Sounders 2 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

The Fire played well enough to earn a result in a very difficult place to play in. Possession was better, passing was somewhat better, and the effort was commendable while providing an entertaining and competitive match against one of the hottest teams in MLS. In the end however, another late gut punch goal doomed them to yet another disappointment and casts more doubt on their already dubious playoff hopes.

You have to wonder how many times they'll be able to bounce back from these type of results before the reality of the calendar takes hold. Needless to say, Wednesday's game against a hapless Toronto FC side is a must win if they're going to continue to harbor any realistic hopes of qualifying for post season play. The health of Mike Magee should also be a concern. He was removed at the half and his availability will be crucial. "With  the amount of games coming up and being on turf this game...he tweaked it (groin) a little," said Frank Klopas after the match. "Hopefully we got it in time and hopefully he'll be ready for Wednesday."

Even with games in hand and a small deficit separating them from the 4th and 5th spots, hope is just about all they've got left. Anything less then three points in Toronto on Wednesday may extinguish some of that as well.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Four saves including a spectacular diving effort to deny Alonso on a penalty kick in the 30th minute. Alonso's shot was well struck but the stop was even more impressive. Denied Alonso again in the 51st with another diving effort to thwart a shot from distance. There was nothing he could do about the own goal and the first Seattle score was a result of a scramble after Johnson knocked away the cross.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) - Credited with knocking in the own goal after it glanced off Soumare's foot but he did have a good battle going with Rosales throughout the night. Drew several fouls and a yellow card against the Seattle playmaker. An excellent ball into Rolfe in the 6th minute led to a good chance.

D Bakary Soumare (4) - A ridiculous and unnecessary handball from a corner kick service led to Alonso's penalty attempt. Luckily for Soumare, the Fire's goalkeeper bailed him out. He wasn't so fortunate in the 89th minute when he deflected a cross just enough to redirect it off of Segare's and into the net. He also guarded the goalmouth instead of marking the man on Neagle's goal and didn't get out in time to cut him off. If you think his game on the pitch was bad, his post game form was even worse.

D Austin Berry (5) - Seattle's best looks came from a scramble and a few long distance attempts. Did get turned by Martins early to give Seattle a 2nd minute shot on goal.

D Jalil Anibaba (5) - Active with a match up against Burch on the right side. Passing was somewhat better in this match than it has been previously.

M Logan Pause (6) - The discrepancy in possession wasn't bad (53-47) and the Fire didn't play badly in the middle. Pause kept the ball moving and managed to help maintain some shape. With 42/52 passes completed, he's not the force Rios is in the middle but he did his job effectively.

M Jeff Larentowicz (5) - This is the area of the field where the Fire fail to make an impact offensively although Larentowicz played a decent match. With Pause and Larentowicz on the pitch and Magee out of the line-up there is no playmaker capable of creating much going forward in the attack. That lack of creativity showed in the second half when chances dried up.

M Dilly Duka (6) - A strong outing for Duka with a very active presence throughout the first half. His assist led to Magee's goal and he generated a handful of other opportunities. The move to replace him in the 66th minute was curious considering he was one of the few players in red looking to create and attack.

M Alex (5) - Started on the right side and played a fair field game helping out defensively and also completed a majority of his passes. Mostly silent in the second half and Scott was his man on the winning cross which led to the own goal. Started the play that led to Magee's goal.

F Chris Rolfe (5) - Had a few good moments including a shot on target in the 6th minute which forced Gspurning into a difficult save. With Magee out in the second half he didn't deliver as a playmaker, holding on to the ball too long in the 63rd and botching a 3v1 counter. Subbed out in the 84th.

F Mike Magee (6) - Blew a good chance or two early but got back in the scoring column with a goal in the 26th. Removed from the match for "precautionary" reasons after suffering an apparent groin injury in the 33rd.

F Juan Luis Anangono (5) - Came on for Magee to start the second half. He's got some skills but he's virtually useless if he has no one who can get him the ball in good position on the pitch. It's still early in his Fire career but he doesn't appear to be the big impact forward that was needed before the window closed.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Came into the match in the 66th for Duka but the move should have been a substitution for Alex as the Fire offense was stalling without Magee. Nyarko and Duka on the pitch would have provided some of the danger sorely lacking in the attack.

M Daniel Paladini (5) - Entered in the 84th for Rolfe and promptly picked up a yellow card 3 minutes later.

Comments

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  • The first result of the day helps the Fire. New York hammered Houston 4-1.

  • what does it matter that results are going #cf97's way when they can't even take care of the business that is in their own hands?

  • Anangono seems out of place, I don't know if maybe he doesn't get along with the team or if there is a language barrier but he doesn't seem to have much support from the team. He makes a run and the rest of the team ignores him.

  • And Montreal beats New England 4-2. Matt Reis is red carded and will miss the Fire game next Saturday.

    More breaks....

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    He probably got carded on purpose. After giving up 4 goals the last thing he needs to do is hear Chicago supporters singing about his mother.

  • In reply to john:

    Reis was carded in about the 5th minute when the scoreline was still 0-0. The first NE goal was given up by his substitute, Bobby Shuttleworth, who stepped in to try to stop the penalty that Montreal was awarded for Reis tripping diVaio in the box.

