Toronto FC 3 Fire 2 - recap and ratings

The final result of this match doesn't matter as much as what the Fire were able, or not able to accomplish in yet another rebuilding season that fell flat and well short of expectations. Finishing one point ahead of 2015's all-time club low for points in a season can hardly be considered anything less than a flop of a first step toward putting the club back on a path to respectability.

There are some pieces in place that can be utilized as part of a successful squad, and they played a role in keeping the Fire competitive in this match but you'd be kidding yourself to believe that at least two high-level impact players and several more key contributors at every position aren't needed.

The numbers don't lie. There wasn't much of a difference in results or improvement on last year as the Fire became the first team in league history to finish at the bottom of the overall table for two consecutive seasons.

2015 record: 8W 20L 6D 43GF 58GA

2016 record: 7W 17L 10D 42GF 58GA

Player ratings

GK Patrick McLain (5) - The presumed back-up 'keeper at the start of preseason made his Fire debut in the last match of the year. Collected three saves and even put a ball into the opposing keeper in an attempt to find the tying goal in second half stoppage time.

D Brandon Vincent (5) - Better in the passing game with Toronto not putting a lot of pressure on Chicago's outside backs. His cross was cleared away in the 83rd leading to Goossens' goal. A bit of ball watching on the second TFC goal.

D Jonathan Campbell (5) - Had a few good moments early in attempting to slow down Giovinco and Altidore wasn't much of a factor. Morrow got behind him for the second TFC goal. Started the sequence that led to the second Fire goal.

D Joao Meira (5) - The penalty call was a bit weak but he did make contact on Giovinco after coming up to challenge in the box.

D Rodrigo Ramos (5) - More involved in the first half than he was in the second but a decent showing in what might be his last game with the club. At least two crosses were decently served but either just missed teammates or found no one making the run.

M Matt Polster (6) - Started the combination leading to the Fire's first goal with a steal near midfield. It's no coincidence that TFC did their most damage after Polster left the game with an apparent left knee injury in the 38th minute. Completed 16 of his 18 pass attempts while he was in there.

M Khaly Thiam (5) - The Fire's top passer with 44/57 but not many of those led to an offensive challenge. One shot attempt was well wide of the mark.

M David Accam (5) - Best chance came in the 73rd when his sliding shot attempt was saved by Irwin.

M Michael de Leeuw (6) - Scored from a tough angle in the 18th to give the Fire a surprise lead. He'll finish chances when given the opportunity.

M Arturo Alvarez (5.5) - Assisted on de Leeuw's goal as he continued to rack up numbers in the last few months of the season earning a possible second season with the club. Otherwise, completed 18 of 28 pass attempts.

F David Arshakyan (4.5) - Just hasn't shown much since joining the team and this match was no different. Non-factor.

M John Goossens (5.5) - Scored the second goal in the 83rd minute to keep the score respectable and provided some decent service on occasion after replacing Polster in the 38th.

M Razvan Cocis (5) - Came on for Arshakyan in the 70th minute. Couldn't get to Vincent's cross in the 83rd but his presence pressured Zavaleta a bit.

M Joey Calistri (5.5) - Subbed in for Alvarez in the 81st. Involved in the combination leading to the Fire's second goal.



Filed under: 2016 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • You know I have realized that I have been supporting the fire for only two years. Im twelve and you might ask why do I love the Fire so much? To me the Fire have became my brother- I support it, care for it and I love it. I love Fire for so many reasons I just can describe. I ask my dad each day for season tickets even though we won't fulfill the cash value.
    I know that you guys have walked away from the Fire but deep down inside I know you still care for them and want them to be good. So I just wanted to say next time you go to a game root for the team and just be a fan. Forget about the fact that they are in last just be a section 8 ambassador and BE A FAN. Please stop with the negative comments and think of ways you can impact the Fire. If that means protests then do it. You can't control the results on the field then off field have an impact and try to get rid of the management. HAVE AN IMPACT.

  • In reply to ChicagoFireBlogger:

    Keep supporting, but the negative comments and angry supporters is evidence that there are some people that still care out there.
    Total apathy hasn't set in yet but the clock is ticking.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    People still care about the team even they say that they have walked away.

  • In reply to ChicagoFireBlogger:

    Also I have one more question. How do you become a Section 8 capo?

