Fire 2 Dynamo 1 - recap and ratings

The Fire were able to win their last match of the 2014 season and send Logan Pause into retirement with a victory. Florent Sinama-Pongolle's 91st minute goal provided the difference in what was only the Fire's fourth home victory this year. The result of a match between two clubs eliminated from playoff competition was inconsequential as it relates to the standings but it did provide a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.

Pause jumped the ad boards and teammates embraced him wearing the "LP 12" armbands as the seconds wound down on his playing career. "My first reaction was to sprint as fast as I could to get to Flo, so a well deserved win, and I'm really, really proud of the guys in that locker room," said Pause after the match.

After a less than enthusiastic first half that featured Sean Johnson being forced into making seven saves, the Fire were fortunate to trail by only one. A refocused effort in the final forty-five minutes was triggered by the insertion of Grant Ward and the Fire were able to send Pause and the announced crowd of 18,776 home happy for one of the few times this season.

Now the rebuilding process begins with many of the players currently on the roster likely not returning for 2015. Frank Yallop said after the match that he's got a pretty good idea of which players will be back as the Fire will close out post season training by this coming Friday. The 2104 season is over but Yallop's work is just beginning.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (7) - Eight saves with a handful coming against legitimate scoring chances. Johnson kept the score line from being embarrassing at the half and gave the team the opportunity to turn it around in the second half.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) - Segares wasn't the worst of the bunch but the Fire's back line was consistently exposed in the first half.

D Bakary Soumare (5) - A comically bad failed clearancee in the 34th led to a clear chance for Cummings that was denied by Johnson. The second half was much better with Houston only registering one shot on target.

D Jeff Larentowicz (5) - Converted the penalty kick and settled things down in the second but there's that first half.

D Lovel Palmer (5) - Fell down in the 10th leading to a clear look for Cummings. Got lost on the play leading to back to back saves in the 34th.

M Sanna Nyassi (4) - Started the match and played 54 minutes but was mostly invisible for all of it.

M Alex (5) - Mixed bag. A giveaway in the 63rd led to a counter, a shot in the 13th earned a corner, and moved to left back in the 62nd.

M Matt Watson (5) - Lost Cummings on the corner kick which resulted in the Houston goal. Much better in the second as the Fire actually had 62% possession over the last 45.

M Logan Pause (6) - A little extra for the effort. His playing days may be over but he'll be around for a while.

F Harry Shipp (5) - Corner kick service was somewhat better than it has been recently.

F Quincy Amarikwa (5) - Effort and activity there as always but the tendency to play with head down and hold onto the ball too long persists.

F Florent Sinama-Pongolle (6) - Subbed in for Nyassi in the 54th and eventually scored the game winner. There were some lowlights from set pieces, like the awful free kick in the 76th.

M Grant Ward (7) - Entered the match in the 62nd for Segares and changed the game. Earned a penalty kick in the 65th when he was tripped by Deric and provided the assist on the game winning goal with a solid cross.

M Chris Ritter (6) - Replaced Pause with 12 minutes left in the match. His half volley in the 88th hit the crossbar.

Next up

Three days of post season training next week before calling it a wrap on 2014.

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Final weekend picks:

    Los Angeles over Seattle
    DC over Montreal
    New England over Toronto
    FC Dallas and Portland draw
    Vancouver over Colorado
    Columbus over Philadelphia
    Chivas USA and San Jose draw
    Sporting KC over New York

  • Absolutely awful for the first half. Should have been 3 or 4-0 if it weren't for johnson. He played out of his mind. Everything changed once we made the subs. The team was so much better with the subs on.

    If Quincy is our staring striker next season, we won't make the playoffs again. The best thing you can say about him is he tries hard. He should be coming on in the 70' and running at defenders. Alex should not be playing much either. Nyassi should be gone. FSP is good on the ball and a serviceable player. This team needs a lot of players to be competitive next season. I'd like to see Yallop gone but that isn't going to happen now. IMO, June 1 should be his judgement day. Three transfer windows and two off seasons should be enough time to bring in the people he wants and playing the way he wants. When is the last time the Fire dominated a match from beginning to end? Not a single player on the field that is a threat when they have the ball at the foot.

