Fire 2 FC Dallas 1 - recap and ratings

Wins are becoming common place and expected at Toyota Park as the Fire improved to 6-0-1 at home. Their fourth consecutive win marked the first time they have won four in a row since September of 2012 and the team's 24 points after thirteen games matches the club's all-time best point total at this point in the season.

The Fire are playing entertaining and more importantly, winning team soccer. They are difficult to break down in midfield, a much improved passing team, and one that can create chances quickly.

This match wasn't the big 'test" against the league's best that was expected since FC Dallas rested and kept home several key players in anticipation of a Western Conference rivalry game against Houston on Sunday but it was still a good indicator that this is a different Fire team than the ones we've seen over the last several years. At 7-3-3, the Fire sit just behind Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference.

The Fire are good. We just don't quite know how good they are yet. The fun seems to be just starting.

Player ratings

GK Matt Lampson (6) - FC Dallas only had one shot on target in nine attempts, but the lone goal was the result of a mistake in the back that spoiled a third straight clean sheet. Excellent distribution (with his arm) in the 57th to set Accam free on a counter chance. Seems to have earned the permanent starting spot from Bava.

D Brandon Vincent (6.5) - Good on both ends of the field again. His pass in the 3rd minute found Nikolic in front of the net for the Fire's first goal.

D Joao Meira (5) - A rough first half with several give aways and misses. His botched clearance in the 6th led to FC Dallas' lone shot on target and only goal. A missed tackle in the 41st set up a good chance. Much better in the second half.

D Johan Kappelhof (6) - His clearance attempt following Meira's error was deflected and ended up on Lamah's foot for the score but he was solid otherwise. An excellent long distance pass over the top found Accam to free him for the winning goal.

D Matt Polster (6.5) - Continues to excel at the right back spot. Contributes on both ends of the field and adds another dimension in the attack.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (7) - A class first touch pass to Vincent in the 3rd minute set up the opportunity for the first goal. The Fire are better defensively because opposing teams don't have the ball as much thanks to Schweinsteiger and McCarty controlling midfield in this 4-2-3-1 alignment that allows freedom for Schweinsteiger to get forward if needed. His presence has transformed the side.

M Dax McCarty (7) - Schweinsteiger has added another dimension, but McCarty provides the engine that makes the machine work. Stopped an FCD chance in the 41st after Meira's missed tackle. Makes things very difficult in the middle of the field for opposing teams. Fire controlled possession again (54-46) and passing accuracy came in at 84%. You have to wonder what NYRB were thinking...

M David Accam (7) - Became the first Fire player in team history to score a goal in five consecutive matches. Opens up the attack with pace and skillset is on full display since he is not the focus of the offense any more. His goal in the 9th skipped past Seitz to provide the difference in the match. He'll continue to create chances as long as the Fire control the ball like they have.

M Michael de Leeuw (6.5) - He hasn't found his way to the score sheet yet but the work that he and Solignac put in has allowed the Fire attack to flourish for Accam and Nikolic.

M Luis Solignac (6.5) - Like de Leeuw, work on both sides of the ball sometimes goes unnoticed but Solignac continues to play important role in what the Fire have been able to accomplish in the last four games.

F Nemanja Nikolic (6.5) - Simply knows how to finish. His astonishing goal-scoring pace continued with a deft touch in the 3rd minute that found its way past Seitz. He did have a penalty kick stopped in the second half stoppage time after he was tripped in the box but it didn't matter.

M Juninho (6) - Replaced Solignac in the 59th as Paunovic looked to temper some of the momentum that FCD was regaining. His shot in the 89th after receiving a pass from Nikolic was well taken and forced Seitz into the best save of the night. Found Accam for a chance in the 62nd that was stopped well by Hedges.

D Jonathan Campbell (6) - Came on for de Leeuw in the 75th as the Fire shifted to a 5-3-2. Contributed with clearance of a dangerous Barrios cross in the 85th.

M Arturo Alvarez (6) - Subbed in for Accam in the 85th as the Fire shifted again to a 5-4-1. Active on both ends in the last few minutes.

