The Fire had all three Designated Players available for the first time since May and a renewed sense of optimism courtesy of a mid-week Open Cup win but the final result and post game commentary sounded quite familiar. "Obviously a disappointment to end the game, we looked a bit laggy and not sharp in the first half," said Frank Yallop. ""Maybe, it was because of our game Wednesday."
New England looked like the much better side for most of the first half but the score was level at half time. A questionable call in the Fire's favor led to a penalty kick just before half time. The last forty-five minutes were better but shambolic defending proved to be the team's downfall yet again. More than the lack of finishing, the defensive failings of this team as assembled has contributed greatly to its current standing at the bottom of the league table. Adding a legitimate target striker, of which Kennedy Igboananike certainly is not, will make things entertaining but results won't come if the team continues to defend as shambolically as it does at times. The Fire were also fortunate that a third New England goal was disallowed.
As the Fire and Montreal Impact continue to talk about Didier Drogba, a move for considerable defensive help is necessary not only for league play but for any hope of salvaging this season via the Open Cup. Moving Matt Polster to right back has weakened central midfield while providing marginally better play than Lovel Palmer or Eric Gehrig at the position. If Palmer isn't an option due to "fitness" issues, the Fire will need to address right back as well as center back immediately.
Yallop addressed Drogba briefly during his post game press conference but didn't provide much nformation. "I have no update on that. I just finished the game. I haven't spoken to anybody before the game. There is no real update until there is one," said Yallop. "There might be an update tomorrow (Sunday); right now there isn't one.
Player ratings (to follow)