Fire 4 DC United 1 - recap and ratings

Well, it was only DC United but you still have to beat the opponent in front of you.

The Fire did just that with a resounding 4-1 beat down of the league's bottom dwellers. Joel Lindpere enjoyed his best outing in a Fire uniform and Chris Rolfe scored his 3rd and 4th goals of the season to secure the win. The club has managed to show that they are a step above the "lesser" teams in the league over the last two months but they've also displayed an inability to beat the top tier.

The schedule gets tougher in the next month with games against Eastern playoff contenders Houston, Philadelphia, Montreal, New England, and Sporting Kansas City on the horizon. The rematch of this game in the US Open Cup semi-final won't be as easy either if DC has Chris Pontius and Dwayne DeRosario back in the line-up on August 7.

The next six weeks will provide a more accurate depiction of where the Fire stand in 2013.

Player ratings

GK Paolo Tornaghi (6) - The only blemish on the night was Luis Silva's 59th minute golazo from outside the penalty area. The Fire defense briefly let up a bit and allowed Silva the time and space to tee up a shot that Tornaghi didn't have much of a chance against. Nice fingertip save on Thorrington's shot that was deflected and could have ended up in the net. Other than that DC rarely threatened as Tornaghi registered 2 saves.

D Gonzalo Segares (6) - DC didn't have much going on from the flanks throughout the night. It was good to have Segares back in the line up after missing the Vancouver game due to yellow card accumulation.

D Bakary Soumare (6) - Solid game from Soumare and a much improved defensive effort as a team but it's tough to judge if that was more a result of DC just being plain awful.

D Austin Berry (6) - Charged with marking Carlos Ruiz most of the night and the veteran forward had absolutely nothing going on.

D Jalil Anibaba (5) - Didn't hurt the side but did have a few oops moments, particularly in the first half. Fortunately Nick DeLeon had even more lowlights.

M Jeff Larentowicz (6) - DC won the possession battle (61-39) which proves that the stat is sometimes useless. The Fire took the lead early and stepped on the gas without ever being seriously threatened for control of the match, despite some of the numbers. Delivered an assist on the second goal after a pretty move to dust Daniel Woolard from the left side of the DC box.

M Alex (6) - Active in the first half as the Fire took control early. Didn't figure into the scoring but he was effective in his role.

M Dilly Duka (5) - A quiet night for Duka. Passing and combination was so-so before leaving the match in the 47th minute with what Klopas called a hamstring or groin injury.

M Joel Lindpere (7) - The man of the match in my view. Excellent service over the top of the DC defense in the second minute to set up Rolfe for the first goal set the tone. Finished his chance in the 11th to make the score 2-0 and seal the game early. Another great ball to Rolfe right before the first half ended made it 3-0 and the Fire finally had a laugher. Lindpere talked about his desire to get back into the starting eleven in post game. Easily his best game in a Fire shirt and now leads the team in assists with 5.

F Chris Rolfe (7) - Two well taken goals and excellent in the flow of the offense, particularly in the first half. Ben Olsen credited the play of Rolfe and Magee up top as a combination that will make the Fire difficult to play against. "I thought Rolfe and Magee's relationship is becoming very clever. They're both bright players. They get it. They play off each other very well right now. They are tough to deal with," said Olsen. More on Rolfe here.

F Mike Magee (6) - Converted a spot kick in the 56th for his 12th goal of the season, momentarily tying him for the league lead with Vancouver's Camilo (who scored later in the night).

F Quincy Amarikwa (6) - Came into the match in the 47th as a sub for Duka and played very well again. Drew a penalty when he was dragged down in the box by Woolard, who had a tough night. Had a shot deflected out for a corner kick in the 66th and almost set up Lindpere for another score in the 76th.

M Logan Pause (5) - His first game action in several weeks due to injury. Subbed in for Alex in the 77th and kept the ball moving in a positive direction.

F Maicon Santos (5) - An 82nd minute sub for Magee as the clock wound down.

Notes

Javier Leon confirmed that the newest addition to the team is from Ecuador and the club is looking to loan out Sherjill MacDonald. Forward Juan Luis Anangono appears to be set to join the club some time this week....more on him later.

Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

Comments

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  • DC or whoever- it was a great showing by the Fire, including some displays of talent that we've known were there, but haven't been quite so visible at times. Loved seeing the Lindpere we always knew was there- if he finds (well, now keeps) form, we start looking rich in the middle alongside all the other pieces we have to play with.

    Toss in JLA up front (if that is who it is), and we're one or two very feasible moves (to whit, defensive depth- poor guys need a spell from time to time!) from being a truly dangerous team - assuming we're playing remotely close to our capabilities.

    -(almost-confirmed) King of Clue

  • For some of us old timers.....

    Phil Woosnam, the former commissioner of the original NASL passed away this weekend at the age of 80. He was an important figure in the growth of soccer in the US......

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/sports/soccer/phil-woosnam-pioneer-of-north-american-soccer-dies-at-80.html?_r=0

    Speaking of the old NAS....This site has a nice look at Chicago Sting history complete with game program covers. The Sting are the reason I got into soccer......

    http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2013/07/20/1975-1988-chicago-sting/

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    A Karl Heinz-Granitza Sting jersey is still on my wish list of jerseys to own. I was a year old when the won their second Soccer Bowl which was the last one for the old NASL but my dad talked about it and I always drank my strawberry Quick from a "I'm a Sting Group-Bee" cup from a game he once went to. Thanks for the link.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I have a couple of those programs at home! I was looking through one about 3 months ago and on the Sting Staff page was a picture of John McDonough (yes, of the Blackhawks) as part of the Sting Ticket Sales team.

  • In reply to Gladbach:

    Yep....McDonough did indeed get his sports start in soccer with the Sting.

    I've got old programs and magazines buried as well...ah, memories.

  • Who is the odd man out with the coming of Juan Luis and Rolfe gaining some form? Dukakis, Lindpere, or Alex. My vote would be for Alex as long as Lindpere continues his solid play.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    I think Lindpere sees the bench because he was only out there due to Nyarko's sickness. Alex seems most likely, I think FK will try Rolfe set back behind Anangono and Magee to see how it works, but that he's going to toy with this midfield/frontline until he finds what works:

    Magee--Anangono
    Duka-Rolfe-Larentowicz-Nyarko

    Santos/Amarikwa, Pause, Lindpere subs. More seldom subs-Paladini, Alex.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    Anangonó has different qualities from Rolfe and Magee up top. He's more of a true #9 or target man. I think bringing him will give Klopas some different options on how he can play. Going back to 4-2-3-1 on occasion isn't out of the question either. He's going to have to see what works best when he gets him on the field.

  • What is interesting to me is that, for really the first time this season, FK is really going to be able to deploy multiple 'first team-caliber' looks, depending on the opponent. (Well, our D still needs to be able to be spelled, but...)

    Regardless of what plays out, I do hope that we end up seeing more of Lindpere (assuming he keeps his current form). Yes, he's not the most mobile guy on the pitch, and that can hurt in many situations - but if we've seen anything recently, it is a very high level of technical ability, particularly on the service. Give him an active and physical #9 to work with, and...

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