Finally, the Fire have picked up a full three points and it came in unlikely and wild fashion. An explosive nine goal contest at Red Bull Arena didn't ease anyone's concerns about the quality of the back line but it did show some character from a side that could have folded after the disaster at home last weekend and a poor showing in the first half of this match. Harry Shipp was the hero in providing one of the most most memorable offensive performances from a Fire player in quite some time. Shipp became only the sixth Chicago player to score a hat trick (Razov, Rolfe, Jaqua, Raplh, and Pappa were the others), and the first Fire Homegrown Player to score in a regular season game.
While the euphoria over Shipp's performance and the Fire's first victory of the season shouldn't be discounted the continued lack of composure and pressure defensively should remain a concern. The Fire were one spectacular Sean Johnson save on Thierry Henry away from blowing a three goal lead. Enjoy the day but there's still a ton of work to be done.
GK Sean Johnson (6) - It's tough to truly rate a goalkeeper's performance when the opposition is getting clear chance after clear chance unmolested on goal but Johnson continues to come up big despite the failures defensively. Registered three saves but none was bigger than the stop in the 82nd that denied Henry the equalizer. Also well positioned to deny Wright-Phillips bicycle attempt in the dying seconds although that one wasn't as spectacular.
D Lovel Palmer (4) - As New York's first forty-five minutes continued the assault that left the Fire defense scrambling, defenders did nothing to stop the home team. Palmer failed to put any pressure on Alexander in the 6th minute allowing him enough time to stop and drift a cross into the box that resulted in the tying goal just two minutes after the Fire had taken the lead. This continued for the rest of the half.
D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (4) - Looked like a turnstyle in the 40th as Henry whizzed by him on the way to setting up the Red Bulls second score. Called for a foul in the box in the 77th that led to another goal. The foul was soft but he did have his hands on Henry. Also provided no resistance on Wright-Phillips goal in the 67th.
D Patrick Ianni (5) - The best of the Fire defenders, but that's not exactly handing out a huge compliment. To be fair Ianni was serviceable clearing several crosses away and denied Henry a good look in the 18th and Wright-Phillips in the 37th.
D Greg Cochrane (4) - Both sides of the Fire defense allowed uncontested crosses into the box during a first half that end with a 2-1 New York advantage but it could have been worse. No pressure and fouls in dangerous areas will get Segares back into the line up quickly.
M Jeff Larentowicz (5) - He looked as confused as the Fire defense did in the first half with New York controlling the ball 62% of the time. They also completed over 80% of their passes as the visitors provided little resistance. The start of the second half was better. A perfectly placed cross right onto the head of Amarikwa in the 49th allowed the Fire to tie the game and set the tone for the rest of the match.
M Patrick Nyarko (6) - One of the few Fire players actually trying to pressure New York in the first half. A few crosses were dangerous but nothing came of them early on. His (likely) mishit cross in the 64th found it's way into the back of the net and proved to be the difference in the game.
M Benji Joya (4) - Very little pressure from the Fire's central midfield tandem allowed New York the run of the place in the first half. A give away from Joya in the 40th minute near midfield resulted in the New York's second goal. Decent in link up but he's got be better defensively and needs to take care of the ball if he's going to stay in the line up when Alex is fully fit.
M Harry Shipp (9) - One of the more impressive offensive displays from a Fire player in recent memory. His first goal might have been a bit of a gift but the second and third were pure class. After taking a ball from Nyarko in the 54th a nifty move got him some space and he fired the ball past Robles. A steal from Kimura in the 58th gave him the hat trick on a superb solo effort. He also assisted on Nyarko's goal and should have had another helper when he put Magee through in the 38th. At 22, Shipp has already shown many of the skills and technical ability that is rarely seen from American attackers in MLS. He's set the bar high for any future Homegrown Players. Undoubtedly MLS Player of the Week for this round. Hopefully the hamstring issue is a minor one.
F Mike Magee (5) - He helped on Shipp's first goal although it was probably a missed call and the Fire benefited. Should have scored in the 38th when Shipp sent him in one goal 1v1 with Robles but his shot rolled agonizingly just wide. You can't help but think that 2013 Magee would have buried that chance. Spent too much time in the first half floating and arguing with referees.
F Quincy Amarikwa (6) - His work rate and effort alone make him valuable. After a missed opportunity in the in the 25th due to a bad touch he proved his worth again in the second half. Finished Larentowicz's cross in the 49th to tie the game at 2-2. His pressure on New York defenders near the penalty area resulted in the ball landing on Nyarko's foot and eventually Shipp's for the third goal and the lead.
M Logan Pause (6) - Entered the match in the 68th for Nyarko as Yallop looked to maintain some sort of shape defensively and removing Shipp was probably not an option. Pause contributed with in a handful of plays including two clearances of Olave crosses in the 88th.
D Gonzalo Segares (6) - Came in the game for Joya in the 83rd and also played a key role in clearing New York chances in the dying minutes. Stopped a Cahill cross in the 93rd. Veteran presence apparently calmed things down after Henry nearly tied it in the 82nd.
F Juan Luis Anangono (5) - A late sub entering the match for Shipp in the 90th minute.
A home game versus Sporting Kansas City. Needless to say this would be a big chance to get back into the Eastern picture with Graham Zuis and Matt Besler away with the USMNT.
If ya smell......
You knew this was going to be a crazy game early on. The Rock tweeted a response to the Fire mention before the game.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) May 10, 2014