Fire 0 Whitecaps 0 - recap and ratings

When you've got the two clubs with most draws in MLS facing each other I guess there should really be no surprise that the final score would of course result in, yes, another draw.

That's exactly what happened at Toyota Park tonight as both teams played to a fairly uninspiring 0-0 stalemate. The Fire's 3-5-12 mark leaves them sitting in eighth place and five points behind Columbus for the fifth spot in the East. Vancouver now has 11 draws but their 6 wins gets them to within a point of a spot in the West.

Neither team created very many chances and the Fire did squander a good look or two in the second half. Chicago probably can take some solace in the clean sheet against a decent Vancouver side but every draw must be looked at as a loss at this point in the season. With 20 games gone, the Fire may simply run out of time to make up ground no matter what transpires in the next few days via the transfer window.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Only credited with two saves on the night and didn't get hung out to dry by the usual uncontested looks. In fact, Vancouver didn't have many looks at all. One big moment came in the 49th minute when Erik Hurtado got loose but Johnson rushed out to block his shot before he could really get a clean touch.

D Lovel Palmer (5) - A good long ball for Magee in the 4th minute led to a corner kick. A badly taken shot attempt in the 65th with teammates in the box. Not bad, but like most of the rest of the team, not quite good enough either.

D Jeff Larentowicz (6) - A solid effort in his first meaningful start at center back this season. Limited Mattocks' touches and stepped up well when he had to. A block of a cross into Fernandez in the 34th thwarted Vancouver's best chance up to that point. Larentowicz talks about the draw and the possibility of playing with Jermaine Jones right here.

D Patrick Ianni (6) - May get another look on Saturday as the center back tandem looked good in this match. Ianni started the sequence in the 80th minute that led to the Fire's best chance.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) - All in all not a bad night but had some issues with Hurtado resulting in two of the few opportunities the visitors did have.

M Chris Ritter (5) - The Fire seemed to prefer long balls over the top rather than playing through midfield. With Ritter and Ward in the middle there didn't seem to be much choice. The Fire did win the possession battle 53-47 in the first half but it was reversed in the second (44-56).

M Matt Watson (5) - Watson does work and puts in a solid effort but those are the highlights.

M Grant Ward (5) - Difficult for players like Ward to get into the flow with balls flown in over the top at a constant rate.

M Alex (5) - Started off well in combination early as the Fire held possession advantage in the first half. Tailed off in the second. Many of his touches result in "one touch too many" moves as usual.

F Mike Magee (5) - A well taken free kick attempt was just wide of the goal in the 9th minute. A bit more active in this match but still nowhere near his 2013 form. Set up Amarikwa in the 80th for a squandered opportunity.

F Quincy Amarikwa (5) - Fought and worked as usual but his early season magic appears to be wearing away. Missed a golden chance in the 80th minute with a clear look at goal when his shot sailed well over the crossbar with only Ousted in front of him. Created in good chance in the 60th minute by beating two defenders and drawing a yellow card. Passing left something to be desired in this match.

M Razvan Cocis (5) -Made his regular season debut for the Fire in the 61st, entering the match for Ritter. Keeps the ball moving and showed some signs that he could help but forays forward were limited.

M Harry Shipp (5) - Came into the game for Ward in the 61st. A few crosses into the area resulted in little.

F Matt Fondy (5) - An 82nd minute sub for Amarikwa. Didn't get an opportunity to do much.

Jermaine Jones update

As first reported here, the Fire are continuing to pursue Jermaine Jones. ESPN's Alexi Lalas said tonight that the Fire are preparing to sign the USMNT midfielder to a $3 million dollar per year contract. Frank Yallop confirmed that the club is interested in Jones and they have spoken to his agent but no deal has been finalized yet.

A deal appears to be just a matter of when at this point.

Next up

A must win game (let's face it - they're all must win from here on out) at home on Saturday night against the Columbus Crew.

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

Comments

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  • Jones: whatever. My wife will be more interested in the Fire now, having seen him in the WC. I guess that's a sign that he may bring in some fans on the more casual end of the spectrum, but it's not like she'd actually watch a Fire game with me to see him play. Dempsey's a different story; Bocanegra, too.

    As for this tie - ugh. I feel bad for the guys. Me, I can tune out. They have to finish out this dreadful season. I don't think Jones would change anything in the end, and who knows - he could throw off the locker room. Also he loves SoCal, so not sure how he'd respond to Chicago. You couldn't pay me to live in SoCal, though, so what do I know?

