Fire drop 1-0 decision to NASL side Minnesota

The Fire have piled a little more pressure on themselves going into the April 7 contest against the New York Red Bulls by dropping a 1-0 decision to second division side Minnesota United FC. Frank Klopas used many of his regulars to begin the match but Minnesota was able to stay level at the half. Maicon Santos struck the cross bar in the 17th minute to give Chicago it's best scoring opportunity early on.

Sherjill MacDonald had a shot cleared off the line in the 67th minute as the Fire scoring funk continued. To make matters worse Patrick Nyarko left the game just before the end of the first half with an apparent injury. Minnesota's game winner in the 73rd minute will surely add to the uneasiness over the next eight days before New York comes into Toyota Park.

In the grand scheme of things this result means nothing but certainly highlights the major area of concern and doesn't help to ease anyone's fears that the lack of scoring punch will push the club too far down the table early in the season to recover.

Fire Line Up

GK Sean Johnson (Alec Kann 60')

D Wells Thompson, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares (Hunter Jumper 69')

M Patrick Nyarko (Yazid Atouba 43'), Jeff Larentowicz (Victor Pineda 71'), Chris Rolfe (Leo Lelis 56'), Corben Bone (Brendan King 73')

F Maicon Santos (Quincy Amarikwa 67'), Sherjill MacDonald (Colin Rolfe 67')




MLS picks this weekend

Los Angeles 2 Toronto FC 1

New York 1 Philadelphia 1

New England 1 FC Dallas 1

Portland 2 Colorado 1

Houston 2 San Jose 1

Sporting KC 1 Montreal 0

Real Salt Lake 1 Seattle 0

Chivas USA 1 Vancouver 1

Season record 17/34

Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • It was really bad today. Santos and MacDonald are awful. MacDonald is the laziest player that they Fire have ever had. We looked like a high school team today. Minnesota passed the ball quickly around our player and their goal was a simple give and go and then put it away. Every player looked terrified when they got the ball. First touches going about their head or 10 ft in front of them. Atouba looked dangerous at times but then didnt know what to do after he took the player on. Its getting really hard to like this team that we have. They dont offer any entertainment. They cant make simple passes, they cant shoot the ball on target and they cant play solid defense. I dont know if there are any players on this team that would be automatic starters on other teams. Maybe Sean Johnson but thats really it.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Rubberbandman, MacDonald the laziest player that the Fire ever had? Does Nery Castillo ring a bell? :)

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Castillo wasn't lazy....just bad.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Castillo was out of shape first, which showed he didn't have any pride and secondly, he was lazy. I still can't believe Frank signed that bum for a ridiculous amount of money.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    I still remember Nery on his debut. He was making runs all over the place but nobody had the ability to play him the ball. Then we never really saw him again. I think MacDonald is the laziest player for sure. Hes not being called offside because he isnt timing his runs right. Its because he is always goal side of his defender when the ball is played to him so he is always off side. His little tantrums when he loses the ball was nice to see because it made me think that he cared but now its every single time he gets the ball because he cant handle having the ball and doesnt know what to do with it when he gets it. This team is not good and the future doesnt look bright either. I wouldnt be surprised if we end the season with less than 20 total goals scored.

  • Any updates on Kellen Gulley being loaned to a lower division team?

  • In reply to longoria3:

    He's still training with official loan yet.
    NASL season hasn't started.

  • This result does not matter at all. The first team didn't score, but we already knew that was a problem. Then a mix of reserves, guest players, and the third string keeper gave up a late goal. I'm sure it's frustrating for the team and this could have been a good chance to "bounce back" with a win, but personally I don't care what happens until they plan NY in two weeks.

  • In reply to Mateu:

    totally agree with that....this result is about as relevant as their 4-1-2 preseason record is.

  • In reply to Mateu:

    We just lost to this team today and looked terrible doing it. Our next game is against NY. That is not a good thing.

  • In reply to Mateu:

    That goal also happened on the right side where it was Wells Thompson and Anibaba. The give and go was as simple as that. The guy got in behind by just running in a straight line and finished. It was terrible defense against a lower league side. The next team they will be playing has top quality players like some guy named Henry and Cahill and Juninho to name their top 3. Thats a little different than playing against a team that didnt even have numbers on their jerseys. Their CM looked like he was 9 ft tall and 40 years old. The guy that scored looked like he was 16. They were the better side and deserved to win even when the starters were in. We made simple 15 yard passes look difficult and trapped the ball further than the pass itself.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    After painfully watching the Chivas replay, one thing I noticed (that others have also pointed out) was Thompson's positioning at RB. He got caught out of position several times against Chivas, and it sounds as if that was the case again today.

    Can't entirely fault him, he's a midfielder playing a defender, but the short term solution of slotting midfielders as outside backs is going to continue to create chances for oppositions to threaten, all the more problematic when we can't put anything in the back of the net on the other end.

  • As I said elsewhere, this is going to the place where the 1st team to lose to the Fire is going to be embarrassed amongst the league for losing to "that" club.

