Fire 1 Sporting Kansas City 0 - recap and ratings

The Fire took a step backward last weekend with a 2-0 loss to New England but regained the lost footing with a 1-0 win over Conference leader Sporting Kansas City. Hunter Jumper's 13th minute diving header allowed the Fire to play with a lead and despite losing the possession battle 59-41 didn't gave up many dangerous looks.

A good team effort resulted in only the fourth clean sheet of the season for the Chicago defense. There was an opportunity to ice it in the 64th minute but Chris Rolfe decided to shoot on a 2v0 opportunity and missed his attempt left of goal. The Fire don't make anything easy and it appears this season will come down to the wire again in the race for a playoff spot.

Sporting has now lost four of their last five matches and has fallen behind Montreal for the lead in the East. As a result of the Impact's 5-0 drubbing of Houston, the Fire can jump into the fifth spot with a win over the Dynamo next Sunday.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Registered four saves with the strongest of the lot coming in the 86th when he stoned Sinovic on a shot from the right side. More decisive in the box since his USOC gaffe. He's not taking any chances and punching anything questionable out of the way.

D Gonzalo Segares (6) - Sapong and Joseph didn't have much going against the Fire's left side.

D Austin Berry (6) - One of Berry's best games in some time. Very effective in the air against KC crosses and provided a huge block of Sapong's shot in the 63rd denying a good look at goal. Catch Berry and Jumper in post game comments at the Fire Confidential Facebook page.

D Hunter Jumper (6) - Impressive on both ends of the pitch and excellent in tandem with Berry to limit chances in the middle. Not only did he score the goal but he also got his head on another two balls in the box that could have been dangerous. Jumper deserves a lot of credit for being ready when called upon and delivering after losing a spot as the back-up left back.

D Jalil Anibaba (6) - You'd still like to see some improvement in a few areas but his cross to Magee which led to the goal was perfectly placed. Caught a little too high in the 86th leading to Sinovic's chance.

M Jeff Larentowicz (6) - Strong two way performance for Larentowicz particularly in the first half when he was all over the pitch .

M Egidio Arevalo Rios (6) - After a relatively quiet debut in New England last week he showed why he'll be a factor for the Fire. Very effective in coordinating and being in the right spot defensively. The area in front of the back four was closed down and that typically has been a problem this season. Passing wasn't as sharp as it was in New England but was a factor in this one.

M Dilly Duka (5) - Nothing spectacular but there were a few highlights. Made a nice move to evade defenders in the 75th to set up Anangono but the forward was ruled just offside.

M Alex (6) - A better night on the passing end and a good night all around when it came to playing a team game.

F Chris Rolfe (5) - Didn't play badly but that miss on a 2v0 break with Magee in the 64th will be what people remember.

F Mike Magee (6) - Didn't score but was credited with an assist when got the ball to Jumper for the only goal of the game. Passing was uncharacteristically off but still managed to make his presence felt.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Back in action after missing two games due to concussion symptoms. Worked a good combination with Duka and Anangono in the 71st.v Came into match in the 65th for Alex.

F Juan Luis Anangono (6) - His shot five minutes after checking into the match for Rolfe in the 68th came inches away from giving the Fire a 2-0 lead. His volley would have been a goal of the week nominee if not for Nielsen's fingertip save.

M Joel Lindpere (5) -A late 85th minute sub for Duka.

Fire Confidential Podcast

Catch the latest episode of the Podcast as we catch up with Fire color commentator Kevin Egan. We discuss the Sporting KC game, the playoff push in the Eastern Conference, and Mike Magee's MVP chances.

Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Good job to bounce back. As someone said in the post about "The Letter," this was a game the Fire desperately needed to win. I'm glad to say that I watched the game with my father-in-law, who saw a decent if unspectacular performance by the Fire.

    A reprieve may be granted, but it won't last long if the playoffs slip out of sight. The season hangs by a thin, fraying thread.

  • New England trounced Philadelphia 5-1 and now sit in the 5 spot in the East.

  • Jeff Krause and Chicago Fire Conf shout-out by Lalas on ESPN's half-time interview while discussing Lobringate. Nice for you guys to get national pub! Although he said it was!

  • In reply to Drew:

    Slight error on the web addy, but we'll take it. ;)

  • Here's video of Lalas' comments last night.....

  • The podcast Beyond the Pitch had a good discussion of the issue as well

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Yep.....Orrin did a good job on there.

  • Another ESPN video with Lalas and Twellman discussing the "editorial".....

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    interesting that TT states that he thinks of the Fire as a top 5 MLS club. i assume that's from his playing days, because a lot has changed since then.

  • In reply to Drew:

    I assuming he meant to say they should be a top 5 club.

  • In reply to Drew:

    THe thing that struck me was Hauptman's refusal to talk to Lalas. By the time he is calling, the team should recognize that it is getting out of control and be prepared to have Hauptman explain a bit better about their thinking.

    To refuse to talk to the press makes management seem cowardly, feeding into the fan base view of management. The best way to change the perceptions--which they claim are unfair--is to start to actually CHANGE THE PERCEPTION. Not to run and hide!

    Really weird. I am in corporate PR and I really can't see how anyone who is a communications professional would have handled the "brand" in the way the team has over this thing. It is way beyond amateur.

  • The problem demonstrated by this fiasco is that they run the Fire like it's some sort of PR effort. Nothing is ever a product problem. Every problem is treated as a PR issue that just needs to be spun back to the positive perspective. PR is #1. The actual product is just something they tinker with enough to keep us guessing.

    They just don't get that it's all become just too obvious. When I read the Fire Family piece, it struck me that I was being scolded for failing to believe. Nevermind there's little to believe in.

    Reminded me of how the Wizard of Oz carried on when Toto pulled back the curtain.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Let me emphasize that I believe in the team. I like our guys and they play their hearts out most of the time. But it would be nice to have that kind of performance and commitment from the owners and management.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    You gotta check out the interview with Lobring by Jason Davis of Soccer Morning (followed by a phone in from Jeff Krause).

    Lobring's explanation for why he did it was utterly incoherent--which is not a good trait in your main PR guy!

    He kept on saying that the team was trying to accentuate the positive things happening with the Fire. He never satisfactorily explained how the "Family" rant fit into that.

    He came off as either a) horribly incoherent or b) being a really bad "fall guy."

    I don't see how anyone in communications could even be hired as the former, so it seems to me like he was taking the flack for something that was imposed on him by top club brass, which is insane.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Jason Davis did a fantastic job with that interview of Dan Lobring. Asked tough but respectful questions, some of which fell outside the talking points that were used as a response.

    Doubling down on the piece and the club's stance only hurt the club that much more, which is unfortunate. The club is putting fans and supporters in a position where they want to cheer the team on the field, but are becoming increasingly disenfranchised with the FO of the club they support.

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