Fire 0 Sporting Kansas City 0 - Recap and Ratings

The eighth and ninth place teams in the Eastern Conference played exactly like you would expect the eighth and ninth place teams in the Eastern Conference to play a Thurday night match.  It wasn't pretty for either side as bad passing, conservative play, too many long balls, another crossbar, and a possible missed penalty call were the highlights of the night for the Fire.  After completing their 11th consecutive match without a victory frustration is surely mounting as there has been little in terms of imaginative play in the last 120 minutes. 

The first half saw a few chances from distance on solid shots from Corben Bone and Daniel Paladini as the Fire took a conservative approach in an attempt to ride through the emotion of a home opener.  Unfortunately that was about it as both teams played a rather unattractive and disjointed 45 minutes.  The second half saw the Fire waste a golden opportunity to take control of match as Jimmy Nielsen was red carded for handling the ball outside of the box on a goal scoring chance.  Playing with ten men for the last twenty-three minutes the Fire seemed content to play long useless balls over the top that went nowhere.  Kansas City was forced to play for counter attack chances as the Fire sloppily attempted to pass the ball back and forth as if unsure whether to push the ball on the ground or continue to hoof senseless long ball attempts downfield. 

Kansas City was fortunate in the 80th minute when Orr Barouch rattled a rebound shot off the cross bar but the Fire might have been just as fortunate when Bratislav Ristic avoided a penalty call on a 97th minute challenge against Omar Bravo.  Either way, both teams are were they deserve to be.  Eighth and ninth in the East. 

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) - Had four saves but wasn't really tested at any point.  Is getting more comfortable in the air.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) - After struggling on a few runs from Kamara early he settled in and played a tight game.  Not as involved with runs going forward as he usually is as the Fire took a very conservative approach in this match.  Was beaten by Kamara in the 15th minute which resulted in a Bravo score called back for offsides. 

D Yamith Cuesta (5) - Decent in the middle on clearances all night with the exception of a gaffe late in the first half which almost resulted in a chance for Bravo unmarked in front of the net. 

D Cory Gibbs (5) - Paired along with Cuesta to limit KC chances in the box and prevent many good looks on goal.  How much of that can be credited to good defending from Chicago or sheer incompetence from Kansas City is debatable. 

D Bratislav Ristic (5) - Provided a fine service into Nazirit for a header attempt that was saved by Nielsen in the 31st minute.  May have gotten away with one in the 85th minute as a silly, reckless challenge on Bravo in the box went unpunished since he appeared to initially get his foot on the ball.  The Fire was fortunate this wasn't called a foul.  Have I mentioned before that I don't think Ristic is a right back?

M Logan Pause (5) - Pause did what he's on the field to do.  Get in the way of opposing players and pass the ball backward so defenders can hoof senseless 50/50 balls over the top of the opposition.  Both Chicago and Kansas City are in dire need of a midfield general who can direct an offensive attack.  Without a player in this position Pause is perhaps unfairly expected to do things which he just does not excel at and is not comfortable doing.

M Daniel Paladini (5) - Okay effort from Paladini but his second half game turned into not much more than attempting long distance prayer shots.  Perhaps trying to compensate for the Fire's quota of long distance prayers in the absence of Marco Pappa.  Had a good look in the 30th minute deflected out of bounds by KC and his long shot in the 80th minute was bobbled by Kronberg leading to Barouch's chance. 

M Dominic Oduro (5) - Continues to be active and make defenders work just to keep up with him but his weakness was exposed in the 9th minute when a 3v2 counter was spoiled by a terrible pass behind Puerari that should have resulted in a shot on goal.  Fell over himself in the 42nd minute after a Puerari pass put him into the box in a dangerous area.  On the positive side his speed created the red card as Nielsen was forced to come out and play the ball.  Also managed a hard left footed shot on target in the 42nd.

M Corben Bone (5) - Disappeared for long stretches but his 9th minute shot forced Nielsen into a save.  Subbed out for Nyarko in the 56th minute.  

F Gaston Puerari (5) - Has not found his groove since the first few games of the year when he was paired up top with Chaves.  Did provide a few decent passes which led to opportunities but his touches as a whole were rather poor as both teams battled in a turnover fest.  His pass to Oduro led to Nielsen's red card.  Subbed out in the 71st for Chaves.

F Cristian Nazirit (5) - The header in the 30th minute was the highlight of the night for Nazirit.  A terribly taken free kick from 19 yards out wasted the chance created by Nielsen's red card.  This should be the last free kick chance for Nazirit for a while since this is the third consecutive match featuring a horribly taken free kick chance.  Subbed out in the 77th minute. 

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Entered the match in the 56th minute for Bone but didn't manage to get much done.  Seemed to have room to take on defenders on several opportunities but instead chose to slow the attack down and pass laterally or backwards. 

F Diego Chaves (5) - Came into match in the 71st minute for Puerari and contributed a few sloppy touches and turnovers as the Fire struggled to complete passes. 

F Orr Barouch (5) - Subbed in for Nazirit in the 77th and promptly hit the crossbar in the 80th minute after Kronberg bobbled Paladini's long shot.  Not much from Barouch after that.

