Fire 1 Impact 1 - recap and ratings

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.

Player ratings

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.

Next up

A home game against the New England Revolution, who defeated Houston 2-0 for their first win of the season yesterday.

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I think I might be crazy but wouldn't Shipp be better suited in the creative midfielder spot than out wide? I know he played an underneath role or withdrawn attacker role at Norte Damen and was quite successful. I wouldn't mind seeing him play in that spot with Joya or someone else out wide.

  • Again, the worst are 5s and the best are 6s.. G- You're killing me. Quincy could have easily been a 7, even on your compressed scale, and Hurtado should have had a 4, because the give aways in his own end lost the game. I'd give Johnson a 4 too, because he needs to make a save in that spot and didn't. Soumare's passing and long balls out of the back along with SJ's long punts just give the ball back after we work to take it away in the midfield. Same old stuff.. would sure like to see better possession and build up from the back. I just don't think we'll ever win much with this keeper.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    7 would be weekly best XI....I don't think Amarikwa was on that level. 5s and 6s are pretty reflective of where they are as a team and individually. Not bad but not great either.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    ok, new suggestion. maybe using .5's? just trying to help. :)

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Yes....I've thought about introducing .5's but decided against it just to annoy Bumsteer. ;)

  • Shipp may be lost on the outside, but with his dead ball service he should be in the lineup very week, IMO; hard to see him moving inside, though, unless Alex can make the transition to the outside, which I don't see happening.

  • Have to agree about the goalie distribution, too many long punts,
    looks more like a AYSO game at the lower levels.
    The defense probably played one of their best games but still gave up a goal due to an unforced error.
    Magee seems to still be out of sorts, although he assisted on the goal, took several meaningless shots where patience and a pass would have been a better option. Amarikwa and Palmer were the standouts for the Fire. The team has thrown away too many points away against teams that the Fire should have beaten.
    They still haven't played against a top quality team as yet.

  • "If we keep playing like that, the wins will come"

    Just shoot me now. The more things change the more they stay the same. Any chance we'll ever have a coach that isn't satisfied with mediocrity?

    And hey, Mr. Yallop, let me tell you, you're in for a surprise: we've been playing like this for several years now, and the wins haven't come yet. Don't hold your breath.

  • My forehead hurts.

    On the same token, that wall is looking pretty beat up...

  • Totally agree with the last 2 points, but I also think that this year's version of mediocrity is more exciting to watch at both ends of the field. The defense is more creative in the way it gives up goals, but the offense has created more options for scoring which is nice to watch.

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