Fire 0 Impact 0 - recap and ratings

With the ninth and tenth place teams in the Eastern Conference facing each other nobody expected this match to be much to look at. The Fire and Impact lived up to their billing as bottom dwellers in the conference with a 0-0 draw that essentially encapsulated Chicago's entire season in one 90 minute snoozer. The 2014 Fire just haven't been good enough.

Frank Yallop repeated that thought during his post game press conference. "“I think all in all, when you work with the team, you're either good enough or you're not," said Yallop. The Fire don't have impact players capable of making significant differences on a consistent basis. Yallop referenced injuries to Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko which kept them out of action or performing below par while acknowledging that the team needs to improve.

“I think if you look at our team, we need some difference makers in our lineup. I think if we add that to our roster, that's the difference between a tie and a win. I think that's a big thing that we are missing. We couldn't quite get over the hump in a lot of our games." Yallop will have the chance to rebuild and find those difference makers with 2/3 of the roster either out of contract or in option years.

"We weren't quite good enough to get that win, and I think that's the difference. So, it's up to me and the staff to add to the team we have, add some real quality to it. And, as we proved in the window, we're willing to spend money, we want to spend money. I just need to spend it in the right places and get this team better. I feel confident we can do that,” he said.

With this season coming to a merciful end in a few short weeks, Yallop indicated he may not be ready to just play the youngsters as he continues to evaluate which players might be invited back in 2015. “We’ve made some changes over the last week for the lineups. I think we have enough guys to cover each position, but it’s proven over the season we’re not quite good enough to win a lot of games. We’ll see what we’re going to do in the next few matches, but we won’t completely overhaul the roster to give a bunch of guys games; you have to earn your spot, and I think I will continue to do that.”

An overhaul couldn't provide much worse results with only three games left in this season.

Mercifully, it's only three games.

Players ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Two quality saves against Gorka Larrea in the 34th and 80th stopped Montreal's best chances but there were some shaky moments. Came way 30 yards out of goal in stoppage time to clear a ball away from Di Vaio that provided some excitement.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) - A cross in the 32nd just missed Palmer at the far post. Had a decent look in the 90th minute but shot wide. Mapp and Duka had very little in the attack.

D Bakary Soumare (5) - Did well enough against an another sleepwalking attack. A 71st minute back pass almost ended up in an unneeded corner kick before Johnson cleared it away for a throw in.

D Jeff Larentowicz (5) - Well struck free kick in the 66th was saved by Bush. Another long shot in the 75th was easily denied.

D Lovel Palmer (5) - Several early crosses provided a half chance and Montreal clearances. Long shot attempt in the 25th was easily saved. May have been the Fire's best back line player.

M Alex (5) - Only played 17 minutes before leaving with a foot injury. Yallop feared there could be a break but wouldn't know until x-rays are taken.

M Matt Watson (5) - Had a few moments but nothing significant. A class tackle in the 43rd set up a good chance for the Fire.

M Logan Pause (5) - Kept the ball moving but a central combination of Watson and Pause isn't going to create many chances.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Missed a header in the 18th after a decent cross in. His own crosses in the 43rd and 56th created half chances.

F Florent Sinama-Pongolle (5) - Served the ball in resulting in Nyarko's header attempt in the 18th. May have had the Fire's best chance in the 43rd but Bush denied his one-timer after Amarikwa headed the ball toward goal.

F Quincy Amarikwa (5) - Created some chances by drawing fouls but has a tendency to put his head down and attempt to make additional moves or beat defenders instead of passing quickly.

M Sanna Nyassi (5) - Came into match in the 62nd for Nyarko. Didn't do much to threaten his former team.

M Harry Shipp (5) - An early sub for Alex in the 17th. Shared some to the corner kick duties with Sinama-Pongolle and Nyassi. Shot attempt in the 22nd was saved by Bush and another was wide in the 40th.

F Matt Fondy (5) -  Replaced Sinama-Pongolle in the 79th. Actually created a chance in the 90th minute when a pair of good moves got him free into the box.

Next up

A Friday night game at Sporting Kansas City.