    So S8 can sing about Shuttleworth giving up 4 goals, and perhaps his mother as well.

    But these results are worthless if we can't gain points ourselves as penapirata pointed out. Everything we couldn't control went our way, but the one result we had a say in did not. We could have leapfrogged Houston and NE, with Philly in striking distance... even if we were one point closer to that pair... sigh.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    What a waste of a perfect storm

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    And Philly loses to SJ. Unbelievably, 6 pts this week and we may still have a chance. Gotta grab those 3 pts. in Ontario.

  • If we would lose in the first round of the playoffs, I'd rather they not even make them. Getting into the playoffs would just be a reason for them to continue the illusion that they are doing a good job. The last thing we need is encouragement for more of the same. I love Frank Klopas but I have to question if he is getting the most out of what we have. Seattle without Johnson and Dempsey had less talent and should have been a win. It's all about probability, if they are constantly attacking and sending balls into the box eventually one will go in.
    We can't play this passive style of offense.

  • I'm less upset in a way with this loss, as it just seems a lot like terrible luck. Though of course Seattle made it happen with a dangerous cross by getting a wide open out wide.

    That said, Seattle had some really good players missing the game and we only had one important player out, so we had the advantage there and couldn't take advantage. I think it goes to show the difference in quality between the teams. It's unfortunate, but the Fire continue to make too many mistakes on the open market and don't sign enough difference makers. We'll see how the season plays out, but it's getting about that time to clean house both in the coaching and front office ranks.

  • Speaking of the player we had out--Joel Lindpere.

    He had a sweet assist in Estonia's draw with Holland. He put in a real solid game which they almost won.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    as if the fire need any more drama. i'm glad they met and are moving on though. hahahahaaa...what a year! this is highly entertaining stuff, this season...even if it's more neg. than pos.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I'm glad they hashed it out, Crandall is one of the good guys. Jumping down someone's throat for making an observation is pretty stupid. His tweet made him look like a twat. I'm sure the reason was because Baky was really upset with himself for that mistake, I get that. I have had episodes of misdirected anger in the past myself so I'd be a hypocrite to condemn Baky for his mistake.

  • The backline is so disjointed that it's amazing teams don't score more. The first Sounders' goal was basically pathetic defense by the Fire. Did you see where Soumare was when that cross came in and how wide open the Sounders were. If I remember correctly, the whole thing started with Segares getting used in the midfield and the Fire getting lucky there was a score a minute before they finally scored. Embarrassing. Seriously, I saw better link-up passing in the midfield in my son's U14 game on Sunday then from the Fire. Anongono receives the ball well; I will give him that. The problem is that he doesn't do much with it a s far as getting to mids coming forward. Alex clanked more passes off our own players knees than he made tackles on the other team. What good does it do if you take six touches on the ball and you give the ball away 9 out of 10 times. It's not just Alex and Anongono. It's the whole squad. They have the talent. I don't understand why they are not performing on the field. I can only attribute this to lack of preparation. Maybe we need to get someone else in who knows how to prepare a team.

  • It is interesting to compare the quotes from Baky vs. Crandall in that article. Baky gives the "non-apology apology" and Jeff talks how "nice" it is to have Baky on the team.

    Crandall is all class. Baky, on the other hand.......

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Crandall was not saying that Baky handled the ball on purpose. It's clear he thought that Jeff was suggesting he did a bad job rather than making a mistake.

    What's weird about this is that it's eerily similar in certain ways to what the FO did with their little blog post. It showed a thin-skin response to criticism by lashing out at the critic rather than taking any responsibility for the actions that led to the critique. At least Baky has to admit that he made a mistake... The FO seemed to be saying "well all those problems aren't really mistakes bc this s*** is really hard, and oh yeah, we're all so passionate we're just going to rip you a new one when you disagree."

    It's like dealing with my 7 year old son when he flips out and claims that his brain just takes over him. OK, maybe, but you have to be in control of your brain or else you're wasting it.

    If they don't make the playoffs, regardless if that's a good thing in the mid- to long-term, we can expect more and more of this stuff.

  • The playoffs... there is no point in the Fire playing in the playoffs.

  • In reply to waamsy:

    The point is to try to win MLS Cup. If the Fire had their 1.93 PPG pace with Magee over the whole season, we would be leading the Supporters Shield race by four points. There is no reason we can't win MLS Cup this year except for our bad start.

  • In reply to iron81:

    definitely worth going to the playoffs, truth is you never know once you make it.

    that said, there are so many holes on this team, i can't see them making a run through multiple high quality teams to win it. i'd LOVE to be proven wrong.

  • In reply to iron81:

    I understand your logic but I still have a hard time believing that if they made the playoffs that they'd have a strong chance at winning the cup.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Hmm.. by those accounts... the league sucks.

  • There's a new Toyota Park in town.
    http://www.soccerbyives.net/2013/09/stadium-rights-toyota.html

  • In reply to Doug:

    The Dallas Burn at Toyota Stadium?! This should heat up the Brimstone Cup or should I say the Camry Cup?

  • Hey I was promised that some heads would start rolling !!! Anyone involved in bringing Baky, Angono, Alex, Puppo,Chaves, McDonald should be walked straight to the guillotine

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Nah, with Hauptman at the helm, that gets them straight into a contract extension.

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