Revolution 2 Fire 0 - recap and ratings

There were no surprises in this one.

True to form, the Fire had chances in the first half in which they failed to capitalize and a two-minute span of lax concentration resulted in two New England goals. Considering the absentees and the line-up deployed for this match, those things should come as no surprise. Without Shaun Maloney, David Accam, and Joevin Jones, it was almost a given that this team was going to be struggle to score on the road against a top Eastern Conference side. Deploying Guly do Prado as the central playmaker with little help from the outside almost guaranteed that but that wasn't the biggest issue.

Porous defense at the worst possible times continues to be the main cause for concern. Again, the lack of concentration and commitment to defending wasn't attributable to one man but rather a collective lapse that results in the opponents invariably punishing them for the slightest transgressions. This time a fabulously struck shot by Diego Fagundez and a headed goal from Charlie Davies in the 48th and 50th minutes were all that the opposition needed. The marking and pressure applied by Chicago defenders on the second goal was non-existent.

Frank Yallop summed up the loss after the match with frustration elevating. “It seems it’s the story of the season, where we play well enough to be in the game, do the right things, mainly," he said. "Getting chances and not taking them. Then having a spell of lax play when we’re soft and we’re off people and they are letting them play and then the team punishes us, it’s happen actually all season to be honest, more than a couple of games. It’s a real difficult one to put your finger on because it’s a whole team thing but we got to be a lot stronger and braver in both boxes, and that’s where the game is won and lost.”

The Fagundez goal came from a second ball following a set piece. The goal itself was the result of an outstanding individual effort but the Fire's lapse immediately following the half time break was perplexing but not unpredictable. The eventual collapse has disturbingly become expected. “Halftime shouldn’t make a difference in the performance, we’re professional, they have been playing the game a long time, doesn’t make a difference, you got to be ready whatever they throw at you and you’ll be clued in and tuned in and we weren’t and when you give a team with the fire power like New England, obviously have good players, they are going to punish you and they did. It was a set play again, good finish, but we have guys running sort of away from the danger area when they shouldn’t be and leaving a guy like that at the edge of the box, pre-strike, he’s going to hit the target and he did, but we got to hand it to their finishers, pretty good what they did tonight and ours were poor," said Yallop.

The Fire probably would have been happy with a nil-nil draw out of this game but it's their lack of closing teams down defensively that is killing them, not the lack of finishing the numerous chances they continue to squander. "Forget scoring, we can’t defend," lamented Yallop. "We have conceded I think seven or eight goals in three matches. I know the league is an attacking league but that doesn’t mean anything, so we got to figure that out for sure.”

There are no easy answers. The Fire surely made this match more difficult on themselves by agreeing to reschedule it to an international weekend but they will not be able to outscore everyone even when Accam, Maloney, Jones, Magee, and Nyarko return.

Player ratings

GK Jon Busch (5) - A couple of decent quality saves (3 on the night). The first goal is likely the GOTW winner. Be it Busch or Johnson, Fire goalkeepers are hard pressed to excel with attackers getting uncontested looks.

D Eric Gehrig (5) - Laid off of Davies just enough for him to get the space to glance the ball into the net from Bunbury's mediocre shot/cross attempt in the 50th minute. Did provide two decent crosses of his own later in the match.

D Jeff Larentowicz (5) - The Fire back line was organized enough to limit clear chances in the first half. The goals to start the second were a result of poor marking outside of the penalty area.

D Adailton (5) - Served in a ball over the top for Igboananike that resulted in a chance in the 24th.

D Lovel Palmer (4.5) - Afforded too much of a cushion on Nguyen to begin the play leading to the second goal. Out of place at left back.

M Matt Polster (4.5) - As well as Polster has played this season, some of the goals allowed in collapses have come as a result of the central midfield pair vacating the spot in front of the backline. Polster overran the play on the second goal by chasing an attacker toward an area where a defender was already placed leaving Bunbury the space and freedom to attempt a shot/cross. Needless yellow card for dissent ensures he will miss DC match on 6/24.

M Razvan Cocis (4.5) - Occupies the same area that Polster does from time to time thereby causing issues in possession and lack of control in the middle. Both seem to be running aimlessly at times.

