DC United 2 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

DC United's current season is a case study for the Chicago Fire. After completing one of the worst seasons in MLS history in 2013 with only three wins, DC has bounced back to finish atop the Eastern Conference. By completely revamping their back line and most of the remaining eleven, save Perry Kitchen and Nick DeLeon, DC was able to rebuild in the course of one off season. Shrewd moves to acquire effective MLS veterans have paid off  although they didn't spend big money to get back in the hunt. Acquiring Luis Silva from Toronto FC in July last season also helped.

The Fire managed a draw against DC a few weeks ago but there wasn't much reason to expect a result in this match with the home team looking to secure first place in the East. Chicago followed suit with another mediocre outing in a long line of unimpressive starts in a historically bad season of their own. The Fire have allowed 50 goals this season and many of them have come much too easily for the opposition. Such was the case again in this match as DC scored from a completely unmarked far post header following a goal kick and a hideous turnover near mid field.

"Yeah, it's the story of our season," said Frank Yallop after the match. "We've played pretty well most games we've had. We've just made mistakes at the wrong times and teams seem to get the second goal and from there it's an uphill battle. I will say we didn't give up, our guys were in the game and we tried hard to get back in the game. We give a lot of goals away to the opposition rather than earning it."

Frank Yallop has admitted that there isn't enough quality in the side and he'll probably have to revamp the Fire's roster in much the same manner that DC did. His big changes in the back with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Patrick Ianni were miserable failures although Lovel Palmer has been a bright spot.

Mercifully, there is only one game left before the changes geared towards 2015 can start being made in earnest.

Player ratings (to follow)

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • How about a Yallop rating as well?

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Coaches ratings are completely subjective and I stopped doing them because it was too easy to simply go with 5 for a draw, 6 for a win, and 4 in a loss. There have been some questionable moves and coaches can be more easily judged based on the entire body of work, but that being said, players need to produce and that's easier to quantify.

  • Any update on Nyarko?

    I have been critical in the past, and my opinion hasn't really changed, but he still is, at least, a valuable trade option for the Fire.

    Unfortunately he has looked broken beyond repair this season.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    No word yet.....MRI was scheduled for Sunday.

    I believe he is one of the few players on this roster that will be back next season, albeit at a lower rate than he earned in 2014.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Torn MCL and sprained ACL. Injury report just posted on the Chicago Fire website.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Sorry. Got that backwards in my grief. Torn ACL & sprained MCL in right knee.

  • So essentially, DC succeeded where the Fire failed. Let's face it, the Fire tried to completely revamp their back line and most of the remaining eleven by making what they hoped were shrewd moves to acquire effective MLS veterans. In the last two seasons we've picked up Palmer, Hurtado, Soumare, Palmer, and Ianni. It didn't pay off. Larentowicz and Lindpere were acquisitions in the same vein. Lindpere certainly didn't pay off, and Larentowicz is adequate, but not a world beater (at least with the personnel around him--I'm not convinced he's utilized to his best attributes with the pairings he's had in central midfield). Duka, McGee, and Amerikwa were also picked up to try to do what DC has done successfully this year. And the funny thing is that the least of these--Amerikwa and Palmer--arguably have been the best of the acquisitions. I feel like we've fallen into the cycle that Colorado Rapids were in for so many years--hire a coach, wait three years, no trophy, fire the coach, rinse and repeat. But at the same time, I'd rather that than be Montreal Impact and hire and fire coaches yearly while spending lots of money.

  • In reply to Fuegofan:

    Essentially, yes but the Fire's changes weren't the massive overhaul that DC went through during one offseason. If there's any hope that the Fire can replicate what DC did they will have some means to do so with 2/3 of the roster potentially gone next year. Turnover is pretty common on MLS squads from year to year but DC changed their entire line up with the exception of three positions. This was done in one offseason and not over two years combined so it is possible to pull off the turnaround.

    Yallop has made some mistakes (Hurtado/Ianni) but I don't think we can fully judge this technical staff after after one off season. This coming transfer window is probably the most important window in a long, long time with the club slipping further into irrelevancy each season.

  • Cast a vote for Supporter's Player of the Year right here.....


  • 2 goals in the last 5 games are not going to get it done, no matter how bad the back line is. Its been an extremely frustrating season. The team tries hard and doesn't give up, but the dumb mistakes kill them over and over again.

    Honestly there isn't much soccer IQ on the team. When the ball gets down the flank you have one runner making a run straight into the box, why not make a run to the near post so that you take defenders to open up the middle. Small things like that are starting to frustrate me.

