Fire embarrassed in USOC semi-final debacle

Just when you thought a 5-1 loss to San Jose on July 23 was the low point of the season, the Fire continue to find ways to shock supporters with yet an even bigger sham. A 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Sounders leaves little to look forward to but the false hope of a playoff push in a weak Eastern Conference. The fact that Seattle played this game without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, Gonzalo Pineda, and Chad Marshall on the bench provides a clear picture of just how far Chicago is from being a serious contender for anything other than a first round exit in the playoffs.

Seattle led 2-0 at the half courtesy of goals from Chad Barrett and Andy Rose. Both goals featured the horrific marking and lack of defensive pressure that has been evident in just about every failure this season. Barrett got behind a stationary Lovel Palmer in the 6th minute for an easy tap in and Rose maneuvered himself between Razvan Cocis and Alex for a free header following Marco Pappa's corner kick in the 34th.

It was all downhill from there. Rose was unmarked again in the 58th to head in another Pappa cross. Martins beat the entire back line in the 79th to make it 4-0. By the time Kenny Cooper finished the last two goals in the 82nd and 84th to complete this shellacking the Fire had waved the white flag.

Trailing 3-0, Frank Yallop inserted Matt Fondy, Chris Ritter, and Logan Pause into the match. At the same time that the Ritter/Pause switch was made in favor of Cocis and Matt Watson, Sigi Schmid countered with Martins.

The Fire simply don't have the horses to compete with the best teams in MLS. Unfortunately, this probably isn't the last debacle we'll see this season. This one just cuts deeper because it was the last real chance at any hardware in 2014.

Line ups


GK Johnson

D Segares, Soumare, Larentowicz, Palmer

M Alex, Cocis (Ritter 74'), Watson (Pause 74'), Ward (Fondy 62')

F Shipp, Amarikwa

bench (not used): Reynish, Cochrane, Hurtado, Joya


GK Frei

D Yedlin, Anibaba, Scott, Evans

M Neagle, Alonso (Azira 64'), Rose, Pappa (Gonzalez 85')

F Cooper, Barrett (Martins 74')

bench (not used): Hahnemann, Marshall, Pineda, Weaver


Filed under: 2014 US Open Cup

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Oh lord.

    Those subs.

    How are those the only options off the bench? That's like USL Pro level "talent".

    Well, at least there aren't any more midweek away west conference games this season.

  • This has become sad. I'm glad reinforcements were brought in to improve the team.........oh yeah they weren't.

  • This team would struggle in the USL!

  • Just when I think I can't be anymore embarrassed with this team, coach or ownership. Hard to call myself a Fire fan.

  • I don't know why we aren't playing joya. He is way better and has more potential than Pause or Ritter. Putting in pause was a move to just lose 3-0. What an absolute disaster. Let's bring back pineda. He has to be no worse than fondy. Kings of the cup, yeah right. We made Seattle b team look like Real Madrid.

  • In reply to mintyfresh315:

    100% agree with every statement here.

  • Hurt. That is the only word to describe the experience of being a supporter right now. (This one, anyway.)

    Hey. At least we might have a chance to defend the Brimstone Cup on the 30th, right?

  • Check out Wikipedia for Andell Holdings. Looks like a Fire fan did some "editing".

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Andell Holdings LLC is a Los Angeles-based private investment firm with global business and investment interests.

    Andell Holdings was named after Andrew and Ellen Hauptman, the two principal owners, using the first portions of each of their names (ANDrew and ELLen). Andell is the principal mismanager of both the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Chicago Stadium Management, LLC.

    The firm invests in middle markets and mature companies, primarily in branded businesses; luxury goods; leisure or lifestyle; hospitality and travel; media and entertainment; marketing and distribution; food processing or manufacturing; wine and spirits; sports and promotion; and real estate. It generally makes investments in United States and Canada. It also invests in a variety of industries and geographies.[1]

  • Very true statement on Wiki:

    Andell is the principal mismanager of both the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Chicago Stadium Management, LLC.

  • Out coached. Interesting that Zigi can make Barrett look like a valuable asset. Cocis is going to be a solid player. Dump Logan, dump Soumare, trade big red, dump Alex. How is it that the Fire did not see how Anibaba and Pappa would fit in the Fire's lineup. They were both better than anything the Fire had. This all falls on the owner.

  • I thought the result was exactly what should have been expected, nevermind all the promotion glad-handing. Didn't watch and never intended to watch. When I heard the score this morning I almost felt relief that no miracle result had come about to generate any further false expectations. This is a dead franchise operating behind a Wizard of Oz curtain of Andell promotional BS. The only reason to buy a ticket to Toyota Park is so that you can go look another fan in the eye and ask "What the hell are we doing here supporting this?!?" The bucket has hit the bottom of a very dry well.

