Fire 1 Red Bulls 1 - Recap and Ratings

At the half way point of the MLS season (17 games) the Fire have accumulated an incredible 11 draws.  Only one short of tying the club record for draws in a season (12) set in 2009.  They are only three ties away from equalling the MLS record for most deadlocks in a season as well.  The record is 14 set by FC Dallas last season.  That Dallas side drew 14 times in 30 matches but only lost 4 times during the regular season.  The Fire currently stand at 2-4-11 on 17 points.  Good enough to stay above only New England and Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference. 

After a generally uneventful and ineffective first half that saw New York enter the break with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a defensive blunder in the back the Fire bounced back to control the play in the final forty minutes.  Although they managed to outshoot New York 9-1 in the second half only Marco Pappa's long distance bouncer managed to get by Bouna Condoul, who should have done better to deny the opportunity. 

The same story continues to materialize match after match.  Enough chances are created to present an opportunity for wins but time and again Fire attackers come up empty handed.  Decision making in the final third continues to appear questionable as players seem to be pressing into badly timed off balance shots when a pass to a teammate is required.  When chances are generated for clear shots the final clinical touch seems to be always lacking. 

Production out of central midfield again was non existent but the wingers continue to press forward to make some noise although the results aren't necessarily there. 

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Three saves in the first half including a good tip block of Dane Richards shot in the 21st and a diving save in the 26th to deny Joel Lindpere highlighted Johnson's day.  Rarely tested in the second as New York only managed one errant shot on goal. 

D Jalil Anibaba (6) - Fairly solid defensively against Lindpere and New York's talented attackers but his passing and possesion need to improve. 

D Yamith Cuesta (5) - Fair day against DeRosario and Henry but his botched clearance attempt right at Lindpere led to a gift of a goal for the Red Bulls. 

D Cory Gibbs (6) - Solid in back in denying DeRosario on more than one occasion.  Henry was not dangerous throughout the match as his touches in dangerous spots were very limited. 

D Gonzalo Segares (6) - Not as dominant against Richards as he has been in the past but still good enough to keep New York's speedy right back at bay with the exception of one or two touches.  Did provide a few adequate crosses into the box and Fire midfielders also missed him on a few runs going forward. 

M Daniel Paladini (5) - He was okay in place of Logan Pause at the holding midfield spot but he'll miss the next match due to yellow cards after picking up a rather soft yellow in the 37th minute.  His one free kick chance was struck directly at Condoul in the 47th. 

M Marco Pappa (7) - Managed to score the Fire's only goal although he may have benefitted from some questionable goalkeeping.  A free kick attempt in the 54th minute just missed wide and he provided a fantastic 50 yard ball in the 80th minute that sent in Chaves for a scoring chance.  One other long distance attempt on frame in the 69th minute was handled easily by Condoul.  Left the match in the 82nd minute and Klopas indicated that he may have been tired but he did go down clutching his leg just minutes before then spent additional time in the trainer's room getting treatment after the match.

M Baggio Husidic (5) - Entrusted with corner kick duties against a team that allowed 3 scores from corner kicks the week before.  Service wasn't terrible but nothing was dangerous enough to provide a quality chance.  Rarely involved going forward and subbed out in the 69th.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - After a relatively quiet first half he improved his activity in the second but his only real chance came on an 87th minute shot that was struck high over the crossbar. Beat Solli on a run into the box in the 90th minute only to find no one making a run into the area behind him.

F Dominic Oduro (5) - Moved up into a forward spot after playing mostly in midfield this year.  All that pace and very little touch makes for frustrating play at times.  Seemed not to be on the same page with his strike partner and midfielders on more than one occasion when a pass should have been made instead of a shot and vice versa. 

F Orr Barouch (5) - Managed a few shots early although none were on target.  Just missed connecting on a header that was sent wide in the 32nd minute.  A good ball sprang Oduro in the 47th resulting in a corner kick chance.  Decent outing although results were lacking much like the rest of the Fire attackers.  Subbed out in the 59th. 

F Diego Chaves (5) - Came on for Barouch and did force Condoul into a difficult save in the 80th minute after an effective run onto Pappa's long cross field pass. Stood at the 15 in the 90th minute wide open as Oduro floated an off balance shot over the cross bar. 

M Corben Bone (5) - Replaced Husidic in the 69th.  Highlight was a through ball setting up Segares in the 89th minute but otherwise didn't show much.  

M Gabriel Ferrari (5) - Came in for Pappa in the 82nd and almost benefitted from a botched Condoul clearance but not much else.

