Fire 4 Orlando City 0 - recap and ratings

At the numerical half-way point of the season, the Fire sit one point away from Toronto FC on top of the league table and have extended their win streak at home to seven games, the second longest streak in club history. They're also unbeaten in their last nine matches.

This contest, against an Orlando side that sits fourth in the East, was simply dominant. The 4-0 scoreline wasn't that close and Chicago looked as impressive as they have in years in front of a sold-out crowd at Toyota Park. Orlando City was playing without star forward Cyle Larin, and are coming off a cross country mid-week draw in Seattle but the Fire didn't give them a chance to win this one from the start. David Accam's 3rd minute goal, followed by another Accam strike five minutes later put it away early.

The Fire continued to apply pressure and could have scored a few more. It wouldn't have made much difference. They were fully in control from start to finish.

Seventeen games in, at 10-3-4 and 34 points is an impressive mid-way haul for a team that finished bottom over the last two consecutive seasons. Those days seem far away at the moment.

Player ratings

GK Matt Lampson (5.5) - Recorded another clean sheet with very little to do. Lucky to have escaped without a yellow and possibly even a red after stomping Rivas on the foot in the 75th to deny the attacker from getting around him. Orlando failed to record a shot on target in three paltry attempts.

D Brandon Vincent (7) - Fire passing numbers are gaudy across the board. Vincent completed 95% of his 37 attempts and was involved in a couple of good scoring chances in the first half. Orlando got very little from the outside.

D Johan Kappelhof (7.5) - Outstanding for a second consecutive match. Broke up a handful of Orlando rushes and was instrumental in the first goal with a long ball over the top of the visitors midfield to set Solignac free toward goal.

D Joao Meira (7) - Keeping the opposition from clear looks at home has been key the Fire's dominance at Toyota Park this season, where they've only allowed four goals. Did well to deny Kaka on more than one occasion. Involved in the combination for the third goal.

D Matt Polster (7) - Made the final pass to Accam for the assist on the first goal. A cleaner touch or look could have led to more but he was active and involved on both ends. A sheer hustle play to recover a turnover in midfield in the 52nd, enabling Meira to get the ball to Accam resulted in the third goal.

M Dax McCarty (7.5) - Led the team with 116 touches and completed 92% of his 108 pass attempts. He and Schweinsteiger set up the play in midfield to free Accam behind the defense for the second goal in the 8th minute. The Fire completed an impressive 90% of their passes while controlling the ball for 60% of the match. McCarty is a huge part of those numbers.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (7.5) - Almost always makes the correct pass and the right decision while making it look effortless. Set Polster up to find Accam in the 3rd minute for the first goal. Found Accam in the 8th for the second score. Shadowed Kaka when he got anywhere near the center of the pitch. If McCarty is the engine, Schweinsteiger is the conductor.

M David Accam (8.5) - Looked to be able to do just about anything he wanted to do against a tired looking Orlando side. Capped an impressive 17 pass sequence with a snazzy back heel for the game's first goal to set the tone. Put away the second goal after getting behind the defense and rounding the keeper in the 8th. Assisted on the third goal, setting up Nikolic nicely. Drew a penalty kick i the 62nd and put away the spot kick for his hat trick. A dominant performance.

M Michael de Leeuw (7) - Continues to put in massive effort on both ends with little compensation on the score sheet so far but his influence can't be denied. His work off the ball continues to play a big part in freeing up Accam and Nikolic for the chances to score. His help on the defensive end is also indispensable to the current style of play. Came close on a header in the 34th.

M Luis Solignac (7) - Good complimentary game to what Accam and Nikolic provide on the offensive end. Also put in work on the other side of the ball. His run up the right side set up the play which led to the penalty kick.

F Nemanja Nikolic (6.5) - Put away a chance in the 52nd for the third goal but he had several opportunities for more. Got the ball forward to Solignac to start the sequence leading to the third goal. Somehow missed a wide open net in the 68th and was shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away in frustration. The Fire were up 4-0 at the time.

M Juninho (6) - Came on for de Leeuw in the 59th. Involved in one combination play in the 74th leading to a chance.

M Djordje Mihailovic (6) - Replaced Schweinsteiger in the 72nd. Did well to help wind the clock down in possession towards the end of the match.

M Arturo Alvarez (5.5) - Subbed on for Accam in the 80th. There were a couple of giveaways and two shots well off target but the game was in hand by then.

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Comments

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  • Last decade?!? Sorry, I can't remember anything.

    I'm just loving this season!

  • Wow. I just watched the 4 minute highlights which featured exactly 0 Orlando attacks. I can't remember a performance as dominating as that since... well, I just can't. Niko could have easily had his own hat trick. What a change from the first 9 years of the Hauptman era.