  • The Fire debuted their third kits. Judging by comments and the amount jerseys in the stands, they seemed fairly popular.
  • Frank Klopas was not on the sideline while serving a one game suspension but he was in attendance.
  • Benji Joya was in the 18 but did not play. He will depart for the US U-23 camp this week and head to Brazil for training on October 9.
  • Robert Earnshaw was not available due to a hamstring issue.
  • As the record for draws in a season continues to mount, the Fire are now mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • 5's all around? Well, I would not give Soumare anything so generous. I seriously don't think he can complete a pass to a midfielder. He takes extra touches until he gets pressured and then either loses it or makes a bad or crazy long ball pass. He even missed his pass back to the keeper. I know these guys are going through the motions, but lacking basic fundamentals seems pretty indicative of the long term poor performance.

    I would keep Shipp, Nyassi, Ward, Earnshaw, Gonzo and QA and that's about it.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    I thought the sum of the whole was pretty weak but I didn't think anyone had a particularly bad game. Kind of sums up the entire season.

  • It's unfortunate that now, after Yallop has finally conceded that it's time to play the youngsters, Benji Joya is leaving for US camp. He showed some real promise at the beginning of the season and significant time in these last three games would be good for him, regardless of the outcome.

    Guillermo, who would you like to see get more time? And who do you think Yallop will give more time to?

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I'd like to see Shipp start the final three. I think they know what they have in Ritter and Cochrane. They're going to be serviceable MLS players but not necessarily impact guys. I'm not sure getting them starts in the last three games changes anything in terms of their futures.

    They need to make a decision on Ward for next season but I think they would like to keep him. That would involve working out another deal with Tottenham.

    Joya is the only other young player I'd like to see get some extended minutes but I think it's not very likely that he comes back next year any way.

    I think Yallop will get Shipp out there in the final three. The others may see some limited time but it's not like they have the entire academy roster sitting there ready to play with Pineda and Franco on loans and NASL still underway.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Good points on Cochrane and Ritter. Also, sad, but agreed that it seems Joya is not likely returning.

    The big question I have is what happened with Joya? How was he buried so deep despite the overall below average play of other midfielders? What has Alex offered that Joya did not? Joya was misused as a wide mid and then just dropped so far off the team it really seems like there was something more than just play quality related to his benching. Was there any rumblings about a rift between Yallop/Co and Joya, or is the official word that the benching was based on ability alone?

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I've haven't heard anything about a rift. I know they were looking for him to get better as far as positioning, distribution, etc. but his injury knocked him back and there is a feeling that he is still not quite at 100% recovered despite his U-23 call ups.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I guess I didn't realize his injury was that bad.

  • Now at 18 record-setting ties (and counting,) does anyone want to start putting bets down on how long the record stands?

    To put that number in perspective, we are past the threshold of having tied more that 50% of our games.

    I can't even begin...

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    This one could last a while. Tying that many games is hard to do.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    So is signing DPs.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    "Tying that many games is hard to do."

    That said, I guess I have to give this year's squad some credit.

  • Fire Reserves beat Montreal 1-0 this morning. The lone goal was scored by guest player Bubacarr Jobe. Benji Joya and Andrew Gutman helped set it up in the 28th minute.

    The Fire's line up:
    GK Reynish
    D Cochrane, Ianni, Drew Ruggles, Andrew Gutman
    M Ward, Ritter, Joya, Jobe
    F Collin Fernandez, Fondy

    bench: Kann, Nyarko, Nyassi, Cam Lindley (63' for Fondy)

    Ruggles and Jobe were guest players. Gutman, Fernandez, and Lindley are Academy kids. Fernandez is the latest HG signing.

    The Fire reserves finish the season at 8-1-2. (5-1-2 in reserve league play).

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Guillermo, What's the deal with Jobe? I know he had a trial with the Fire last year. He appears to have done well in the PDL with Austin this year.

  • In reply to Roti2000:

    Might be a guy they considering inviting to camp in January.

  • Did the Fire have any scouts at the recent 7Up Sueno Alianza finals where over 20 players received offers from Mexican first division teams? Oh that's right the Fire don't need any good technical players at bargain basement prices, they can always pick up some retread that has been passed on by every team in every league in the world!!