  • Just realized Baky and Hurtado were benched (no, I don't always read everything before commenting, sorry). Wow. I feel another Baky explosion coming on.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Well, Dennis Hamlett is still right here.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    If Baky's got a beef, it really has to be with himself. He has so much potential but just seems to be unable to stay focused.

    While I like Germaine Jones and thoroughly enjoyed his WC performance, his signing strikes me as though they said to themselves "Well, I guess we better sign simeone for some semblance of Keane money just to get the fans off our back." I could be wrong and there's a lot to be said for team chemistry, but I don't see him making a big difference, especially this late in the season. But he could ignite the team enthusiasm sort of like Magee did last year and, if he could get Mike back in the game, and Nyarko gets back and regains form... Who knows?

  • I only saw the last 20 minutes of the game, but I was amazed at how little the Fire's mids were coming forward.

    Whenever the Fire had the ball near the penalty box you had the two forwards facing four or five defenders.

    Why in the world would Frank be going for the tie given the team's position in the standings?

  • Yesterday was a very poor performance. I don't think we put 5 passes together. Ritter was awful last night. Couldn't trap or pass the ball all night. Alex doesn't offer anything either. Ward doesn't do much either. Magee is a 1/4 of the player he was last year. He doesn't bring anything to the team right now. He needs to take a seat and Shipp needs to be playing there. We have a team full of mediocre players and Shipp. We went from having pretty good options out on the wings to having nothing. Started the season with Rolfe, nyarko, Duka, and Ward. Now we only have Ward. I'm usually optimistic about this team because they are usually playing well for stretches in matches and have an opportunity to win and then fall short. These past few performances have been awful and have not been fun to watch. Things need to change.

    On JJ, he would be a fantastic signing. We haven't had a very good/great CM since Armas. We haven't had a midfielder that can get forward and create from the midfield. Jones can/will do that. We need Jones.

  • If Columbus gets Mix and we get JJ I'm going to be sad..

  • Alex not rated? hmm

  • In reply to fatalbert:

    Good catch. Missed him when I transferred my notes. These midweek games are killer.

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    Ran into the Whitecaps players at my gate in O'Hare this morning; they looked as dejected as I imagine the Fire players are with another tie among them. We need some kind of spark and if JJ can provide that then I'm all for it.

  • So if these signings progress any slower our reinforcements may be ready to play by October.

  • Guys the team must be hanging up on this season. They have a bad team with weak and indecive coaching staff. One would think that they would realize that the season is coming to an end why is it taking so long to sign a badly needed. New play?

  • Pick tonight is an obvious one......you would think.

    SKC over Philadelphia

    72-120

  • Goal.com is reporting that Jermaine Jones is turning down at 2.5 year $6 million offer from the Fire. He is pursuing other options.

    http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/1679/us-national-team/2014/08/02/4998818/jones-rejects-offer-from-chicago-fire?ICID=HP_BN_1

    More than a fair offer from the Fire on this one.

  • So with jones saying no thanks, what plan letter are they on now "J"? What are the chances that the Fire sign no one by Wednesday afternoon?

  • I would say there will be no signings.

  • I say the Fire need to go for Mix and/or Sacha. Either one would fill the more critical need.

  • Check out Daily Herald piece....

    DP forward in sights

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140802/sports/140809698/

  • Saturday picks

    Los Angeles over Portland
    Toronto FC over Montreal
    New York over New England
    Chicago over Columbus
    Colorado and Real Salt Lake draw
    Seattle over San Jose

    72-121

  • Guys if I had the talent and the desire to achieve like jones I would find it difficult to sign a contract with any group with Hauptmans name on it. In order to compete in the coming MLS you have to have the passion, the coaching and the. Willing to be competitive in soccer. The fire under the both Franks and Leon have been like a blind dog wondering down the street. I feel sorry for anyone that looks at the fire as competitive in this league. The defense depends on a player that has not played thAt position in years , the midfield is a mess and the forward line has been destroyed by the current coach. I never ever thought I would say this but I would accept klopas in an even trade with Montreal. At least he could get McGee scoring again.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    While the fire are not winning games, they are also not losing them. I don't think you can blame Yallop for the mental break downs the players have at the end of matches. If just a few of the ties were wins, like they should have been, we would be sitting pretty in the east. The two missed pks in injury time for wins, the complete meltdown against RSL when we were up 2-0 with 20 min to go, and the awful handball on Sega a couple of games ago. If only 2 of those would have been wins like they should have been, we would be in 3rd in the East. The FO offered 2.5m a year to Jones and he turned it down. That is a very good offer and him turning it down has nothing to do with the Fire and everything to do with the location. I'm pretty sure he has not watched a MLS match in his life. He wants to be in LA and the league will make it happen.

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