C Frank Klopas (5) - The Fire came out conservatively on the road trying to withstand a Kansas City attack that never really showed up.  An attempt to play more direct resulted in numerous 50/50 balls that led to nothing.  There was also no apparent sense of urgency in the side after the Fire went up ten men.  A late foul call in the 8th minute of second half stoppage time resulted in the Fire wasting almost thirty seconds in order for Paladini to take a harmless 40 yard shot attempt.  Picking up a point on the road is generally a good thing unless it's against the worst team in the league while playing up a man for 23-plus minutes.  Nazirit should also be relieved of free kick duty in favor of Paladini.

Next Up

A visit to Columbus where the Crew seldom lose.  Columbus defeated Real Salt Lake at home last weekend.      


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  • What. Is the record for the most ties in a single MLS season?

  • GR- good and quickly posted review. I don't know what to say about the game. I fell asleep just before half time, when I woke up I saw your review, and the Facebook posts. I don't know what to say about the season, but let's just tune in for the Crew game. Let's remember mls teams don't stay at the bottom of the standings for too many seasons in a row.

  • I thought the Fire made a turn in the Seattle game, apparently I was right but got the wrong destination.
    They made a turn but in the wrong direction on a one way street.
    K.C. could have been easily had with a bit more effort, game smarts, and coordination.
    In many cases getting a tie on the road is acceptable, but not in this case.

  • DLC didn't deliver the attractive soccer he sought, but that last night was a travesty..

  • puerari disappointed me, he gave the ball away so many times when attacks were just starting to look promising.

    nazarit was called for way too many fouls last nite. and many of the headers that he did win ended up going to the KC keeper or defenders

    nyarko really frustrated me - he doesnt take on defenders any more - one time he slowed down play when he had acres of space ahead & the KC defense on its heels. the best chances chicago had in teh 1st half was using speed and making KC defenses disorganized. when chicago slowed things down in the offensive third they failed to generate any real chances because their passing & dribbling in traffic is subpar

    i do like paladini taking the long shots - was pretty much the only shots chicago was taking in the 2nd half, since any time they tried to get into the box someone would try something cute and lose the ball

    i think what really honked off most fire fans was the pathetic lazy long balls when KC was a man short with a backup keeper. chicago should have been able to generate more chances & more shots than they did

  • While I agree with your assessments not enough attention is given to the players negatives. Chavez never passes, Nazerit has no shot, Pause does not pass upfield, Oduro is a defensive liability, Paladini is not a field general, Bone runs out of gas, Puerari flops at every touch, Nyarko is lazy, Defense plays like swiss cheese. Did I cover it all!

  • In reply to bigdog:

    And the keeper did nothing but return the ball to KC every time with the long, aimless punts. I think he rolled the ball out maybe 2 or 3 times all night. What kind of offense starts with a punt to the other keeper. This is bad coaching to allow this crap to continue all night. Defenders too.. they have an open man on the wing, and they just blast the ball up field for another turnover. This looked worse than junior rec league play.

  • haha i saw that. he'll be gone by season end i bet

  • This was the worst game to watch this year. I really thought that the Fire where going to show more energy, but looked like the plan was to play d all last night. Hard to say maybe they wanted to save there creative soccer for Crew. This season is puzzling to me. Livestrong looks great but hard to see that Sporting will sell out their home games. Sean is my MOTM.

  • dallas at least had some wins to go along with their draws.

  • i'd be ok with 11-6-0 even

  • Maybe its time to acknowledge that you can't suck blood out of a turnup! This teams play is uninspiring at best. Any help from the reserve team, hear they have been seeing good results?

  • Early prediction of the Columbus game, a tie. Either 0-0 or more optimistic 1-1.
    Fire could go the rest of the season without a loss and still miss the playoffs
    by continuing to tie.

  • Well they play just good enough not to lose.
    Actually there are league 21 games left not 17.
    Therefore the Fire could go 1-4-29.
    I figured with May and early June, the possibility of at least
    three to four wins, but now looking at the schedule I don't
    see any easy wins, but a mess of ties mixed with some losses

  • Does anyone watch the Referee Week in Review os

    Wonder if Michael Kennedy will try to explain that?

    Hard for me to say if it was a PK or not but I been voting not...

  • That was one of the worst games I have seen in a very long time. I don't think there was ever 3 passes completed without kicking the crap out of the ball. It was very hard to watch. Everything was long ball after long ball. Johnson's distribution was terrible. Playing a long ball into a target forward 295789023457 times a game needs to stop. Having some possession is a good thing. Not everything needs to go forward all the time. Sometimes it is good to work the ball in the back to try and open things up. It is really easy to defend long balls all game. Thats why we cant score. The only time we get the ball it is forward, forward, forward. We didn't play this many long balls last year with McBride who was one of the best target players in a very long time. It's getting very hard to watch this team, not because of all the ties, but because they can't trap, shoot, pass. They can't do the simple things that they need to do.

  • It would seem that the house that Klopas built ia a house of cards. Potential, with no one with the knowledge to develop it... When the new coach is hired, he should have a firm reputation of developing young talent and who is tactically sound. I hope there is a good pick available at the number three slot...