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    The program sounds a lot like Sueno MLS. I know USSF had scouts there but not sure if individual MLS teams had anyone there.

  • Lovel Palmer named to MLS team of the week.

    He was probably the Fire's best field player yesterday.I did have him at 6 before reassessing.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    He's probably been their best defender this year, no? I think he's a keeper for next year.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    His service has gotten better in the 2nd half of the season. Still tries to do too much with the ball in the final third, but better as time went on.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Yes...I think he's one they want back next year for sure.

  • Two games tonight.

    Toronto FC over Houston and Portland over San Jose are my picks.

    129-164 (not so hot this season, good thing I don't gamble)

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    50% on the night. Better than your average!

  • 105-137 with a mind blowing 51 games unaccounted for.
    (I was just as surprised when I did the subtraction based off of Guillermo's current total.)

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    I think I'm only 5-6 games away from the leader in's expert picks....,so I've got that going for me.

  • Tonight's picks

    SKC over Chicago and Seattle over Vancouver


    New England over Montreal
    Philadelphia over Columbus
    New York over Toronto FC
    Real Salt Lake over San Jose
    Chivas and Colorado draw
    Houston and DC draw
    FC Dallas over Los Angeles

  • So if we tie one of our remaining games, over half of our points will have come off of draws. At least we got that going for us.

  • Lost 2-0 yesterday and not a single comment on the board. This team just isn't worth commenting on any more just apathy

    Pretty lame comments from Yallop post game as well...

    Shame, a real shame. There is such potential for growth in the right hands.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    haha! not even guillermo or jeff want to write about this team...that shows you how pathetic the state of this team is.

    maybe next year... (sound familiar?)

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Recap will be up today. Had some family commitments that precluded writing about bad soccer. ;)

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    no worries, I completely understand!

  • In reply to DerSting:

    All my comments were unmentionables....

  • Totally stupid that they would be playing on a FIFA date and at the same time as the USMNT. Was it a home game?

  • Guys. In order to get this group of players back into the sports scene they have to do something totally different. They cannot return with yallop and bliss and expect customers to flock to their stadium. . Leon ,klopas, the mexican coach and now yallop and bliss they have been just awful. The only common factor in this complete mess is HAuptman the owner. I am. 66 years and I cannot compare his terrible string poor management to any other pro team owner in my memory. Normally if you have a coach that is in way over his head the owner realizes his mistake and cuts the line. With the fire we have to wait for the bums contract to expire until another disaster is assigned. As I have said before if we want a good soccer team in chicago do not renew your tickets until just before the season push HAuptman into either selling the team or unloading this mess that is directing the team. Just look at KC as an example they had perhaps the worst team in the league Vermes comes in with an idea and the entire soccer experience is a joy. We could do the same in chicago but not with yallop and bliss. These guys are perhaps worst than klopas and Leon. Logan Pause as a starter was just terrible the last two games. I think that he thought he was playing for the other side. He kept making the most beautiful passes either to the side line or directly down field to a KC player.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    The common factor is Hauptman. You cant just show up twice a year for parties and stick your head in the sand for the rest of the season. Where is his sense of outrage? Where is the evidence of his passion for the team? KC's owner is very involved with the fans, he has vested himself to a high level. Ours appears to view the team as a hobby and operates as an absentee...

    Yallop's post game comments basically threw everyone else but himself under the bus. Coached all to their potential? Maybe he needs to look inward and raise the bar a bit. His tactics, his formations, his substituions... Didn't he bring in about a dozen players? Where is his accountability on that front? I see little passion or leadership from him as well.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    "I am. 66 years and I cannot compare his terrible string poor management to any other pro team owner in my memory." - You need to familiarize yourself with the Dollar Bill Worst Wirtz era for the Hawks. Ownership doesn't get any worse. Although Hauptman is trying to play catch-up, for sure.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Yep....Wirtz spent the better part of about 15 years trying to keep the Blackhawks in the 50's.

    Oh...and the Cubs have spent the last century rebuilding through various owners and dubious management decisions.

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