    Still early. But still not in a good place with the lack of finishing ability on this team.

  • I'm shocked that the Fire lost, I was at the game through the first 60 minutes, and I thought the game would end in a 0-0 tie.
    It was obvious the Fire wouldn't score today but I thought they could hold the other team scoreless.
    The action on top is non-existent, the Fire played flat without any creative offense. Minnesota is one of the better lower level teams
    but still it's a disappointment .

  • I'm glad I didn't watch this one. How depressing.

  • I was at the game today. One thing that was obvious is that the Minnesota team was very well coached. On the other hand the fire from starters to the replacements were disorganized, slow to the ball and and out muscled the entire game. I talked to the few writers that covered the team and they thought that no matter what happens before the July transfer window nothing would be done to improve the team other than a few prayers that McDonald would turn into blanco.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    It's going to be tough to get something done in terms of a big addition before July but this guy will available and he's interested in MLS.....

    The Fire should be all over this if he's looking at a move stateside.

  • Should be, but probably won't be.

  • I took in the game today and stayed all the way to the miserable conclusion. I like our guys. But we don't have all the horses we need.

    I like Frank Klopas and he had this team playing for him last year. But I'm beginning to think the Fire need to "find" another more successful coach who would like to step into this situation and let Frank return to his previous role.

    I feel badly for the guys playing for the FIre. It looks to me like they just don't know what they should be doing, like there's no organized approach to the game. I saw a lot of frustration out there today. The guys care, some very noticably. But certain roles aren't properly filled and the team is starting to look increasingly poorly coached.

    I still think we have to get new ownership FIRST. The people operating this franchise aren't going to fix this so long as they are still banking their paychecks.

  • I a
    Know that the 420 minutes that the fire did not score is a record in the league. Does anyone know what is the record for the amount of winless games in the league.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    The 420 minute scoreless streak is a club record but not even close to the league record. The all time MLS mark for scoring futility was set by Toronto FC in 2007. They went 824 minutes without scoring a goal that season.

    The league record for games without a win is 18 by Real Salt Lake over two seasons (2005-2006). The record for one season is 14 by Vancouver in 2011.

  • The Metrostars had the longest winless streak of 19 in the 1999 season, the most losses in a MLS season is 24 from 32 games by the Kansas City Wizards also in 1999. Since shootouts were abandoned the most losses by a Major League Soccer team has been 22 by both Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA in 2005. Chivas also holds the MLS record for fewest wins in a season, winning only four of its thirty-two games, whilst Real Salt Lake in the same year was second worst with only five wins.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Metrostars longest losing streak in 1999 was 12.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:
  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:
  • In reply to DerSting:

    That site is incorrect.....sort of. New York won 3 games in that time frame via the shoot out so they technically weren't winless for 19. MLS recognizes RSL's 18 game winless run as the official mark for a winless streak.

    Check out page 47 of the MLS Fact Book....

  • The Fire will continue to play poorly until they have a creative midfielder. I'm tired of execuses for this team. Put in players who will try to play together. Nyark is the only guy who looks to set someone else up instead of passing when there is no option to shoot. They need to seriously re-think the middle of the field. Losing to Minnesota shows this team is giving up on the system. I don't want to give up on them, but I cannot keep blindly supporting them when there is no sign of improvement.

  • Not to split hairs but I think the Fire's goal-less record was 410 minutes, not 420. Both are still obviously bad.

  • In reply to seaside:

    You're was 410.

  • Get Gulley up to the first team and see if he's any good. It's not like MacDonald and Santos are producing. In the long run we'll need to be outputting academy players who can produce as teenagers (see Villareal, McBean, Yedlin, etc.)

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Gulley is not ready for first team minutes. That's why he's trialling for a loan in Atlanta.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Macdonald doesn't appear to be ready for first team minutes either. Honestly this is why relegation is a good thing, if a team is not playing like pros then they should be relegated to a lower league. If a lower league club like Minnesota is outplaying a MLS club what does that say about MLS? Why and even is MLS the top league in the US? If the Fire feared relegation than their would be a stronger emphasis on playing to a standard. Why does the Fire lose any progress made in the off season? Why do we seem to be the least ready physically? I honestly thought Lindpere was a good pickup and Santos was a nice addition as well. I think Rolfe is a better finisher and should be the target forward. McDonald looks like the second coming of Collins John and what is the point in signing bums from Europe? If they want to save money there are plenty of out of shape lazy American players that will not score goals for less money. I have to think at the end of the day it comes down to poor leadership, coaching and scouting. I love the Fire and I like Klopas but this team hasn't been a contender since 2009 and they don't show any signs of hope. They shouldn't be allowed to run the team like a semi pro outfit in a league that is progressing to being a respectable professional league, furthermore they shouldn't be allowed to do that in Chicago. It is disrespectful to the league and to Chicagoans.