  • i can see the case for either way as well. if the teams had been reversed i probly woulda been upset with the no call. my biggest issue is it was a stupid tackle to even attempt at that point in the match. and i've seen ristic make other stupid attempts this season (and whiff on the tackle) that had he connected woulda been penalties or possible red cards.

    you dont make plays like that where you leave it completely up to the referee. too high of a chance the ref will rule against you

  • WDAE AM Tampa afternoon host Steve "Big Dog" Duemig had Eric Wynalda on discusses matchup with US vs Panama, US/Spain game, Spain ridiculous passing attack, Jozy Alitore, Bob Bradley's tactics in the World Cup and World Cup bid in 2022.

  • You gave every player and the coach a 5? How about mixing things up a little bit. Surely at least one of our guys did a better or worse job than someone else.

  • I will say this, at least the set piece defense wasn't attrocious. Other than that....? As Borat would say, "uh, you, not so much.." In any event, I think the Count above really nailed my feelings on the game. I think Sean Johnson was very tentative as well. Ristic had a bad game except for the one cross into the box, he really didn't play well. Oduro gives the ball away too much. Unless he goes strong up the sideline, he has no game. Nyarko played too hesitantly. I'm not sure if that was fro te first knock he took. It is really hard to play and be focused if you have a concusion. It's possible he got loopy again after the Seattle game. I thought the biggest problem was that after we were up a man we never tried to take the ball wide, stretch KC out and the reverse it. We went up the gut and KC was able tp pack it in and deal with our attack quite easily. It was a frustrating display.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    i thot cuesta played pretty well. he does have some trouble mis-timing his jumps for high balls, but otherwise his defense is pretty solid

  • pretty plain/boring, not really an improvement...but i try not to get worked up about the small things. the fire's season, that's another story.

  • Unfortunately, games like these solidify the wrong and uninformed assumptions about soccer being uneventful and unlikely to make it in the US at all.

    Given the level of play, which is about on par with the English fouth division, the MLS will need to invest in real players, not 37 year old Blancos, Stoichkovs and overpaid primadonnas like Thierry Henry.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    MLS isn't on par with a English fourth division. Other than teams like Manchester United, Man City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton, the bottom of EPL is not the greatest. Scottish Premier League along with Serie A (except for AC Milan and Inter Milan) is difficult to watch. You think Lazio or Genoa is any better than LA, NY, Dallas, Real Salt Lake or Seattle think again?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Obviously we are talking opinion here, but I'd definitely argue that Lazio is better than any team in MLS. I also believe, but less strongly, that any team that is in the the top half of the table of any of the major european leagues would be stronger than any MLS side. The best MLS teams could probably avoid relegation in any league, but that's about all they'd accomplish imo. Teams like the Fire and KC, all you had to do is watch last night's game to see how far they have to go to even be close to LA and RSL, let alone Lazio. Surely the MLS is not 4th division quality, but it is hard to grow the league when casual viewers turn on MLS games like last night's and see just horribly boring and hard-to-watch soccer. I really love soccer, but I'm reconsidering how much Fire viewing will be in my future this summer. There's too much to do in this city in the summer, if it isn't convenient I'm not going out of my way to watch a team that just isn't that fun to watch.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    The Fire would set the record for least amount of points in EPL history if they were in the league. They would never win a game in the league. You can't win a game when you can't pass the ball to your teammate. You can't win when your touch is bounce 10 yards away from your body everytime there is a player within 2 yards of you. It is almost impossible to watch this team play right now. Every player is scared when they receive the ball and then just kicks it as far as they can.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    I think it is telling that luke Rogers, a league one /lower end championship player looks very good in MLS. the league has improved a great deal, last nights game aside, but MLS is middle championship or lower with the odd classier player in the mix. the Fire are

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Painful to watch but the level of play in the league I find quite attractive. forgive the errant half post.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Do you think that Manchester United would consider playing only 5 guys against our 11? The Fire would probably still lose but the game would be competitive.

  • The Fire would be bottom table and facing relegation at present in the second division. It is sad to see so many empty seats at Toyota Park for each home game, but Drew does have a point, the Fire are just not fun to watch right now. If I want to see the kind of soccer they have been playing, I can go down the street and watch some u-18 or u-21 games and not spend $25 for parking and $20 on food and drink.

    Any word from the ownership or front office on this mess?

    The team needs a new ad campaign as far as I see it, they are more Smolder than Fire.

  • I went to the game w/ Section 8. It was that quiet. Heard numerous people say they could hear Section 8 chants over SKC chants. I will say, they built a beautiful stadium though.

  • but they have a history of winning, maybe that mentality would carry on, it's not like they can really do that much worse then our first 11

  • no, it would be a tie.
    I have an unfailing faith that the Fire has the ability to achieve a tie in any match they play, whether it's
    MLS or AYSO, but winning a match is doubtful.

  • After the Fire game Thursday and the Nats last night I don't know if I have the strength to watch the Columbus match. I feel like Rocky Balboa. And the Fire pull another of their current crap performances. I may just check the Guadaloupe score Wed. morning.

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