You might want to wait until after the "Great Purge" of 2010 to select your players though.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Yes! The banner update is something that needs to be done.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Injury Update: Steven Kinney tore his achilles last night.

  • In reply to cesba:

    awww man, thats not good. i spose thats something like a 6 month recovery time ?

    guess ristic better get used to playing right back now

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    I'll try to get an update on the injury and recovery time this week.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    well seeing castillo didnt even get a whiff of the field the last several games, i dont see any point in the Fire keeping him any longer. mite as well end his loan and send him back to the Ukraine.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    I'm trying to get some details on the loan deal as well. The loan ran through the end of 2011 but I don't know if there's an out clause or not.

  • In reply to cesba:

    In a meaningless game he gets an injury like this.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Kinney, Robinson, Segares, Conde(if he doesn't leave), Pappa, Pause, Nyarko, Ljungberg, Husidic, Johnson, Lowry are probably going to be the players the Fire protects in the expansion draft. Castillo has definately not done enough to warrent another 1.8 million. Don't know what happened with Krol and John. The fire have a lot of cap space open, so hopefully they can secure a forward who could finally break the ten goal mark. their midfield seems alright, but they need some more depth in defense as well.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    If I'm not mistaken, you have to protect your DP that do not have a no trade clause in their contract.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    If DP's have a no trade clause they have to be protected.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Len Ziehm's article on the offseason.....

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/soccer/fire/2831628,CST-SPT-fire25x.article

  • In reply to cesba:

    Ziehm --- "Dykstra...Johnson...neither established himself as the clear-cut starter." --- Has he actually paid attention to the entire season? The only reason Dykstra has reappeared is that the season was over and Johnson was injured!!
    "...The Fire badly needs what Ljungberg provided in his half-season with the club -- a playmaker who can score." --- There may have been a number of reasons why Freddie didn't really perform up to expectations but for Ziehm to talk as if Freddie really contributed is a ridiculous statement. Has he even read the game summaries??

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    It was pretty clear to me who the starter should be.

    I thought Ljungberg turned out to be a good addition but not a great one.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Really?

    http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/1110/major-league-soccer/2010/10/25/2181954/mls-designated-player-dissection-underappreciated-in-chicago

  • In reply to cesba:

    Good article!!

  • In reply to fire1020:

    what about ristic? i think he is a must-keep - probly at the expense of not protecting one of the center-mids lowry or husidic? or they leave kinney unprotected.

    i still think collins john would do well in a 2 forward formation, but CLDC doesnt seem to want to do that style. plus john seems to always been in CLDCs doghouse, they wont keep him.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    John's contract expires next June. He originally signed an 18 month deal with options for the second half of 2011 and options for 2012 and 2013.

    Looking into Ristic as well......

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    GR,

    What you got planned for the off season? We talkin keepers and goers, protected list, new DP, etc?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    All of the above and more.

    If there's anything in particular you want to see I'll do my best to get it on here.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Maybe you should do something where we all can throw in topics and wise remarks about the Fire off season?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Doing a sort of "reader post" with various topics sounds like a good idea. Possibly similar to Luis' old guest blogger theme except with you guys as the guests is something I'd like to do.

    If there's enough interest in that, I'd be all for it.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Sounds like a great idea. I would like to hear a LOT MORE about the Fire's youth development and recruiting programs.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Yep...good idea. That one's on the list.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I want to have a standard grading system for players; like minutes play earn you this many points, goals and assits earn you this may points, yellow and red cards take away so many point, not a opinionated scale base on 1 to 10. I allmost think I can come up with something cool. just saying

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Give it a shot.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Can we do a post convincing my fiancee that re-upping my season tickets for next year is essential and won't take away from the money for the wedding? Guille I need help on this! Maybe we can send CJ Brown to ask, cuz at this point I'm sure she's more prone to say yes to him than me!

    Good work this season, I look forward to your analysis next season and hopefully an eventful offseason with the rumor-mill warming up! Do we know which team(s) is(are) coming to the Eastern Conference with the new expansion teams next year?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Thanks Coqui

    Just let her know that any monies not expended toward soccer will go into a bachelor party fund.

    If she's still not buying it, you probably should reconsider. ;)

    MLS hasn't announced the alignment for next season but I have heard talk of three divisions and changes to the playoff format.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Now that's the way we should have played the whole year!
    Way to spank Chivas at home for the season ender!
    What is it about us doing so good at the Home Depot Center this year! We spanked LAG & LAC there!
    Turn Toyota Park's field into the Home Depot Center!!!
    We need to do something to be better at home and actually have an advantage!
    Sure we can't be like Denver and SLC and use the altitude to our advantage but let's do something please to have a home field advantage starting next year!

  • In reply to smiley:

    Better players would really help with that home field thing.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Fire alumni update

    http://ht.ly/2Z5hE

  • In reply to cesba:

    I'd don't know what you'd think of this, but I think it would be cool to have a weekly blog about what's happenning around MLS as a whole.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    Garber is considering haveing an unbalanced schedule for next season. It seems like a pretty poor idea to me. One of his ideas was to have teems play rivals more, to build up rivalries. I think that every team should play every team once home and away, it is the fairest way to do it. Also, rivalry games are a bigger deal when they play at eachothers home once, and I think the importance would be diminished playing eachother more frequently.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    The return of the Cosmos?

