Club America defeat Fire 3-2 in friendly match

A sellout crowd of 20,042 at Toyota Park saw Liga MX champion Club America defeat the Fire 3-2 in a pretty entertaining affair as these mid-season international friendlies go. A wide open first half ended in a 1-1 score after Daniel Paladini put the Fire ahead initially with a pretty chest trap and volley following a pass from Maicon Santos in the 19th minute. The Fire's woes on set piece defending continued when America tied it in the 25th. Luis Gabriel Rey tapped in a loose ball that ensued from a free kick just outside of the penalty area.

The visitors got the benefit of the doubt from referee Ted Unkel in the second and converted two rather soft penalty calls in the second half to seal the victory. The first call, a handball against Paladini in the 63rd could have gone either way but the second appeared to be the result of a dive by Antonio Lopez when challenged by Mike Videira. The call was particularly questionable because Unkel ignored an apparent foul against Quincy Amarikwa in the box just minutes earlier.

The Fire scored a consolation goal in stoppage time when Amarikwa fed the ball forward to disgruntled striker Sherjill MacDonald, who earlier told the Sun Times that he was looking to move elsewhere and didn't care if he played anymore. The Dutch forward hasn't scored or assisted on a goal all season and has deservedly found his way to the bench but after the game Frank Klopas wasn't as quick to dismiss him as he apparently has been to dismiss the club.

“I was happy for him. I think everyone on the team was. He’s worked hard and I think it’s good sometimes to get rewarded like that. Quincy Amarikwa played a terrific through ball and you see the pace. It’s good for his confidence. He’s been working hard and it’s good to see him score. But a lot of times it’s not just the goals. You see guys that sometimes have difficulty scoring or things don’t go their way, I think you have to find other ways to help the team. He’s been positive; he’s been working hard and helping the team in other ways. But obviously it’s a great feeling for him to get the goal. I know for myself and every one of the players they feel good for him," said Klopas in the post game press conference.

Paolo Tornaghi showed well as did newly signed leftback Shaun Francis who will be available to face Vancouver this weekend. Trialists Yamith Cuesta and Elias Vasquez are still with the club but were not eligible for this contest. The best part of this friendly was that the Fire didn't use a majority of their regular eleven and everyone appeared to escape healthy.

Fire line-up

GK Tornaghi

D Thompson (King 86'), Videira, Jumper. Segares (Francis 46')

M Duka (Pineda 46'), Alex (Bone 46'), Paladini, Lindpere (Atouba 63')

F Amarikwa, Santos (MacDonald 63')



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  • MacDonald says he'll continue to give 100% when called upon but reiterates that he's ready to move.....

    He's also angry that he hasn't had a chance to play a full game, being pulled off after 60 minutes in 8 starts. No mention, however of not coming in fit enough to play 90 during preseason.

  • Guillermo.. how did Pineda do in his half of play?

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    I thought he did alright...didn't particularly do anything to stand out though. I would have liked to have seen him start this one.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I thought he was our best player in the 2nd half. He was willing to attack defenders but just lacked that final pass/shot. I think he would do well with getting time in the first team. We are playing a lot of games and could use another guy on the outside to come in. Lindpere is not good. Mac is awful. Those guys shouldnt be seeing minutes. There is no use for them and they dont make the team better when they are on the field. They dont offer anything special when they come on. I cant believe that Mac plays ANY minutes anymore. Can we not cut him? What is it going to cost the club vs paying him to not play the rest of the season? I cant imagine it be more expensive to cut him now than to pay him for the rest of the season.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    If they could have cut him without taking a cap hit on July 1 they certainly would have done it.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    #BenchwarmerWithADPSalary Nuff said. MacDone can take his goal and his pouting elsewhere - if only we could offload him. Guillermo, is there any talk in the organization of palming him off in the league or elsewhere? Maybe as a mascot for the famous Chicago-based fast food giant? They must have extra costumes, ones that would even fit him when his Fire uniform gets tight, like at the beginning of this season.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    There was talk w/ a MLS club earlier this year, but nothing came of it. Guessing at this point that no MLS club will want him, unless somewhere like Toronto or Chivas could find a use for him. Would hope the club can move him somewhere, but it's probably a 50/50 shot that he's an overpaid benchwarmer the rest of the season.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    he should be an overpaid player outside of the 18. he came in out of shape and now is yapping despite being worthless and way overpaid. unbelievable. both amerikwa and santos should be in the 18, team has to send a message that showing up not ready to play and being unprofessional has its consequences, regardless of pay.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    What would the cap hit be? He shouldn't be on the team. He doesnt want to be here and the club doesnt want him. Surely something could be worked out to get him out of here for less than it would be to keep him until the season is over. If we cant get rid of him, he should be only be sitting on the bench in reserve games. We get worse with him on the field.