  • "This one just cuts deeper because it was the last real chance at any hardware in 2014."
    ... and because it may send Seattle on their way to tie Chicago's record for most US Open Cup wins.

    What a pathetic excuse for a team. It really was an all around pathetic effort offensively, defensively and everywhere in between. I didn't think Anangono added very much but Fondy seems like the type of guy that you only have on your roster in case the entire first team bus drives off a cliff right before a game and you don't have time to find soccer players to replace them. And the defense was just incredible. Like Brazil-against-Germany incredible. I don't know how you can just all of a sudden forget what defending is.

    I did figure out, though, that if I squinted really hard, and tried not to think about it too much, I could pretend that I was watching the Fire, with its stars Barrett, Anibaba and Pappa, winning the USOC semi.

  • Can't wait for the next home broadcast when the announcers say that the "Men in Red" have their work cut out for them to string some wins together. Poor plays are not just unlucky, and service balls that complete leave the playing field are not just ambitious. The Sounders announcers were refreshing. When Baky sent one of his aimless long balls to the Sounders back line, they said they didn't know what he was thinking there, and then Yedlin "repaid the favor". There has been too much covering for poor play, tactics and even technical ability by this side by the broadcasters. Time to get some honest analysis.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    The mention of Seattle announcer Ross Fletcher in interesting. I think the Fire's announcing situation is emblematic of the general half-assery that plagues the club. Take Seattle's Ross Fletcher: Had worked for the BBC for a decade, was the voice of Derby County for 7 years. Dan Kelly, on the other hand, was hired without having ANY experience calling soccer matches.

    Their color guy is Kasey Keller--international footballer and team legend. Our color guy is a kid from Ireland with absolutely zero experience announcing pro sports.

    This should not be seen as a dig at Egan or Kelly. I'm sure they are nice guys. Rather, the announcing situation is emblematic of the "low-rent" way that the front office goes about doing things.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    This is just low guys, comon. Why drag the announcers into it? Pretty sure no one is complaining if the Fire are winning the league and the best announcer in the world couldn't polish that turd of a performance. It isn't about "being honest", our guys use the same damn terms every other announcer does. It is about people going so deep to find someone who will respond to blame that the land on the announcers. I don't give a damn if the fire pay a couple of teenagers to announce the games as long as they put a decent team together.

  • In reply to SlipperySnake:

    Not sure how this is "low." Like I said I am not taking shots at Kelly or Egan. I am comparing how two different organizations' FO go about their business. Seattle looks for quality while Hauptman looks to do things on the cheap.

  • I gave up listening to the Fire announcers long ago. Kelly ranks right up there among the worst soccer announcers I've heard ... and I grew up listening to Roy Leonard trying to explain offsides - and doing an awful job of it!!

  • Simply put, Yallop has done just a piss poor job. Ritter and Pause as subs, down 3-0? I don't mind losing 6-0 if you go all out attacking once down 3-0 to try to pull off a miracle, but when you go defensive and basically concede the game and still give up another 3 goals, that's just pure failure.

    Anibaba and his $119k base salary start and pull off a clean sheet. I know, he's only 1 part of 11. But, Ianni and Hurtado and their $150k and $210k salaries weren't even used in the semi-final of the US Open Cup. I think we can go ahead, and not just because of this result, and declare Seattle the clear winner in that trade - if for salary cap reasons only. I mourn the Anibaba and Berry trades and the back-line "makeover". What an utter disaster.

    The forward situation on this team is just wrong. Another grossly mismanaged grouping by Yallop and his team. How they can justify having only 3 options on the team is beyond me. But great call on cutting Barouch and Gentile boys, I'm sure it wouldn't have been helpful to give one of them a run out there at the 60 minute mark...and AT LEAST TRY TO WIN!

    The best this team has is the midfield group and that's bad too, especially JL has been forced to play center back BECAUSE YALLOP COMPLETELY BOTCHED THE BACK-LINE! We should have known this season was going to end up like this from the first pre-season game and Soumare being given the start over Berry. WTF is that? Yallop must have been on vacation last year and didn't bother watching any game tape of Soumare. Yallop: "Here's a great idea, let's build our defense around the worst defender on the team last year, and sell off our young, affordable defenders for average to below average, older, more expensive players! It'll be like the exact opposite of what smart GMs are doing nowadays! I really tricked Andrew into giving me control of the roster...hahahahahahahahaaaa (evil laughter)".