  • In reply to fire1020:

    Garber seems determined to shoe horn another team into New York but the Cosmos currently have no real investors, no funding, and no stadium.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Maybe I spoke too soon

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/cosmos-say-they-have-funding-new-stadium

  • In reply to cesba:

    Ever since they got the new ownership, they've seemed to be on the fast track to MLS, even Pele is involved as honorary president.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    I heard Orlando also trying to pitch in for an MLS franchise.

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/investors-targeting-mls-club-orlando

  • In reply to cesba:

    MLS Rumors: http://www.mls-rumors.net/11482/2010/10/expansion-new-york-cosmos-hope-to-become-20th-team/

  • In reply to fire1020:

    I agree with you 100% on the balanced schedule. But then again I'd prefer to see a single table.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    In addition to promoting rivalries, I think the other motivation is to reduce travel. I don't know how travel expenses affect the balance sheet. But with the external competitions, it might mean a little less wear and tear. Apart from Russia, I don't think any other countries have to deal with the distances we have here in the States. If they don't have a single table (which I'm pretty neutral about) an unbalanced schedule is the only way a conference set-up makes sense. Because the conference concept is how all the other pro leagues are set up in the US, I think we're destined to have that. But, with the limited number of games, that means every team won't go to every city which is a shame. Further, if the league expands past 20 teams, a home and away schedule will be impractical anyway.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    For me twenty is the ideal amount for the immediate future for a few reasons. I like the concept of home and away games against every team in the league and it ensures that the league isn't expanding just for the sake of expanding quickly. NBA, NHL, and MLB all have too many teams right now and there's no need to dillute the talent base any further until things like reserve teams and youth academies are productive.

  • In reply to cesba:

    agree with MLS should stop it at 20 teams until another 10-15 years to see the progression of the league. The NBA is starting to show signs of why their product is going downhill. They are talking about reducing salary and contracting teams. Also, the excitement of the NBA isn't what it used to be back in the the early to late 90's.

  • In reply to cesba:

    On that note. From today's Trib. I still think the MLS needs a larger footprint. It needs to get a couple teams in the southeast. I think there is room for some teams in the midwest as well (Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis)

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-spt-1026-elliott-onnhl--20101025,0,1948675.story

  • In reply to oliotya:

    I don't know about exceeding 20. I think with 16 teams currently you are seeing a dilution of talent.

    The problem with the MLS is that increasing easy access futbol fans have here to watch the European leagues is creating a double-edged sword.

    On the one hand you are getting many more people into watching futbol; but that fan base is also becoming more sophisticated about the game and is less likely to spend time following the MLS when the product is inferior.

    I know quite a number of people who were fist-time futbol followers during the South Africa World Cup. When that tourney ended, instead of following the Fire or MLS, they are now EPL or La Liga followers.

    During normal years, I really only start paying attention to the MLS during the summer when none of the European leagues are in-season. About September--with the Champions League, EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga in full swing--the MLS is at the bottom of my list.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    They'll really need to think twice about increasing past 20. I don't think it should be done until a significant increase to the salary cap is feasible.

  • In reply to cesba:

    OR promotion relegation is feasible

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    The quality of play issue is going to be there until the revenue streams catch up. And that will be a long time. Very few leagues anywhere in the world will be able to compete financially with the leagues you cite. I bristle at the foreign league vs. MLS quandary people claim keeps them from supporting the domestic league. It's obviously a chicken-and-egg scenario. The league can't better players until they have more fans but ...
    I guess the questions for me are 1.) What value is there to seeing a meaningful game live? 2.) Do you want the US to win a World Cup?

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Totally agree. The quality will never get there on our home turf unless the domestic league is supported adequately.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Hot Time In Old Town talks to Peter Wilt about the Chicago Riot

    http://www.hottimeinoldtown.com/2010/10/25/1768307/q-a-with-peter-wilt-on-the-launch-of-the-chicago-riot#storyjump

  • In reply to oliotya:

    ESPN's top 10 MLS goals of the year

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5725159

    Pause's blast against TFC is #4 and Ching's bike versus the Fire is #1

  • In reply to cesba:

    Guillermo, you do know that Logan's shot was actually a backpass that got picked up by the 60 MPH winds present that day and that is what turned the ball into a bullet of a shot, right? I was there, saw it in person.....he meant to backpass (as usual).

  • In reply to giaco:

    lol. That's one hell of a back pass. Speaking of Logan Pause, this guy thinks he was the Fire's top player in 2010......

    http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/1110/major-league-soccer/2010/10/26/2183552/goalcom-mls-rankings-week-30

    I guess he didn't notice the guys wearing #14, #16, #8, or #25.

  • In reply to giaco:

    Week 30 MLS power rankings......

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/mls-power-rankings-week-30

    It will be a different team regardless of whether or not De Los Cobos returns

  • In reply to giaco:

    hey GR,
    what do you put the odds of De Los Cobos staying @?

  • In reply to RadioGonzo:

    Hmm....

    60/40 to stay

  • In reply to fire1020:

    I'll probably do something in the offseason recapping what's gone down in MLS. Oh wait....it is the offseason

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    your right, it would probably be better to have ristic over lowry.

  • Fire alum update: Former Fire D Daniel Woolard and M Floyd Franks are currently playing for the Carolina RailHawks in USSF D2. Carolina are playing the Puerto Rico Islanders for the USSF D2 Championship game; D2 Championship game have 2 legs.

Leave a comment