Crew 3 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

In the last 5 days Columbus has picked up their first road win of the season and their first penalty kick opportunity of the season. The latter was also the fastest PK given in MLS history. Sure, it was a soft call by referee Chris Penso but in a second consecutive year where everything that can wrong always does, the Fire continued to slide further away from even a dubious sixth place finish.

The Fire's eleventh loss of the season is also one more than they had in a miserable campaign last year. They finished 6-10-18 in 2014. This year 5-11-3 just doesn't earn much benefit of doubt.

The penalty call wasn't even the most egregious error made by the notoriously inconsistent Penso however. Two questionable yellow cards shown to Jason Johnson left Chicago a man down for the last 40 minutes of the match. "I thought the game was an even game up until the red card, and then it's very tough, which I didn't think it was a red card," said Frank Yallop after the match. "It's tough to lose, but I thought it was a poor game from us call-wise and in the end it costs you."

Even with Shaun Maloney potentially returning in the coming days and Joevin Jones rejoining the team after Trinidad & Tobago was eliminated from the Gold Cup, the Fire will be hard pressed to make something out of this year. Perhaps all that remains for salvaging the season is the US Open Cup. Chicago will host Orlando City on Wednesday night in what could be a last gasp at ensuring that 2015 isn't another wasted season.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) - After a spectacular outing against Columbus last Wednesday night, he wasn't as sharp in this one. Could have done better to corral the cross that led to the Crew's second goal. It's hard to pin it on him but there is no sliver of room for error or hesitation with this group.

D Matt Polster (4.5) - Moved to right back although Gehrig had been the usual choice at right back over Lovel Palmer. Lost his footing on Kamara's goal thus the lost mark and the free header.

D Adailton (4.5) - Kamara stepped in front of him for the lead goal. Silly hand ball late in the first half earned him a yellow card.

D Eric Gehrig (4.5) - The entire back line was flat footed as yet another second ball after a set piece was sent into the box resulting in yet another goal.

D Patrick Doody (5) - A good service into Nyarko in the 23rd minuted was wasted. It should have led to a goal.

M David Accam (6) - His free kick goal was deflected into the net and he created several other opportunities. May have run out of gas later in the second half. Free kick service as also good.

M Razvan Cocis (5) - The Fire midfield wasn't completely overrun like they were on Wednesday night and the red card made it difficult to continue the improved play. Had a very good chance in the 60th but his volley from a corner kick was right at Clark although it was well taken.

M Matt Watson (4.5) - A good look in the 25th was wasted with an errant shot. Another attempt in the 39th wasn't close.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) - Either he or Cocis were whistled for an offside call in the 11th on what could have been a goal. Wasted a glorious 1v1 chance with Clark when he softly tapped Doody's 23rd minute cross right at the 'keeper. The air went out of the offense when he and Accam were subbed out. The move was apparently made with the USOC match in mind.

F Harry Shipp (4.5) - Finally got another chance to play more centrally in an underneath role and didn't do much with it.

F Jason Johnson (4.5) - The two yellow card calls were dubious at best but he gave Penso a reason to call the second for embellishment. Drew the foul that led to Accam's free kick goal.

M Guly do Prado (5) - Entered the match in the 70th for Nyarko as the white flag was raised. Had a goal disallowed in the 86th as a result of a foul according to Penso.

F Kennedy Igboananike (4.5) - Subbed in for Accam in the 70th. Twenty minutes of nothing showed why a Designated Player was on the bench in favor of a second-year reserve. Igboananike wasn't happy about being taken out of the last match. He has no one to blame but himself really.

M Collin Fernandez (5) - The Homegrown attacker made his MLS debut after replacing Shipp in the 86th.


  • There is no word yet on the status of league talks with Didier Drogba. Montreal has joined the fray and the eerie sense of last year's Jermaine Jones debacle looms to further add insult to injury. 
  • Mike Magee did not travel after picking up a knee injury during training.
  • Lovel Palmer did not travel due to coach's decision. With the Fire shorthanded, Yallop elected instead to take rookie Kingsley Bryce to Columbus. This bears watching.
  • Shaun Maloney may be available on Wednesday against Orlando City although he hasn't begun training in full yet.





Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Just another loss closer to Yallop being gone. Polster at right back....

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    USOC should be his last chance, for even the most forgiving of Yallop.

    Not long now.

  • I have a great quote from the 1991 movie Regarding Henry:

    01:05:37 When you've had enough, Mr. Turner, you say "when."

