Fire 1 Dynamo 1 - recap and ratings (plus Yallop job status rumors abound)

The Fire will probably take the point on the road considering they went into the match without Shaun Maloney, David Accam, Joevin Jones, and Jeff Larentowicz. The draw was a fair result considering that neither side played well enough to deserve a win. Both teams participated in US Open Cup competition on Tuesday night and it showed. Passing accuracy was an abysmal 67% for Houston and 65% for the Fire.

While Chicago is still mired at the bottom of the table and three points are needed with every opportunity there was still some reason for optimism. The continued positive play of Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko in their returns from injury are good signs that the Fire will have plenty of options offensively once the team is at full strength. Who will be at the helm of that team when all the pieces are available is another question.

Unsourced and anonymous reports surfaced earlier today that Fire ownership has been scouring MLS circles for someone to replace Frank Yallop.'s Liviu Bird also reported that Chicago has reached out to Oklahoma City coach and former Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen about the position. Oklahoma City apparently declined to discuss a move at this point. Fire Confidential has learned that US U-20 coach Tab Ramos has also been contacted according to reliable sources.

The Fire are at considerably less than full strength at the moment with an important transfer window opening in just a matter of days and there is apparently a coaching search underway with a coach already in place. If this indeed is the direction being taken, it's a bit odd to say the least. As we reported in October of 2013, before Yallop was hired and Frank Klopas was still behind the bench, the Fire were already pursuing Yallop for what was believed to be a front office position. Lo and behold, Yallop was hired the next day.

I wrote this back in May of 2013, and the questions still remain. Only the names have changed.

Perhaps it's time to stop changing coaches every two seasons and look deeper at what's actually going on organizationally that facilitates that these types of moves be made. When you look hard enough sometimes you find it's not the coaches. It's just convenient to say that it's time for a change.


Update 7/5 (2:45 pm)

Another source close to the team says that they are not looking for a new coach and that neither Jimmy Nielsen nor Tab Ramos have been contacted about the position.

Fire Vice President of Communications, Doug Hicks addressed the rumors via the following statement:

"You can imagine Andrew's frustration, given the offseason acquisitions and promise that accompanied those signings. I can tell you with certainty, though, that this leadership team has his full support."

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) - Not tested much although the Dynamo did have nine shot attempts. It does seem that he could have done better to stop Davis' cross before it landed at the feet of Alex for a tap in.

D Lovel Palmer (5.5) - Almost connected with Magee again but did have a few errant passes. The game was sloppy enough that it was difficult to judge if the defenders were playing well or the attackers were just that bad.

D Eric Gehrig (5) - The Houston goal was another team breakdown. Palmer was drawn in and Gehrig was in between marking no one but the blame can't be placed on him.

D Adailton (5) - Also beaten to the spot on the goal. Plays well enough but his lack of pace really hurts when trying to recover quickly. Left the match in the 71st with an apparent groin injury. With Larentowicz now out for 2 weeks due to a herniated disk, the Fire could be scrambling to get newly acquired Ty Harden into the line up against Seattle.

D Greg Cochrane (5) - A few decent plays in combination and a cross or two that came close.

M Matt Polster (5) - Less influential than he had been early in the season. The center midfield play by both sides was nothing to write home about.

M Razvan Cocis (5.5) - Continues to provide reliable but unspectacular minutes. His shot in the 4th minute almost gave the Fire the lead. The ball hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced straight down but it appeared that the entirety did not cross the goal line.

M Harry Shipp (5.5) - Should be central with Maloney out and Magee on the bench. Still delivered a few good passes including one that led to the Fire goal.

M Jason Johnson (4.5) - Very little production in 45 minutes on the left side of midfield.

F Guly do Prado (4.5) - Seemed to want to take on the Amarikwa role of ill timed passes and poor shot selection. Played another 90 minutes of filler time.

F Kennedy Igboananike (4.5) - Subbed out in the 59th. You just need more than that from a designated player.

