The Fire have now equalled the all-time franchise record for stalemates in one season with an incredible 2-4-12 record. This time an energetic first twenty six minutes which saw numerous wasted opportunities to bury the home side before a Dominic Oduro goal gave them lead, turn into sixty four minutes of scrambling to defend and hang on to another frustating point against one of the bottom dwellers in MLS.
In the meantime the Fire are getting further away from the tenth and final playoff spot as Sporting Kansas City managed a road victory in Portland and therefore bypassed Houston to take over the current 10th place berth in MLS. The Dynamo are in Colorado tonight with another chance to push the Fire even further away from the last available spot. There are sixteen games to go but the clock is ticking louder every weekend.
Can July 15 get here quickly enough? Will any additions made during the transfer window be integrated quickly enough to make a substantial difference? Tick Tock.
GK Sean Johnson (7) - Came up with an outstanding save in the 32nd minute to deny Jorge Flores and keep the Fire temporarily in the lead. Also came up big on a 90th minute header attempt from Victor Estupinan. Other than the lone goal, one on which Johnson had little chance as a result of a very well taken strike after Fire defenders allowed too much room for Nick LaBrocca to operate in, the second year keeper was on top of his game again.
D Gonzalo Segares (5) - Fire fullbacks spent most of the evening attempting to clear crosses and chasing Chivas attackers. Segares found little time to support the attack on the left side as he customarliy does since the entire team was in scramble to defend mode almost immediately after taking the lead in the 26th minute.
D Yamith Cuesta (6) - Perhaps spurred on by the prospect of facing his former team, Cuesta was an important figure in the middle clearing numerous crosses out of the box before leaving in the 62nd minute apparently suffering of cramping in both legs.
D Cory Gibbs (5) - Chivas only managed three shots on target despite holding a huge advantage in possession and keeping the Fire on their heels defensively. Gibbs managed to stay in front of Justin Braun often enough to keep him out of truly dangerous territory and it's hard to blame him for not getting out to crowd LaBrocca on his score.
D Jalil Anibaba (5) - Decent enough effort for the rookie given the amount of possession given up in midfield but his passing and decision making really does need to improve.
M Logan Pause (5) - The captain's return saw Chivas hold the ball for long stretches with little resistance from the Fire. The space that LaBrocca found in front of the back line should have been closed down by the "holding" mid spot but Pause was several yards behind LaBrocca as he made his move.
M Baggio Husidic (5) - Another fairly invisible outing in the middle of the pitch for the Fire's central midfielders. Husidic did provide one pass that led to Oduro's 1v1 miss in the 8th minute but there was little else from there. Also continued corner kick duties with little effect.
M Marco Pappa (5) - A relatively quiet night for Pappa after a solid effort against New York last Sunday. Chivas managed to keep the ball away from him and kept Pappa from maneuvering himself into dangerous shooting range. Subbed out in the 64th minute.
M Patrick Nyarko (6) - Continues to provide a good link up with Oduro and sprung him for the lone goal with a pass in the 26th minute. Also struck a rebound shot on goal that could have resulted in the second goal but the shot was blocked before reaching the goal by Michael Umana in the 42nd minute. It proved to be the Fire's last dangerous opportunity.
F Diego Chaves (5) - Seemed to push further back into midfield after the Fire's score in what almost appeared to be a 4-5-1 formation essentially taking Chaves out of the attacking third. After scoring the only goal in the USOC match on Tuesday night Chaves disappeared for long stretches before being subbed out in the 74th minute.
F Dominic Oduro (7) - Scored the only goal on a fantastic finish but one can't help but think he should have converted 2 or 3 times. Missed a break away 1v1 chance after a rather poorly struck shot was saved by Dan Kennedy in the 8th minute. In the 15th minute a loose ball at the top of the box landed at his feet with a good look on net but his low shot was easily handled by Kennedy. In the 42nd minute Nyarko sprung him yet again but the shot taken with the outside of his left foot was foiled by Kennedy. Moved to midifield when Baroch entered the game in the 74th minute. Oduro was the best player on the pitch for the Fire but it should have been a great game rather than just a good one.
D Josip Mikulic (6) - Entered the match in the 62nd minute after Cuesta apparently cramped up and couldn't continue. Wasted no time getting into the action by clearing two Chivas chances in the penalty area.
F Cristian Nazirit (5) - Came into the game in the 64th minute for Pappa. His highlights include a header attempt from a corner that went wide and a long distance free kick blast that was well high and wide.
F Orr Barouch (5) - Subbed in for Chaves in the 74th minute but couldn't manage to create or be involved in anything of consequence in the offensive third.
C Frank Klopas (5) - Perhaps a Paladini/Pause central pairing will be more effective next weekend once Paladini returns from his one game yellow card suspension but a move to start Corben Bone over Husidic against Chivas may have provided a little more offensively. Seems to have a substition pattern in mind each game by liberally using all three moves available each game. It's possible Bone may have been slotted to come in for Husidic later in the game as he has in previous matches but Cuesta's issues necessitated a move earlier than anticipated. After the taking the lead in the 26th minute the Fire had little answer for Chivas' attack and that continued into the second half.
A reserve match on Tuesday against FC Dallas at the Toyota Park practice field before returning to California next Saturday to face the league leading Los Angeles Galaxy.