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Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Guillermo, spot on about Dax. He is so flipping good. Thank you Redbulls!

  • In reply to go fire:

    Thank Jesse Marsch.

  • Where would they be sitting if Polster had been healthy from the beginning of the season? Drew Conner did a nice job too when he got his chances, but this looks locked down now. Hopefully Conner will see more time on the wing.

  • Dax McCarty is our most important player. He controls the team and they go where he wants them to go. I have never seen a player control the field as well as he does. Whenever we need a stop, he is there. Whenever we need to find a killer pass, he plays that pass. Of all the off season moves that were made, his signing was the most important. This team would not be far off where we are now if we didn't sign BS. If we didn't get Dax, we wouldn't be having this season so far.

    That being said, BS is a fantastic soccer player. I have never seen a player, live, so comfortable on the ball. The game moves so slowly for him because he is 2-3 moves ahead of everyone else. I just hope we don't run him into the ground now and have that cause issues later on.

    This time last year we were stuck watching players like Gilberto, Iggboananike, Cocis, Harrington, and Ramos every week. How much difference a year makes?!

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Wonderful points. Cannot wait for next week's game.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I agree that Dax has had a huge impact on the team, but I disagree that he has been more of an impact then BS. Where as Dax does a lot of directing on the field, BS does a lot more. During this game alone I constantly saw BS telling the players when to slow down, when to speed up play, when to hold the ball, when to pass the ball. As you said he sees the game 2-3 moves ahead of everyone else and he passes that on to the players. Watch him off the ball, its just as much fun as watching him on the ball.

    With that being said, Dax's contribution to the team can't be understated either. I think his partnership with BS has been phenomenal. This is illustrated so well in how smoothly they transition responsibilities between each other. They know which one needs to hang back and when to press together. The fluidity of the formation that the Fire have this year has been a huge joy to watch. Formation changes don't just happen at half time and substitutions with this team anymore. It happens depending on the needs on the field. I think Dax and BS are big reason why this can happen. Credit to Pauno too for the coaching it takes for a team to be able to play like that. If only Pauno can be quicker on identifying players that don't cut it and replace them faster.

  • Dax McCarty has been called in for US World Cup qualifiers. He will miss the June 4 game in Orlando and the June 10 game against Atlanta.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I'm kind of nervous/excited about Dax's call up. I'm guessing Juninho will be starting next to BS and I'm curious what the team looks like without Dax. From what I've seen I don't think that Juninho and BS have as good an understanding with each other as Dax/BS do. It will be interesting to see how the pair do and what formation the team uses. My guess is we see a more traditional Defensive Mid role for BS and Attacking Mid role for Juninho.

    All the best to Dax at the USMNT camp. Here's hoping he convinces Arena to put him on the field for the WCQ games.

  • It's nice to have been delivered out of the wasteland that was being a Fire fan the last few years. I guess Juninho will start while Dax is away, and having a player of his caliber available is refreshing.
    Take a look at some of the rosters the last few years, and rejoice that we don't have to watch Iggy, Anangano, Sherjill, and my personal favorite stiff: DoPrado. Wow, were they bad, if this was a real league, we'd be in USL right now.
    Sorry, I don't think we need to rate players, but Schweini is the best and Pauno deserves credit for going to see him personally and convincing him to come.

  • Brandon Vincent named to MLS Tram of the Week

    https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2017/05/29/2017-team-week-wk-13-la-galaxy-show-dominance-cali-clasico?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=News&utm_campaign=Unpaid

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Brandon Vincent is getting better and better every week. He is very calm on the ball. He sometimes doesn't take advantage of space in front of him, but that will come with time. I also think that he has the ability to beat opponents in 1 v 1 situations, but he does not push it. I think that confidence will also come. His shot blocking ability and awareness in the box also is getting better every week. I truly appreciate his growth as a player. He showed great composure in the Seattle game and kept his old college teammate in check the entire game. I would love for him to unleash his cannon of a shot against Orlando to destroy any sense of Orlando being able to win against us!

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Very true, he is so calm on the field. He is one of the most low-key players I've ever seen.

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