F Mike Magee (6) - Came into the match for Igboananike and things picked up again. Magee appears to be ready to make a difference in this side.

M Patrick Nyarko (6) - Great effort to stay with the shot and follow up for the Fire's only goal in the 72nd minute after coming on at half time for Johnson. Nyarko will also make a difference for this team. Stopped tracking Davis on the Houston goal or this would have been higher.

D Chris Ritter (5) - Replaced Adailton in the 71st.

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I understand The side that wonders whEn the firing will stop but it's hard to see anything coming from Yallop. He has the body language of a person that simply doesn't know what to do anymore. I can understand if the team was playing well but not getting results. I can see if we had really bad luck with injuries and that's why we are in the spot we are in. We are only now in injury crisis. We were in last before all these injuries. Yallop has brought in 2 not very good DP's and Accam. Look at tonight. Gehrig, adailton, Shipp, Cocis, Polster, Sean Johnson, and Iggy are every week starters this season. Palmer was our player of the season last year. 7 every game starters this year and they can't connect a pass, first touch is over their head, can't defend, terrible dead ball service. It's just miserable play from all players. That was the same things that were happening last season too. I can handle losing games if the team is working their ass off and things just aren't going their way. I can handle a team not being technically gifted so they make up for it in work ethic and effort. I can handle a team that likes to strike on the counter attack because they are tactically aware and finish their chances. None of those are this team. This team is below average players with a below average manager. This club cannot win with Yallop as the manager. If we wait and allow him to manage next season, we will be in the same situation. He is not a very good judge of talent and is a TERRIBLE in game manager. The sooner he leaves the better.

    Seattle without Dempsey, Martins, Evans, and Pappa beat DC United.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    The point isn't so much about Yallop as it is the continued cycle of bad decision making that seems to have no end. The problems lie above the coach at this point. It's no coincidence that we're having this discussion again.
    There is no assurance that 2017 won't bring about the same conversation about yet another coach if a move is made right now.

    At some point, Andrew Hauptman has to take a hard look in the mirror and ask himself why he's changing coaches every two years.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Agree 100% that the coaching carousel is a sign of bigger issues in the organization. Yallop revamps the team to his desire, and now what? New coach, who wants new guys and a new style... And then you have players who have been brought in based on their belief in Yallop (all three of our DPs mentioned him specifically as a reason why they came to Chicago). And yet, here we are at the bottom of the table looking up.

  • In reply to Modibo:


  • In reply to Modibo:

    Accam and Jones were the only good players that he brought into the club from outside of the USA. He could take the rest of them with him. Would anyone be sad to see Gehrig, Iggy, do prado, Cocis, adailton, Jason Johnson, or even Shaun Maloney leave? If any of those players were traded, i wouldnt be upset.

    When should Yallop be fired? It's not okay for him to get these results for a year and a half and not be fired just because a coach was fired a year and a half ago. It was the right decision to fire Klopas and it will be the right decision to fire Yallop.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    It's worth noting that DC probably had similar questions about Ben Olsen until the last season and a half. Difference being DC went through a few bad seasons, not five years running. Starting over (again) means another rebuild, and asking supporters for more time to allow the club to sort things out.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Yallop is fully responsible for assembling this roster including the offseason acquisitions like Gehrig, Adialton, Igboanike, Accam, Maloney along with acquiring Harden and Johnson during the season. However, Hauptman is held accountable for signing off on this and also has given Yallop the car keys to drive this team to have a winning product.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I fully understand that, but is it worth it to keep a guy that you pay to get results but he just doesn't know how to do that? Yes, Hauptman needs to really look at himself and figure out what is going on. If he did sell the club, would Yallop be the manager? Absolutely not! He can't even get the team to win games, how is he going to get a team to win trophies. So if Hauptman wants to fire coaches that he doesn't believe will win us trophies, then by all means. Is he supposed to let a guy continue to lose and tie games every week just because he fired a manager a year and a half ago? It is not good enough to not make the playoffs on this league. A team has to get 6th place to make the playoffs. If you can't get into the playoffs in 2 seasons in MLS, you are not good enough as a manager. If you take a team that missed the playoffs on goal differential the year before you take over and then finish 13 points worse the next year and then even worse than that the following year, you don't deserve to keep your job. There has been no real progress with this team. I fully supported the Klopas change because he didn't get the job done and will fully support Hauptman getting rid of Yallop.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    So, let's do this all again in 2017?

