Fire end preseason with draw

The Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps played to a 1-1 draw thanks to a late tying goal from trialist Shahdon Winchester leaving the team with a 1-0-4 preseason record.  Draws in practice matches aren't a big concern and Frank Yallop is fairly happy with the team's progress going into the start of the season. "What I liked about the games we've had is we've got continually better in each one," said Yallop after the match. "The first half against Stabaek was not a great one but we got going. Other than that I've been very happy with everyone's performance. We really moved the ball well today I thought and we created some good chances. We want to get our guys...Quincy, Kennedy, Shaun and those guys off the mark with goals but they'll come. I thought we created enough chances to do more in the match."

Set piece and second ball defending was a major issue last year although the Fire didn't allow many goals last preseason. Yallop sees a difference in the two teams and isn't concerned that the last two opposition scores have come from dead ball situations. "If you look at the goal against Portland it was a full deflection off a shot. It's not like no one is picking up. It hit Alex in the shoulder and blooped right over Sean, who had made a move for the ball that was going into his arms. This one, and I have to look at it again , it looked offside. It's something we've got to work on obviously. We don't want to concede goals on set plays but defensively we've been good this year in preseason," he said. "I think last year we kind of got a false sense of where you're at. We did pretty well defensively but I don't think we were that strong. I think this year we've looked like a good team that's defending well as a unit."

Yallop used a combination of players in this match that included many of the probable starters for the opener in Los Angeles. David Accam and Adailton were missing due to injury so the Fire have yet to field a full first choice eleven for any extended period of time yet. It doesn't seem likely that Accam will play in Los Angeles given that he has been in Chicago for the last several days receiving treatment for a groin injury and has not commenced jogging or soccer activity. "I would be shocked if he makes the LA trip but you never know," said Yallop. Accam will be re-evaluated on Monday and Tuesday.

Adailton was diagnosed with a slight concussion after leaving the Portland game early and the Fire will proceed cautiously with him. "He got concussed with the bang he got in the game on Wednesday. We're just doing the protocol and making sure he's fine. He seems fine but obviously we've got to make sure that he's going to be good to go when it matters," said Yallop. "When the doctor clears him, he's got between a four and seven day window for when he can get back into full practice."

The MLS roster compliance deadline is Monday which means teams will need to adjust to meet the 2014 budget guidelines established by the league. Those parameters could change based on the outcome of the CBA negotiations which will continue this week but Yallop said the team is in good shape budget-wise and they will still be able to add if necessary. One of the players on the bubble for a roster spot is Winchester, who has played well in the last two outings. "I like him," said Yallop of the Trinidad and Tobago attacker who would take up the eighth and final international spot if he makes the senior roster. "We brought in for a reason. He's one those guys that come on trial and do well. For me it's just fitting him into the roster if we want to do that," he continued.

Yallop and the technical staff are still finalizing which players will be loaned to Saint Louis FC in USL. "It's still in discussions. We want to make sure we get some young guys some time but we haven't decided yet," he said.

Line Up


Palmer, Larentowicz, Gehrig, Jones

Shipp (Bryce 82'), Ritter (Polster 72'), Maloney, Watson (Stephens 67')

Igboananike (Winchester 68'), Amarikwa

Filed under: 2015 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I am cautiously optimistic this season. Fire have had some nice opportunities to score some goals. Fullbacks look athletic and tough. Stephens, Cocis, and Polster look like fuctional dmids. If Accam and Adailton stay healthy and the offense starts clicking, could be a special year.

  • False hope. I think that is the best way to describe any team lead by Frank Yallop. He says all the things that he thinks people want to hear. Every tie this year will be considered a loss by me. I would rather lose the game than get a tie this season. I have never been so sick a seeing a tie in a game before. We have so many offensive players that I never want to see a defensive sub this season. If we're tied in a match, Yallop better be going for the win. I cant remember the last time that we played well in a match. Sure didnt see it this preseason. I can't wait until Yallop is gone.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Have to disagree with you here. Your "false hope" is coming from a few preseason games in which trialists were involved and many substitutions were made during the game. The full team hasn't really played with each other. Give them at least about 5 games together in the regular season to actually start judging them (and i repeat "start" judging). And I know the fire have tied a lot, but I would still rather have a tie and a point than a loss and zero points. I'm not saying I'm okay with ties, its just better to get points. And if yallop can get a solid dmid in one of the transfer windows, I believe this can be a good team.

