Another day, another draw.
The Fire played a decent match once again but unfortunately it was only good enough to earn one point. The old adage says that picking up a point on the road is a good result but that only applies when you're taking care of business at home and you're beating the teams that you're supposed to beat. Wasting opportunities and battling struggling teams to stalemates isn't a recipe for success often utilized by serious playoff contenders.
The numbers were clearly in the Fire's favor once again. An advantage in shots taken (17-6), shots on target (5-2), possession (55-45), and even pass completion percentage (77-68), added to up to a fifth consecutive draw leaving them only one tie away from equaling the league record of six. "If we keep playing like that, the wins will come," said Frank Yallop after match. "For me as a coach, I could only ask for the effort, play and to create chances. We're getting punished for the odd chance the opposition is getting right now."
The Fire equaled the all-time MLS record for ties in a season during the 2011 campaign. Sixteen draws and a furious second half comeback from a 1-4-6 start still wasn't good enough to get into the playoffs.
The Fire haven't played terribly this season. They just haven't been good enough to turn any of those draws into three points.
GK Sean Johnson (5) - Once again wasn't called on to do much as Montreal only had two shots on target. Got a piece of McInerney's shot that ended up in the net but not enough to stop it. Did produce one high quality save with a stop Felipe in the 12th minute.
D Greg Cochrane (6) - Continues solid play in place of Gonzalo Segares. He's been good enough that Segares may not find his way back into the eleven once he is fully fit. Mapp really had very little effect getting forward for Montreal.
D Bakary Soumare (5) - The Impact did little to threaten the back line but the few instances they did have were the product of players being caught out of position. In one of those instances in the 65th Mapp was able to find Felipe, whose shot was wide but Soumare was caught watching to create the opportunity. There was another example in the 49th.
D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (5) - The centerbacks did a credible job of denying Di Vaio but the one big mistake made was a glaring one. Hurtado was caught too high, failed to clear the ball, turned in the wrong direction, and late to react on the play that freed McInerney for the Impact best and only real chance in the 42nd. These are the types of mental errors that continue to kill this club.
D Lovel Palmer (6) - The home team had very little success out wide with Palmer and Cochrane handling Mapp and Romero relatively easily.
M Jeff Larentowicz (6) - The Fire controlled the center of the pitch for once and Larentowicz was instrumental in that. His headed shot that glanced off the cross bar kept the ball alive in the 55th leading to the Fire's equalizer. Unfortunately he missed another chance in the 35th that probably should have given the Fire the lead after Nyarko set him up in front of goal for a clear look.
M Alex (6) - A solid field game both ways. Did well to thwart a counter denying Di Vaio late in first half stoppage time which could have been disastrous after the Fire had already allowed a late goal. Completed 44 out of 52 pass attempts but you get the feeling the Fire need to push him up higher in order to be more dangerous. Watson has played well but Alex is probably still the best option at this spot unless Joya can unseat him.
M Patrick Nyarko (6) - Created several dangerous opportunities but teammates failed to capitalize. Earned several corner kicks, set up Magee for a chance in the 11th, played well in combination, and forced Perkins into saves in the 29th, 37th, and 78th.
M Harry Shipp (5) - Another corner kick sequence led to a goal in the 55th but he was a little bit lost on the outside for the second consecutive match. Subbed out in the 74th.
F Mike Magee (5) - Provided the assist on Amarikwa's goal, keeping the ball alive after Larentowicz's shot hit the cross bar. A few key passes set up chances but tended to sit back too deeply during the final 20 minutes of the match. Not as influential as he should have been against a weak Montreal back line. Had a chance on a semi-break in the 85th that was denied by Perkins.
F Quincy Amarikwa (6) - He just continues to produce, scoring his third goal of the season. As long as Amarikwa continues to battle and put away chances he's got to be in the line up. How long can he keep this up?
M Matt Watson (5) - Entered the match for Shipp in the 74th. The Fire had a a few isolated chances late but the offensive flow was gone by then.
F Juan Luis Anangono (5) - Came into the match for Nyarko in the 88th and got one touch.
A home game against the New England Revolution, who defeated Houston 2-0 for their first win of the season yesterday.