    This team hasn't been at full strength all season. The three DP acquisitions have been available for selection in the same game only a handful of times. A new coach will change nothing if Maloney, Accam, and Jones aren't available.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Bull. Sorry, but Yallop is making shit decisions even with depleted rosters. Not saying much changes with a different coach (because of course the Fire suck "fron the top down") but Yallop is still butt. I cant see the Fire ever succeeding with him in charge so whats the point?

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    You're missing my point. I'm saying the likelihood of things improving with another coach given all of the circumstances isn't likely. Like Klopas, Yallop isn't the problem.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    "So let's do this all again in 2017?" sounds like a rhetorical "we might as well keep Yallop because we'll suck anyway".

    I know the point: the point is AH rotted this team to a level where positivity is an exercise in futility. Fine.

    Neither Yallop nor Klopas are good coaches. They also both had shit players the majority of the time. Whatever.

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    I've seen no one on that list of possible replacements who would be a big improvement....that includes Nielsen and Ramos.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I agree.

    Firing Yallop now makes no sense, other than to throw a bone to impatient fans.

    I still would like to see how the fares with its full complement of players on the field.

    It is not popular to say, but some times rebuilding involves a few steps backward, before moving forward. A year and a half is not enough time to properly judge a coach or a rebuilding project.

    Things do not look good at the moment, but that does not mean Yallop does not know what he is doing, that he is a bad coach, or that he was a bad hire. He had a lot of success in the past. Three trophies and Coach of the year (as recently as 2012 he w

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    The thing is Yallop HAS been pretty stupid tactically this season, IMO. Really really horribly bad. Like epically awful.

    And the coaching merry-go-round isn't the right way to go I agree, but either is hanging on to a crappy coach just because you'll suck either way.

    Fire Yallop and make Bircham caretaker to finish this lost season. Yallop isn't a good coach and I don't think he'll ever be.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    At this point I'll take that bone rather than the rotting meat. ANY change at this moment would be welcomed from the crap were getting. I know, I know, change for change sakes is not good in the long run but I can't take going to the park and seeing the same mistakes over and over again. Then @ the 60-65 min the changes made are... . As a STH I don't want to finish off the season this way. Shame on me for falling for the empty promises, but I promise it won't happen again next year. If #Yallopout is still there then it's #rogerout for STH. I nderstand that the problem is from the very, very top but by the time he decides out this team will be . SMH

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    Petke is still sitting out there. Supporters Shield and has taken NYRB to the Eastern Conf Finals added to his resume.

  • Guys. I hope that Ramos is not the choice. He was a very good player but a very marginal coach. I vote for eric wynalda. He would at least change some of the terrible attitude about the team in chicago. I was shocked to hear that ebbs actually announced the score.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I like Wynalda's passion for the game and his commentary in the studio but he wasn't committed to the ATL Silverbacks. My top choice would be Mike Petke. Petke has won a Supporter Shield, Eastern Conf Finals and CCL appearance in his resume. Also, he knows how to handle a roster.

  • In reply to longoria3:

    Wynalda's commitment to the Silverbacks was compromised by the fact that he was getting paid peanuts by them, meaning he had to keep his job with Fox and fly in from LA for games. So don't use that as a measuring stick.

    That said, I think a Wynalda-led team would be a train wreck and there is absolutely now way that Hauptman would consider hiring him. Wynalda's said it himself - MLS is full of yes-men coaches who are willing to accept the limitations that owners place on them.