    Looking forward to this off-season. Honestly the only players I want to see back are Quincey, Shipp, Ritter (reserve role), Palmer, Nyarko, Big Red. Earnshaw (reserve role as long as contract is manageable) Cocis and SJ obviously

  • In reply to KChance:

    No doubt. There are other problems on top of the issues in the back but sloppy defense has killed them all season.

  • Guys the first trade that should be done is Yallop and bliss. Question was last years team at the end of the season better than this mess. AH has either been very particular about hiring a coach that controls spending and hoping to have a competitive teAm or dumb as a dog. In a very brief talk with the director of marketing I had as a result of a letter I wrote to AH his first statement that he made before almost saying hello was peter wilt did not know how to control money. That is a fact and I would gladly subject myself to Lie detector on that statement. Anybody even with some success behind them does not fit unless he can show controller of spending. All one has to do is recall the what happened after the coach from mexico was let go. The only man that was already on the payroll that could attempt to coach was Klopas. Forget the fAct that he had never ever coached an outdoor game in his life he would not cost. Dime more so old AH named him coach. Now we have yallop a guy that in the old days had some success but in today's game he is way out of the talent level of the good MLS coaches. Look at almost all the squads minus the impact there are young innovative men that know how to mix college and foreign talent together to be competitive. If only we had the Vancouver coach and yallop had gone there we would at least have a young energetic coach they maybe would cTch the eye of the local sporting pages. At this point we have another year to go of watching a confused coach try to at least make the playoffs. Last statement how could 1 team have two of the worst coaches in the league back to back without looking at the owner and wonder if he is using the team like a venture capatalist does in industry. Buy it strip it of almost all its value the sell it for a huge profit just before the fans realize the scam. See you all next season

  • No official results of Patrick Nyarko's MRI yet but things don't sound promising.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    That was a pretty nasty fall. Didn't they say on the broadcast that the knee took the blow?

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    yep.....very unfortunate injury for Nyarko this late in the season.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    The fact that he went to the ground so fast was an immediate flag that it wasn't something minor. If it was the knee, he could be out for a long time. Is the team's plan still to negotiate a friendlier deal?

    I think they still hold on to Pat, Magee, Quincy, SJ, Lawrentowicz, Shipp, Cocis, Ritter and Palmer. It'll be interesting to see what they do in January...

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    Just based on his injuries I think that the Nyarko situation is pretty different than the others you mention (most, if not all, of whom I'd be surprised if the Fire let go of easily). If Nyarko even had another down season I'd expect him to be reupped (whether or not I would personally aside), but all the years of rough tackles etc, combined with a downward trend of production and a hefty salary; I'm not sure what they'll do.

    I'm hoping the injuries/production loss makes Nyarko uninteresting and he can slip through the reentry process and be resigned with a restructured contract, recover and maybe reproduce some of his better years (or be reintroduced as a wingback if he lost a step etc.).

    Worst case is the Fire reup him and are stuck with a worthless contract or, in the opposite extreme, they don't and he gets snapped up by expansion or retry and goes on a MVP run.

  • Revamp the Fire lineup? Wait, he already did that. Look what happened.

  • In reply to waamsy:

    I wouldn't say the starting line up was revamped going into this season. There were changes but it certainly wasn't an overhaul of the first eleven.

  • Well at least we can all agree we'll be celebrating around 9pm Friday.

  • Guys. Every soccer fan living in chicago has to think long and hard about supporting this progressively worse team. I received a note yesterday from jack Mertz (bad spelling) in the note he said that before this current season Yallop sat a number of staff folks down and said " that they were laying a foundation for 2015". I will gladly if possible copy and past the letter latter on today. Unbelievable how could anyone in their right mind think that all of the screw ups were planned for 2015. Who ever wrote this letter must think that we are all taking Valium a couple of times a day.

  • From BleacherReport.com:

    RELEASE: Patrick Nyarko suffered a torn ACL, sprained MCL in his right knee Saturday @DCUnited http://t.co/Gv5FkUANh0 http://t.co/grtQsuceUn
    — Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) 2014-10-22T15:54:02Z

  • I really do hope 2015 is better, for my sake as well.

  • Big, bad news for the Fire: Nyarko tore his ACL. Not a good start to the "great offseason Fire reshaping plan of '14-'15"...

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Clears things up about what to do with him though; let him slip through reentry and resign to a much lower deal. Might work out ok when allis said and done. Still tough break for Nyarko (and y'all Nyarko lovers).

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