Earthquakes 5 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

After a win in New England and what probably should have been a victory against Philadelphia, the Fire provided what might have been considered a ray of hope. A strong defensive performance in those two games seems to have given the false indication that things were turning towards the positive as the season progressed into the second half.

This game smashed those hopes into so many pieces that no amount of Romanian midfielders or left sided Fire legends could possibly rekindle them. Lack of punch up front and a complete disaster of an outing from the back line led to an embarrassing display of what some might call soccer in front of a national television audience.

San Jose, the worst team in the Western Conference, had scored a mere 17 goals in their first 17 games but ran through the Fire defense in the second half like they were standing still. "If you look at the game as a whole we were really, really poor," said Frank Yallop after the match. "It seemed that we were a little disinterested which is alarming in a game like this ," he continued. There are an endless amount of single words that could be used to describe this one. Alarming is one, disgraceful is another.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) - Five goals allowed against this team is a travesty but he's got be tiring of facing uncontested chances like he did in this one. San Jose had 9 shots on target and 5 went in although Johnson can't bear much of the blame.

D Gonzalo Segares (4) - Caught up too high on several occasions. This was the case on San Jose's second goal in the 52nd minute. Harris started the play and scored on the rebound as Segares couldn't track him down in time.

D Bakary Soumare (3) - After two strong performances against New England and Philadelphia this match challenges anyone who doesn't think the Fire still need to address the centerback position. Caught in a high line repeatedly and along with Hurtado, largely responsible for the gaps and chances afforded to San Jose for much of the game. Shocking.

D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (3) - As bad an outing as Soumare had, Hurtado was probably worse. Completely failed to close down just about anything in the box as both half backs appeared to be running in mud against San Jose attackers. Hurtado was beaten time and again throughout the course of this game.

D Lovel Palmer (4) - Showed some fight and was probably the best of the lot in the back but that's not saying a whole lot. Also caught forward in the 45th as his failed cross for Watson was turned into the counter attack leading to Salinas'  goal.

M Jeff Larentowicz (5) - Midfield didn't get completely over run with possession actually ending up in favor of Chicago (51-49) but the Fire didn't do much with it either. Did produce one of the rare moments when Chicago actually tried to create something in the final third when he dribbled around a defender to send a shot wide in the 69th.

M Matt Watson (5) - Picked up an assist with a lead to Ward for his goal.

M Alex (4) - Involved in a sequence with Watson which led to a corner kick in the 29th. I'm pretty sure he was out there somewhere for the remaining 61 minutes. I think.

M Harry Shipp (5) - A fair first half in comparison to the rest of the attackers. Just missed Magee with a lead pass in the 8th minute and sailed a shot wide in the 41st. Subbed off for Ward in the 59th. Lack of defensive cover and tracking back is his downfall.

F Mike Magee (4) - Continues to drift back into midfield and not as involved as he should be in the final third. A good combination with Amarikwa provided a chance in the 49th. Largely missing in action for large portions of the match.

F Quincy Amarikwa (5) - Some activity early in the second almost provided an equalizer. Headed a cross from Palmer just wide in the 48th and took a chance in the 49th after a pass from Magee.

M Grant Ward (6) - Scored the Fire's lone goal on a beautifully placed shot to beat Busch on the ground to his right. Pumped in a cross or two after entering the match in the 59th.

F Matt Fondy (4) - Subbed in for Amarikwa in the 60th minute. Contributed a yellow card for running into Busch well after the keeper had collected the ball.

M Benji Joya (5) - Entered the match in the 87th in order to break a sweat.

Next up

The obligatory meaningless summer friendly on Saturday followed by a home game against Vancouver on July 30. It's fairly obvious that the Fire will need to do something substantial in this window or the remainder of this season will be relegated to a USOC semi-final prayer and more futility dashed with the occasional ray of false hope.

In the latest episode of the podcast we talk about holding the club to a higher standard. That was recorded before this match.

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


Leave a comment
  • Was Hauptman in San Jose to watch this fecal fest? He must be so proud of the product he is providing the fans. When was the last time we even heard from him? I can guarantee that Tradition, Honor and Passion are the last words I have been thinking of when I watch this team. Good luck finding a quality DP who would WANT to come to this organization in its current state!

    A complete embarrassment from top to bottom.

  • fb_avatar

    That game settled it for me. I'm not attending a single home game this year, not buying a single piece of Fire merchandise, and not stepping up to season tickets now that I've moved closer to the stadium. Hauptman gets exactly zero of my dollars until he spends some of his.

