Fire 1 New York City FC 1 - recap and ratings

The Fire and New York City FC played to a 1-1 draw that didn't distinguish either team as a clear cut favorite to finish above the other in the race for positioning in the Easter Conference playoffs. Both played through a fairly conservative match that yielded few clear chances although the overall play wasn't bad. Both teams travelled after mid-week games, which could have had some effect on the legs of players ahead of an international break for most teams in the league.

Bastian Shweinsteiger returned after missing four games but didn't make a big impact despite playing as an advanced midfielder ahead of the central pairing of Dax McCarty and Djordje Mihailovic. Of immediate concern is the condition of Michael de Leeuw, who was helped off the field in the 28th minute after suffering a potentially serious knee injury. David Accam also appears to be laboring and not at full speed.


Player ratings

GK Matt Lampson (5) Only two saves on the night, with one being a clearance of Moralez's shot from the top of the box in the 65th that was cleared out of trouble. Decent in distribution. Too easily rounded by Villa in the 43rd in New York's only score of the night.

D Brandon Vincent (6) Fair service into the final third during the first half but saw less of those chances in the second. Completed 88 percent of his passes and NYC didn't have much generated from their right side.

D Joao Meira (5) Caught ball-watching for a split second late in the first half, which was just enough time to allow Villa to slip behind him and get to goal. Important stop late in stoppage time denied a chance in front of the net.

D Johan Kappelhof (6) New York didn't have many real chances and overall, the Fire didn't do badly in limiting Villa's touches in dangerous areas. An alert interception from Kappelhof kept him from getting a clear look just six minutes before the goal.

D Matt Polster (6) Put pressure on Moralez in his own end and caused the turnover leading to the Fire's lone score. Didn't find the space that he did on Wednesday night but completed 86 percent of 49 passes.

M Dax McCarty (6) Kept the Fire moving, although New York controlled a possession advantage 56-44. Active while completing 90% of his passes but the Fire weren't dangerous in the second half.

M Djordje Mihailovic (5.5) Paired with McCarty centrally, active in the early going with a much more quiet second half.

M Luis Solignac (5.5) Led a ball into Nikolic in the eighth minute that was well placed but Nikolic was just ahead of the play and offside. Run up the left side in the 75th could have resulted in a chance but his pass was intercepted before any damage could be done.

M Michael de Leeuw (6) The Fire looked like they might have more of an attack brewing before he was injured in the 28th minute. His absence was notable.

M Arturo Alvarez (5.5) His run into the area in the 20th minute was stopped by multiple defenders but it resulted in the ball coming loose to Moralez and was followed by his mind-boggling dance back toward his own goal and the Fire's score.

F Nemanja Nikolic (6) Scored the Fire's only goal by opportunistically picking up the ball from Moralez immediately in front of the NYC net. A couple of half looks early on, but like almost everyone else there was less activity in the second.

M David Accam (5) Replaced de Leeuw in the 30th minute but was clearly not at one hundred percent and couldn't generate much going forward. Some activity around the hour mark, but he was removed late in the game, as Paunovic played it safe regarding his fitness.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (5.5) Came into the match in the 72nd for Alvarez. Managed to get one attack forward in the 75th but relatively quiet from then on.

D Jonathan Campbell (5.5) Subbed in for Accam in the 86th with both teams apparently looking to hold onto the point.

Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Any update on Goosens training yet or have they said anything more about de Leeuw's MRI results?

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    I wouldn't hold my breath on Goossens any time soon. He's not running full speed yet.

  • I also wonder about Daniel Johnson. I was pretty pumped about his play earlier in the season.

    Separate rant:
    Just to remind everyone the place the Fire hold in the local media. Fire-NY game re-cap on page 17 of Trib Sports section. Of course there's no photo. The full first page had a list of every starting lineup for the Chicago Cubs this year. There was also a shout-out to an article on how people should respond to the anthem at Blackhawks games. I guess with no Bears game to cover, these are most important sports reports in the city.

  • In reply to Doug:

    I gave up on the Tribune years ago. John Kass is the only one at the Tribune who even knows what soccer is and he is so annoying with everythng else he writes about that there really isn't ever a reason to read the Tribune sports section if you are looking for anything Fire related. I honestly cannot wait for the day when the Tribune goes under.

  • In reply to Doug:

    Johnson should be back in full training very soon.

    Just another reason why you only need to stop here, the Athletic, Daily Herald, and CSN for Fire news.

  • This playing not to lose mentality could come back to haunt this team. Have to take the enemy out and leave no bodies behind. Last thing we need is to go to Atlanta in front of 70,000 fans without our full squad.

  • In reply to FutbolJunky:

    For me I don't think it was so much of a playing not to lost, it was an inability to adjust when they lost DeLeeuw. They didn't have a full strength sub to be able to replace him so early in the game. Accam is struggling with his persistent injury and they didn't adjust to fill the "workhorse" gap thats left without him. Remember, we had the lead while DeLeeuw was on the field. By the time Campbell came on, the better play was 1 point is better then 0 points. Also, its debateable whether you consider their formation a 5-3-2 or a 3-5-2. Bringing in Campbell could have allowed them a more offensive approach as it theoretically Polster and Vincent would then have more freedom to go forward.

