Fire 2 Santos Laguna 2 - post game

International friendlies in September are fairly meaningless and sometimes dull but this one was actually entertaining.  Defending Mexican champions Santos Laguna took a 2-0 lead after the first half hour of play when Benjamin Joya danced by Dan Gargan and Hunter Jumper to beat Paolo Tornaghi from 15 yards out in the 24th. Five minutes later Daniel Luduena took advantage of a sloppy back pass by Mike Videira inside the penalty area to give the visitors the two goal advantage.

The Fire fought back in the second half.  Videira headed home an Alex corner kick in the 48th minute and Corben Bone tied it after collecting a Dominic Oduro pass to beat Santos 'keeper Miguel Becerra with a low shot to the far post in the 63rd minute.  Both sides exchanged some dangerous chances in the last 15 minutes of the match before settling for a draw.

There's not much than can usually be learned from these friendlies with both sides essentially fielding 'B" teams but Fire homegrown player Victor Pineda did play well from both the holding mid spot in the first half and from the left side in the second.  Pineda should be a factor for serious playing time in 2013.

Fire Line Up

Tornaghi; Walls, Videira, Jumper, Gargan; Pause (Paladini 46'), Pineda, Oduro, Alex (Pardo 78'), Bone; MacDonald (Anibaba 46')

Attendance: 18,597

Catch comments from Victor Pineda at the Fire Confidential Facebook page.

Filed under: 2012 Friendlies

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Pretty well played game, thou I don't know Santos well I'm guessing players withe numbers like 54 and 52 are reserves.
    Pinieda looked good. Looked a little like Mapp with his runs Waaay back when Mapp tried. He got dispossessed a few times but that's to be expected. Without making any more moves this team isn't going very far so we might as well play him.
    This team is a Chris Rolfe turned ankle away from disaster

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    I think the team is a bit more resilient than what you think.
    For one thing Rolfe hasn't played that well in the last few games.
    What might be true is the Fire is both a Rolfe and Nyarko turned ankle away from disaster. There isn't an overwhelming favorite in the playoffs and the Fire is capable of beating anyone in the playoffs (for a game or two) but probably are not strong enough to win four or five games in a row against the top teams. I can see the team making it into the second round in the playoffs, from there things become more complicated.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I agree with you Lone. Theyve got as good a chance as anyone else in the East. They even still have a legit shot at the top spot. A Rolfe injury would obviously hurt but it wouldn't be crippling.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    What?......Chris Rolfe never gets hurt......


  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    I dont know what you are watching but we have as good a chance to win the whole thing as anybody. We have a really solid defense and a really solid group going forward. We have a keeper that has to be up for keeper of the year. We are winning games and looking pretty good doing it. If Rolfe turns his ankle, we could go to a 4-4-2 and put Oduro up top and have Fernandez and Nyarko as our outside mids. This is the best we have looked since the Blanco days and I think we can go far into the playoffs. If we win our game in hand, we are 2nd in the East.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Ive been watching this Fire team all year. So I remember how everyone adjusted to our kick it to Oduro strategy. Make no mistake if Rolfe goes down that's our only option. If Oduro ball worked, he would still be starting. The midfielder we have now is better because each one can pass attack and defend so it's more fluid. As much as I like Grazzini it didn't appear like he and Pappa meshed together and Pappa himself had a high lose the ball rate. I also like Paladini recently over Pause.while we miss might miss his defense Paladini fits more smoothly.
    Can we make the playoffs ? Yes, will we go far without Rolfe? No. Do we have the horses LA and NJ have? No

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Since we have signed MacDonald and Fernandez we have played the best soccer we have played in years. We play better now than we did when Grazzini was here. Pappa was a good player and his loss might hurt us in the long run but him leaving allows Nyarko to be a starter again. MacDonald is the target striker we have been looking for for many years. We score goals every game and we defend well. We are quick in the counter and dangerous at almost all times during the game. If Rolfe got hurt we would be losing a good player, but that is the case with every MLS team. LA wouldnt be as good if Donovan or Keane went down. NY wouldnt be the same without Henry or Cahill.

    I love what Logan allows other players to do on the field but his days have to be numbered. Paladini has played great in Pause's absence. Pause allows Pardo to be more creative and not focus too much on the defensive side which is nice.

  • I am a life long soccer player and fan. I have had season tickets for the games since the beginning. I made a decision before the season that if the current confusing management is in charge for the coming year I would not renew until after the July transfer window. All of the stupid signings that are nothing more than a mirage have me very frustrated. Losing the argentine midfielder was probably the most stupid move of the year. One last question who the heck is Javier. Was he an outstanding player or even better how did he do as chief of chivas.?

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Yet despite some confounding moves they're still in a pretty good position and they're pretty entertaining to watch. I don't think any other club in the East is significantly better than they are and the Fire is capable of beating any of them.

    I'm not sure what his soccer background is before MLS but Chivas finished 3rd and 1st in the West in the two years after their expansion season while Leon was at the helm.

  • What have these people been watching when they say that this team isnt going anywhere with this current group of players? This has been the best we have looked in a long time. We have a good group coming in as backups also. We can play different formations depending on what we need and we are scoring goals. We are winning at home and playing really well on the road. MacDonald has been fantastic for us since joining. Fernandez is a nice player and has looked good when he plays. He has made some mistake but they have come during wins where it hasnt mattered. I really enjoy watching these players week in and week out. Losing Grazzini isnt as big of a deal as everyone was making it. The way it was handled was more concerning than actually losing him.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Despite some of my earlier expressions of apprehension, I completely agree with you Rb-man! The lack of communication from team management caused most of my concerns and things are definitely looking much better now. I suspect people are still just not quite sure if they believe what they are seeing yet. But I'm liking it and agree with everything you just said.

  • Trade rumor time.
    Colorado Rapids blog "Burgundy Wave" points out that Rapids defender Luis Zapata indicated via twitter that teammate Wells Thompson has been traded to the Fire.

    Thompson had reportedly asked to be traded late last week.

  • Wells Thompson rumor is legit. Seems he has been acquired by the Fire. Not sure was was traded to Colorado in exchange though.

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