Orlando City 3 Fire 2 - recap and ratings

During his days in San Jose, Frank Yallop was in charge of a team that became known for late game and stoppage time goals preserving points and sometimes stealing all three in heart-stopping fashion. Now the trend seems to be just the opposite of what occurred with the Earthquakes in 2012. Like some sort of Reverse-Goonies, the Fire have become alarmingly adept at finding incredible ways to mangle finishes and give away points at the end of matches.

"It felt like pretty similar to last year to be honest," said Yallop during his post game press conference. "At 2-1, I thought we were going to see the game out but we self destructed. And it was a tough thing to take to be honest. A tough one."

This game was certainly reminiscent of the array of late collapses last season. They've even found a new way to ensure that supporters leave Toyota Park with an inventive twist on frustration. This time two own goals, by the same player, served as the centerpiece for yet another night of missed opportunity.

The match started well enough for Chicago. While giving up possession to play the counter and attack Orlando City quickly on the outside, the Fire trailed in the possession battle by a wide margin in the first half but held a 12-3 advantage in shot attempts, and looked very dangerous in doing so. A fantastically executed set piece play from a short corner put the Fire up 1-0 in the 9th minute. Yet another failure in team set piece defending in the 40th minute resulted in a 1-1 tie at the half.

David Accam and Harry Shipp brought the entire crowd of 20,124 to their feet in the 51st minute with another well executed team goal that showed how well the Fire can play on a technical level. This team is capable of an electrifying and  attractive style of soccer but the final few minutes of the match put the Fire's shortcomings on full display yet again. Another debilitating and agonizing late collapse with goals allowed in the 82nd and 86th minutes leaves everyone looking for answers.

There are no easy ones to be had.

The Fire dropped to ninth place in the Eastern Conference by the time the night was over. While 2/3 of the season remains, these are the type of matches (like the draw in New York and the loss at home to RSL) that playoff teams put away and teams that are left on the outside looking in always come to regret. At 4-7-2, the Fire should be better than their record shows. The continuation of the same types of mistakes and agonizing finishes indicates that they don't deserve to be.

Player ratings

GK Jon Busch (4.5) - Failed to come out and grab the ball from the corner kick on the first Orlando City goal. Indecision cost him and his finger-tip stop of St. Ledger's header caromed directly to Adailton's shin. Caught flat footed on the winning goal. Two quality saves in the 17th and the 39th were the highlights on his night. There wasn't much to be done with Larin's beauty in the 82nd.

D Lovel Palmer (5) - Started at left back and moved to the right in the second half. Still having issues in losing marks but his wasn't the biggest problem in this game.

D Jeff Larentowicz (4.5) - Appeared to slow down to attempt to play Rivas offside in the 86th but couldn't get back in time to help stop the cross that led to the game-wining/losing goal. Had a decent first half.

D Adailton (3) - Became the first player in MLS history to record two own-goals in one match according to ESPN. The first one could be excusable, since it was deflected on to his leg but the second offered no such relief. Instead of simply rocketing the ball over the end line for a corner kick, he softly tapped it toward goal. He was also involved the second goal, missing a tackle on Larin thereby creating the space for him to shoot.

D Eric Gehrig (5) - Started at right back and continues to show that he's minimally effective as a defender on the outside. He did help getting forward in the first half however.

M Matt Polster (5) - The Fire were playing to counter and attack quickly so the possession numbers on the night were heavily in favor of the visitors (63-37).  Despite the numbers, the central midfield pair was active in the first half.

M Razvan Cocis (5) - Very good in the first half with numerous defensive break-ups of Orlando City attacks. Didn't contribute much in the second other than a blocked shot in the 68th. Laid off the pass to Accam in setting up the first Fire goal.

M David Accam (6.5) - One of the most electrifying players in MLS made his impact felt again with a goal and an assist. Also created numerous chances via his pace and dribbling ability in tight space. Showed that remarkable speed in he 28th when he came out of nowhere to claim a ball behind the entire back line.

