Fire 1 Toronto FC 1 - recap and ratings

The return of MLS from the World Cup break hasn't exactly provided scintillating, attractive soccer. This past weekend's slate of games weren't pretty and this match followed suit. Neither team seemed like they wanted to attack much in the first twenty minutes and the Fire still didn't show any desire to push the game even after Toronto's Luke Moore was shown a straight red card for an inadvertent elbow to Chris Ritter's head in the 29 minute.

Playing up a man for over an hour, Chicago finally controlled possession (62-38) but still scored only once after creating several chances in the second half. They also allowed the customary goal during a defensive lapse that enabled a completely unmarked Jackson to head home an uncontested cross in 42nd. That unchallenged play occurred while the Fire were up a man. Toronto essentially packed it in from there and happily played for the draw on the road.

As Chicago's record falls to 2-4-9 they're not only on pace to break their own previous league record for draws in one season (16), but they're also facing the prospect of failing to qualify for postseason play for the fourth time in five seasons.

Another day. Another missed opportunity.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) - Toronto only managed 7 attempts on goal and 2 of them were on target. A fingertip deflection in second half stoppage time may have kept Dominic Oduro from truly spoiling the day for Chicago.

D Greg Cochrane (5) - A better game than some of his most recent outings. Did well enough against Oduro for most of the night while he was in there. Sent a good ball in over top which set up Magee for a chance in the 19th. Subbed out in the 72nd as Yallop decided to shift into a modified 3-5-2 and push for the win.

D Bakary Soumare (5) - Actually had a fairly solid game and provided a few decent balls out of the back. Gave Defoe too much time and space to deliver his cross in the 42nd but one can't blame him for not charging too eagerly at the English forward with little help behind him.

D Patrick Ianni (4) - The little help behind him on the play came in the person of Ianni who somehow managed to lose Jackson at the far post. The Fire are good for at least one lapse per game leading to a goal and this time it was Ianni's turn.

D Lovel Palmer (5) - Back in the line up after missing the last two USOC games. Didn't hurt but didn't distinguish himself either.

M Jeff Larentowicz (5) - The Fire actually controlled midfield for once but then again, they should have. Playing 10v11 for 60 minutes also allowed them to complete 84% of their passes. Larentowicz was decent in the middle but the Fire had absolutely nothing going forward from the middle of the pitch in the first half. Catch his post game comments here.

M Chris Ritter (5) - Poked a shot directly at Bendik with a good look at goal in the 29th. Taking an elbow to the face was his biggest contribution.

M Grant Ward (5) - A few decent crosses and a few turnovers on the outside. Did get both of his shots on frame.

M Harry Shipp (6) - Provided the only score for the home side with another well taken strike from inside the area. Shipp is the clear front runner for MLS Rookie of the Year and has saved the Fire on more than one occasion this season. "It's really frustrating. It sucks. It feels like a loss," said Shipp after the game.

F Mike Magee (5) - Got credited for an assist for passing the ball to Shipp on the goal and may have drawn a penalty in the 14th minute but nothing was awarded. A well struck free kick in the 54th was stopped by TFC 'keeper Joe Bendik. Needs to be more involved getting forward and creating offensively when little is happening.

F Quincy Amarikwa (5) - A few good moments with some fancy footwork in the box to create chances and a header that just missed wide. Set up a clear look for Magee in the 52nd and the ensuing scramble in front of the net resulted in yet another missed scoring opportunity. His yellow card in first half stoppage time means he will miss the Sporting KC game on Saturday due to card accumulation.

M Alex (5) - The Fire played better offensively upon his insertion to start the second half. He was certainly more active than Ritter but an errant pass in the 76th slowed down a clear man advantage counter.

F Juan Luis Anangono (5) - Entered the match in the 72nd for Cochrane. Both of his shot attempts were wide of the target.

Next up

A trip to Sporting Kansas City where the defending champions will still likely be without Graham Zusi and Matt Besler.

You would think that provides another good chance to pick up points but Toronto FC played this match without Michael Bradley, Gilberto, and Dwayne De Rosario (who was in the 18).


Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Well that was a fun a game to watch. :(

  • At least we have that summer signing who will come in and lead a frantic charge only to miss the playoffs leading the fans to believe that the team has turned the corner then come out of the gate slowly until a summer signing comes in to lead a frantic charge only to miss the playoffs.....

    That is what Chicago Fire football has become, a pathetic shell of it's former self...

  • The Fire organization should be indicted for fraud, impersonating
    a professional soccer team.
    I feel your ratings are a bit generous, overall team wise they looked more like 4's. outside of Quincy, Shipp and Ward.
    The Fire seem more like a collection of parts than a team, much like an auto junk yard. Can't understand why Duka isn't playing given this level of mediocrity, if this is mid season form it indeed will be a long season, hopefully we'll see some lineup changes for the next game. The defense is a joke. Magee isn't close to last year's form and leadership seems to be missing.
    Haven't been this negative towards the team in a long time and the team seems to be getting worse as the season goes along.
    They are increasingly boring and painful to watch. I'd say they suck, but they're not that good.

  • that was pathetic. after watching the world cup for two weeks this kind of soccer is terrible. If we are going to play like this I would rather see young guys like Joya and Pineda get minutes over a guy like Anangono. Is Joya injured? Indy who? If we want our US team to do well our young guys have to get minutes! So frustrated with the fire right now

  • In reply to mintyfresh315:

    Joya missed the game with a leg injury.

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    What a load of crap the Fire have become. I too haven't been this down about the team in years. For the entire first half the just kept trying to come down the right side, over and over. Even though it was not working and Shipp was standing open on the left. Frank has no clue, the team has lost it's way. Magee and Palmer were yelling at each other. And the loudest cheer of the entire evening was for the tee shirt toss? We pay real money to see real soccer, and I feel cheated. Thanks for nothing front office.

  • Going down a man had little to no impact on TFC last night. They switched to a 4-4-1 and performed seamlessly. Sure they didn't attack much, but they didn't exactly sit back with 10 behind the ball, either. Frank gave reasoning for 14 shots not being on frame, which was valid, but not testing that team and Bendik more than they did was unfortunate.

    Yallop needs time to work and right the ship (it *has* only been 7 months), but they have to bring in some players who are going to turn things around. This season has slipped away at this point, but building for next season and beyond instead of band-aid solutions like normal is crucial. If they don't, no amount of $2 beers and hot dogs will salvage thins w/ the fanbase.

  • So, assuming that the JLA loan story is true, what would that mean for the Fire in regards to cap space / international's / DP's. I'm assuming that we would still be down a DP becasue it's a loan, but would this move affect the cap?

  • In reply to jhholda:

    If it works like the Puppo loan, it should free up the DP spot (not that the club didn't still have available DP spots open anyway, though). Should also open an international spot and definitely opens cap space.

  • If the JLA rumor is true, that makes 5 out of 7 DPs loaned out before the end of their contracts, a pretty piss poor record by any standard. Well on to the next stretch of a DP if and when he arrives...

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Remember though, that most of those were under the Leon/Klopas regime, who proved they had a poor eye for talent. With the introduction of Ward, Palmer, Shipp (who we were getting anyway), and Joya, one should be a bit more optimistic about the Yallop/Bliss regime up to this point.

  • A bit more optimistic? I'm not sure how long we can keep this up. Thankfully fans are still passionate enough to voice displeasure... crickets would be the worst, and it may get there one day.

  • This team is so bad, I think if
    Luis Suarez were on this team, he would be biting his own players out of anger of their play.

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