Fire 3 Revolution 0 - recap and ratings

The most important thing the Fire have shown they can finally do is beat teams that they should beat at home. The Revolution offered little resistance by allowing the Fire plenty of room on the ball, even before the expulsion of Je-Vaughn Watson for a silly second yellow card, and the final numbers showed the home team's dominance. An impressive 76-24 advantage in possession combined with 90% passing efficiency is similar to the numerical beat down the Fire had handed to them in Atlanta several weeks ago while playing a man down.

The Fire are a different team now with Bastian Schweinsteiger conducting from midfield and Nemamja Nikolic getting accustomed to a new league and team. A successful three game home-stand yielded 7 of 9 possible points since his arrival, and one can suggest that the draw against Montreal should have borne all three points. Regardless of that outcome, Chicago is starting to show that they will be a playoff contender in a weak Eastern Conference. Beating a short-handed Columbus side, followed by a disinterested New England team, in which Veljko Paunovic tactically out-maneuvered both of his rivals should be expected now.

A true test of how far they've come is now on the horizon with three straight road games at Toronto, New York RB, and Los Angeles before returning home to face the defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders on May 13.

Player ratings

GK Jorge Bava (5.5) - Recorded a second consecutive clean sheet with even less to do in this match than the last one. New England didn't challenge his goal at all.

D Michael Harrington (6) - With his job on the line and Conner and Polster both getting consideration at right back, Harrington put together a decent match and provided good service in the first half even if it didn't lead to a goal.

D Johan Kappelhof (6) - Once New England went a man down it was relatively easy for Kappelhof and Meira to shut down Kamara.

D Joao Meira (6) - There wasn't much to do but a good tackle in the 8th minute denied a dangerous cross from entering the goal area.

D Brandon Vincent (6) - A couple of good runs up the left side early in the game helped set the tone with Chicago as the aggressor.

M Juninho (7) - Quietly had his best outings with the Fire although it's hard to tell just how effective the midfield trio can be with New England rolling over. Completed over 90% of his pass attempts. Started the play forward on the Fire's first goal. Also involved in the second score with a cross field switch to Solignac.

M Dax McCarty (6.5) - His ability to cover ground will continue to free up Schweinsteiger. New England had no match for the Fire in midfield even before the red card.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (7) - His clinical finish put the Fire in the lead with a late first half goal. Up until then, Chicago had the ball all day but had little in the final third. Got Accam forward leading to the third goal. Schweinsteiger is a game changer and there's no reason to think he won't continue his work if he stays healthy. A big-name, big-money DP can make a difference between winning and losing....imagine that.

F Luis Solignac (7) - Active throughout the entirety of his 72 minutes. Picked up an assist on the first goal and set up the second with a pass that was deflected to Nikolic. Versatility in the positions in which he received the ball, and what he was able to do with it caused New England fits.

F Nemanja Nikolic (7) - Scored twice while continuing to show that it was a just a matter of time before he became consistently dangerous with service. Cleaned up a ball meant for de Leeuw in the 47th and cleanly finished a pass from Accam in the 73rd. Just missed another chance in the 74th although he was called offside (barely). Involved throughout the entire match.

F Michael de Leeuw (6.5) - Now a supporting player rather than the hope for running the offense, his smart runs and ability off the ball suit him well in the Fire's current style. His near post run in the 47th allowed Nikolic to find space for his attempt. Sixty minutes of good work.

M Daniel Johnson (6) - Replaced de Leeuw in the 60th. Forget the show-time footwork that resulted in a missed shot attempt, Johnson had two passes on the money that could have led to more scores. He found Nikolic with a well placed long ball in the 65th although three defenders got back to get in front of Nikolic, and another curling pass found the forward in the 74th to get behind the defense but it was ruled just offside.

M David Accam (6.5) - Subbed in for Solignac in the 72nd and got behind the defense finding Nikolic for a score one minute later. Another good ball through for Nikolic resulted in a corner kick in the 80th. That's two good passes in one game for Accam.

D Drew Conner (6) - Came on for Harrington in the 78th in perhaps a short game-time audition for right back. Completed 14 of 16 pass attempts.