M Joevin Jones (5.5) - Active in transition from a midfield spot in the first half. Changed sides with Accam on a few occasions. Moved to left back in the second half.

F Harry Shipp (6) - Assisted on Accam's goal in the 51st displaying his vision as a playmaker and passer but recognizing the open player in space in a position to score. Placed the ball perfectly. Also played a part in the first goal. He had some interesting things to say about this game and the Fire's troubles in the locker room.

F Kennedy Igboananike (6) - Scored his second goal of the season in the 9th minute to finish a beautiful sequence from the Fire. Also started the play that led to the second goal with an attacking run in the 51st. Unquestionably has won the starter's role for now.

F Quincy Amarikwa (4) - Entered the match for Gehrig in the 59th. More misplaced and unnecessary movement led to more ill-advised and selfish "shoot first" sequences with teammates open and available in the attacking third. Displayed a willful ignorance for the right play with an 85th minute ridiculous attempt from distance with Magee open and approaching the 18. Passing was also sub par again. This wall all capped off by an even more ridiculous two-footed tackle and yellow card in stoppage time. The clock has expired on Quincytime.

M Matt Watson (5) - Replaced Igboananike in the 77th minute. Started an attack that Amarikwa wasted with his shot in the 85th.

M Mike Magee (5) - Returned to action, replacing Polster in the 83rd. Didn't have many chances to get on the ball. Catch his post game comments on the Fire Confidential Facebook page.

Up next

Things don't get an easier for the Fire with a trip to New England next Saturday. This is the previously rescheduled game from earlier this season. The Fire will be without Shaun Maloney, David Accam, and Joevin Jones. All have been called by their national teams.

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • I said this once and I will say it again..

    If Quincy could hustle correctly on the field as he does peddling his t-shirts on twitter he would be unstoppable.

  • Benny Joya scored the winning goal against England for 3rd. place
    in the Toulon U-23 tournament.

  • Up until Yallop started to try and coach, which he isnt very good at, things were fine. He picked our best team available, minus Jon Busch, and we were playing just fine. We were getting some chances and looking dangerous. Then Frank Yallop happened. He decided that, while up 2-1, he should take off our right back and bring on another striker. That move then forced our LB to RB, LW to LB, CAM to RM and RW to LM and a change to a 4-4-2. That makes absolutely no sense at all. That is poor managing. Why not take off Palmer who is already playing out of position? From then on the game was a complete shit show. Nobody knew what they were doing because they all had to adjust to new positions after playing just fine for 60 minutes.

    THEN he takes off Kennedy and puts on Watson. Again changing the formation back to what it was when things were working. Players had to then change their mindsets back. It's no wonder Orlando scores 5 minutes later because people are, once again, playing new positions.

    After they score, Yallop tries to go for the win. No problem with that. Bringing on Magee is fine, but why take off our defensive midfielder when the game is tied and we are struggling defensively? Why not take of Cocis and leave some defensive stability? Polster played well to limit Kaka getting the ball and distributing to their forwards. Polster comes off in the 83rd minute and guess who gets the ball and distrutes to their forwards. Now we lose another game where we scored first and then had the lead for a second time.

    Yallop's in-game managing is atrocious. His moves always look desperate. When I played the game competitively, I dont remember any of my coaches making drastic position and formation changes in-game. The players would just push up more or sit back and keep everything in front of you. When Yallop is gone, this club can move forward. Until then, this is what we should expect.

    Remember that awful team we beat last weekend 3-0, they have the same amount of points as us with three games in hand. We have 50 points with Yallop as manager. 50 points doesnt make the playoffs last season. Our record, 10W-17L-20T. 58GF and 71GA for a -13GD.

    Yallop. Out.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    100% agreed. I have never seen a team more poorly managed during a game.

  • I've frankly gotten to the point where I'm no longer so frustrated. I've gotten to the acceptance stage of my grief. I was laughing last night watching the collapse (the alternative was killing my mood on a nearly weekly basis for the past 1/2 decade).