    The fact that teams which do not even exist yet are picking up players like Villa, Xavi, Lampard, and Kaka is simply infuriating.

  • In reply to Jeff S:

    That's what happens when you refuse to move forward along with the rest of the MLS.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jeff S:

    Wow! You are a true example of a loyal and dedicated fan.

  • Good thing I valued my sleep more than staying up late to watch the game last night.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Wise decision, wish I did the same.
    Can't put the total blame on Hauptman for last night's display,
    the team played poorly, probably the worst game of the year, saw only several players (Shipp, Amarikwa, and Ward) putting up a good effort. This team as it is should have been able to beat San Jose.
    The defense was totally absent in the second half. Time for major changes in the lineup, including Magee who game after game plays out of position, it's something that Yallop has to take responsibility for.
    ALL this talk about needing one or two players to take the Fire to the next level may be premature, based on last night's performance. It's more like six or seven. This was a game that the team should have been up for but they turned out flat.
    Yallop has to take some heat for last night's debacle.

  • I've had a bad feeling for the last week. Think it began when the Pro-Fire Magee video fluff was released and the Fire web site shifted into overdrive in the production of daily happy "news" in an apparent final desparate attempt to program our minds.

    At this point anybody holding a ticket to a Chicago Fire game is probably at great risk of having their family use it as evidence at their incompetency and commitment hearing..

  • First time posting here. Guillermo you do a great job. I've been a season ticket holder since day one and can't remember ever being this embarrassed with the team. There seems to be no direction with this club. Tradition, Honor and Passion seems to have a different meaning to this owner then what the fans believe it means. I've been debating for a few years on whether to keep putting money into this owner's pockets. This game may have finally pushed me away. A must win against the worst team in the league with added incentive to win it against Yallop's previous team and this is what they come out with? I knew this team would be hard pressed to win games but the result of this game goes well beyond that.

  • I have been saying for many years that the ownership has been the biggest issue for this team. AH walked in to the Blanco era and has let everything fall apart since then. I really believe that the team needs to be sold. I think a fan petition needs to be started and sent to MLS. A grass roots campaign to force a sale might get MLS leadership's attention. It might at least allow the every day fan base to express their feelings.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I think the rest of MLS likes to have a Chicago Fire they can kick around and look good against. I suspect that the only way we can force a sale is to refuse to support the club. I don't think Andy is man enough to admit he isn't up to the task. Remember, he's a Californian just having fun owning a soccer club..Probably a San Jose fan.

  • An empty stadium would get MLS's attention. Unfortunately it won't happen because some of us are satisfied with mediocre and some wont boycott because they feel that would be unfair to the players. What have the players/coach/owner done for us lately? I now know what Cub fans must endure.

  • fb_avatar

    Oh yeah, can they also stop dicking around with side projects like Magee's Day off and Quincy Time? Granted Quincy's clips are pretty funny but when they start performing on the field they can multitask. Right now I think some extra practice time is in order.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jeff S:

    The side projects aren't this teams problem. Those are all marketing gimmicks. While this team may need some extra practice time, they're still human and they need their free time too. If they want to make silly videos in their free time then be my guest.

  • fb_avatar

    I totally agree with Jeff S, spot on. In the pre game Magee said his win was important for Yallop, given the history there. Well I think we all saw the players don't give two shits about whatever is coming out of Franks mouth! Don't get me started on our cheap owner. We need players who are top class, and give a damn.
    I am thinking of not renewing my season tickets, but I love the Fire so damn much. This team has really become a very sad situation.

  • fb_avatar

    Jeff is spot on with the side project stuff. In the pre game last night Magee said how important the match was to Yallop given his history there. Well I think we all saw the players don't give two shits about what Frank is saying. I am considering not renewing my season tickets!! I love the Fire, but this has become so sad.
    The crap looking kit was bad enough, but the players are so bad.
    Big Red is a piece of crap!! I am begging the front office to do something. We need a top player, or three. I love the Fire, but come on AH!

  • I stopped giving money to this team around the time they signed MacDonald. I went from season ticket holder to seeing a couple games a year to not going at all.

    The funny thing is that I am much more interested in MLS as a league than I was when I was a season ticket holder. If you had asked me six years ago, I would have been a proud Euro-snob and dismissive of MLS. I gave the Fire a shot because of the hometown connection and a love for the game.

    However, as MLS has gotten better, the Fire have basically stayed the same. And there is no hope on the horizon. When they start winning, I'll be back. But until then, none of my money is going to Hauptman.