  • It isn't time to butcher the hog. The front office needs to improve and that's been true for more years than I can remember. A new owner with more interest in success and some idea how to get it wouldn't hurt either. Yallop may not be the greatest coach in MLS either but I still say we need to let this evolve.

    The ONLY reason to fire Yallop now and bring in someone else is to try to mask the poor performance of the front office. If they do that, it will just prove how poorly managed this organization is. Let it be.

  • fb_avatar

    agree with all this, great points - changing now doesn't get the Fire anything in the long run

  • There are only two reasons in this league to fire a coach mid-season: If he's lost the locker room or if there is a someone phenomenal available. DLC lost the locker room when he got sacked - it was quite clear by this time in the season. Say what you will about Frank, it does not appear that he's lost the locker room. The players seem to be playing for him (granted, playing poorly, but still playing.) As far as the second reason, neither of these coaches meet the "phenomenal" criteria (actually, they are quire underwhelming). If all of a sudden Bob Bradley, Bruce Arena, Sigi Schmid or even Peter Vermes became available that would be one thing. But Nielsen or Ramos? They will be available in November. Changing managers now kills the season, and reinforces the fact that upper management has no clue what they are doing.

  • In reply to jhholda:

    Exactly. Well said.

  • Guys. Here is the first reason that yallop should be shown the door. Please tell me why he started Kennedy and de Prado when he has a true leader and scorer on the bench in the name of McGee. Why did it take him so long to realize that Quincy was terrible. The guy is plain terrible at grading talent

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Magee didn't start because he played 90 minutes on Tuesday and he's just coming back from an injury suffered after coming back from a long term injury.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Come on Brokerman! It was obvious why Magee didn't start last night and I was surprised Frank brought him in as early as he did. A very risky move, I thought.

    And Quincy was never terrible. Mediocre, perhaps. And frustrating to watch but we probably still have worse on the staff.

    To dump Yallop at this time would be just stupid, nothing more than venting frustration. There's no practical advantage unless, as otherwise noted, a clearly great alternative suddenly becomes available. And that's definitely NOT Wynalda!

    We've endured 7 or 8 years of this. Admittedly not willingly. But if we can't be a little patient with this rebuild, the Fire will continually go through angry, hysterical do-overs in an endless Groundhog Day affair that no one will watch much longer.

    I know it feels good to vent and express frustration. I'm certainly guilty of it. But firing Yallop now would almost certainly be self destructive. I'm guessing the rumors, if at all true, are the team taking precautionary actions in case this year goes so bad they have to dump Frank at the end of the season. Despite the obvious point total pit, this team has dominated some good teams at times this year. The defense is our biggest sore point. Let it be. Give it some time. Get everyone back from National team duties and healthy, add one solid defender and this group might just be pretty good. No MLS Cup, but they might be surprising a lot of people.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    The thing that needed to be addressed this past season was the defense. What did Yallop do? He moved Jeff back there, signed a mediocre Gehrig, a player who played something like 4 matches in a one year span in Adailton, and a converted winger in Jones. That leaves us with only one true CB coming into a season. Does that sound like a smart plan? I was concerned about that before preseason. How was Yallop not concerned about that?

    This season is already over. Accam hasn't practiced in over a week because of a hamstring. I would be surprised if he is back for next Saturday. Maloney is still out for a little while. He will need to practice and get back to thing. 2-3 more weeks. Big Red out at least 2 weeks. Jones will miss at least 2 more games and that could turn into 4 more. Magee and Nyarko are coming back from very long term injuries. We play 5 games between the 11th and 25th. 4 of those in the league and the 1/4 against Orlando. We will most likely be putting out that team that was out there yesterday. I would be surprised if we came out of that with 4 points. We are already at the point where we need to win and can no longer afford to tie or lose. If that was to happen, we would be on 19 points through 20 games. That is what a Frank Yallop team will get you. Less than a point a game.