    Finally, stop talking like the NYRB win was some great game played by the Fire Yallop. We squeaked out a win at home, were hardly the better side, and won for the 4th time all it's not exactly a surprise that we got our asses handed to us by Seattle. "I don't know, I just don't understand how we could play so well against NY and then just suck so hard against Seattle. It's such a surprise!"

    This season has been nearly a complete failure...and in almost every facet has regressed from last year. From the owner on down, this franchise is in real trouble.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    If there were someone "better" to replace Gentile, fine. I found it a bit odd that he was cut. He was doing ok on a Charlotte team that was not doing well. IIRC, he did pretty good on our reserve squad.

    After seeing his "hidden hardship" tweet this week, I checked out his profile. Lo and behold- he is signed with *strikeout*USL-PRO*strikeout* MLS-to-be Orlando.

    Who wants to bet a wooden nickel that one bites us in the a** one day?

  • I wish the club would just say something, anything, regarding the first team's performance to date! Hell, even if they brought in Jones, and Ronaldinho I don't think they could even get half of the stadium full much less make the playoffs.

  • The league needs to step in like they did for Chivas, this is an organization masquerading as an MLS franchise.

    5 steady years of decline with no sign of improvement.

    The jury is in on Yallop, he needs to be shown the door.

  • Really, I'm just waiting to hear the news that Jones signed with another team in the MLS and that'll be the icing to the kick-in-the-nuts cake that this season of Chicago Fire soccer has been thus far.

  • There should be relegation in this league and the others below, then we could find ourselves looking up at Orlando City.

    They've got an excellent development system, but the personnel decisions with the first team have been consistently poor, year after year. They better not let Shipp get away, although he seems pretty disgusted and would probably like to get out of here if things don't change.

  • when i look at other teams, all other teams,I cannot see how the Fire could have assembled this team for more money and less talent than every other team. Even incompetence doesn't seem likely given the dearth of talent.
    is it possible that Hauptman uses allocation and other team budget money to pay down the salaries etc of these bust DP's, while other teams just use the $ 375, 000 cost of a DP and pick up the extra expense from non player budget? that is, the corporation not the team.
    I don't know exactly how this works but there is something very wrong with the Fire squad and salaries involved over the last 4 years. how can Portland have 3 Argentines, and 2 other DP's and other expensive players? Every team in the league has more expensive players than the Fire yet we are broke.

  • In reply to Celt:

    This would be interesting to do with the published numbers of each team to see what the variances are b/w the published figures and how teams are getting around the cap with allocation and the league perhaps bending the rules. If no one gets to it first, maybe i'll do it at some point...if I remember...

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Almost impossible to do from the outside because of allocation dollars. Without knowing what each club has in allocation to start the year you can't tell how or if they're bending roster rules.

  • for what it's worth I doubt Hauptman will sell the Fire as the value of MLS teams is rising considerably, the losses are small to non existent, and Hauptman does not have deep pockets. The Fire is a very successful investment for him, a literal no- brainer, and will only improve regardless of the performances on the Field. in a word, we're screwed.

  • It's time for a bit of history. A 2008 quote from the new owner of the Chicago Fire, Andrew Hauptman: “All I see is opportunity everywhere I go – sponsorship, ticket sales, suite sales, concessions, our TV deal. We’re moving in the right direction. With a little bit of new energy and focus, we could start to accomplish something. Obviously we want to win on the field, but off the field as well. ". Priorities 1 through 5, money, mo' money! Then the throw-away, "...Obviously we want to win on the field..." Can't say he didn't tell us where his heart was from the beginning --- right above his wallet!!!

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Nice find, and so true. It's very clear he's an investor first and a fan a faraway second. He's lining his wallet while we all suffer the consequences.


  • In reply to shortpasses:

    "...with winning, we could start to accomplish something."
    Fixed the quote.

  • #HauptmanGetOutMan

  • Guys as I have said I will not give a dime to HAuptman for any future tickets. As far as I am concerned he has put over a complete fraud on the people of chicago. I have owned up to 4 season tickets but am down to two. I am officially a KC fan and hope to spend my soccer money on a few trips to KC to watch good soccer.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    i've been living in oregon for 2 years now, and i can tell you that dropping the fire and becoming a timbers fan is becoming more and more intriguing. I just can't bring myself to do it. Not yet, at least...

  • I was incensed from the outset that the latest sidebar poll question "What position should the Fire target during the summer window?" didn't include the option of responding "New ownership" as I think that would have been a massive winner and we would have seen far more than the 251 total responses it got.

  • fb_avatar

    i can only become a suffering fan of one club, Sevilla. people are jumping ship, but i am just here because of guillermo and everybody on this page. i have feelings for the Fire, but they are not my Fire anymore.

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