  • I think the best point made has been that no decent, high caliber player will come to the Fire given the shape of the organization now. Ugh! What a mess. Don Garber, while you are totally annoying with your NYC focus, please don't ignore the third largest market in the U.S. and continue to let this team flounder with the current ownership.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Nah, Toronto dispels that belief. It's not the state of the team, it's the state of the owner (i.e. how open his wallet is) and the abilities of technical staff.

    Magee = this year's Chris Rolfe, but even worse. It's just shocking to see the MVP from last year struggle like this. If we had someone better than friggin Fondy as a back-up forward, I'd say sit the man for a game or two to help him catch his breath and hopefully remove his head from his rear.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Looking at Mike Magee's career, his performance in 2014 is pretty much in line with that of previous seasons, except for 2013. He's never scored more than 7 goals in a season, so I hardly expected him to repeat last year's remarkable productivity. 2013 was an anomaly for Magee.

    But I agree. There's no striker-in-waiting in the Fire player pool who is better than Magee or Quincy, so what can Yallop do?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to StaryByk3:

    This is a really good point. Magee was more of a Mr. November at LA than a season-long force. Not much hope of that happening here since he'll be watching MLS games from a couch that month. I can only think that he's in a frustrating slump as clearly he has (had) the abilities.

    I'll still watch every game and root for them but it seems hopeless. At least I have the Liverpool friendly to look forward to this weekend :)

  • MLS pick tonight....

    RSL over Montreal


    I'd like to point out that I got the "1" right for the Fire last night.

  • guys this lose is probably the best thing that could have happened to the future of the team. The smoke and whistles of cap space and give Yallop more time is used up with this lose. Basically almost every player , coach and owner should be on notice that they have to make a decent commitment to the team or the very patient season ticket holders will be history. I would compare the Fire today to the Chivas team of last year. When the league finally took the ownership out of the hands of an inept owner the team started to improve. Hopefully Hauptman will realize that he should not be in the soccer business and let a local owner that feels our pain take over the ownership. Has anybody followed to development of the Kansas city organization it has been a thing of beauty. I watched the first half of the KC game against Manchester City. KC played the EPL winners to almost a draw for the first half. Does anyone want to wager how the Fire will perform against the EPL team this coming saturday?

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Oh man, the thought of the Fire playing Man City in a real game is just frightening. Anyone up for guessing what the score would be if they played MC like they did last night in a game that mattered? Guillermo, there's your next poll question... :)

    Anyway, I do agree that continuing to lose is probably best for this team. As painful and frustrating as it is, this team needs an overhaul. Getting a top pick, an allocation spot they could actually use or trade, and another offseason are clearly needed if this team is going to actually develop into a solid, playoff contender.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Funny thing is is that this year was not considered a rebuilding year. Remember when Yallop said that this is a good team that needed some tinkering? Remember when Yallop said that he likes pretty soccer too? Yep, he is just taking after the owner, all talk and nothing else.

  • I was thinking of flying to Seattle when they play the USOC semi for a live game for once, but after going to Chicago for last year's semi, and then seeing this rot, it's a no-brainer.

    Stinkers happen once in a while. Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany. We lost 5-1 to friggin' San Jose. But this when I saw the midfield lineup, I thought we were in for a tough night.

    So if LA loses 7-0 to ManU, how badly does the Fire lose to Spurs? 9-0? Do they hit double digits? If they play like they did against SJ, I wouldn't be surprised.

    Like others on the list, I'm revoking my spending on Fire paraphernalia. No more scarves, no more hats, no more kids t-shirts. I can support lower division teams that need it more. If AH can't put up, I'll help out small teams with big dreams. And I'm not flying that stupid flag in front of my house anymore until th

  • until there's some sign of commitment and realization that this is no longer MLS circa 2000 from the ownership.

  • I agree about those stupid videos. I would like to see an edit of Magee blowing opportunities and getting a pk blocked and ending it with that clip of Henry at the restaurant saying: You're 2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee?

  • And of course I also I agree that Andrew Hauptman should sell the club and leave Chicago indefinitely. His vision of penny pinching isn't in alignment with the vision of MLS and he is a parasite to the league. Chicago deserves better and MLS deserves better.

  • Guys two things that the fire do not have to worry about are the waiver draft and national call ups . Who in the earth would want any of these players or coach representing their team or country. I reviewed the San Jose game. The back line was real bad but the midfield was completely confused. Honestly some of these guys probably were decent players but in this pesadilla there is no rime or reason to the game. It's time to bring in a bright coach like wynalda ( bad spelling).

