Crew 1 Fire 0 - recap and ratings

As they have done all season, the Fire didn't take long to nullify any positive vibes. Following Saturday night's hope filled victory over Seattle with an equally negative loss at home to Eastern Conference rivals leaves the team with an embarrassing league worst tenth loss of the season. To twist the knife even further, Columbus was able to earn their first road victory of the season (1-5-4).

The first twenty minutes of the match were exceptionally bad, even by 2015 Fire standards. Columbus held a 71-29 possession advantage during that period and easily could have taken a multiple goal lead if not for the efforts of Sean Johnson in goal. Kei Kamara's 41st minute goal was enough to seal the victory.

The Fire managed to mount more of a challenge in the second half after Patrick Nyarko, Jason Johnson, and David Accam were inserted but it wasn't enough to draw even. Despite improved possession and better movement they still only managed one shot on target in the last forty-five minutes.

Frank Yallop is aware of the discontent in the stands and understands what supporters are feeling. "I'm frustrated as hell as well. Pisses me off when we don't play well. Pisses me off when we don't have the right players on the field too," he said after the match. "You get judged on what you play like, it's not always the true picture but you can't say anything, it's excuses."

The rematch on Sunday essentially becomes a must-win game and the same can be said about every home game from here on out. It's possible that every single match falls into that category, especially for Yallop.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (7) - His best game of the season was dampened by the team's overall play but 6 saves kept the game from becoming a total embarrassment. Most of the saves were high quality stops.

D Lovel Palmer (4.5) - A few decent crosses to start the second half led to half chances. Beaten to the spot on Kamara's header for the goal.

D Matt Polster (4.5) - Completely schooled by Kamara in the first twenty minutes more than once but rebounded well to play much better in the second

D Eric Gehrig (4.5) - The back line was in shambles for most of the first half.

D Patrick Doody (4.5) - Also played better in the second half but was lost for much of the first. Couldn't get back in time after making a run forward which led to Kamara's goal.

M Chris Ritter (4) - Sloppy tackling, careless passing, unable to play with the ball at his feet, and another yellow card.

M Razvan Cocis (4) - Has been professional over the last few matches but greatly invisible today as the Fire's central midfield was deemed nearly invisible through the first 30 minutes or so. The final possession numbers were closer than it appeared. Columbus led that stat 56-44.

M Harry Shipp (4.5) - Passing and corner kicks just seemed off all night.

M Michael Stephens (4.5) - One or two decent sequences in the first half were about it. There wasn't much positive from the starting unit.

F Mike Magee (4.5) - Everything seemed a step off until the substitutions were made.

F Kennedy Igboananike (4) - Had a good look on a header go wide in the 49th. For a second consecutive game the Fire's DP forward was subbed out with the team being held scoreless.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Entered the match for Stephens in the 58th. Managed to inject some energy into the match but that ultimately resulted in little.

F Jason Johnson (5) - Like Nyarko, subbed in for Igboananike in the 58th and was provided more positive play. A header in the 90th minute was wide of the mark.

M David Accam (5) - Replaced Ritter in the 72nd moving Shipp to the middle. Caused some concern for Columbus with the Fire's only shot on target in the second half. Clark saved his 81st minute attempt however.

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Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Guys. In the last news conference yallop said that they are not in the panic mood. After last nights nightmare do think that he just might realize this entire season is a disaster. Why in the earth does he put in his best players last. I know they are recovering from injuries but at sometime you have to say screw this you have to play. Hauptmann please sell the team.

  • There wasn't a single starter last night that would have started for Columbus. That team was an absolute joke out there. Yallop put out a team that had zero chance of winning. Ritter and Cocis in the middle against Trapp, Tchani, and Higuain? Those three can dominate good players. And who still plays with a flat 4-4-2? It's not 1972 Yallop. That formation doesn't give you an advantage anywhere on the field. There were times when Higuain was walking with the ball in the middle of the field. He looked like a man playing against little boys. He is now a DP should look on the field. He did whatever the hell he wanted, whenever the hell he wanted to do it. It was a pleasure to watch him play last night. We would be lucky if Maloney turned out to be half of the player higuain is.

    This team is at least 4 players away from being good. 2 center backs, a right back, and a central midfielder to play alongside Polster. I have zero faith that Yallop is the man that will find those players. I have zero faith that Yallop can win in this league with this group of players. If I didn't already buy my season tickets, I would have done what Iggy did last night and just walk away from this team. At least we are another loss closer to Yallop being shown the door.

