Fire 2 Impact 1 - recap and ratings

Without Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko you'd think the Fire would have been hard pressed to rebound from Wednesday's US Open Cup semi-final loss but they did just that. A 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact has moved the club even further into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Playing without Magee and using a much different line-up than the one he's used for the last two months, Frank Klopas got a look at Juan Luis Anangono up top with Alex as a second striker.

The duo had a close call moment or two but the key plays were goals by Joel Lindpere and Dilly Duka. Lindpere was the beneficiary of an Alessandro Nesta deflection and Duka managed to beat most of the Montreal back line before Nesta factored in again and failed to clear a ball that Duka collected to slot past Troy Perkins.

At 9-9-4 the Fire are back at .500 and sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference only two points behind fifth place Houston. Incredibly enough, they're only eight points behind conference leading Sporting KC with two games in hand on the leader.

Nothing is ever over in the parity driven world of MLS.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - After a tough USOC semi-final Johnson was back in big save form for this match. Montreal did not register a shot on target until the 39th but Johnson came up huge to deny Justin Mapp after the Fire defense was opened up by Nyassi and Paponi. The Impact's lone goal came on a great shot from Felipe. Johnson made sure to punch or knock away with two hands every questionable ball in the air this time.

D Gonzalo Segares (6) - Montreal owned the stats with big advantages in possession, passing, crosses, and duels and the Fire back line as a whole did well to contain and limit the amount of real chances created for most of the match.

D Austin Berry (6) - A sliding block in the 84th prevented a good Montreal chance from finding the frame. The centerbacks played their best game together in some time.

D Bakary Soumare (6) - His best match in several weeks. Contributed with big stops and even had a shot on goal in the 22nd that was just wide left. Excellent recovery move to deny Di Vaio in the 62nd. Probably the Fire's most valuable defender on the night.

D Jalil Anibaba (6) - There wasn't much from activity from Montreal's flanks and the visitors really weren't dangerous outside of one chance until Felipe and Di Vaio entered the game. Matched up with Nyassi most of the night.

M Jeff Larentowicz (5) - Montreal had a lot of the ball but weren't able to generate much until late and the Fire's central midfield chased most of the game. Got sucked in a bit to vacate space ahead of the defenders on Felipe's goal.

M Logan Pause (5) - His first considerable action since the end of June after suffering a back injury. Wasn't bad but the Fire's passing out of midfield was woeful and Montreal enjoyed an 85% to 70% passing accuracy advantage.

M Joel Lindpere (5) - Scored the first goal but the Fire caught a break with the deflection. Did have a few good offensive sequences including a pass into the box that found Rolfe in the 83rd.

M Dilly Duka (6) - Active in the first half and created much of the Fire's offense before leaving the match in the 71st. Duka said the ankle injury wasn't serious and that he should be back in a few days. His goal provided the difference after an excellent individual effort to get by several Montreal defenders and slot a shot past Perkins for a 2-0 lead.

F Alex (5) - Worked a few good combinations with Anangono in the early going. Set up the newcomer with a chance in the 51st but his passing and field vision need to improve considerably to be effective as a second forward.

F Juan Luis Anangono (5) - Worked hard and provided a few good runs in his first Fire start. His shot on goal in the 51st was slightly mishit allowing Perkins the time to react and make the save. He's not quite at 100% yet but he says he's close.

M Daniel Paladini (5) - Entered the match for Alex in the 63rd as the Fire briefly switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

F Chris Rolfe (6) - Replaced Duka in the 71st and the club switched back to 4-4-2. He had a chance or two offensively but his biggest contribution was clearing Ferrari's header in stoppage time off the line after it appeared to be headed into the net for a late equalizer.

F Quincy Amarikwa (6) - Very active again after coming in for Anangono in the 76th. Tried to draw a penalty after a challenge in the box in the 79th and his deflected shot almost managed to get over Perkins' head and into the net in the 87th.

Filed under: 2013 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Guys the fire played a hell of a game last night. The new guy is tall and can do something that the big mac just could not do
    and that is run. I think that perhaps the fire just might have found that gem in the rough that they have been searching about for a couple of years. I would like to see McGee and Juan together up front they would be tough to defense. This might sound crazy but the fire could do something in the playoffs if they can just get lucky.

