Galaxy 2 Fire 1 - Recap and Ratings

All of the promise and optimism generated by an enthusiastic start to the season during the first three matches seems to have been wiped away just as quickly by an error prone Fire defense whose latest disappointment includes today's home loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy B squad.  The Fire can cling to the fact that the team continues to claw and fight in every match despite three consecutive losses but that will only carry them so far. 

After failing to take the lead in the first half when Gaston Puerari and Gonzalo Segares both narrowly missed break away opportunities, LA took advantage of yet another defensive miscue to take the lead just before half time.  After a 42nd minute throw-in the entire Fire back line attempted to play two Galaxy strikers offside.  The entire back line that is with the exception of Jalil Anibaba.  The rookie right back stayed back far enough to keep Chad Barrett onside and the former Fire forward turned the mistake into a 1-0 Los Angeles lead. 

"Jalil gave the option to the opponent because he was dropping too much in the box.  This is the situation we need to correct.  He didn't follow the other guys and gave the option (chance) to the LA player," said Carlos De Los Cobos after the match. 

De Los Cobos also told media after the match that Jon Conway would continue to start in goal ahead of Sean Johnson for the time being.  Listen to his entire press conference here.



Los Angeles essentially placed the nail in the coffin in the 72nd minute when Omar Gonzalez headed home a Miguel Lopez corner kick giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.  Central defender Cory Gibbs was not on the pitch at the time of the goal after leaving the field with an injury just a minute before the goal was scored.  Gibbs did not return and will be evaluated tomorrow by team doctors. 

After Dominic Oduro gave the Fire some hope with a beautiful run and finish in the 89th minute the Fire came close with two corner kick chances.  The score was too little too late again and the Fire have an uphill battle ahead of them after a 1-3-1 start to a season which began with some optimistic play.  If the team's positive attitude is something that the organization has pointed to as an improvement over last season that attitude will surely be tested now. 

Player Ratings

GK Jon Conway (5) - Didn't necessarily play badly and neither of the goals can be blamed on him but he didn't distinguish himself either.  Came up field to challenge on a corner kick in the first minute of extra time and nearly had a chance to connect with the ball before scrambling back to goal. 

D Jalil Anibaba (4) - One has to wonder if Anibaba would be more comfortable in a central spot since he mostly played there during his collegiate career.  Anibaba has huge upside but errors such as the mental lapse which allowed the first goal are inexcusable.  One also has to wonder if Steven Kinney can beat him out of the right back spot when healthy.  To his credit, Anibaba was one of the few players who stuck around to face questions after the match.

D Cory Gibbs (5) - Played decently before hurting his left leg on a tackle attempt in the 70th minute.  Broke up several LA attempts adequately.

D Josip Mikukic (5) - Returned from injury after missing the last two matches but the defense continues to make errors although there was an improvement today over the Portland match. 

D Gonzalo Segares (5) - Fair effort from Segares.  Made attempts to get forward and had a glorious chance slip through his fingers when he missed a break away attempt in the 29th minute. 

M Logan Pause (5) - Played his role effectively enough but the Galaxy's B squad should not have had as much room and possesion as they did in the first half. 

M Mike Videira (5) - Videira's effort is there but the Fire still lack a facilitator in the middle of the pitch.  In a 4-4-2 formation with Pappa and Nyarko out wide the middle of the pitch is a creative black hole. Subbed out for Oduro in the 59th minute.   

M Marco Pappa (5) - Had a few opportunities to unleash long distance shots with little results.  Involved in the run of play but had no truly threatening scoring chances. 

M Davis Paul (5) - Made his MLS regular season debut but provided little in terms of offensive punch with touches few and far between.  Was subbed out for Nyarko at half time.

F Gaston Puerari (5) - Had yet another chance to score on a break away attempt this time just missing the net in the 18th minute.  Had that chance been converted it may have been a long day for the Galaxy. 

F Diego Chaves (5) - Continues his high work rate and still maintains a good dynamic with any forward combination thrown his way.  No clear cut chances from Chaves until a last gasp corner kick effort late in extra time almost connected. 

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Came on at half time for Paul and did provide a spark with some impressive runs but his passing left something to be desired.

F Dominic Oduro (6) - Displayed a nice finishing touch on the goal, something which the Houston Dynamo feared he lacked.  He's provided a positive spark just about every time he's been inserted into a match.  Also created a corner kick opportunity or two.   

M Orr Barouch (5) - Came on for Puerari in the 69th minute and slotted into a central role behind Chaves and Oduro.  Didn't provide much other than an errant pass or two.