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Would that be Wynalda part-time or full-time?

  • Another home grown signing on the way.....

    Fernandez was the US Development Academy central region u15/16 player of the year and has already appeared in several reserve games. He's also a part of the US U-17 program.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    my guess is that they will loan him out to the st louis team usl pro team next year. just like they have wasted victor pinieda on indy 11. I would much rather see pinieda play as a sub or start for magee if we are going to play as bad as we have

  • While feeling sorry for ourselves we can take some comfort in the deja vu effect of the Revs press release that they are loaning their not-so-successful Honduran DP, Jerry Bengtson, to Argentine club Belgrano:

  • In reply to Arklow:

    The only difference is the Revs may actually go get a proper DP while we wait in Fire land hearing nothing but crickets...




  • Here's a handy interactive map, based on the April 1, 2014 MLSPU salary information, breaking down player salaries and overall spending by club.

    Interesting and depressing tidbit: Chicago is 4th from the bottom, with 7 DP's in the top 4 spending teams exceeding them individually. While paying big bucks to a player doesn't automatically = success, there's definitely a feel of the Chicago Fire being left behind when you look at these figures. Not much info here that you could put a positive spin on, really.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    This graphic is interesting. I think it really means that the entire league has to start spreading the wealth with higher base salaries. If you look at the big spending teams, they have a far greater number of their players making close to the minimum. No league can grow with players being paid that little. MLS can not compete with LigaMX paying the majority of its players next to nothing.

  • Pick tonight.....Colorado over Chivas USA

    69-113 (undefeated on Thursday night 1-0)

  • Guys forget the espn radio show for important info about the fire. The most important question for the team and the fans is will someone be brought into the pesadilla to help out. I heard absolutely nothing about potential assistance. The only subject that came close to talking about the real changes that have to be made is a 5 word sentence about the new Rumanian. If someone is listening that is part of the radio show how about talking about the poor preparation of the team before the San Jose game. Or even how about a discussion of a team without a true center mid , or finally a discussion about what in the earth happen to hurtado and bakey. I could go on and on true fans could care less about Jorge campos or blanco that is history. Please keep the discussion in the present and forget about buses and stupid call in for tickets.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    That show is paid for by the team so don't expect anything too critical. I've listened to it a couple of times, but Fred Huebner is too tiresome.

    Guillermo & Jeff's show is much better

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    I like the ESPN show. If you'd like to hear that conversation I'd encourage you to call in and bring it up.

    Of course, we'll be addressing all of those topics on Fire Confidential Live tomorrow. You can call in live tomorrow at 10 as well.

  • Picks tonight in MLS games that matter....

    Toronto FC and Sporting KC draw
    New England over Columbus


  • I don't know why anyone expected much out of the SJ game. I didn't bother even checking for a score afterwards. A midweek game after another weekend game, a 4 hour flight. I mean these guys had this in their book as a loss before they even stepped on the pitch, especially the older players. It's like the back to back games in the NBA.. very few road teams win that 2nd game.

    Keep getting younger and faster and more technical. Until we can start dominating possession and create more of an attack, this is just exhibition soccer. Go get a nice seat, have a beer and and enjoy the evening, right Cubs fans?

  • Guys the fire is suppose to be a professional soccer team. They are not qualified for any additional tournaments which gives them additional time to rest. The fact that they being the second worst team in the league being demolished by the worst team in the league with the same rest period is a signicant sign that the team is actually worse than last year. The committment to poorly coached youth is something that will stagnate the team for years. Young guys will come in with potential but under the yallop brown regime their progress will be confusing both to the player and the fans. A good example is shipp he is an exceptional talent that obviously should be developed as a center midfielder. Unfortunately they keep pushing him to the outside because they keep holding their breath that big red can somehow be both a defensive & offensive midfielder. This has been going on since the second game of the season. The one game that they played ship in his natural midfield position he scored 3 goals.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    You are absolutely right on Shipp. Slot him as a true #10 and leave him there.

  • been trying to digest this loss for a few days now... i think they only thing that will help is an immediate win. otherwise, the USOC begins to be our main competition again.

  • If you missed today's show, it's up on the site, as well as iTunes and Stitcher. We made sure to cover those topics not covered on Fire Weekly. :)

    And thanks for the love. Having the Sunday morning show has been (and will continue to be) a blast.

Leave a comment