Real Salt Lake 3 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

This one was always going to be a warm-up for Tuesday's US Open Cup Semifinal in New England. Any result here would have been a bonus with heavy squad rotation planned in preparation for the important upcoming contest. Veljko Paunovic didn't go with a full reserve side but the result was what most expected. Another loss on the road.

Jonathan Campbell, Brandon Vincent, and curiously David Accam and Michael de Leeuw were the only clear first choice players to start the match. The biggest victory of the night is probably that both Accam and de Leeuw escaped 45 uneventful minutes without injury or indicent. The rest of the match wasn't surprising. Real Salt Lake controlled possession, cruised to a 2-0 lead, and beat a team that they should have beaten despite playing their third game in seven days.

The Fire's second half was better than the first, but whatever took place in this doesn't really matter. The 2016 season boils down to one game against an old foe on Tuesday night. A win would send Chicago to the US Open Cup Final with at least a chance at salvaging something out of another lost year. This game meant little. It was another road loss, the 36th consecutive winless start away from home (38 if you count 2 USOC road defeats) and the Fire have little to no chance of qualifying for a playoff spot, even in a subpar Eastern Conference.

The Fire are on an historic run of futility away from home. The are five losses away from equalling the mark for the longest road winless streak by any professional North American sports team in the modern era of NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS, and MLB. A loss on Tuesday moves them into second place on that list all by themselves and the club is faced with over two months of preseason play for 2017.

Tuesday is a massive opportunity for keeping some hope and good will alive.

Pro North American Sports Teams Longest Road Winless Streaks

Team                                     League                             Games                     Years

Sacramento Kings              NBA                                   43                         1990-92

Ottawa Senators                 NHL                                   38                        1992-93

Chicago Fire                        MLS                                    38                        2014-present

Detroit Lions                       NFL                                     26                       2007-2010

Philadelphia Athletics     MLB                                     22                           1943

Player Ratings

GK Matt Lampson (5) - Credited with four saves and two of them were of some quality. Lampson appeared to be partially screened but he was still flat footed and slow to react to Olmes Gacia's low speed trickler that rolled into the net for the first RSL goal in the 14th minute.

D Michael Harrington (4) - Can be seen ball watching on the first and third RSL goals. Beaten consistently for most of the night. Did provide a threat in the 79th with a good move to get free and force Rimando into a spectacular save.

D Eric Gehrig (4) - An unnecessary shoulder block into Martinez's upper body in the 27th resulted in a clear penalty. Second half was better.

D Jonathan Campbell (5) - The best of the Fire's starting defenders on the night with an average performance.

D Brandon Vincent (4.5) - Not a good match up for him against Martinez and Mulholland. Completed 17 of 30 passess.

M Arturo Alvarez (4.5) - Scored the Fire's only goal in the 64th minute to make the game closer than it should have been. The midfield was invisible on both sides of the ball in the first half.

M Nick LaBrocca (5) - Contributed a fantastic service into Alvarez for the goal in the 64th. Was denied by Rimando on two point-blank chances in second half stoppage time. Set up Alvarez for a good chance in the 53rd. Completed 40 of 48 passes, which is isn't bad but provided little to no help defensively.

M Michael Stephens (4.5) - Like LaBrocca, his passing numbers are acceptable at 53 of 62, but RSL had acres of space and plenty of time to do whatever they wanted in front of the Fire back line in the first half. Better in the second half once some changes were made but still provided nothing in terms of help or attackers in the first 45 minutes.

M David Accam (5) - Didn't get much of an opportunity to see the ball in a good attacking position throughout his 45 minutes of play. Completed of 6 of 10 pass attempts. His only shot attempt in the 40th minute was just wide.

F Michael de Leeuw (5) - Got no help from midfield in helping him find the ball. Completed 6 of 8 passes.

F Luis Solignac (5) - Started well early but the signs of having just one team training session under his belt started to show. Somehow ended up playing behind de Leeuw for aa good portion of their time together. Completed 15 of 20 passes although some of those were glaring misses. Missing in the second half other than a long shot attempt in the 62nd.

M Razvan Cocis (5) - Subbed in for de Leeuw to start the second half which led to a formation change. 13 of 15 passes competed and helped improve the central midfield play in the last 45 minutes. Did give up space to Morales on his goal in the 64th.

F John Goossens (5) - Subbed in for Accam to start the second half. Helped create some half chances immediately and completed 21 of 23 passes overall. Provided the pass to LaBrocca in the 92nd minute which led to his chances.

D Johan Kappelhof (5) - Replaced Alvarez in the 68th minute of this game for some reason. Had some issues with Martinez in the 78th but otherwise provided a decent 22-plus minutes.


Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Guys I had the opportunity to watch the DC V Union game prior to the Fire game and was super impressed with the game. Two well coached teams with players that looked like they belonged in the MLS. On the other Hand I watched the entire Fire game and came away thinking that this team (The Fire) were actually worse than the Yallop teams. I just cannot understand Rodriguez how can he take a pass on Bodoya when he is everything that the Fire need going into next season. Everyone that reads this blog should listen to a podcast about the Union and the GM Stewart. Basically he said that the team hired him to win the MLS cup this season not in the future. Really you have to wonder about NR and his decision making. He hired a rookie coach who is looking like a disaster, he wifed on the best defenseman in the draft, and he does not seem to be able to figure out that his job is to win. This attention to the US cup is rediculous, nobody goes to the games because nobody cares.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    He has a plan to bring in a better player than bedoya in the winter.

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    A plan which will never materialize...

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Passing on Bedoya is ridiculous. We cant pass on Bedoya and still put out players like Alverez and Cocis. Bedoya could play next to Polster or in front of Polster and Thiam. It should have been a no brainer. I cut cable and have not watched a road match since August of last year. The sad thing, I dont really care to watch them. This team is extremely hard to watch and there seems to be no hope in sight. I love this club but I have no attachment to this team. There are still only a handful of players that are good enough to make a decent team in MLS. Our season will be officially over by the end of the month and we will have to do everything all over again. There is no way Accam stays here next season. Why would any player that still wants to play on a decent team and at a decent level want to play here? At the very least we are still 4 STARTERS away from being competitive. (Attacking mid, RM, CM, RB) That doesnt account for the entirely new bench that we need. This team is so frustrating.

    Side note, Chivas USA has won a road game more recently than we have.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    "I love this club but I have no attachment to this team." That's an interesting take and my feelings aren't too far away, but in my case I'd express it as:
    I love MLS and have enjoyed watching it grow since my first match in 1998. I also happen to live in Chicago, so it's by circumstance that I'm attached to CF97. But beyond that, what's there to love? Blah stadium in an inaccessible location surrounded by nothing, consistent lack of talent on the roster (since 2008 at least), complete lack of continuity (when was the last time we had a "face of the franchise"?), etc.

    Above all, it's just really hard to see all the fun MLS fans are having in places like KC, Portland, Seattle, etc. and know just how badly CF97 has screwed this particular pooch.

    Yet, thanks to GR for continued great coverage!

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Winning USOC is the quickest and easiest way to get into CCL. The fact that not enough people care is true but it's still important nonetheless. It's also important to the tradition and history of the club.

  • Any truth to the rumors that Andy is selling?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I wouldn't hold my breath for a sale anytime soon. There is definitely something going on internally however.

    I'll have more on this as concrete information is available and things progress over the next few months. Stay tuned....

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    GR, why wait? If you hear a rumor, can't you share it as just a rumor? We can understand that it might not be accurate. Spill the beans dude!!

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I want to be accurate with rumors, even if they are just that. I usually don't run things unless they're sometimes double vetted.
    I also want to have all facts covered before just running with something. I want you, as the reader, to be sure that if you read it here - it's accurate.

    There are some things happening behind the scenes and that's part of a larger story that I've been working on for several weeks. Stay tuned...

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Fair enough, and I understand why, but "stay tuned" in the coming days? weeks? months? offseason? How tuned should we be?

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    It could be months before we see the effects of what's going on. The activity in the January window will be very telling.
    We should have something before then.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Do you know any rumours of what the players (DP's) could be that the Fire want to sign?

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    Yes....I've heard that Atlanta and Chicago are both very interested in Andres Guardado.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Any idea if all the happenings with the academy switches has anything to do with these rumors?

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Its GR's credibility that is on the line every time he writes something here or puts it out on twitter. Every time he puts something out there that is false or off base, he loses some credibility as a news source.

    There is a reason why we are all here and why he is one of the most trusted sources for accurate #cf97 news. Dude puts in the work to get information from a team/league that doesn't like to give information. Trust that if there is news to break, GR wont be too far behind with the details.

  • In reply to KChance:

    I totally get what yo are saying. I think sometimes, even when it is not totally confirmed, rumors are really fun to read especially if it has to do with a change in management, ownership etc. I think the entire Fire fan base would be thrilled to see a new owner come in. Even if the rumor was caveated up the you know what, it would make me fee better seeing a rumor of a new owner in writing. Maybe it is just wishful thinking that if the rumor were published it could take on a life of its own. Again, I understand why GR has to wait. Unlike me, he has principles. Oh well, so maybe I can start the new ownership rumor. Hey GR, is true that AH will be forced to sell the team unless he brings in a high dollar DP next year?

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Haha. No.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Right. Of course not! Logically it would be something more like "incinerated in his own molten nickels for the good of mankind." :)

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I understand completely, the way we have been going lately has been rough. People are anxious for big DP signings, AH selling, changes. So much so that even reading about potiental news is a relief. But sadly cant make up news for the lack of news surrounding the club.

  • GR, would you be surprised if Atlanta makes a serious push to get Sean Johnson?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I would not be shocked to see that.

  • You big tease!

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