Fire 1 Earthquakes 0 - recap and ratings

Two wins over weakened Columbus and San Jose sides have fostered some optimism. Regardless of how the games looked and whom the victories came against, it's a positive sign that the Fire were able to finish both teams off at home. This match certainly wasn't pretty, but they did enough to win and the defense returned to form. The Fire gave up possession but limited chances and still managed to create a few of their own.

"We are getting there," said Veljko Paunovic after the match. "There is a long way to go, but at least finally, we passed the maturity test today where we create a couple of times and the momentum of where we can step to the next level and we couldn't for different reasons but I think today that was perfect, the perfect day. I think we have to do what we are doing so far and believe in our process."

The Fire will get a boost in their next league match. Michael de Leeuw will be available for the game in Toronto on July 9.

A sliver of optimism still exists with the start of July, the summer transfer window opening next week, and another US Open Cup match in a few weeks.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) - Made two saves. There appeared to be an instance or two of miscommunication in the first half but the second save, a leg stop against Quintero in the 60th, was a quality move that kept San Jose from tying the game two minutes after the Fire took the lead.

D Rodrigo Ramos (6.5) - His last two games have been very good. Service from the right side was excellent and he was involved throughout his entire run. San Jose didn't have much from his side either.

D Johan Kappelhof (6) - Helped limit San Jose to only 6 shot attempts. Apparently back in form with Campbell.

D Jonathan Campbell (6) - Other than an early chance in the 15th minute, Amariwa and Wondolowsi were rather ineffective.

D Brandon Vincent (5) - Still struggling to find some consistency in his passing and decision making and had a few issues on defense that were covered by teammates.

M Khaly Thiam (5.5) - Not involved much offensively but helped Meira and Stephens absorb possession and protect the back line.

M Joao Meira (6) - Has had plenty of questionable appearances this season but this was a solid effort. Helped defensively and forced a save from Bingham with a long blast in the 39th. Led the Fire with 40/44 passing.

M Michael Stephens (5.5) - Helped in combination. Although there wasn't much that stood out, he played a good "team" game.

F John Goossens (6.5) - Showed that he can make a difference when fit. He may have had some help from Bingham and Igboananike, but his goal in the 58th stood up for the game winner. 30/31 passes completed was impressive as was his ability to move the ball forward positively, something the Fire have struggled to do all season.

F David Accam (5.5) - San Jose focused their efforts on stopping him and that may have helped create some space for others. HIs only shot attempt in the 64th was just wide of goal.

F Kennedy Igboananike (5.5) - Screened Bingham just enough on Goossens' shot to get it past him. Had some chances on counters and was involved offensively but decision making and final touch weren't always there.

M Razvan Cocis (5.5) - Replaced Thiam in the 73rd. The Fire tightened up and didn't allow many looks late in the game. Completed all 5 passes made.

D Michael Harrington (5) - Subbed in for Ramos in the 79th. Completed 3 of 4 passes.

M Nick LaBrocca (5) - Came on for Goossens in the 79th. A good defensive sequence in the 94th was preceded by a yellow card one minute earlier.


Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • 3 points is good, but man that game was awfully hard to watch from the skyway.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    It was tough from any angle.

  • Goosens with 30/31 passing is a very good sign. He's looked very good in the past two matches.

    Wasn't that only our second goal from outside the 18 all season, after Accam's in the Columbus match? Having more scoring threats is reason for cautious optimism.

  • Guillermo next conference call please ask the fire staff strictly about the situation with Gilberto and what they are going to do to replace him. Thank You.

  • In reply to DavidFromChicago2:

    That's a question for Nelson. I'm sure that's the first question he'll get on his next call.

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    Even before his goal, that was the best performance I have seen in a chicago kit in about 3 years. Goossens gets a 9.5 (for chicago performances, not soccer in general) from me as he did everything right. He was dropping 25-30 yard chip passes right at players feet, helping out defensively, creating tons of space for himself when everyone else was standing still and as you mentioned he created going forward. most of all he was two steps ahead in reading the game which is what lead to his goal. if you watch igbo posturing up to win that ball in the box, in the background you can already see Goossens sprinting forward in anticipation. Ramos is just getting better and better, curious to know what he will cost Chicago to retain permanently. Meira is aslo putting in better and better performances in that holding mid role. Kudos to whoever decided to move him away from the back line. But if I am Gehrig, I would be spending every spare second working on my left foot because LB is the only spot I can see him breaking into a starting role. It sucks as I think he is really good and still looked sharp in limited minutes this season, but he isnt about to displace Ramos or Kappelholf. Any chance Ramos has a good left foot and can play on the left side as well? Yes, branden Vincent is young but that doesnt mean that he should get more leniency. He was absolutely atrocious last night. His mark was burning him every time he got the ball...Every time! and going forward he maybe had 1 successful forward pass in the final third and 0 successful crosses. (you know this was coming : ) Considering the way Pauno wants his full backs to play, Jovin Jones was a perfect fit (great at getting forward and has the speed to cover his tracks). He was more dangerous going forward than vincent ever will be and even if you dont think he is a good defender (which I would disagree with), he is still currently a much better defender than vincent. I will try to stop bringing up JJ after this post but I urge you to go back and watch last nights game with an emphasis on watching Vincent. If you do, I think you will see that the highest you could possibly rate that performance is maybe a 3.5/10. THats why all positive play came from the other flank. He severely hurt Accam's game as Accam had no service from him and no one to play 1-2's with on the flank.

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    I believe JJ's weak side has been mentioned as failing to fall back on defensive recovery.

    Yeah, I saw Vincent knock a pass-back from Accam into the corner for a breakaway move, when Accam was ready to go give-and-go with Stephens, I think around the 70th. Accam wasn't pleased. Hopefully he (or someone) points that out in training this week.

    I'd forgotten about Gilberto.

  • I mentioned this guy as a #10 about 3 years ago.

  • While it is too early to make any definitive pronouncements on Brandon Viincent, I do wonder whether the Fire will regret not keeping Jack Harrison.

    Now healthy, Harrison has 2 goals and 2 assists in his first 5 games.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    Anyone who watched Harrison yesterday would rather have him over Vincent. Harrison was easily man of the match and was able to shine while playing alongside legends.

  • In reply to john:

    The attacking options with Accam, Harrison, de Leeuw, Goossens, and Igbo would look pretty appealing.

  • In reply to john:

    Harrison is pretty good but that's the gamble you take when trading high draft picks like they did.

  • My thought on Vincent is that he is getting better every time out. Does he need to improve ? Absolutely but I do believe his last game was his best so far and he shows signs of learning from his mistakes. There is no doubt Jack Harrison is the real deal, but the combination of picks obtained on draft day is still a win for the Fire. I truly believe that if Vincent were playing for Yallop he would have regressed so far by now he would be playing in the old USL.

  • As expected, Fernando Torres signs a one-year deal with Atletico Madrid.

    FWIW...have also heard Atlanta United, Chicago, and several other teams are very interested in Andres Guardado.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Watching Copa America I thought Guardado looked really good, that being said I'm sure we won't get him. I think the Fire just claim to be interested in any desirable player to see if the League will assist in the acquisition or if there's a way to extort money from other teams who are serious in signing players.

  • Gaurdado would be awesome. What are the odds?

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Normally, I'd quote Han Solo here but I'd say it's way too early to tell.

    For now, let's say less than 10%

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