    I am happy to see that our roster has some legit, dangerous players as compared to last year. Jones, Shipp, Accam, Polster...Igby looks like he's turned the corner ~ players that we can use for a number of years that are competent and can help us win. Maybe Cocis as well.

    On the flip side, I'm very disappointed in Q's season after a solid showing last year. Palmer has taken a step back, Johnson hasn't had his best season, Yallop continues to make poor decisions, Gehrig shouldn't be starting and is played out of position, and Maloney has only been ok thus far.

    There's still hope, we do finally seem to have a good core that we can move forward with, and Magee and Nyarko may spur a 2nd half run. But mostly, this team is just more of the same...and all I can do at this point is laugh.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    On Quincy, has he really had a good showing as a Fire player? He's been with us for 3 years now and has scored 11 goals. That's 11 goals in 59 games played or 3570 minutes. His time is up at this club.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I thought he had a solid year last year, 8 goals/5 assists.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    But that was in 32 games. He is a forward that can't score goals. Sure he will run around a lot and look like he is doing things out there but in reality he is just sprinting for no reason and diving to try and block a clearance from the keeper. He needs a long rest on the bench and to then be traded.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I don't even think he has any trade value.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Not to rub salt in the wound, but the Fire did have some offers for him this winter and passed. I'm not sure there's much value in return now though.

  • Frank Yallop is a clone of Frank Klopas. Both can't coach and dress and also he is unbearable to watch. He should take notes on other coaches in the league on how they dress and Yallop right now needs to go right now. Hire former NY Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke to coach the Fire. He knows how to coach and dress. It is a shame that is still out there on the market while this inept of a coach that the Fire have is a disgrace.

  • In reply to klopashater:

    Petke's sweater game is strong but I'm still trying to figure out what dressing has to do with coaching.

    Bruce Arena has done pretty well without wearing a suit for every game.

  • The reason teams lose close games is because they are not good enough to win close games.
    I think the Fire could be an above average team, they play like that in stretches, but over 90 minutes they are not good enough. This is a more exciting team to watch this year, but they are frustrating!

  • In reply to Gladbach:

    "The reason teams lose close games is because they are not good enough to win close games." - There's a lot of truth here, but the right coach/staff can make a world of difference too.

  • Tnx for the link to Shipp's comments. It appears that he is not happy with some of his teammates' inability to play possession ball! It's easy to understand his frustration. Nothing worse for a technical midfielder than to watch the ball continuously rocketing over his head! The immediate blame lies with the players of course but ultimately Yallop should have decided how he intended to play and then filled his roster with players capable of playing that style. What happened??

  • Technical excellence tempered by mental inconsistency.

    This could potentially become (another) long season. God help us.

  • So are the next 2 games must wins? only 5 points taken out of the last 7 games and only 5 points taken in this stretch of 7(5 played so far) games against Eastern opponents. If this is the trend for the rest of the season they might as well change their goal to just missing out on the playoffs.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    USOC games should be considered must win....it's their best chance at hardware this season and should be treated that way.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Forgot about that. But how many starters will Yallop rest considering they play that rescheduled game versus NE only 3 days before? I have a feeling that Yallop is not going to take the USOC that seriously, but I may be wrong about that.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Must wins without Jones, Accam, and Maloney. I wonder if Yallop thinks Magee has more than 10 minutes in him

  • It seems that as the forward position has finally started to gel the defensive line has revealed itself as the weak link. Our back door is an old screen door on rusted hinges. Those guys have looked exhausted in the second halves of the last two games. This is a much better team than last year but you can't tell it because the defense hasn't held up. Let's hope they can find an Arne Friedrich somewhere during this summer window! Otherwise it will be another lost season.

    Andy take note! You've been digging a hole for all these years. It would take a miracle to climb out of it in just one year.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    True about getting out of the hole. I think that's why FY's foremost goal is make the playoffs. Once that was achieved, my guess is that it would become "make the playoffs consistently," from which "win a championship" becomes a genuinely attainable goal.

    I'll take 90 minutes of good mental consistency at this point.

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