 

Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Solignac was MOTM for me. He looked fantastic as a winger/forward and found acres of space down the right hand side of the field. His runs/speed helped draw both yellows on Watson

  • In reply to Shinny:

    Agreed. Solignac has been looking much better this season. Although he looked good at points last season too, but wasn't consistent enough and had trouble finishing. Hopefully he can bring consistency to his game and improve his finishing. Would be happy to see more of him if he keeps playing like this.

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    In reply to Shinny:

    yup, agree completely. He fits the RW position perfectly in a 4-3-3

  • Man, I hope Accam can keep up this "team first" attitude. He can be a difference maker. The Red Bulls are morons. I went to the game Saturday and Dax is awesome. He is the "ginger Kante" of MLS. Lets keep it rollin boys!

  • Good win, though the Revs didn't do much to help their own cause. RB and GK are still flimsy, but this squad looks to have the versatility and depth to score with regularity.

  • Dax got the pass of the week last week from Matt Doyle, and DJ got it this week. But Accam's pass to NN was stellar - granted, a Revs defender seemed to have a play on the ball if he had been aware of NN coming down the center, but the pass was just far enough out of his reach that the defender didn't slide to deflect it; this left the ball to float through into Nikolic's path. Gorgeous. I could watch that replay for hours. Especially since that kind of pinpoint passing is not somethim we usually associate with Accam.

  • Nikolic and Solignac have named to Team of the Week with Nikolic picking up Player of the Week honors.

  • I had to DVR the game - I really like the midfield movement. Looking forward to see how the team performs on the road.

    On a side note, Matt Doyle had some interesting comments on teams with/without their own USL team. (We still have time.)

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    Man if Harrington could just defend. This whole season he has been whipping in some of the best services I have ever seen and his passes on the ground aren't bad either. For some reason he just doesnt know how to close a man down. Should have started his career as a RM instead of RB.

  • A good couple of games but not convincing enough to start drinking the Kool Aid. The Revs didnt even bother to phone it in after the 28th minute, a horrible performance by professionals. No matter how bad the last couple of years were at least the FIre never rolled over like that.

    Basti is simply on another level than anybody else. I still am not convinced this was the right signing, but if he can continue this performance long enough (say 6 more months) and then be able to do it again next season I will happily eat crow.

    Mostly excited about seeing the future of this club in Conner and Johnson getting some minutes. Conner has everything Shipp did, with some extra size speed and athleticism, and great soccer acumen, would like to see him groomed for a #10

  • In reply to Fireman1:

    I don't think anyone is saying that a positive 3 game home stretch means that we will win the MLS cup this year. But you can look at the positives that have come out of these games. A huge one being how well the midfield is starting to understand each other. I think Basti and Dax are a really good pair, and their understanding of each other has gotten better and better each game. I'm excited for how they will look together in a few more games.

    Games like this one gives us an opportunity to see our younger players like Johnson and Conner. I was listening to extra time radio and they were talking about how people were upset at how Johnson was trying to put the moves on the Rev's defense and show his talent. Apparently its some unspoken rule that you don't do that amongst professionals. Personally, I find that Bull S***. Johnson is fighting for a spot in the starting 11 and I think he absolutely should be trying to make as big an impression as he can with the limited time he gets on the field. I more felt bad that the rest of the team had pretty much gone into "close the game out" mode, while he was trying to prove his worth.

    At the beginning of the season I was really worried about depth. I remember looking at the bench with all of our injuries and thinking to myself, there isn't 1 person on that bench that I would want in this game. That doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. We have exciting young players pushing to get in, and competition in a number of spots for starting 11 positions. hopefully this means that we can manage players through a coast to coast road stretch and be dangerous in all of the games.

    But as my dad and I have been saying to each other throughout this home stretch. Its been exciting to see the team play at home, but the real test on how much they have improved and whether they will be playoff contenders is how they respond to games on the road. For 2 years now, no one has been worried to play a traveling Fire. I'm hoping that starting today that changes. The next few weeks should tell us whether the Kool Aid is worth drinking.

  • "people were upset at how Johnson was trying to put the moves on the Rev's defense and show his talent."
    I'd have to listen to the podcast for the context, but I thought this was professional sports, when everyone is expected to put on their "A" game...

    Whatever. Go Fire.

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