  • In reply to Jdgedwill:

    That's a whole lotta topics right there, most of which were surely typed after pressing the image included in the post. ;)

  • In reply to Jdgedwill:

    I very much feel your frustration with this team, but personally have very mixed thoughts about the organization. On one hand, they had a playoff team last year, MacD was a solid if unspectacular contributor, they won even without Grazzini, and with big changes in the offseason that seemed positive, I truly thought they were headed in the right direction.

    On the other hand, I really dislike that they've yet to hire a TD to replace Klopas (sure they have people working on player scouting/acquisition, but I strongly believe one person should be "in charge" and have his name behind the moves...and Klopas should focus on coaching), seemed to have been burned by the Ljunberg/Nery DP signings and have yet to make big signings since, and the fans have been asking for a legit striker for what, 4 years now? Now the team isn't playing up to expectations and Klopas keeps yapping about their fitness level, I mean wtf, these are professional soccer players, right? They aren't fit by now? Sure there have been injuries, and of course at the RB position, right were they made a gamble by letting Gargan go. Shit luck (and planning) there. I'm also disappointed the team hasn't put a name player on the team since Blanco as I think it really increases the exposure and excitement surrounding the team. They could certainly use it. I mean, could this team be any more boring to watch?

    Ultimately to me this seems like a middlin' team with a middlin' organization and pretty much has deserved the fate that's befallen the team the last 3-4 years. They've tried to go about the rebuild through gambling and unknowns and have ignored higher paid, certain difference makers. I personally wouldn't go so far as to say the organization is semi pro or disrespectful, but they also have shown no real desire to become an elite team and seem pretty damn comfortable with being mediocre. It's a huge bummer for the fans, but unfortunately it's their squad and their money...and we in turn can choose to support their squad financially only as much as we feel like they are putting into it. It's up to each of us to determine what sort of support we feel is appropriate based on how we feel the organization is doing (or not doing).

  • In reply to Drew:

    Very disappointed at the misguided nature of the comments by Drew and Jdgedwill. The Fire is a well run organization dedicated on all levels to winning, from Hauptman to There is no such thing as a certain difference maker, just look at Cahill, Nery, Koevermanns and any number of DP busts. Even if there were, it would be very difficult to persuade him to come here.

  • In reply to iron81:

    well if you paid attention to what i actually said, i mentioned i had mixed feelings about the organization, didn't feel that it was all bad, but certainly not all good. and yes there are certain difference makers. i think we all knew beckham, henry and keane would perform well, among others. and if you still disagree, then i think we (hopefully) can at least agree that some players come with a far greater chance at success than others. oh, and nery was never considered a sure hit.

    but i would expect nothing less from you seeing as i've never once seen you criticize the fire. if you want to follow them blindly, be my guest. as i stated, it's up to each of us to decide how we want to support the team.

  • In reply to iron81:

    "Even if there were (certain difference makers), it would be very difficult to persuade him to come here."

    Why? 2 reasons. Money and recent success, or lack thereof. Both of which reflect on the "well run organization dedicated on all levels to winning".

  • In reply to Drew:

    The main reason is the Fire do not participate in the UEFA Champions League.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Oh yeah, great point. Now I realize why the Fire hasn't spent Keane-like money.

  • In reply to iron81:

    That's what I'm here for, to help people understand what is going on with the Fire.

    You need more than money to attract a true difference maker. The level of competition in MLS is perceived around the world as quite low and the trophies we award certainly are not prestigious. Players want to play for big clubs. The kind of player who would take Keane Money as opposed to two or three times that much and would be difference maker (a good one, not the Nery kind) is vanishingly rare.

  • In reply to iron81:

    If they are such a well run organization than why are they failing so miserably? Look, I don't know their intent all I can judge them on is their results. I know that since 09 we missed the playoffs twice, broke the record for most ties, lost Grazzini, unable or unwilling to sign a difference maker but willing to throw a good amount of money at poor players. I can't buy Fire merchandise unless I search online or go to their store at Toyota Park, any media coverage is nonexistent and even though the team is in last place and lost to a lower league team there is no talks of any additions or changes. Does that sound like a well run organization committed to winning from the top down? I am a supporter regardless of how bad they suck but how can they grow support by being a last place team that can't score goals? I know that New York and LA go after players that are proven and that bring soccer fans to the stadium, we are a big market city and they need to run the club that way, If the money just isn't there than they need to trim the fat and reallocate those dollars to where it would make the greatest impact, go after more endorsements and sell this club to raise capital.

  • I hate losing before a bye week. It means 2 weeks of moaning instead of 1.

  • In reply to iron81:

    There are many examples of players who are difference makers and do not require "Keane money." Here are four off the top of my head:

    Christian Gomez
    Mauro Rosales
    GB Schelotto
    Javier Morales

    Rosales and Morales are better than any central midfielder than the Fire have. Gomez and Schelotto, in their prime MLS days, are better than any central midfielder that we have.

    It is a fair question to ask how other MLS clubs find and sign these kinds of players and the Fire don't/won't/can't.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Because for every success, there are a dozen failures. It's really a matter of luck.

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