  • Guys I will not be buying season tickets until July when yallop and bliss will be gone. It will take at least 4years to To repair this broken team. Where do you start. Probably in the central midfield. Wouldn't it be great to find a guy like blanco. After listening to the announcing team last night I thought that I had tuned into a wrong game. They made the fire seem as if they were big smart spenders that just needed a couple of good moves. When I think of watching or attending every single minute of their games this year I realized that there is not one single player on the team that is worth driving down harlem avenue to see. Enough the season is thankfully over Guillermo I grader you a 10 for your reporting of a terrible team. If the day to day fans like us had to rely on the papers for team news we would thank that Bradley and razo were still playing. The fire as various podcast have stated are ire eland in a sports crazy town Now that takes work. Everyone have a good holiday.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Watching Barnes just run at our defense last night had me thinking about our team. There isnt a single player on the team that is capable of doing that. Going into next season Shipp, Johnson, Big Red, and possibly Palmer can be starters. We need a lot of help and I dont think Yallop is the man to bring us out of this hole that we are in. Has Yallop brought in anyone that is good enough? Cant credit him with Shipp because he was handed to him. He has brought in Cochrane, Cocis, Watson, Nyassi, Ianni, Hurtatdo, FSP, Earnshaw, and Palmer while getting rid of Berry, Anibaba, Rolfe, Duka, and Hurtado. Thats a lot of player movement and absolutely nothing produced on the field. Im extremely nervous with giving him another window to bring in more players.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Thanks for the passion and the comments Broker!

  • Yep, we have second tier English players to look forward to next year. Yippee!

  • the offseason has mercifully arrived. what a horrible season. looking forward to seeing what yallop and co. can do. i'm afraid this is the end of the line for my patience, so i sure would like to see some major changes with some major players brought in. it's high time ownership makes some real investments into the squad and elite DPs.

  • On a side note, we are the only Bronze team in MLS for Ultimate Team. Even Chivas are considered a Silver team...

  • I'm still mad Chris Rolfe was traded for nothing and then ended having a pretty good year for first place DC. Even after breaking his arm, he had decent stats.

  • We'll be recording a season-ending pod tonight. Head over to Twitter if you're so inclined and drop us questions or comments using #AskFCL. Thanks for hanging with us this season, one and all!

  • Guys I picked up the sun times on Saturday. Yallop is quoted as saying he does not know why everyone is so mad at HAuptman. Is he kidding me. In AH's time we have had a very average coach that could not speak English. Then we fired him because he was terrible and replaced him with one of the guys that appointed him coach because the team did not want to spend good money on a good coach. Then we replaced him with a coach and general manager that had both just been fired because they had been bad coaches. Now the team wants to get support from the fans for a coach that actually been worse than the entire group. Did I miss something?

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    I saw that too. A complete joke.

    Although, to be fair, attendance was up 5.5% this year so go figure.

    We're still bottom of the Eastern Conference in average attendance though.

    I'm not sure about what number it has to get to for Hauptman to care about winning, but if more people are coming to TP than last year, I'm sure he's ecstatic.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    yeah brokerjohn, i saw that article over the weekend too and was disturbed. i mean, i get that yallop pays his bills b/c of Hauptman, so what's he going to say? but at the same time, he's just furthering the disconnect b/w the fans and the organization. it's not rocket science to figure out why the fans are upset and don't think Hauptman has been a good owner so far.

  • Sean Johnson has won the voting for the both the team MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.

    No surprise on either.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Soumare was robbed...

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    This made me literally LOL. Well played, Tweaky.

  • Final tally on 2014 game picks:

    120-152 - 44% picked correctly.

    If you extrapolate for the est. 50 games I somehow failed to add (!) it would come out to roughly 141-181.

    How'd you fare, Guillermo?

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    I ended up at 144-179.

    I should note that the leader in MLSsoccer.com's expert picks ended up at 150 correct picks. So there's that.

  • Our season wrap up episode went live last night, for those who were waiting for it. Thanks for your patience, guys, and continued thanks for listening to us this season.

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