  • In reply to ChicagoFireBlogger:

    Go to games. Sing. Get to know who the regulars and old timers are. Go on road games. Step up and lead. Go to ISA Board meetings (www s8c org) A capo has to earn their stripes. (Plus, there is an insurance waiver involved to go on the stand, and I've no idea if there are provisions for people legally recognized as a minor.)
    But if you encourage people to sing, lead by example whether in the stands with the masses, or in a smaller group on a road trip- if there the passion is consistent, and the performance is there, you'll end up proving yourself.

  • In reply to ChicagoFireBlogger:

    Like I said, I will take action and do something if the Fire have another abysmal season next year, I will give up my season ticket after 20 years.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I'm in your boat. One of the positives is that I'm on the monthly payment plan, so if I need to cancel, I'm not out for the full amount, if I understand correctly.

    On a different note, when will the training wheels come off Arshakyan? He played like he was intimidated at making contact with someone. In that last game, everyone was hungry for that ball except him.

  • Unfortunately, Accam's early injury and Gilberto's inability to get untracked had a great deal to do with our lack of progress, since defensively we were holding our own at the same time. If we had snagged a couple of wins back then we'd have some kind of momentum. I wouldn't be suprised to see Accam and Johnson move on - they're probably in 'I've-seen-enough' mode. And concerning the stadium itself, Toyota is no longer associated, correct? Heard that the name would revert back to Bridgeview Stadium (not that THAT'S all that important. . .I dunno, the 'Ash-heap on Harlem', maybe?)

  • In reply to Heroic Oaf:

    The stadium should be named "The Andrew Hauptman Memorial Rodeo and Sometimes Tomato Fight Arena".

  • In reply to penapirata:

    We should name a tree just outside of Bridgeview in honor of Andrew Hauptman.

  • In reply to ChicagoFireBlogger:

    AND build a dog park around it!
    heh heh heh...

  • In reply to Heroic Oaf:

    Yea we should have a place we're dogs can use the bathroom with Hauptman photo

  • In reply to penapirata:

    HAR!! Good one!

  • In reply to Heroic Oaf:

    How about The Fire Pit. Then we burn a photo of Hauptman every time we lose.

  • The past 3 seasons have seen the Fire play 102 regular season games. They only got 97 points and have a -41 goal differential. Ugh.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Is that bad?

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Its part of the process or its the stats a wounded lion would have.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    As George Thorogood would say, b-b-b-b-b-BAD to the BONE!!

  • There is no way to paint this season as other than a disaster. Vano seems to be ok, but he didn't get the team to really perform at any point in the season. They never had any punch, and his most talented midfielder, Alvarez, was not put in there all the time, which he should have been. The one player that is exciting is DeLeuw, and he didn't get consistent service. Other than him, Polster, Campbell, and Vincent should be kept. There has to be major player changes or they will struggle again next year. They clearly don't have the personnel to make good player decisions now, so it looks pretty bleak. Thanks to Guillermo for his dedication to keep this page current and open to frustrated Fire fans.

  • fb_avatar

    I renewed my season tickets for the 11th time, the week before the Bedoya fiasco! I will not go through another season without making the play offs or not winning the USOC. Pauno is a first year pro manager had made some mistakes, and hopefully he learns. But ultimately it will come down to Nelson and Andrew. That is what keeps me up at night!! Also Gehring, Harrington, LaBrocca and Lampson have gotta go.

  • In reply to Keith Woller:

    Do you really expect Andrew to do something?

  • fb_avatar

    No rating for Ramos? Did they already ship him back to Brazil or something?

    Thanks Guillermo for quality coverage of another less than quality season. I think I found myself looking forward to your articles more than game days this year. Should be interesting what the off-season brings and if NR can fulfill any of his statements about having no financial limitations and enough funny money for 2 DPs and 1 or 2 more TAM players...

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    Thanks Carl......Ramos has been added.

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    Seconded. You've done a good job of keeping the reporting on an even keel (ESPN-ish style, I think I recall you saying you were always shooting for.)

    I think the readership owes you an adult beverage or ten for what you have to endure these days.

    Count a round at the next AGM on me. And for Jeff, too.

  • There is an article on Hot Time In Old Town about management that you should all read. Here it is.

  • I can't seem to find the list for players with a guaranteed contract next year. Can someone please say who they are?

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    Accam, Arshakyan, Harrington, Kappelhof, Goossens, de Leeuw, Fernandez, Meira

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Thank you

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    How about Campbell and Vincent?

  • In reply to Firefan5819:

    Both have club options.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Where can we find all the players contract information?

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