  • In reply to cf97TID:

    How did all those "points" work our for us last year? Getting a tie here or there is ok when the other results are wins. That is not what this team is going to do. We also played better when the trialists were playing. Yallop has had since October to find a dmid. He hasn't done that. We have scored 3 goals in 5 games this preseason. Is that any different than what we were doing last season? I think "false hope" is the perfect motto for this team.

  • In reply to cf97TID:

    When Tommy Soehn was an assistant with the Fire, he said that it is not fair to judge a team until they've played at least 10 matches together. I think it is foolish to make long-term assessments of a team based only on pre-season results.

    I agree that the Fire need to go for wins with the attackers that they have added. OTOH, all points are good points. You have to come away with something every week. When you pile up the points, you can climb the table. I would never tell my team that a defeat is preferable to a draw.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    So we judge a team a 1/3 through the season and then what? I dont think the players are good enough. I dont like that Yallop replaced our better players and then left our bad players. How does that make any sense? Leaving last season we needed central midfielders and centerbacks. Instead Yallop went out and brought in attacker after attacker without addressing those issues. Our left back has been fine this preseason but he has spent his young career as a winger, scoring 28 goals in 55 games. Big Red is a center mid that has now converted to a center back. That is 2 of our back 4 that are learning new positions. That cant be good. Our other centerback has only played 4 games in a year and a half. That cant be good. 2 of those 4 havent played in MLS before so they will need time to adjust to that too. That seems like a lot of adjusting that needs to happen. We all know what happens when you start off slowly in MLS. That is what we have done for many seasons now. Does this team get a free pass because they need to be given 10 games? You can do that, but I wont. I want Yallop out now. We will not win the league with him as our manager. Is sneaking in the playoffs enough for you? Is starting off slow and then making push towards the end but falling short enough for you? It isnt for me. We need to be in the top 4 in the East and winning a playoff game. Anything less is a disappointment for me.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Tommy Soehn knows more about soccer than you do. ;-)

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I don't disagree with most of what you are saying (and I think we have had these kind of semi-agreements in the past...) but just one thing:

    I am not overly worried about Jones and Larentowizc. Both were very solid in preseason and Jones in particular was impressive. I was worried he would be all over the place (because of playing as a winger previously), but he seemed to be actually pretty tactically aware and defensively sound. Larentowizc has been more impressive to me as a CB than a Dmid, to be honest. He's professional enough that that particular transition is less worrying.

    Adailton though...yeah, not convinved. And Gehrig is ok, but so was Ianni and that didn't end well.

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    The game really picked up for the Fire after Ritter, Kennedy, and Watson were subbed out. Kennedy reminds me of Oduro, lot of action but minimal results, Winchester comes in for a few minutes and scores. Where is Earnshaw when we need him?, his cost may have been high, but so was his goals per minute ratio,
    after spending big bucks for forwards who couldn't produce.
    A nose for the goal can be more important than overall talent.
    One player who should go to St. Louis is Ritter, can he can take his buddy Alex with him.
    It would be good to see how good Ritter is by playing full time to see if he can develop into a solid player, without putting the Fire at risk. Overall, the Fire haven't looked that great. If it takes 5 or 6 games for the Fire to get their act together, they could end up outside the playoff picture due to the competition from other teams in the Eastern Division, all of whom made quality additions.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    I think you are right about Ritter:
    He would benefit from a loan. He looks like he could be absolutely dominant at a lower level and develop well, but it could be dangerous for the Fire to let him develop with the first team.

    Alex is a lost cause.

  • "I think last year we kind of got a false sense of where you're at. We did pretty well defensively but I don't think we were that strong."

    Does anyone know what this means?

    The more I read it the less I understand. Maybe he means that his defense actually exceeded his expectations, which would in a way be reassuring, given that Yallop's hands were tied with huge contracts for players of questionable talent. I still think it's a mistake to lay all the blame for these two seasons on him. It's not like he inherited a great roster, and AH is never going to open his wallet for Keane-like money.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    He was referring to the good defensive numbers in preseason last year. They didn't allow goals last year in preseason either.

  • New podcast with Dan Kelly, Orrin Schwarz, Fred Huebner, and Shane Murray should be up tonight.

    Talking Fire, MLS 2015, and CBA. Stay tuned.

  • The secondary kit finally unveiled.....

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