As the Fire continue to slide towards the worst season in club history one has to wonder just how bad this is going to get. After dropping out of the US Open Cup with a whimper, they followed that with what could have been a five or six goal onslaught from the same Philadelphia team that knocked them out just days earlier. Sean Johnson's heroics salvaged a meager point when they needed all three.
There was some fortitude shown in coming from behind for a draw against the mighty Philadelphia Union so there was a small glimmer of hope that some pride remained and they would be able to, at the very least, eek out something against the Colorado Rapids. After all, this was a team that had lost three in a row and had only scored 20 goals all season. Easily the worst output in MLS.
It took Colorado less than one minute to catch the Fire back line playing too far up field and just like that the worst season in club history continued to find yet another level for rock bottom. Make no mistake, this is rock bottom and the depths of that plunge is unknown with ten games remaining.
The Fire can take some small amount of solace from once again creating a few chances and controlling possession at a 68-32 advantage but that was Colorado's game plan. Absorb pressure, give up possession, and possibly hit on a counter. The worst team in the Western Conference, who now have four more points than Chicago does, did exactly what they set out to do. On the road. With over 18,000 people in attendance. Against a team that should be desperate enough to show more if they truly believe the words they're spewing about still being alive for a playoff spot.
They know what everyone else does. 2015 is another lost season.
A night filled with fan unrest and black tifo displays in Section 8 and different areas of the stadium meant to show displeasure with the current state of the club are signs that things aren't right with this organization, and they haven't been for a while. How the latest plan to right the ship takes effect in the next few months is anyone's guess.
Rock bottom and dropping.
GK Sean Johnson (5) - Didn't need to bail out the team with miraculous saves. Had one save on the night, but that means the Rapids only had two shots on target for the entire match. Two. One of them went in and that was enough.
D Matt Polster (4.5) - Late to arrive on the Colorado goal but the ENTIRE back line was caught napping and playing too high up field. Polster was a right back because according to Yallop, Lovel Palmer had played a lot of minutes recently.
D Eric Gehrig (4.5) - Tried to get back on the Colorado goal but was too late. Otherwise, the Rapid didn't do much to cause concern.
D Jeff Larentowicz (4.5) - Well behind the play on the lone score. The Fire can't afford to make mistakes. This season one momentary lapse has killed them. That was the case today. Had one shot on target on a header.
D Joevin Jones (5) - Caught upfield and chasing on the goal but his play on the left side was one of the few dangerous aspects of the Fire's attack with several good crosses provided.
M Matt Watson (5) - The Fire controlled the ball and completed a lot of passes (82% to 71% for Colorado) but so what. Watson had to play because he didn't play in the last two matches against the Union.....or something. He did have a long attempt from a cleared ball that resulted in a yellow card to Irwin for handling outside of the box in the 10th minute.
M Michael Stephens (5.5) - Completed a team high 87% of his passes. Decent enough but not much getting forward.
M David Accam (5.5) - Took four shot attempts and got two on target. Irwin denied him on a good look with a quality save in the 13th. Relatively quiet in the second half when the Fire registered ZERO shots on frame.
M Patrick Nyarko (5.5) - He and Jones were the Fire's most dangerous attackers in the first half. Good effort but not enough in the final third.
F Harry Shipp (5) - Played in the underneath/central role that many have been screaming for but didn't really distinguish himself there again. Spent a lot of time dropping deeper into midfield to retrieve the ball which pulled him away from goal. Much like the departed Scottish #10, there wasn't enough from this spot. Catch his postgame thoughts here.
F Kennedy Igboananike (5) - After his brace against the Union some hoped he had turned the corner and would possibly begin to justify why he was brought in as a DP in the first place. His deflected shot in the 34th hit the post. That was about it.
F Gilberto (5) - Replaced Nyarko in the 63rd, moving Shipp to right mid. Had a headed attempt go wide in the 88th and another shot in the 92nd hit the post. Limped off briefly after Irwin landed on him.
M Jason Johnson (4.5) - Entered the match for Watson in the 69th. Nothing improved offensively.
F Mike Magee (5) - Subbed in for Shipp in the 85th.