Here a few stories and tidbits to share in the aftermath of a single season league record tying 14th draw over the weekend.
Kellen Gulley has reported to Toyota Park and has begun training with his new teammates. The Fire's second Home Grown Player is highly regarded by some scouts but his hairdo leaves a bit to be desired. We'll cut him some slack since he's only 17. Gulley mentions Justin Mapp, of all people as an early influence growing up in Mississippi.
The guys over at Section 8 Chicago have posted a new Hot Mess podcast.
According to an internet report Dutch first division side FC Twente is interested in Marco Pappa and is willing to pony up $2.1 million dollars for his services.
Player Rating v New York
I didn't have an opportunity to post player ratings this weekend so here they are...
GK Sean Johnson (5) - Can't really fault Johnson on either of the goals and the Fire were rather fortunate it wasn't more given the huge disparity in possession (65% to 35%) and attempts on goal (20 to 9). Came up with a couple of good reflexive saves to keep New York at bay.
D Dan Gargan (5) - Pretty good debut considering he was relied on to mark Thierry Henry on several occasions. Also active in attempting to get forward. He's a better passer than both Pause and Anibaba when playing right back.
D Jalil Anibaba (6) - A second consecutive solid outing for Anibaba at his natural center back position. Two consecutive clearances in dangerous territory in the 79th minute helped salvage one point.
D Yamith Cuesta (5) - Allowed too much space in front of Lindpere resulting in the game tying goal in the 64th. Did come up with a big block in the 3rd minute keeping the opposition from an early goal for the second consecutive week. Better than the week before but that's not saying a whole lot.
D Gonzalo Segares (5) - Usually does a job on Dane Richards by shutting him completely down but the New York midfielder was able to break free on a few occasions this time.
M Pavel Pardo (5) - Relatively quiet all match long in this one. The Fire appeared to start off in a 4-3-1-2 with Pardo in the middle, Pause on the right, and Pappa on the left. This formation allowed too much space between the back line and the midfield but did allow Grazzini, Nyakro, and Oduro to get forward.
M Logan Pause (5) - Came up with a key block of an Henry shot in the 45th minute. Moved into a dual holding role with Pardo after Nyarko was subbed out in the second half. Fire midfield was overrun for the most part.
M Marco Pappa (6) - Pappa was sharp early on and his passes in the 16th and 24th minutes led directly to the Fire's two scores. After one of his better recent performances he appeared visibly miffed when coming to the sidelines after being substituted in the 73rd minute.
M Sebastian Grazzini (6) - Scored his first goal for the Fire on a rebound in the 24th minute and continues to show good skill on the ball. He did however have several turnovers and was subbed out in the 67th.
F Patrick Nyarko (6) - Very good and active in the first half with passes to teammates that were unfortunately mishandled in what should have been good position for scoring chances. Curiously subbed out in the 56th minute after Klopas said he "wasn't feeling well". This substitution more than anything else damaged what the Fire had been able to do offensively up to that point.
F Dominic Oduro (6) - A nice finish in the 16th minute netted the team's first goal and another shot in the 24th led to Grazzini's rebound score. One glaring mistake was a terrible lead pass to Pappa in the 70th minute that should have at least resulted in a close range open look at the New York goal. Moved to right mid in the 56th minute when Nyarko was subbed out and didn't factor in much after that.
F Orr Barouch (5) - Entered the match for Nyarko in the 56th minute and slotted into a single forward spot. Probably could have scored with a little more finesse in the 71st minute after getting in alone on the New York goal.
M Diego Chaves (5) - Came in for Grazzini in the playmaking role in the 67th minute and provided the ball that should have led to Barouch's score in the 71st.
F Cristian Nazirit (5) - Subbed in for Pappa in the 73rd minute as Klopas decided to switch back to a 2 forward alignment. Not much in terms of opportunities.
C Frank Klopas (5) - The Fire's game plan to move two speedy forwards in ahead of Grazzini worked well in the first half but exposed the midfield. In an attempt to address that problem Nyarko dropped back to right mid to start the second half and the team was immediately less effective. Klopas said after the match that Nyarko wasn't feeling well in the second half which led to more changes and more substitutions. Without Nyarko, Dominic Oduro was moved back to right mid and Orr Barouch played as the lone forward. This may have worked if Oduro could complete a simple pass in the 71st and Barouch could capitalize on a 1v1 chance in the 73rd. Mikulic over Cuesta anyone?
At home on Thursday night against DC United, a club which actually managed to beat the mighty Vancouver Whitecaps by a slim 4-0 margin.