C Carlos De Los Cobos (4) - Losing at home in this circumstance is troubling.  Even more troubling is the continued defensive struggles and lack of possesion in midfield.  Subsituting Barouch for Puerari was a bit puzzling.  De Los Cobos took full blame after the match during his press conference. 

Looking Ahead

Injuries to Cory Gibbs and Marko Maric will be evaluated tomorrow morning.  De Los Cobos said Maric's status "Doesn't look good."

Beating a mediocre Houston side at home next Saturday is a must.  This may be a problem considering the difficulty experienced today against a lesser version of the Galaxy.



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  • While Anibaba was several steps behind on the Barrett goal, Barrett was actually in front of all three defenders when the ball was played. It was a late trap attempt. Of course, if Anibaba steps with the other two, then maybe the call is missed. He made it too easy.

  • In reply to chlade:

    Just watched the might be right on that. Barrett appears to be on side when the ball is played and the Fire D moves up too late. Anibaba is even later and gets caught in between.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Why we try to step up and play an offside trap when the ball is right outside the box. It was poor marking by all the defenders and not just Jalil.

  • In reply to chlade:

    Trying to stay positive, but each week it gets harder.
    Lets see if Ordro or Husidic or or Ristic or Barouch with a start at CAM makes any difference.

  • In reply to chlade:

    very disappointed davis paul contributed pretty much nothing in the first half

    i think they need to scrap the 2 d-mids lineup, the defense is a sieve anyways, mite as well go more attacking & try to outscore the opponent

  • In reply to chlade:

    The high-point of the match, for me, was watching Conway race past the laughing referee on his way back to defend his nets after nearly getting the header to tie. Had to admire his gutsy play.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Not exactly blazing speed on the big guy. I was kind of surprised Ricketts didn't take a shot at punting it at goal.

  • In reply to cesba:

    You're right. I should have put quotes around "race." I was also afraid they would get a shot off there, but it was a moment of levity in an otherwise dismal game. Didn't seem to be all that much at risk. Under the circumstances.

  • In reply to cesba:


    Is it me or are the Fire missing a defensive leader on the backline? *cough*C.J. Brown*cough* Is Gibbs just not a vocal defender? I felt confident that he would be a good replacement for CJ but I'm not sure he commands the line as the veteran should. Is he just not a "vocal" guy?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    The back line is pretty vocal. I think we're seeing the result of four guys who just haven't played together very long.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I have to say I am still encouraged though we have lost 3 straight we are playing better soccer than we have in the last 3 years. We are attacking and creating chances we just are not finishing. We would be singing a much different song if Segares and Puerari put their shots away.

    We are almost their just need a couple more pieces to the puzzle
    1) The Obvious:Johnson to get out of the sophomore funk; great future just struggling
    2) Our defense to mature and communicate a little better. We have the talent they just are just showing immaturity
    3) Our strikers to score the chances that are created. This is minor because I like the way the Uraguayans work and I like our subs off the bench in Barrouch and Oduro
    4) The FINAL piece: We need an a box to box player next to Pause! Someone who has skill and cant hold and distribute the ball to keep possession. Vidiera is too much like pause and Husidic is NOT the answer. There is probably a reason he has not seen the field, its called losing form.

    The answer to the problem: Feilhaber!! Trade up for the allocation spot with Chivas and pick up this American Gem! He would fit perfectly in our system!

    Have faith we are almost there. Go Fire!

    Any Thoughts?

  • In reply to TKing:

    I agree in that Feilhaber would be a good fit for this squad. I think Videira is ok but he and Pause do not make for a potent offensive force whatsoever. Husidic is alright, but I agree he isn't the answer. He seems like he'd be a better offensive option than Videira, but he lacks pace and hasn't exactly changed games much when he plays. I think Feilhaber is a step above any attacking minded midfielder on our squad, besides - perhaps - pappa, and could make a significant impact. I'd certainly see what the options are in moving up to get his rights, and I'd be surprised if Klopas isn't at least kicking the tires.

  • In reply to Drew:

    Feilhaber would certainly be a good fit. A young central midfielder with some creativity and attacking skill. Question is what would it take to get him and what will he cost you? Reports are that his compensation package will be in the DP range.

  • In reply to cesba:

    i think i'd be willing to give up pappa for feilhaber, & i thought i saw somewhere that feilhaber would not require a DP designation

    the only big problem with feilhaber is you'd be losing a very key player anytime international matches are played

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    He may not be a DP but his cap hit would be very close to DP numbers.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    you very well might be right, CC, but we lose Pappa for Guatemala dates as it is, and he gets called up way more than Benny would get called up. Playing in the US would be better for benny's call-up chances, but I wouldn't consider it a guarantee. And if he IS playing well enough to get serious call-ups for the Nats, then I say it's worth it because it means he's playing very well.