  • fb_avatar

    I have reservations about Yallop as coach, but I doubt if any change in coaches at this point would make any difference. My biggest complaint is that Adailton and de Prado continue to start. I realize that the team was short handed last night but at least they should have tried the new defender. Using the same players and expecting different results is insanity. The biggest problem is that the Fire has not been able to put on their strongest 11 on the field for any length
    of time. The top 11 should be able to compete at least of the mid level of the league if they stay healthy. Another player I have little use for is Ritter, although he plays hard, has deficiencies on both sides of the ball. THe biggest weakness of the team is in their second level players.
    The above problems mentioned by others have been apparent for the past five years and is an indication of continued organizational
    weakness which is not Yallop's fault.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    Harden is not eligible to until July 8. On the other hand, the amount of time do Prado continues to get is puzzling.

  • In reply to Ron Stone:

    I would be fine if do Prado never saw the field again in a Fire jersey. I still think that Igboananike and Maloney haven't shown their best.

    Guillermo, maybe a clarification as well of how player acquisition is handled between Bliss and Yallop would be helpful. Any ideas?

  • The rest of the picks this weekend:

    Columbus over New York RB
    Montreal over New York City
    Vancouver over Colorado
    FC Dallas and New England draw
    Real Salt Lake and Orlando draw
    Los Angeles over Toronto FC
    Portland over San Jose


  • Guys the team is plan bad. I give employees 1 year of training after that period they either sink or swim. Yallop has shown that he at this point he is the worse coach in the mls. Quincy is done in the mls. I will be shocked if this is not his final year as a professional player. Ask yourself what is the job of a center forward? I think it is to score goals. How many has he scored this year.
    In a way I admire Hauptmann for not sticking with losers too long. He has made some really bad decisions but he moves on and keeps looking. By giving a bad employee more time it does not mean that things will get better. Yallop for many reasons is worse than last year which is bad. The city of chicago is a wonderful sports town. All he has to do is find a Quinville like the Hawks and the town will be like Portland.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    This is exactly what I am saying. I understand the point of not wanting to continue to hire and fire coaches. That makes perfect sense. But in this league, if you can not get a team to perform better in a year and a half, you don't deserve to still have the job. Yallop has some how made us worse than we were last year. Obviously Hauptman is not the best, or even very good, at being an owner. That's clear, but I have absolutely no problem with him getting rid of a guy that is not doing his job. Has Yallop done anything that could be considered positive? Even the players he brings in aren't good enough. I understand that ever player is not going to succeed. That doesn't mean that they have to be gigantic flops. For every Accam, there is a do Prado, Fondy, Hurtado, Nyassi. That makes his good signings look average because the others are just so terrible. He looks/acts like a man that is lost out there and he is dragging this club down.

  • My biggest beef with Yallop is a lack of passion, he just sits there during the game with the same incredulous look on his face all the time, and the team just seems to mirror that. Just plain Vanilla all the time.

    I lost count the number of times the Fire sent the ball over the top 15-20 yards ahead of the forwards during yesterdays game, I would not accept that for a high school game let alone a pro game. Yet Yallop just sits there and watches it unfold before him...

  • In reply to DerSting:

    So I guess you missed the video clip of Yallop kicking a stack of practice cones during a recent game.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    Must have happend after the game put me to sleep...

  • In reply to DerSting:

    It wasn't part of the game broadcast. Something I saw Brian Sandalow re-tweet from MLS. The game broadcasts are usually totally positive spin advertising fluff. Nauseating stuff. They would NEVER show the good stuff if it might be unfavorable from an advertising viewpoint.

    I used to fall asleep sometimes but I realized I was missing some good stuff that sometimes pops up. Now I watch it all. Ignore the banal commentary and judge for myself. And this Houston match was truly ugly. What I LIKED about this game was that you have to sometimes play ugly games and come away with a point. Taken outside the context of this season, considering the short turnaround with so many players MIA (injury/National team duties), this is an example of playing an ugly game and hacking out a point. Something they have NOT been noted for doing this season and EXACTLY what a good team should be expected to suck it up and do. Yes, they really needed a WIN. But the Fire have never yet won a match at BBVA Compass Stadium. Let's be honest. Did any of us expect a win?!?