  • I thought Taylor Twellman's comments that fans are all over Hauptman for not spending money was misplaced. I think the grumblings have to do with the overall management of the franchise, not the dollars being spent. Twellman gets the need to have a powerful franchise in Chicago. If MLS cannot draw in Chicago, it is due to mismanagement of the franchise. If the Drogba saga plays out with him going to Montreal, then Hauptman should get the message that the league does not want him in their club. Walk away Andy and sell to someone who cares about Chicago. Rocky Wirtz, please relieve Any of his pain and buy the team.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Prior to this year when the 3 DP's were finally brought in, I was certainly grumbling about the money AH was spending. (and the way he was doing it with mid season signings hoping to save the team) And while I'm happy he and Yallop brought in 3 DP's, they are all rather low end. When you see a team like LA with the likes of Keane, Gerrard, Gonzalez, and dos Santos...and you compare that with Maloney, Accam and Igby - it's just going to be tougher and tougher to compete for titles as a few MLS teams start to inject more and more money into their rosters.

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    If the Fire player budget is the 7th. highest in the league one should expect that the team should be nearer 7th. place than last place.
    Part of the problem is Yallop, the other is selecting the right players to function as a unit. Not all the woes is the amount of money spent but rather how it's spent. NO doubt LA and NY are Garber's favorites, ( I consider Garber three cuts below a common street walker), there seems to be spending limits to apply to some teams and not to others, while certain other owners receive fringe benefits.
    How much this is due to Hauptmann , I'm not sure, but the money could have been better spent. If Chicago is a world class city the team should have a world class player.

  • If you had a wishlisht/checklist for what actions you would like Hauptman to take, what would it include? What would the ideal owner do to right the ship?

  • Guys the ideal coach would be the best college coach in the country. You have to be able to work with youth and so much of that youth have been from colleges. Look at Portland, the Galaxy and Seattle.

  • They've turned into a youth rec league style of play. No possession, just send the long ball to the fast guy up top where he beats everybody but then has no finish. The other teams can get way up the field, because we never have numbers in the box with pace. Have the Fire even once this year scored with the ball moving deliberately between 3 players in the box? Just once? These guys are not playing as a team. Too much moving guys around and just throwing stuff out there. The players look like they're just going through the motions at this point, which requires a change.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    Shipp and Stephens have combined nicely for a goal or two. Other than that not that I remember. It stinks that the Fire have some really talented passers on the team (Polster, Shipp and Stephens) but they can't seem to use them to play well together consistently. Figuring the attacking nous of Nyarko and Accam and the brain of Magee, this should be a decent team. But they aren't.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    They Play that way because the team lacks the players in the back to play a possession game. Everyone in the back is not good enough with the ball so they have to just kick it as far as they can. It's getting painful to watch and has me seriously considering my season tickets for next year. I used to think it was exciting to have season tickets for a sports team. Now I'm embarrassed to bring a friend because they are so terrible. I can't remember the last time I left Toyota park with a smile on my face. I'm usually just shaking my head as I walk to my car, wondering why I do this to myself.

  • I think the Fire need a coach that can motivate and inspire the players. Whether its the structure of the franchise, the coaching philosophy, or something else, this team is not motivated and does not play as a single unit. An ideal coach would be able to develop a Chicago Fire identity. Right now there is no identity except perhaps lack of cohesion.

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    The Fire should find the best coach that is available, a well known players coach who would draw players to play for the team .

  • fb_avatar

    Yeah, it's never been about the money Hauptman does or doesn't spend, but how that money is used. Our scouting and player acquisition over the years has been absolute shit. While I wouldn't mind the "big name" player to help the team and draw in more fans, I'm also one that would prefer money be spent on players that are worth it and want to come play/perform here. We haven't seen that in ages. That graphic about Blanco doing more than all our combined DP's since he left just makes you want to slam your head on a desk. Also, Andrew's handling of the club FO has been a complete embarrassment as well. How do you build a club when you fire your best people over the years and bring in garbage as a replacement (or in some instances, not bring in anyone at all)? No one is taking responsibility for this failure.

    As for Yallop, it's pretty clear already that his tactics, and ability to bring the team together are shit. I can't see how this team would be motivated under him anymore.

  • Amerikwa had a brace for SJ against LA. I think it's his 3d goal since leaving the club. Rolfe is having another good season. It's agonizing watching other teams get production out of players that were languishing on the Fire.

    I was in Columbus for Sunday's game and the traveling supporters began chanting plaintively, "We're really not so bad, we're really not so good." It hurts because it's true.

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