  • Guillermo,
    Can you update on what Francis means to us vis-a-vis the international player rules? As I understand it, we currently have six slots to use. By my count, Francis makes it five, meaning we only have one additional slot left.

    Did we just use one of our two remaining international slots on a (fine, yes, but...) USL player, such that we only have one international slot left to work with over the transfer window? If so, that means at best, we're looking at one international transfer during the window, right (assuming we couldn't move Mac...)

    Does an international DP also use up an 'international' slot? IE, if we brought in a strong DP from wherever, do we still have another slot to use for another international player?

    And I guess while I'm at it - am I correct in assuming that Fernandez doesn't count as one of our two DP slots, given his ongoing loans? (Or put another way, are we stuck paying the luxury tax for any DP moves over this window?)

    I'm trying to wrap my head around just how much latitude we have to work with during this transfer window (assuming Andrew had his wallet wide open).

    Thanks for your insight!

  • In reply to colbyaw:

    Francis does take one of the two remaining international spots. The Fire currently have 5 of their 6 remaining international spots occupied (teams have 8 total but 2 spots were traded away in the Lindpere and Larentowicz deals).

    Signing an international DP would take up the last spot. Signing Cuesta or Vasquez would take up the last spot. Of course another spot would become available if they are able to move MacDonald elsewhere.

    Fernandez' loan is not on the books for an international spot and does not prohibit the Fire from adding a DP.

  • Which means the speculation by Vasquez a few days ago likely means they only sign Cuesta OR Vasqueze IF they get rid of MacDonald.

    Aish. Football Manager 2013-level here.

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    OK - sorry to say... I know this is just a friendly, but as a paying customer, you would like to have some stars on the field too... for both clubs lol.

  • In reply to Kao Xiong:

    I was fine with Klopas sitting the starters.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    agreed 100%. should have sat Macdonald in the parking lot though.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    If there wasn't a league match this weekend, I would agree. Seeing where this friendly was positioned on the schedule though, I am 100% fine w/ him sitting starters.

  • I met MacDonald earlier this year (in the parking lot, oddly enough) and liked him. Perhaps this left me a little biased about my opinions. I was very happy for him when he got that goal Wednesday. He looked like he made a great move to position himself and someone just finally provided service. It's been sad to watch him struggle this year and, truly, he bears responsibility for not being in condition at the start of the season.

    Still one has to wonder if things might have been different if the Fire still had a Blanco or Grazinni to provide service.

    As for the quotes in the media, I tend not to take them very seriously because they are the sort of comments that can be easily misinterpreted. As things stand, he would be a fool not to be preparing himself emotionally to move on. Things haven't worked out here for him and I'm sure he's as disappointed as we are. I wouldn't mind seeing him here for the rest of the season though. Especially if we could land an attacking midfielder with the skill to provide service to our forwards.

    I don't really expect that. But our present state of affairs is far better than they were about 6 or 7 weeks ago so I can now expect to enjoy the rest of the season. And I can still dream!

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Fair enough. If he was making $150k it would be easier to keep him around as a late sub but as it is he's taking up a max salary spot for zero production. They have to move hm if they can. They had a chance to do it in January and failed to do so.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Not to make excuses for Mackie, but you can't separate the vitrol from the previous Fire DPs. It seems like Blanco was the last DP to actually play and act like a top pro.

    By the time we got to Mackie--particularly given his less-than-mediocre track record--fans were already totally jaded b the front office's track record.

    It was immediately clear to me when he was signed that a middling player from the Belgian second division was extremely unlikely to make a splash. Had he come forth with a better work ethic he may have more sympathy from fans.

    I heard somewhere that Real Salt Lake (I think) is really big on understanding a player's personality and work ethic before signing him--I wonder how/if the Fire evaluates these "intangibles"

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    It really should come as no surprise that he didn't work out. His history said he wasn't worth a DP slot and it's proved out to be the case.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Yes, and neither was Puppo.
    However, Grazzini probably was. I really didn't want to believe that Hauptmann doesn't care or is ruining the franchise ...but they really haven't had a real DP since Cuah and that was years ago. Everyone knows that marginal players in South American Leagues won't turn unit start here. Chavez, Robayo, Puppo and that butcher guy. you don't need a Becks but a high level attacking mid from a South American team is not out of reach. also taking someonelses sloppy seconds isn't a good strategy either. if they don't get a player I'm not renewing. McGee had been great ...but it's naive to think he's not overachieving right now

  • In reply to Arklow:

    How do you misinterpret “At this point, if I play, I play. If I don’t play, I don’t really care anymore,”?