    So I just couldn't let this game be the straw that broke me over this year's troubles.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    I think that is the problem with his team. Nobody expects this team to get a win and the best result we can hope for is a scrappy tie.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Oh we expect wins! Just not from every match.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    It was on the broadcast. I saw it, and I thought "wow, that seems out of character." I don't know what the announcers said about it - my Spanish is essentially non-existent.

  • In reply to Gladbach:

    Thanks for the clarification Gladbach. I'm guessing it must have come following the Fire giving up a goal. I probably turned my head to mutter unmentionables and/or marched off to the kitchen for a beer as I definitely didn't see it and I don't follow much Spanish either so wouldn't have picked up any commentary about it either. Guess I'm not watching as well as I thought. :)

  • In reply to Arklow:

    During the match, I recall 4-5 shots of FY with a not-happy-a'tall expressions on his face.

  • Ok here's the thing with Yallop- who actually thinks he might turn the season around enough to not be fired during the offseason? What would take that? USOC win? Playoff appearance? I wouldn't count on either. IMO Yallop is a dead man walking. Is it worth it to just hang on to that til the end of the season? I'm not sure. I guess firing him right this instant does no good, but once he blows USOC and drops 10+ points out of the playoffs is there a point in letting him fail further? And no the Fire shouldn't be looking for a long term solution until offseason. But that doesnt mean keeping Yallop until then is right. Once USOC is gone and playoffs are out of reach (likely by the end of July) I'd like to see him fired and a caretaker (Bircham, Pause, Sega...whoever) in charge until the offseason, with no plans to leave said caretaker in charge for longer than that.

    We'll see,

  • I wonder if Brian McBride has any interest in coaching, beyond the occasional camp and consult. And maybe once, I'd like to see the Fire bring in just ONE top name player, preferably a MNT player. Just one that we don't have to scramble to figure out who they are. Accam is really good and a bright addition, and he's not even a starter for his national team. Polster turned out to be pretty good at this level, and he's from SIU-Edwardsville.. not exactly a national powerhouse. It takes talent to win in any sport, and we still don't have enough. Was Mike Ditka a good coach or did he just have great talent?

  • Updated the post with a couple of new notes regarding the coaching rumors.

  • As soon as a coach gets the "full support" from the owner, it usually mean the coach will be gone within the week.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    It's akin to talking about big name DP's while your roster is full of DP's. If they're doing something behind the scenes, still have to put on airs in the meantime.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    Unless your team is in NY or LA, then the players will know a rule change is coming so that only their team can add players. Hauptman is the weakest owner in MLS.

  • Guillermo, you had a typo in your ratings, you forgot to include the decimal for do Prado and instead wrote "45". What I'm not sure of, though, is if you intended to give him a 4.5 or a .45

  • In reply to manyou07:

    Manyou, you just won the internet today.

  • You also neglected to mention the new low point MLS refs have hit, calling offside on a corner kick (unless I misunderstood something there at the end of the game...)

  • In reply to manyou07:

    That was brutal.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    In could not tell, but it looked like there was an offside call on a throw in during the first half.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    There was, I was under the assumption you cant be offsides on a throw?

  • In reply to KChance:

    Correct, no offside on a throw-in or corner kick. You now know more than an MLS ref!

    The corner kick thing is really baffling, because unlike a throw-in (where you could maybe excuse the fact that the ref would have to ignore their usual last-defender determination) Shipp (?) placed the ball literally on the endline. I don't see how it's possible for a player to be beyond the ball if the ball is on the endline.

  • In reply to KChance:

    That is correct. There is no offsides on a thrown in or a corner kick.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    I would love to read the evaluation of the assistant ref's performance. That would indicate whether mls cares. Mr kennedy what do you think?

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