Fire 0 Real Salt Lake 0 - Recap and Ratings

The Fire played to yet another 0-0 draw for their tenth tie of the season.  Neither team created many opportunities and Real Salt Lake failed to even register a shot on goal in the second half.  The New York match on Sunday will mark the half way point of the MLS season and it still seems that we're still not exactly sure what this team is capable of accomplishing.  

One thing is certain and continues to be painfully evident.  Although the current roster includes several talented players, frustration and unfinished chances will continue to accumulate if the team does not add a facilitator capable of providing the imagination and technical ability required to complete passes and provide service in the final third.  Baggio Husidic, Daniel Paladini, and Corben Bone are all serviceable parts at this point but the team is missing a piece of the puzzle that's not easily found.  Until then 0-0 may continue to be the theme in 2011.   

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (7) - He's seemingly found the form that earned him a call up to USMNT camp in January.  A fourth clean sheet in five games was highlighted by a spectacular save in the 28th minute on Collen Warner's shot that easily could have given RSL the lead.  With two saves on the night he was easily the Fire's man of the match although he wasn't tested in the second half.

D Jalil Anibaba (5) - Some ups and downs for Anibaba during this match.  Had difficulty completing passes out of the back for much of the first half but provided a key block on another chance from Warner in the 45th minute.  RSL tried to go at him early and he did respond adequately.

D Cory Gibbs (6) - Hit with a yellow card early on a tackle that eventually forced RSL's most dangerous player Fabian Espindola out of the match in the 7th minute.  RSL had little penetration into the Fire's penalty area for much of the ninety minutes.

D Yamith Cuesta (6) - His slip in the box in the 28th minute provided the space for Warner's chance forcing Johnson into the acrobatic save of the day but did well otherwise. 

D Gonzalo Segares (6) - RSL tried on numerous occasions to slip Aghasyan behind him (perhaps after watching his struggles with Nyassi this past weekend in New England) but had little success.  Struck a good ball on net in the 82nd minute that could have resulted in a good chance had it not been deflected out for a corner kick.

M Dominic Oduro (5) - Continues to create chances solely generated by his speed but the Olave/Borchers combination wasn't going to be caught chasing.  He looked best while taking on defenders but his cross attempts were not good to say the least.  Best chance came in the 53rd minute when his shot attempt was deflected by an RSL defender for a corner kick.

M Daniel Paladini (5) - Filled in creditably for Logan Pause on the defensive side so he wasn't as involved offensively as in previous matches.  RSL's central midfield isn't particularly dangerous with Warner in the attacking spot.

M Baggio Husidic (5) - Quiet night for Husidic in central midfield with little play of any substance in the attacking third.  Corner kick efforts were a bit of an improvement on his effort in New England but not much else in terms of highlights in this one as the center of the Fire midfield was largely ineffective going forward. Subbed out in the 80th minute. 

M Patrick Nyarko (6) - Probably the Fire's best player going forward but that's not saying a whole lot.  Managed to create a decent chance with pace in the 62nd minute but the angle of his shot was so that Rimando handled it easily.  Also helped in tracking back defensively.

F Diego Chaves (5) - As a second forward Chaves seems to be picking up the ball too close to midfield to be truly effective.  Needs to be closer to the goal but the Fire lack a central playmaker so he's been forced into the position with either Nazirit or Barouch ahead of him.  A few decent touches and attempts but nothing truly dangerous.  Subbed out in the 86th.

F Orr Barouch (5) - In his first start Barouch didn't provide the chances that he had while coming off the bench.  Not bad, but not outstanding either.  His 54th minute header from a corner kick almost connected with a charging Gibbs near the RSL goal.  Subbed out in the 69th minute shortly after picking up a yellow card for simulation in the box.

M Marco Pappa (6) - Klopas felt he needed to rest him briefly after travelling in from Gold Cup play so he entered the match for Barouch in the 69th minute and assumed the left mid spot pushing Oduro forward.  Almost managed to get a partially blocked shot by Rimando in the 78th minute.  Provided a bit of a spark when he entered.

M Corben Bone (5) - Came into the match in the 80th minute for Husidic but wasn't involved in much of the play either.

F Gabriel Ferrari (5) - Came in for Chaves in the 86th minute and made a few late runs that failed to connect. 

C Frank Klopas (5) - Substitutions seemed to be the right moves with Pappa's insertion moving Oduro into a forward spot but Bone probably could have seen the pitch a bit earlier.  The defensive effort has improved since Klopas took over for CDLC but the results have been largely the same.  Has to figure out a way to get the best offensive side possible on the pitch without sacrificing defensively. 