  • I said it in the gameday post, but I like Anangono's runs. The guy is intelligent, and when he has Magee feeding him the ball instead of Alex, I'm confident he'll net some goals for CF97.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    As Kevin McCallister once said in reference to his brother Buzz's girlfriend: "[Alex's passing] WOOF!"

  • meh. i'm still pissed off about wednesday. blew my season right there already.

  • In reply to waamsy:

    Agreed.

  • Not only did we get dogged in passing accuracy, but we were schooled 58% to 42% in duels won, and the Impact dominated possession 66% to 34%. Open play crosses? Montreal 24, Chicago 10. Passes: 584 to 287. Wow. The stat most in our favor were blocked shots (Chi 5 Mtl 2 and shots off target (Chi 2 Mtl 7). Seems to point to us defending well in and around the box, but when we get out of our defensive third... not much to write home about.

    I'll take the win, but the numbers don't suggest that this is a sustainable surge. Danny Downer would say that this is a fluke run that is going to end soon, crushing our playoff hopes. But maybe there are other interpretations out there?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    i think most of us have been pretty clear that the Fire has been a pretty middlin' team all year. lots of ups and down, but overall not much to get too excited about. that said, IF they can squeak into the playoffs, then of course anything can happen.

    the bigger point i wanted to make is that a lot can change now that we have two new int'l guys - both seemingly will add quality and therefore depth - to a squad that has already been bolstered significantly w/magee and soumare.

    i'm not holding my breath by any means as mid season additions are tough to incorporate properly, but there is hope, no matter how slight.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I'll take that Saturday win anyday. When you can face a tough opponent without Magee & Nyarko, only have Rolfe for part of the game and lose Duka to injury and still win you gotta take it to the bank! That's the kind of suck it up and gut one out win that a good team should be able to produce. We might be going half crazy if they hadn't just flopped on Wednesday at home to DC United..

    They still look a bit thin and Magee was showing the need for a rest. It remains to be seen what the addition of Anangono and Rios will do for the FIre. But as Drew noted there's hope! And reason to watch.

  • Well, now that there is no getting ready for USOC Magee should have enough rest now.

  • Should be something announced regarding MacDonald very soon.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    praise the lord...adios big mac, thanks for coming into camp fat and out of shape.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    when will then be now?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Say what?

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    then be later, or then be now, regardless, then be presently in the past

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to penapirata:

    Soon.

  • In reply to Jeff S:

    I'm glad someone got it. Apparently others on here are not Mel Brooks fans.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Spaceballs rules. Totally missed it.

  • With Mac gone we can see if Rios can help the team. I'm guessing he will, just not enough to get us a championship. Maybe someone in the midfield that speaks Spanish can help Anangono play to his potential. I liked Anangono's runs and his strike was on goal I just think he needed to do more to get the ball back on Defense. Rios also seems like he would add some intimidation, he looks more like a cage fighter than a soccer player.

  • In reply to john:

    First things first. Let's see if we can even make the playoffs. It looks like it's going to be a dogfight again this year, with a glut of teams fighting for the bottom 3 spots, including Montreal, Houston, Chicago, N England, and Columbus. And even though we don't have to worry about DC as a contender, I think we've already learned that they can't be taken for granted...

    As for Rios specifically, let's see if he can even adapt to his new environment. It's not easy making the move he has, and some players never make the adjustment to MLS, even if they have performed well elsewhere.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I think we'll have a shot at the playoffs but most likely end up as a 1 and done team. I'm almost thinking missing the playoffs might be better for the team in the long run. If we make them, it will only encourage these senseless signings, missing them may force Andrew to realize that MLS is becoming a stronger league that requires more talent to compete than we currently have.

  • Oh, I wonder what the announcement will be on MacDone? Is he getting a nice, fat raise?

    Or is he headed to the Dutch 3rd Division?

  • I'm anticipating we could see Rios this weekend, so I'd say a Mackie announcement would be prior to Saturday for sure.

  • Orrin Schwarz is reporting today that the team may cut MacDonald and eat his salary for the remainder of his contract. Still a solution that would open up an intl. spot for Rios this weekend.....

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