Fire 1 Revolution 0 - recap and ratings

Three points, a win on turf, and a clean sheet.

All in one night.

The Fire are within four points of the fourth and fifth place teams in the Eastern Conference at the mathematical half way point in their season. An early Quincy Amarikwa goal was enough to get by a New England Revolution side that has lost its fifth consecutive league game and was bounced out of USOC play on Wednesday night.

That's not to say the Revolution didn't have some chances. They held the ball for 62% of the play and controlled the flow of the game from about the 30th minute onward. Sean Johnson played the hero and kept the home team off the scoreboard preserving a desperately needed win for the Fire. Was there anyone who didn't think, "there it goes again" when a penalty kick was whistled in the 85th minute?

The Fire pressured early in hopes of capturing a quick lead and the strategy worked. Fatigue appeared to set in as the match wore on but one goal, big time goalkeeping, and the Rev's ineptitude in the final third was enough to rekindle some hope for the second half of the season.

At 3-4-10, there's a big hole to climb out of but with the transfer window open and the club looking to make some additions, there's finally a win to build on.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (8) - A total of seven saves and an absolutely top notch penalty kick save in the 85th minute should get Johnson mentioned in every "of the week" goalkeeping consideration this Monday. He's had little help from his backline this year but this effort was exemplary.

D Lovel Palmer (6) - A couple of long distance efforts came close. Also better defensively with several good tackles/stops and not caught out of position as he has been prone to be from time to time this season.

D Bakary Soumare (7) - Stepped up when he had to and was a shot blocking machine for most of the night. Helped apply pressure at the appropriate times and made his presence felt in the penalty area. Big game for Soumare.

D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (6) - With Soumare gambling and pressuring up higher, Hurtado stayed home and there weren't many clear on chances in the box for New England despite registering 24 shots. Whatever chances they did have, Johnson took care of but the back line finally helped registered a clean sheet and no big errors were made this time.

D Gonzalo Segares (6) - This may have been down a tick for the penalty call, which was pretty weak, but he did reach out and put an arm on Bengston giving the referee a reason to blow the whistle. Other than that play, Segares was pretty solid for the rest of the match on both ends.

M Jeff Larentowicz (6) - Key early as the Fire midfield applied pressure and kept New England off kilter for the first 25-30 minutes of the match. Tough to blame Larentowicz for the continual lack of possession which may be just as responsible for the team's defensive woes as the blatant errors in the back have been. He was key in setting the tempo early. Provided an excellent through ball in the 74th that almost sprang Fondy.

M Matt Watson (5) - This is the position where the Fire need to improve in order to increase possession and help the back line. Watson wasn't bad but he wasn't influential either.

M Harry Shipp (5) - He did manage to get several shots  on net and one forced Shuttleworth into a diving save in the 14th. With his tendency to pinch in and float away from the outside the Fire are often left exposed if the fullback ventures into the attacking third. This happened at least twice in this game but Segares was able to track back and no damage was done. New England missed chances from the circumstances as well.

M Alex (5) - A 40th minute cross almost found Amarikwa but there wasn't much more but chasing for the rest of the night.

F Mike Magee (5) - Hit Amarikwa on a pass in the 3rd minute that led to the goal but that was it for the game. Spent most of his time underneath and too deep to really get forward much.

F Quincy Amarikwa (6) - Out-muscled Farrell to the ball in the 3rd minute and gave the Fire the lead they needed to make their game plan work. Pressure early and continuous work in the first half saw him leave in the 71st apparently out of gas.

F Matt Fondy (5) - Did some nice things to help kill the clock late in the game after replacing Amarikwa but the shot in the 78th after a steal from AJ Soares was woefully weak. Has to do better than that in a 1v1 with the keeper and no defender within 5 yards.

M Chris Ritter (5) - See Watson above, who he replaced in the 76th. He's been serviceable but the Fire need an upgrade at the second center mid spot. Called for a foul in a dangerous area that set up a good free kick look.

M Grant Ward (5) - Entered the match for Alex in the 88th. Not enough time to show much.

Next up

A home game against another team they need to beat. The Philadelphia Union come to Toyota Park next Saturday.



Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Alright another win, now are we going to have to wait another 6 games for the next one?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    You know we're in Jekyll & Hydeville when we have the fewest loses in the Eastern Conference, but we're also tied for fewest wins! Probably has something to do with having the 10 draws in 17 matches.

    Hey G! I agree that Duka, at his salary level, has become expendable for salary cap reasons. But with both Nyarko and Joya out, we still need him. What's the status on Nyarko & Joya? We know they are both listed as doubtful with Patrick identified as suffering from knee sprain and Benji identified with quadriceps tightness. Any update on how close they are to returning?

    I've been thinking about Dilly's cost vs. contributions and thinking they could probably make a pretty good move (or moves) with the added flexibility of being rid of his salary. But they have probably held onto him longer because of the Nyarko/Joya injuries. I'm thinking this is all wrapped up in the formula to making a big transfer window move.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I think you're onto something with the Duka speculation.

    Joya should be close. Nyarko had mid July targeted so hopefully he's back soon.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I wouldn't be surprised to see any of the following dealt at some point this summer or over the winter based on salary and performance and Yallop's desire to put his own stamp on the team:

    Duka ($165k)
    Hurtado (210)
    Ianna (150)
    Larentowicz (245)
    Alex (123)
    Nyarko (265)
    Soumare (330)

    I can only see some of the names like Larento, Nyarko, Hurtado and Soumare moved on if they have bigger plans. But guys like Alex and Ianni and Duka should be replaceable with other borderline starters at lower salaries, thereby freeing up more money for higher end players.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Nyarko would be a COMPLETE shocker for me. The only knock against him is his fragility and if he weren't such a threat that everyone ties to beat him to death physically, I don't think there would even be an issue there.

    Otherwise I'm in complete agreement. Soumare seems to be getting his act together, but it always seems to be game to game with him and who knows what he will be next week, nevermind that he was a beast this week. If he could be replaced with someone who is reliable, but maybe not such a beast, for significantly less $$$, I could see giving up on his uncertainties.

    Duka just seems to be the most marketable and unneeded commodity on this list. But you're right. All these people could be replaced for less money, or even a better piece of the puzzle. Even Patrick. I just find it really unlikely he would be replaced given what he give this team. But the RIGHT DP could do it.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Re: Soumare and Nyarko: both these guys are substantially overpaid imo. I would be surprised if they were traded during the current window based on that, but I think both may be left unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft.

    We'll see what the plan is from Yallop for the rest of the season by the moves he makes, but it seems to me he is moving away from the "target forward and two wingers" approach Klopas seemed to favor towards a narrow midfield with all the width provided by the fullbacks. I'm not sure Nyarko fits in that system unless he pulls a Beasley and converts to fullback.

    Either way can't see Duka being on the books much longer.

  • So we got this guy now:

    Looks like he can score on turf and isn't from South America, so I'm all for it. What kind of deal is he here on? Also, what does this do in our pursuit of a DP or two?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Does not affect DP pursuit.

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