  • I'll go easy on the criticism and just say a shortage of defenders at the beginning of the season led to our RotY-caliber defensive mid being slotted at centerback and his slot filled with a less-than-solid mid.

    Also, one particular slot opened by international callup led to on-the-field decisions and actions that could have been different otherwise and made a/the difference.

    Is it Open Cup yet?

    Bonus: I signed the petition yesterday (because it's time to spend and recruit players like we mean it.)

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    The first paragraph. Yes. Saw the 11 and knew the mid would get overrun. Cocis is decent, but mainly because Polster has been pretty great. Ritter needs someone amazing to play alongside or he looks awful. Also knew there was no way the Fire were going to not concede, given that backline. As good as Polster is at mid, he's not a very good cb. Would have been curious to have seen Polster and Ritter switched. Probably the same result, but would possession have been better? Would the backline have been THAT much worse?

    This loss was a direct result of Yallop not getting the backline reinforcements during the off season the Fire sorely needed.

  • Oh thank god, we can go back to rabble rabble rabble Yallopout Hauptmanout now.

    But seriously. Yick.

    On a very basic level, the result was obvious. In order to win, you need to score. In order to score you need one of a couple things: possession, threat on a counter, and/or threat on a set piece. The Fire had none of those. They were bound to lose without the help of divine intervention. You can't throw together a bunch of possession oriented attackers (Magee, Shipp, Stephens, Igbo) and then give up the center midfield ("play Ritter"). They would have been better off starting anyone who could run and just pumping long ball counters a la Frank Klopas. Whatever. Rabble rabble rabble.

  • Had to be the ugliest game of the season, so far. Agreed that the problem is lack of numbers & quality at defense. I don't blame Yallop for that because there's only so much you can do in one year when you're operating on the Hauptman budget.

  • So did our silent chairman have anything to say yesterday or is he still gutless and avoiding the media?

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    The Fire have been in this position--where every game is a "must-win", where every signing is a bit disappointing, and where field performance is lackluster--basically since I've been following the Fire.

    This isn't a per-game problem or even a Yallop problem. It's systemic.

  • I'll be on SiriusXM's Soccer Morning at 11am to talk Fire. Give a listen if you can.

  • I was at the game and ditto on all the above comments. Best part of the game was the fireworks.

  • Drogba will save us.

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    While Sunday @ Cbus might be a must win, who is Yallop going to trot out there in possible hot and humid conditions with a mid-week Open Cup match that might be our last hope for any hardware this season? Columbus was horrid on the road up until yesterday, and at home they play even better. At this point, rest whatever good starters we have left on Sunday, and make sure everyone is ready to go on Wednesday. You know Orlando will bring it.

  • In reply to Eric Kekeis:

    We have seen how little Yallop cares about the U.S. Open cup by the lineups he has put out in the previous two games.

  • In reply to Eric Kekeis:

    At least Adialton will be back (barring no new injuries,) and Polster can slot back to defensive mid.

    So there's that, which really isn't too much.

    I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever have a full, injury-free, callup-free lineup at all this year. That would be neat to see.

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    In reply to BrianC.:

    Generally speaking, you shouldn't every single starter to defeat lower division clubs in the Open Cup, but we've seen how terrible we are against them.

    I agree some of this has been bad luck with all the injuries, but it also shows you the lack of quality depth we have.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Actually I think having Adialton back at CB so Polster can return to D-mid is huge and believe it was the primary cause of the poor performance overall on Wednesday. There were others, of course, but that one necessary adjustment to deal with the suspension of Adialton just really messed us up BIG time.

    The lack of depth in the defense is the Fire's fatal flaw right now. As soon as the wrong people are injured or suspended, it's a disaster.

  • This game was as bad as Chris Ritter attempting to play soccer.

  • So I'm certainly no fan of Yallop and don't want to be a Yallop apologist, but it's true that we have had a very rough year injury-wise (seems much worse than usual). Seeing Nyarko and Magee back and contributing reminds me that, of our likely best-11, we've probably been missing 2-3 of those in each game we've played this season (one of: Magee, Nyarko, Accam, Jones, Lawrentowicz, Maloney, Adailton.)

    Of those, only one was able to go 90 minutes for us last night. At our best, I think this team is mid-table. Take away half our starters, and we're in the cellar. Yes - injuries happen to every team and it's no excuse, I agree. I think there was less attention focused on depth in the off-season than on starters (because we lacked quality in both.)