In his post game press conference Klopas addresses central midfield issues, whether or not we'll see Pappa, Oduro, and Nyarko on the pitch at the same time more often, and the team's interest in Freddie Ljungberg.  Listen to it here.  (the answer to the Ljungberg question sounds like a no)

Next Up

At home against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.  New York plays in Seattle on Thursday night.   



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  • so what is the mls record for ties? they definitly need that creative mid. and what is it with the broadcast people treating pappa like he is the savior of this team?

  • In reply to firefan1998:

    Didnt they draft a player with the same qualities as discribed by Klopas.

  • Not the most scintillating game I've ever seen. Another kiss of the sister.

    A happier memory. 1 year ago today we had the 2d best US World Cup moment ever.

    This, obviously, was the best.

  • As I was leaving the stadium I had to ask myself why I came to this game. There was a ton of midfield play but very little exciement. It was one very boring game.

  • I watched this from home on the My50 coverage via Comcast cable and, while it was far from the most exciting soccer I've seen, I enjoyed watching the game. Seem to me the team is moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. Feels like we've got the rudder sorted out and the ship under control. This being clearly a rebuilding year, I'm just enjoying watching the young talent develop and not worrying too much about the results. The defense still seems to be having "moments" but they are starting to consistently cover them up without damage. Great to see Sean back in the nets and playing with confidence. If we could just get lucky finding that elusive creative midfielder, this *could* get exciting. When I look back on where we've been this season, that's not too bad.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    btw... Did anyone else watching on TV last night have the same problems I was having with the digital signal breaking up? Seemed like whenever the action got a little exciting the digital video AND audio signal would break up badly. I was wondering if the problem was from the coverage at Toyota Park, MY50 transmission, or my Comcast cable service delivery in Oak Park.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I had the same issue. Must have been the weather.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I recorded the game via ATT Uverse, in La GrangePark, but had the same problem when I viewed the game.
    Luckily , or unluckily, no action missed due to the interference.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    i thought the Fire played a pretty solid if unexciting 2nd half. didnt create much but didnt allow RSL to either. most disappointed with nyarkos chance in 62nd minute - he beat his man on the edge of the box, and then has a terrible touch on the ball with no one around him, and is left with a poor angle shot on goal. if he keeps the ball closer, he can dribble at an angle away from goal, force Rimando to leave the near post, and also have a good choice of shoot or pass (cant remember who but someone was running free toward the penalty spot)

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I didn't watch the game but did watch the US beat Panama 1-0 last night and while are defense now seems to be much would those Panama defenders cost us to bring over??? :-)
    They are big, athletic, and mean! Well I guess we have the 1st two covered with Anibaba and Cuesta! :-)

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Who here thinks Gibbs will be suspension on his tackle?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    given the Nazarit suspension, the magic 8-ball of MLS justice says that Gibbs will be drawn and quartered for his tackle.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I dvr'ed the game and watched it tonight/this morning, I had the same issue. Figured it was my dvr. lol

  • In reply to Arklow:

    It's hard to be disappointed with a draw against RSL. For me, it's not the draw, it's the string of draws this season that could/should have been wins. Still, I think this points to a positive future for the Fire. We have to keep reminding ourselves that in preseason, we knew it was going to be a rough go. The first few weeks gave us some hope, but Chicago IS a young team, rebuilding, and putting pieces together.

  • That maybe but I think they can redeem themselves by winning on Sunday and then Tuesday... If they get wins in either one I'm still fine with that. Remember July is just around the corner and the guys need to show they still deserve to be on this team.

  • I think if the Fire win 10 of the remaining games on their schedule they will be in playoffs...(10 game winning streak) One can only hope. LOL.

  • If he comes to the Fire, his debut would be around July (with paperwork, fitness and etc).

  • GR- Any more leads on Freddie coming back? I don't know if that is for the best, but right now the possibility of something or someone to convert the ties to wins - all I want is the possibility- for now.

  • New York game is going to be really physical after Sounders gave them a good beating...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    The New York Seattle game was a great show and I was entertained, even with a bunch of the stars missing. It showed why this is the best sport. I just wish the Fire could play like those two teams.

  • well we haven't attacked very well the past couple months either. what about paladini given the opportunity to play attacking mid with pause behind him?

  • Still... against RSL felt like a down game this one should be more up... Like when they played Sporting down but Crew up...Maybe

  • He's just there learning how the good teams play so he can bring that experiance with him when he becomes coach of Chicago next year.

  • OK, I just spent 10 minutes getting sucked into that chalkboard thing. It is very cool and is very interesting seeing where each player was succesful and where he was not. How long has this feature been on the MLS site?

  • No way!!!! I am going to look into this opta more. I noticed that Oduro's stats are on the right side.

  • any update on injuries from training today?

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