Sporting Kansas City 3 Fire 2 - recap and ratings

The odd situation with David Accam placed a darker cloud over a second consecutive disappointing outing on the road. The Fire's most dangerous player on the ball was held out of the eleven for the second consecutive week and for the second time in as many games, he provided a spark to get the team back into the match.

Clearly outplayed in the first half, Chicago was fortunate to have a goal on the board thanks to Matt Besler's deflection of a cross into his own net. A late first half goal put the home team ahead for good and a third goal in the 51st minute all but sealed it. Accam's 12th goal of the season in the 78th made it close but the Fire didn't play well enough to earn points here.

The second half was a marked improvement on the first 45 minutes but there are lingering questions above and beyond what is going on with Accam. Chicago struggled to create anything in the final third before Accam entered the match. Kansas City's press showed some gaps but the Fire didn't have the personnel on the field to exploit it. They also dropped back deep when the Fire managed to put together possession and dared them to try and break them down by allowing some space on the ball.

Accam will be a threat, for as long as he's here and playing but this game showed that the Fire still don't have the answers for winning against good competition on the road. There's not enough reason for full panic just yet, but there are issues bubbling that must be resolved soon.

On and off the field.

Player ratings

GK Matt Lampson (5) - A few decent saves out of the six he made but struggled in distribution, particularly in the first half. Hard to pin any of the three goals on him as the sole contributor however.

D Patrick Doody (5.5) - Fair night standing in for the injured Brandon Vincent. Got beat by Zusi in setting up the second SKC goal in first half stoppage time but did provide some decent service and didn't look entirely out of place getting forward. Provided the assist for Accam's goal. Did need some help in containing the left side on occasion.

D Johan Kappelhof (5) - Caught flat footed and ball watched a bit on the second KC goal.

D Joao Meira (5.5) - A few key blocks but also had to scramble to recover on just as many occasions. His man got the header leading to the second goal.

D Matt Polster (5) - A give away followed by more ball-watching and late defending led directly to the third Kansas City score. Did provide a handful of dangerous, close-call crosses that threatened the opposite goal as well. His relatively harmless looking cross was knocked into the net by Besler for the Fire's first goal.

M Dax McCarty (5.5) - His attempt to clear a ball inadvertently set Salloi off on a run that resulted in the first goal of the game. Not incredibly sharp but the Fire did end up with a possession advantage (51-49 and 82% pass completion.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (5.5) - Kept the ball moving forward but the final pass wasn't there. At the center of the Fire's longest possession spells in the second half and did try to spring teammates with several long, cross field passes. Deflected Salloi's shot after trying to play catch-up with him in the 23rd.

M Juninho (5) - The third wheel in midfield as a result of Accam being pushed to the bench for a second straight game. Decent in help defense but not really involved in much the other way.

M Michael de Leeuw (5.5) - The Fire weren't dangerous for most of the first half but de Leeuw was active. A great bit of skill allowed him to get free in the 47th and he just missed Solignac in front of goal. Dangerous cross was cleared by Melia in the 69th.

M Luis Solignac (5) - Did not threaten much as Chicago only had 3 shots on goal.

F Nemanja Nikolic (5.5) - Absolutely robbed by Melia in the 85th. Had a clear look from distance in stoppage time that was high of the target.

M David Accam (6) - There's more to just the All Star discontent as a reason for his place out of the eleven in the last two games. Made an impact right away after entering the match for Solignac in the 55th. Got behind the defense quickly but couldn't get by two defenders. Scored on an excellent touch in the 78th. Also involved in the Fire's three best chances to tie the game.

M Daniel Johnson (5) - A few decent moments trying to get involved after subbing in for Juninho in the 77th. Involved with Accam and Nikolic on a chance in the 84th.

D Jonathan Campbell (5) - In a show of the Fire's lack of depth on the bench, he replaced Schweinsteiger in the 91st with the Fire trailing 3-2.

Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

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  • Two things that could trip up CF97 at the gold cup break: 1) injuries to starters and 2) distractions/morale.

    Check and check. I know it's only two road losses to two of the better teams in the league, but I'm feeling a very negative trend coming.

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    Pretty fair ratings. However, Lampson rarely makes a spectacular save and in this game he didnt even try. 3 goals against has to be a little more on him than an average 5.

  • In reply to Spike Feldmann:

    Had a decent stop late in the game that kept it from getting to 4 that I didn't mention above.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Lampson rarely makes a spectacular save because he's not a spectacular GK. When everything is working correctly, the Fire play the possession game effectively and that takes pressure off of their defense. The knock-on effect is that not much is expected of their GK because the opponent doesn't have enough of the ball to consistently pressure the Fire goal.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Where as I definitely have had my issues with Lampson in the past (Last year was just attrocious), he has been relatively decent and his distribution has been much better this year. These last two games have been attrocious though. NYCFC being the worse of the two and this one having shaky distribution to begin before settling into a mediocre performance as the game went on. But the goals in this game were more due to a leaky and poor defense that fell apart constantly more then Lampsons skills as a GK.

    I'm hoping that with coming back home everyone gets their head back into the game, because these 2 losses are more team losses then individual gaffes. I suspect though the distraction of the All-Star game is making things worse. I wish they would have it during the Gold Cup break. feels like shoving it in the middle of a regular game week really takes the players away from their teams to much after a number of teams went without a number of their better players the first 2 weeks after the break already.

  • Is it just me or has the chemistry between Basti/Dax/Juninho lost its edge lately. I understand Dax has been out 3 weeks but passes to maintain possession was shaky in KC game. I was surprised possession was 50/50 in that game. Also, I feel we are better at possession when Basti plays more of the middle CB role. I haven't seen it as much in last two games, which I think is exposing us in the middle when our full backs go high and we are trying to win possession from a goal kick or direct from our CBs from our final third. Also, even if there are issues with the front office and Accam, can we all get along for 90' and start him? We may have been able to earn draws last two games if he was in from the start. Anyway, all teams go through a tough patch, some longer than others. Hopefully that was our tough patch and we get back to winning this weekend!

  • In reply to Baie:

    The issues with Accam have translated to the field also. It was reported that Accam missed two days of training ahead of the NYC match. He is lucky that Dax was not around then, or else he might have gotten punched in the nose.

    Walking out on training is incredibly selfish and will only result in your teammates no longer respecting you and questioning your commitment. It's obvious that a player's work rate on this team must be very high in order to get selected. If I'm giving everything I have in training and in games, I expect that everyone else is doing the same.

    After hearing that he blew off training, I'm surprised that Paunovic even allowed him to make the trip.

  • In reply to Baie:

    everything StaryByk3 just said, and also Dax, Basti, and Juninho never had good chemistry. All 3 of them on the field, imo hasn't worked out so well. I'm hoping that its back to Dax/Basti again and let Juninho be a super sub. Much more solid and dynamic that way.

  • In reply to edubs:

    Hmmm maybe just a "sub" instead of "super sub"

  • GR - Do you really think the CAS will rule in favor of Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC and enforce that the USSF enforce pro/rel?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    I would not be surprised if CAS told NASL/NPSL to take their complaint to US Soccer (if they haven't already) and go through the hierarchical process first.

    If NASL doesn't like the decision they get from US Soccer, then they would appeal. If they don't like the appellate decision, NASL would take their complaint to FIFA. If they don't like FIFA's decision, then they would appeal. And if they don't like that appellate decision, then CAS would be the last stop to hear the complaint.

    Or so it would seem to me. All of US Soccer's affiliates, all the way down to the amateur clubs, have to go up the same ladder with a complaint, and can ultimately take their case all the way to FIFA. Thus, NASL/NPSL bypassing this structure and going directly to CAS seems weird to me.

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