  • In reply to manyou07:

    I mean I agree- but the fact is the Fire's trajectory is straight to the bottom of the table for two straight seasons. And out of usoc. I don't think there is a coach that survives that intact. Injuries and rebuild asside. I don't think he should be kept on if he loses both games this week and the usoc game. If he is, he has to make positive improvement the rest of the season to stand a chance.

    I can't see it right now.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    I fully understand that injuries have hurt this team so far this season but we were not good when players werent hurt. Yallop has been in charge of this team for 52 regular season games. He has 54 points from those games. That is nowhere near acceptable. How many games should he get before he is judged? Injuries are going to hurt a team, but that team needs to deal with it and find ways to get results. Yallop's team has not done that since the second he took over. The best we can hope for is a draw from this team. This team is not going to score more than 1 goal in a game. This team is also going to concede at least 1 goal per game. That is not a good combination. Please remember that a fully fit team will still be putting out Adailton, Big Red, and Gehrig as starters in the back, while 2 of Iggy, Magee, Maloney, Shipp, Accam, and Nyarko will be on the bench.

    Yallop has done a miserable job at creating a balanced team and we are paying for it.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Also, if T&T win this weekend, we will be without Jones for the next 3 games.

  • There's been one constant in the Fire plummeting to bottom of the league. It all starts at the top, just as when Dollar Bill Wirtz ran the Hawks (though even Hauptman doesn't reach those lows). As a fan, I'm afraid nothing will really change til AH cashes in. And though I still care, I hardly even watch anymore. I didn't buy MLS Live this year, why waste the money watching a bad product? Why waste my time watching this team when I know its a poorly run organization? Certain organizations get it, some don't. It's not rocket science. I just don't have the time anymore to consistently carve out time to watch bad soccer. I'll catch a game here or there when it's convenient. Even last year I watched most every game. At this point, i only watch if there's nothing else going on. That's my reality as a fan, and the reality of many fans as Hauptman makes his millions as the team grows in value despite the team becoming a league push over in the handful of years under his control. I don't know the guy, I wish him well, but shit, sell the team for the sake the the fans. Please.

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    You can't even watch the Fire on MLS Live this year when on local TV so you saved yourself some money.
    Yes I agree it all starts and ends with Andy. He made this mess and doesn't seem to care one bit about trying to help fix it.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I too agree that the problem comes from the top (Andy). I do think Yallop appears to have gotten Andy to loosen the purse strings a bit this year and the play has, at times, reflected the improvements despite the results still being mired at the bottom of the table.

    I'm hoping that Andy will follow through and continue to fund strengthening the team for another year. A couple of top-notch defenders could really stabilize things greatly and, perhaps, make a difference in the attack as well.

    I'm willing to continue the current regime another year, Andy included. I think he cares. I've seen him show passion and I don't think he's that good an actor that he's faking it. He's been lost at the art of being an owner and has failed to surround himself with the right stuff (people). But this year he has seemed to show a greater willingness to trust and fund the game plans of his staff. Bad as things still are at times, I think the improving results are showing through enough to be encouraging. It's hard to wait so long and still see the Fire at the bottom! But if they continue to bolster the troops, next year could be a lot better.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    +1

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I think your comment about "...surround yourself with the right stuff(people)" might be right.
    a starting lineup for Columbus: clark($170,000); francis($144,000), pogatetz($250,000), parkhurst($275,000), barson($60,000); tchani($170,000), mabwati($235,000); meram($165,000), higuain($1,175,000), finlay($135,000); kamara($400,000)

    a starting lineup for Chicago: johnson($250,000); palmer($118,000), adailton($200,000), larenowitz($265,000), gehrig($95,000); cocis($220,000); accam($650,000), maloney($1,550,000), magee($400,000); iggy($800,000), nyarko($200,000)

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Generally agree with Arklow.

    That's kinda the impression I get as well.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    He definitely does care, that much is true.

  • Now that the salaries are out (http://www.mlsplayers.org/salary_info.html) wouldnt it be smarter to use the TAM on Accam at 720k and not Iggy at 900k? Is there any word on what they are trying to do with that money? They have to use it or trade it if Im not mistaken. Also, how much is the DP level minimum?

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Maximum budget charge for one player (DP limit) is $436,250.00

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Also known in Chicago as "Sorry, Berry. You're going to Philly."

    Weekend picks (plus Wed)

    chi-clb chi
    la-sj sj
    tor-phi tor
    ne-nyc nyc
    orl-nyrb orl
    kc-mtl kc
    dal-dc dc
    sea-col col
    rsl-hou tie
    por-van van
    clb-chi tie

    69-120, including Wed

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