M Harry Shipp (5) - Missed a clear on header opportunity in the 9th minute that probably should have given the Fire a lead. Active but frustrated somewhat in the first half as the Revs ran multiple defenders at him as soon as he touched the ball.

M Greg Cochrane (5.5) - Got a surprise start playing out of position in midfield and didn't hurt the team. Excellent cross in the 9th led to Shipp's chance and he did try to help defensively.

F Guly do Prado (4.5) - Tasked with the "playmaking" role underneath the striker. Volleyed shot in the 24th as saved by Shuttleworth for one of the Fire's best sequences of the night. Another shot from distance late in the first half was stopped. Also seems to roam aimlessly when given the opportunity. Absent in the second half.

F Kennedy Igboananike (4.5) - Completely lost or ignored Fagundez standing alone at the top of the box until it was too late. Got behind the defense in the 24th but couldn't finish the chance. Also a ghost in the second half.

M Jason Johnson (6) - Probably the Fire's lone bright spot on the night. At least tried to make things happen upon entering the match for Cochrane in the 63rd. His 90th minute header forced an excellent save from Shuttleworth.

F Quincy Amarikwa (5) - Came in for do Prado in the 77th. There were no ill-advised shots or completely missed passes, so there's that.

Next up

US Open Cup fourth round match-up against Louisville City FC at Toyota Park on Tuesday night.

The USOC is likely the Fire's best and only chance for hardware this season.

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Doesn't Yallop ever say anything concisely? Based on his sessions with the media every week and his after game comments, he just yaps and yaps. I can't believe the players don't tune him out. I think we should change his name to Frank Yapyap.

  • In reply to nery:

    How is still has a job is mind-boggling.

  • This team is nowhere near good enough. Sure there are some nice pieces in some spots but the other players are not good enough. Jones, Accam, and Shipp are the only players that would be starters on almost every other team in the league. Polster in another year or so would walk into most teams too. Everyone else would be sitting on the bench. do Prado is a joke out there. He thinks that he is some super star that can go wherever the hell he wants on the field and he will make the team better. He simply makes the team worse. Palmer is bad. Adailton looks like a player that hasnt played consistently for a few years. Big Red is plays center back like a center mid would. He keeps the player in front of him but allows him too much space because of it. You cant allow a forward space because they will score goals. It's just so sad to watch this team try and play.

    On to, as Nery called him, Yapyap. This guy is such a joke. He chose to go all offensive this off season. Bringing in attacker after attacker and bringing in Adailton and Gehrig as the only defenders for a team that couldnt defend to save their lives last year. Even Jones has played his whole career before coming here as a winger. Now all these attackers cant score a goal and we are worse defensively than we were last season. We play crap soccer. We have 4-5 players that are not terrified when they have the ball (Shipp, Accam, Polster, Jones, Maloney). Everyone else craps their pants when the get the ball so they kick it as far as they can. This was the same thing we experienced last season. You cant win a game when you dont have the ball, it's impossible. He goes on the mic during the match basically saying how terrible the players are. HE BROUGHT IN ALL OF THESE PLAYERS!! Everyone of the players out there, except for Jeff, is somebody HE signed. He brings in defenders that cant defend and attackers that cant score. Seems like a terrible combination of players. Post match he is saying, "Then having a spell of lax play when we’re soft and we’re off people and they are letting them play and then the team punishes us, it’s happen actually all season to be honest, more than a couple of games." That has been happening from the start of LAST season! The only returning starters are Shipp, and Big Red, yet we see the same exact thing as last season. That is how you define terrible coaching. Everything he says in a press conference sounds like a guy that has no idea what to do.

    If we lose on Tuesday, is it safe to say that most people will want Yapyap out?

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    It's strange, last season and during the off season I was mostly on the anti-Yallop train. But I see positive development with the roster, though not with the results. I frankly (no pun intended) wouldn't mind seeing Yallop kicked upstairs as the team's Technical Director. I agree wholeheartedly Rubberbandman in that he greatly ignored the defense this offseason, so what does he expect when the D is leaky, just like last year. But he is in a league with the tiniest of caps, and many of his moves this year have paid off. Polster, Jones, Accam were GREAT additions, Maloney and Igby seem solid enough to get at least a passing grade for now. He's missed a few, mostly do Prado this year and his poor D moves/trades 2 offseasons ago, but that's life in this tier of football, hell it's life in the highest tier of football. Mainly I see positive progress with the roster that he inherited from Klopas.