    I just hope that a) we can keep up decent form when playing away and at least get out with a significant number of ties and b) we don't suffer a rash of injuries. I keep waiting for the bad patch to start.

    I'm with Arklow, though - loving this season!

  • In reply to Modibo:

    That's pretty much how the entire game went, too. It was all Fire.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    My two main concerns for the 2nd half of the season and playoffs is:
    -yellow card accumulation (each one counts)
    -fatigue (I remember 2012)

    Does YC accumulation carry over into the playoffs?

  • Accam is on fire! I still remember that he had 10 goals in his first season here. Now he got it only about a half season which makes me interested whether David or Nikolic will win the golden boot race. The thing that scares me is that since David is in his prime, will he want to leave after this season?

  • David Accam's call up to Ghana will lead him to miss USOC on Wednesday and Vancouver Saturday.

    Dax McCarty's call up for the US could cause him to miss the entire month of July for the Fire, depending on how far the US advances.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Well that oughta make things interesting...

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Its one thing to miss club games for WC qualifiers, but for the Gold Cup? That's just wrong.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    The Gold Cup is the CONCACAF championship. It's no different than a player getting called up for Copa America or the Euro. Clubs are required to release their players.

    Accam missing MLS or Open Cup games to represent Ghana in friendly matches? Now, that's wrong.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Agree with StaryByk3 on that one. The Gold Cup call-up should be an honor.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    I get Accam wanting to join the national team for friendlies - he's been battling for a spot on the team for a few years so he can't very well turn down opportunities.

  • In reply to Shinny:

    Accam's decision on whether to accept a call-up is up to him and comes down to whether the Fire grant permission for him to leave. If everybody involved is happy, then I'm happy.

    Bumsteer thought it was wrong for a player to miss MLS matches because of a call-up to the Gold Cup. The point of my reply was that the Gold Cup is an official competition, while Accam has left to go play in friendly matches. If leaving for the Gold Cup is wrong, then leaving to play in friendlies is really wrong.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Leaving to play either friendlies or Official competition is not wrong imo. Especially when you are battling to get a solid place on the National Team as Accam is. The problem lies in MLS for not being able to create an appropriate schedule to allow for international play. This isn't as much of an issue for other leagues. Put your aggravation where its due. Don't get angry at Accam/McCarty. Put your anger at MLS to find a better way to schedule around international play.

  • In reply to edubs:

    edit: Especially when you are battling to get a solid place on the National Team as Accam and McCarty are

  • This team is scary good right now. There wasn't a single moment in the match where they looked unsure or nervous. They controlled the match from start to finish. For as good as they are with the ball and going forward, they are even better at winning the ball back when they lose it. Teams aren't allowed to make even 6 passes without losing the ball. It has been extremely fun to watch this group play. Without a doubt, we are the best team in the league right now. There isn't a single team that will want to play us right now or in the playoffs.

    I would have really liked to see Daniel Johnson get some minutes last night instead of Alvarez. Johnson played really well at the beginning of the season and then has fallen away.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I think they want to start DJ at the open cup since Accam just left for the Ghana camp.

  • Question for the long time fan. Is this the best Fire team you have ever seen?

  • In reply to go fire:

    I'd say no. First of all, we're only half a season in, and we need to see the season through before we make any statements. The team, to me, still seems a bit fragile - like if we lose Dax or Niko for a while we will drop points.

    But assuming this form persists to the end of the season, I'd still say no. The teams in the beginning of the club's existence were still one or two levels above what we have now, IMO. In those early years, say 1998-2003, we made it to MLS Cup three times, won once, and won the Open Cup three times. I'd probably say that the best team was the 2000 team. Although we lost MLS Cup, we were a goal away from it, and we won the Open Cup. The roster boasted consistent national team players (Armas, Bocanegra, Beasley), one of the all-time leading MLS goalscorers (Razov), a former Poland national team star (Nowak) and one of the former best players in the world (Stoichkov). And it was coached by the future coach of the US Nats, Bob Bradley. Plus Lubos Kubik, who was just freaking amazing. Phew, hard to believe we ever had a team like that.

    Side note 1: How in the hell is Beasley still playing?!
    Side note 2: I count, just appearing in that MLS Cup game in 2000, three current or former MLS coaches (Vermes, Marsch, Nowak, Preki) and 4 assistants (Thornton, Brown, Armas, Wolff). That I know of.

    I wonder if I have an old copy of that game somewhere, kind of want to relive it now!

  • In reply to go fire:

    No.

  • In reply to go fire:

    Nope.

  • GR - I feel like these are the highest ratings I've ever seen in the GR era! I feel like we went years without a single player receiving even a 7.5.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    There have been a few sevens and even an 8 or two along the way, but this is the haighest rating per man in a match that I can recall.

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