    Again, the bigger problem for me was the reaction to losing DeLeeuw then anything else.

  • In reply to edubs:

    I agree that Deleeuw's injury was a huge blow, but I blame the coaches for that. Djordje should have been move more forward and Connor should have been brought in for depth in the back. Accam clearly could not go forward at his usual breakneck speed. When Basti came in he should have played more deep and again Djordje should have gone forward. As soon as Campbell came in, it became 5 in the back which was a complete capitulation. Also, I'm not sure who is more at fault on the Villa goal Meira or Lampson. It was keystone cops back there. Ugly!!!

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I think that the coaching staff was eager to get Accam on the field in this game for morale - his and the team's (I think this goes for Basti as well). DeLeeuw's injury just forced their hand a little sooner than they wanted. With the long break coming up, I think they felt the need to get both players some game minutes prior to the really intense scrapping for playoff placement.

  • DeLeeuw ruptured his ACL. I don't think the anwer is more Alvarez, but it may out of necessity lead to that. How do they line-up for the playoffs. Here is my preferred formation/lineup:

    Polster kap Campbell* Vincent
    Dax Basti
    Djordje Solingnac Accam

    *After the fiasco on Villa's goal, I bench both Lampson and Meira.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I agree with Krasov to a point. Pauno handled the response to Deleeuw's injury the wrong way. Accam on and off was a joke. Is Accam so unhappy (heard he can't wait to get out of town) or really injured? Either way, putting him on and then subbing him off was a joke. Basti wanted to make an appearance (compensation/contract) and didn't make an impact. Give me an eager young player any day then a WC veteran who's padding his retirement fund and who may be playing his final matches for the Fire in the upcoming month..? Is it just me?

  • In reply to FutbolJunky:

    Accam is really injured. He is expected to have surgery at the end of the season and is using pain medication to make it through now.

    Who would you have preferred they brought in? Arshakyan? Where I agree they probably should have brought in Connor or Brandt instead of Accam because he wasn't 100%, I think you need to get Basti back on the field to get him minutes and sub Accam on closer to the end of the game, bringing in Connor instead.

  • Minnesota did us a solid last night be beating Atlanta. Even though we tied NYCFC, we can top Atlanta by winning out. we could even catch NYCFC concievably.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    We can't top Atlanta just by winning out. We both have 2 games left. They need to drop points and we need to capitalize when they do. We haven't been so good at that so far this season and not having DeLeeuw is going to be a major impact to the team. His injury completely derailed them against NYCFC. Hopefully they can over come that in training and put together solid game plans for these last 2 games.

  • In reply to edubs:

    Atlanta plays NYRB in Harrison. NYRB are fighting for a playoff spot and need a win. We are playing Philadelphia at home. We can easily be in third. Atlanta then play Toronto in Atlanta. Toronto won't care, but Toronto will not want to go into the playoffs with a loss. This game easily ends in a tie. We play Houston. That will be a tough game but is winnable. NYCFC plays at New England and home to Columbus. NYCFC does not play well on the road and New England is a shambles. This game could go either way. Probably another tie. Columbus needs to win the last game. NYCFC will be tired. Easily another tie. We could if we win and both Atlanta and NYCFC stumble end up in third or very wishful thinking second. Without Atlanta losing on Tuesday, this would be much more difficult. That's all I'm saying.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    again, this is the definition of needing results from other teams. Us winning out doesn't hand us anything, we need results to go our way. Don't dismiss Atlanta United outright. They are hot and playing well.

    I wish I had your crystal ball... I'd be a billionaire.

  • Dax played very well against Panama. It was nice to see the true Dax for the US.

  • Fire can take 6 points in the next 2 matches without Bavarian Fireplug and Deleeuw. Not sure of Juninho's status, but he be a big factor for us going into playoffs?

  • OT..Bruce Arena is not at fault for this disaster. He put the best 11 on the pitch to seal the deal. The best 11 did not play their best. Lackadaisical is an understatement. Dempsey was the only one who showed some fire. Maybe bringing Dax on early in 2nd half to stoke those flames would have helped as our mids weren't doing much.
    Completely disgusted and heartbroken. Would have liked to see Deuce in his final Cup and the Wunderkind's debut on the world stage . Thank God clear thinking kept me from Elvis'ing my big screen!

  • In reply to Fireman1:

    Arena, Klinsmann, the players, and most of all Gulati all have a stake in this debacle.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Personally, I think Bruce should have instructed everyone on the sideline to not concern themselves with the scores of the other games. Focus on winning because you hold your own fate in your hands. The team didn't come out playing like they deserved to win, and Phantom Goals or not, that was the problem at the end of the day. There was to much focus on the other results from the entire team, and not enough focus on taking care of business. That and Omar Gonzalez was atrocious. The whole team just was horrible in closing down space. Especially in our own half. We didn't come out with that "we will destroy you attitude" like we had against panama.

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