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    It's not nearly so simple as it looks. And that's how they sell news these days.

    If you can get to the article in the Sun-Times they have the full quote. I've seen it but can't get it myself, so I won't try to quote it but the very next words following those you list were "I mean..."

    As I recall there were about 4 or 5 sentences. And even then you couldn't tell what question had been posed to him that he was trying to address. As near as I could tell he was explaining that he was frustrated and had just put his frustration aside and was trying to take an "I don't care, I'll just do my best either way, whether I play or not."

    I think he realises he made a big mistake coming in out of shape. Think back to when Magee arrived. As I remember, neither MacDonald or Rolfe had scored yet. Look at the mid-season ratings G just posted. There's not a lot of difference between Rolfe & MacDonald and most of the distance was probably produced by Rolfe's recent success since Magee arrived. MacDonald has got to be thinking, he narrowly missed getting to start alongside Rolfe. How would YOU feel? Mac said he was angry. He never said who he was angry. If you read the MLS column quotes it reads like Mac sucked it up, accepted responsibility, and resolved to make the best of it.

    That's a LOT different impression than what you get from just seeing the pared-down quote “At this point, if I play, I play. If I don’t play, I don’t really care anymore," taken out of context and not knowing what he was responding to.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Sorry. I mistated. I meant MacDonald has got to be thinking, he narrowly missed getting to start alongside MAGEE.

  • Quite right, G. I get that the numbers don't work and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

    I'm just not able to join in on all the picking at MacDonald personally. The real problem is Fire paid to much for the services he has to offer. I can't blame Mac for that.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Definite truth to that, Arklow.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Picking on him personally is uncalled for but he did set the piranhas loose with the "I don't care anymore" comment.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    The "I don't care anymore" comment was taken completely out of context. MacDonald is being set up to take the blame for the poor performance of the personnel department that hired him and touted him as the striker we needed to put the Fire over the top. Come, on! English isn't even Mac's primary language!

    This ownership didn't even land Magee. Magee brought himself here. And our management should be lining up to kiss his ass for saving their face.

    If they don't get their act together pretty some and stop trying to pass off their dimestore DP's to the fans, Magee may take himself out of here just as quickly as he arrived.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Pretty sure that quote means exactly what it sounds like and he pretty much repeated it again after the Club America game. He came in out of shape and has under performed but then again he probably shouldn't have been here as a DP in the first place.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Well, I trust your judgement, Guillermo. You were probably there when he made the comments and are in a good place to judge the overall tone of what was said.

    I mistrust much of what I see in print because words so often get twisted from the original intended meaning when statements are isolated from their original context.

    Sorry for ranting. Our frustration with MacDonald IS misdirected though, in my opinion. It's more a reflection with the growing irritation with the pattern of inexplicable DPs. Fire got lucky landing Magee. I can't believe they would have ever acquired him if he hadn't wanted to play in Chicago.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    No doubt, some of that vitriol towards MacDonald is because of the DP tag.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    The Fire might have got "lucky" in landing Magee but they set themselves up very well. Oduro wanted to leave so they get Duka and that swap would have been good enough for me. But they then got the rights to Rogers thrown in which was a great bit of business. I think if LA went to Magee and said we want Rogers here and we need to move you to do that, he would have come here. Hes from Chicago and his family is here. It's not like we are in Toronto and it would be some crazy thought for him to come here.

    I dont think the criticism is misguided on Mac. He doesnt score goals. It is his job to score goals when he is on the field. He is awful at the job. Magee has come here and played with the same players as Mac has and done a much better job. Mac is so lazy. There is nothing worse than a forward who fouls defenders in the corners and walks back to get onside. Those 2 things are the only thing he is good at. He is also pretty good at giving the ball away. He is the only player on our team that makes us worse when he is on the field. I felt this way before he came out and said he doesn't care anymore, now he should be training with the U15's until his contract expires. He shouldnt be in a first team game again.

  • Reminder- there's an MLS match tonight. Philly should beat Chivas but Carlos Bocanegra's debut will have to wait. He can't play since paperwork hasn't cleared.

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