C Frank Klopas (5) - The substitutions seemed to be the right moves with Chaves replacing Barouch and Bone coming into the midfield in an attempt to push the game.  The team came out a bit flat to start but the game plan against New York seemed to talk hold in the second half.  At some point, someone has got to step forward and finish a scoring chance when given the opportunity.  If not, the US Open Cup may be all that Chicago is playing for this season.  You can listen to his post game press conference here

Up Next

The Fire travel to New York on Monday morning to prepare for a USOC match against the Rochester Rhinos on Tuesday night.  The match will be streamed live at   



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  • Was out of town and forgot to TIVO the game so can't comment on that. But, was happily surprised to see a front page article in the Trib with a color photo. Said the attendance was 16K which is probably the highest so far.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    home crowd looked and sounded good on ESPN

  • In reply to oliotya:

    @Doug--You can catch a replay of the game at ESPN3.

    We seem to have everything except A) finishers and B) a Nowak/Stoitchkov/Blanco type player. With A) we'd win games. We might not even need B). But with A) and B) we'd be in the cream of MLS.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Thanks for the heads up. Was the game on ESPN? I thought it was MY50. With the Women's WC going on, I'm surprised ESPN has room for a Sunday MLS game.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Part of the lack of finishing for the forwards is the lack of quality passes coming from the midfield.
    The need of a play making center midfielder is a priority.
    Also it seems everyone tries to be a hero, trying to score from way out, instead of making a
    pass to someone who may be open. They still look somewhat disorganized, although they played
    a decent second half and should have won 3-1.
    I wonder about Chaves, he took a great shot right at the edge of the box, then just stayed there
    watching it, instead of following through, the goalie temporarily flubbed the shot but recovered
    the ball after. If Chaves continued on instead of stopping, he might have had another easy shot.
    He also seems to have two left feet at times and takes to much time getting a shot off.
    I'll be surprised if he scores another goal this season, particularly if he continues to play that deep in the midfield, he is not another Messi.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    LC, I agree with you on Chaves 100%. I made the same comment at the time Chaves made his shot. You can can count, one-one thousand, two-one thousan, three- one thousand, every time before he shoots. He needs to one time it more. He has a cannon and it just needs to be unleashed right away. MLS defenders are far bigger than the defenders he is probably used to playing against, so he has to unleash sooner. Its no secret and I'm sure Frank is working with him on this, but if he doesn't get his shot off sooner, he's not going to get off he bench.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    i've also noticed chaves taking too long waiting for the ball to be served on a platter before he takes teh shot. when you are in the box with a free look at goal, take the shot even if the ball is on the bounce or on the wrong foot, it doesnt need to be set perfectly, the goalie and defense will have time to react if you wait for the perfect shot

  • In reply to oliotya:

    GR, was Frank asked after the game why Oduro was not moved to the wing when Ferrari came on for Pappa at the end of the game? It seems to me that even a gassed Oduro has more speed that Gabe and that he could have exploited Richards and the RBNY's left back who was seriosly not able to mark Oduro without help all day. If Gabe had gone up top, maybe Oduro could have exploited the space on the wing more. I don't, its easy to second guess. Did any one think that it was odd seeing Gabe in midfield?

  • any idea when steven kinney will be fit to play? i knew he'd be out for march & april, but i kinda figgered he mite have been ready by now. has he gotten into any reserve matches even?

  • You can't suck blood out of a turnup! The striker crew is in desperate need of new blood. Someone who thinks assist first and can score in close quarters. Chavez cannot one touch a shot and must set it up giving defenders time to close. Nazarit big and strong but not alot of skill in front of net. Barouch can finish is big but more of a target than number one. Percentage of his shots vers goals is bad for a striker. Ferrari is a bull in a China shop having already missed frame with his changes. This group should put Pappa in attacking mid, sit three of strikers give someone else a chance not Oduro. While he can run has no real touch all of his goals were defenders mistakes and poor shots with luck. Barouch goals were cherry picking net and thru defenders legs. Chavez is a sub until he makes all runs. Add new blood up top maybe Nyarko, Bone or others. We all know that changes need to be made, so make em.

  • A CAM on the level of Nowak and the old guard or Blanco would be magnificent. That said, Chaves still needs to pull the trigger faster, and all the other fwds / mids need either much better luck, or lots of practice time devoted to finishing, including touch nearing the goal mouth and pulling the trigger.
    I'm no stats guy, but the ratio of shots, or shots on goal- to goals scored has to be painful.

  • Amazing that in all of this you see the Fire with only 4 losses and that is pretty much among the league leaders, just think if this team could have found the net just on the bare minimum of chances and cut them ties in half.

  • They were saying on ESPN that Pappa's goal was lucky and yes to me it is amazing with all the great chances the team is getting in games that this is a shot that goes in. However , the Red Bull goal happened only because Cuesta fell down.
    They also said on ESPN that the Fire goal scoring is down this year because McBride is gone , I know it is't just me bur McBride was not the player last year that he once was.

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