    That said, Yallop seems in over his head as a coach. His decision making is too often questionable, the team makes constant fundamental mistakes, and when you improve the roster but the team doesn't improve, guess what, the coach is first to be blamed. That's life in sports. If I were in charge I'd really consider this sort of shift, giving Yallop more time with the roster and bringing in a new coach.

    Finally, where can we find another Arne Friedrich? It's amazing how much value and organization he brought to the defense. That's my #1 goal as a TD at this point, bringing in an Arne-type central defender who can quarterback the defense, lead and play virtually flawless defense.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    The cap doesnt seem to be an issue for the rest of the league. They are all playing with the same cap as we are and succeeding. That excuse doesnt really work for me but there is also nothing you could say to me that would justify this guy still picking the team and sitting on the sidelines. He needs to go far away from this club.

    As for an Arne-esque player, I dont know where that player would be but I dont have ANY confidence in Yapyap to find him. Sylvain Distin, former Everton captain, was just released.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    I agree that they need to find another Arnie. I caught Adailton ball-watching numerous times yesterday. Maybe during the transfer window they'll take a look a defense either via trade or signing. I've heard Ritter has been playing CB in practice, and yesterday I started to wonder when we'll start seeing the Ritter experiment in games (could begin with the USOC?).

    Also, Lovel Palmer is not a left-back. Greg Cochrane had to back track all game while he was in to play midfield and cover the left back position. If Yallop isn't going to put Cochrane at left back while Jones is gone then I think he should start to give a look at Patrick Doody. From what I hear he's been solid with STLFC, and I think the team is much better suited with an actual left back than a right back who is limited by trying to play on the left side. Yallop has said it before that he looks for Doody to be in the future plans, so why not give him a go especially since Jones will be with T&T for the Gold Cup.

    For those who don't know, there is hope for the future for a centerback. Grant Lillard currently plays for IU (Doody's teammate last year) and was a top centerback in the big ten last year as a freshman. He played for the fire developmental academy, so I'm pretty sure that makes him eligible to be signed as a homegrown. He's only a sophomore this year, but he could leave after this season because he is that good. I know this doesn't help our situation currently, but it's at least something to look forward to. That said, I think that is all the more reason to try to give Doody some experience now rather than later. It will be nice to have those two playing side by side in a few years (or less) given that they already have chemistry together.

    Right back is a whole other mystery to solve, but it sure would be nice to have Jalil Anibaba back.

  • In reply to cf97TID:

    Good call on Lillard. He has already made appearances in reserve league games over the last two seasons.

  • G-
    Do you think we play Busch in place of Johnson because he might be more vocal in positioning the defense?

  • In reply to nery:

    Yes.....I think that could be a big part of it. Busch touched in that a bit in the podcast.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    They don't listen to him very well...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I agree. Give him a bullwhip or cattle prod to use on those bums!

  • I haven't given up on this team. I just get beyond frustrated.

    Carrying over from comments in the game preview, I can see how FY is doing what Arklow said with the crucible/diamond/weeds stuff and what RBM said about how bad things are during this process.

    I'm just wondering- why do we have to endure such a ridiculous amount of bs in order to reach "we are a winning team again?"

    As far as Doody, I've watched most of STL's games and he's definitely had a presence on the field. Given how poor some of the wing performance has been, I could see him starting in the Open Cup. I mean, how much damage could be done to his confidence if the game goes sour, never mind the team?

    BTW, for Tuesday, are we getting any of our missing personnel back? If not, I place the odds at 1:1.5 in our favor.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Maloney should be back, but after travel it's hard to say if he'll be ready for Tuesday. Ghana played today so Accam is questionable as well. T&T has a game on Tuesday so Jones is out.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Doody is cup tied to Saint Louis... He can't play for the Fire on Tuesday.

  • Let's look at our performance on the brighter side. Who will be the number 1 pick in next years draft? Maybe we will be in line for him?

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