    This is all hypothetical, of course, as I'm thinking there is a .01% chance we'd actually get him.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    I really thought 6 points were possible in these last 2 games.
    The team better beat Houston because they have a tough game at Colorado after that. Fire is undefeated at Bolorado the last 2 years but befor that they had big problems playing there for many years. Houstgon up until last year always gave the Fire fits at Toyota park and we know they never win in Houston,

  • In reply to cesba:

    Isn't there another DP prospect this summer that the Fire are more interested in other than Feilhaber? I'm speaking, of course, about Fire alumnus, Carlos Bocanegra. Is he leaving France this summer or next? I know he's said in the past he would love to Chicago, I'm just not sure if that wasn't lip-service to the home crowd or if it was genuine McBride-esque "Chicago-or-nothing" fashion.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Also, I recognize that the Fire are more in need of a playmaking CM than an older CB, but hey, what are we giving up to acquire Feilhaber and then Boca if this is the case?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Why the hell did the Fire protect Husidic in the expansion draft if he can't even make bench? DLC obviously does not fancy him. I, for one, think DLC is a bottler.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I'll ask him about Husidic's status this week.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Based on his Twitter its obvious that Husidic didn't travel west with the team. So he's deep in the doghouse at this point.

    The talent level on this team right now is way below par and the team just doesn't seem to be that active in the market currently. No rumors, no nothing.

    I don't know who to blame or if its just a long overdue decline based on being competitive for so long ina league built on parity but there is definitely the need for a talent infusion into the squad.

    The preseason predictions of the Fire being at the bottom of the East are looking very accurate at this point.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I think the Fire "Need A Better Coach" before we get even deeper
    in the hole we are in.
    "It should be obvious Carlos is still clue less based on the results.
    It is now time to say "Adi'os Carlos de los Cobos.

  • In reply to TigerJMS:

    Still a tad early IMO, it's still quite early in the season. It's easy to get high after wins and low after losses, by mid summer if it keeps up I'll jump on the train w/you Tiger.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I have a hard time believing husidic is not the answer, he was one of the top players from all accounts on the Gen Adidas tour of spain. I also don't understand the comments that chicago is looking for a playmaker to make the team go, where would he plug in? It seems DLC wants to 2 d-mids, and 4 in the back or 3 in the back and d first wing. No room for that and a creative player

  • In reply to lijien:

    You can see my answer (opinion) above regarding Husidic.

    As for the playmaker, I think he'd fit in and DLC would sit Videira. Do we really need 6 defensive players plus the goalie to stop others from scoring? There needs to be better balance and a midfielder (besides pappa) who can attack and be dangerous offensively. With 4 defenders and Pause we SHOULD be ok in back. Now...if he goes with 3 in the back, then it's a different story, but he hasn't shown that much lately.

  • In reply to Drew:

    They don't need a pure creator or #10 per se. They need a box to box central midfielder who can be creative.

  • In reply to Drew:

    can't seem to stop the other teams from scoring even with 6 defensive players.

    thats why i say scrap the 2 d-mids and get another offensive minded player in there. vidiera can be logan pauses backup

  • In reply to Drew:

    I don't fancy this front office on the trading front. I don't know what we got for Will Johson but obviously not enough. he would look good in red. I thought Mapp was given away and Busch actually was given away. When players like Sam Cronin, Pablo Nagamura and even Will Bruin were available for allocation money there was no interest from the Fire. Cronin is now a key player for San Jose. I like the two Uraguay players but would trade for Portlands two Colombians, The goalscorer against the Fire looked useful and a playmaker Charo is on the cards.I think the Fire need better technical staff and better scouts. we appear to have added some pieces this year but the league has gotten better and we are behind the curve.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Charo is a flamenco guitar playing bimbo popular during the 70's and 80's.....Chara on the other hand is the Timbers new designated player.

    cuchi-cuchi ;)

  • In reply to cesba:

    Not to confuse Boston Bruins 6-9 defensemen Zedno Chara

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Here's a pretty good screen shot of the failed offside trap which resulted in Barrett's goal.....

  • In reply to cesba:

    so all the back line blew it on that one. its still concerning that anibaba was not in line with the rest

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Yes and Yes.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    The center backs shouldn't be playing an offside trap when the ball is 25 yards away from goal. Jalil is making his man and the other 2 are just watching Barrett run right past them.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    It was bad all the way around.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    i liked the effort - what did they have to lose? and he darn near connected on the corner.

    & hey - it worked for hesmer last season

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Yep...have to applaud the effort.

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