A playoff ending 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the New York Red Bulls knocked the Fire out of the postseason and put an end to an otherwise entertaining year. New York struck early when Bradley Wright-Phillips worked his way in between Johan Kappelhof and Joao Meira forcing Matt Lampson into another goalkeeping mishap.
Sascha Klejstan added a second goal just four minutes later when Juninho inexplicably lost him directly in front of goal for a tap-in.
The Fire moved to desperation mode in the second half in moving to a three-man backline in the 70th minute. New York immediately made them pay when Daniel Royer found space in the area vacated in the back to make it 3-0 just seconds after two substitutions and the tactical switch took place.
Gonzalo Veron provided the capper in the 87th minute after a ludicrous David Arshakyan turnover at midfield.
The Fire are left to regroup and look toward next year with several question marks in place. Bastian Schweinsteiger has indicated that he would like to return and the club has said likewise, but there should be concern about relying on a 34-year old center midfielder as your most important player again next year.
GK Matt Lampson (3.5) - Coming out late and missing the ball on Wright-Phillips during the first goal would not have happened if he didn't catch defenders napping in the first plac, but Lampson has to do better in that instance. By the time Veron easily chipped him for the fourth goal, the game was over.
D Brandon Vincent (4) - As New York pushed on the outside, the Fire fullbacks couldn't get forward much. Adams beat him on the left side to get the cross off finding Klejstan in front of the net for the second goal. Didn't close down space after Meira was lifted, allowing Royer to turn and score the third.
D Johan Kappelhof (4) - Didn't see BWP behind him on the first goal. Came forward a bit on the second forcing Juninho to have to pick up Klejstan during the second.
D Joao Meira (3) - Completely lost Wright-Phillips while in front of him allowing the forward to get free for the crippling first goal.
D Matt Polster (4.5) - A few quality tackles early and made some effort to push but also lost the ball several times in the first half. Took three shot attempts but none were on target.
M Dax McCarty (5) - Showed some fight and tried to get things moving from deep midfield but also committed costly turnovers as well. Tried to hit Accam over the top several times with no end result. Had two of the Fire's four shots on target.
M Juninho (3) - Completely losing Klejstan and then half lunging to stop him once he was past put the Fire down 2-0 and essentially sealed the game. Provided little on either end.
M Luis Solignac (4) - A cross to Nikolic in the 26th that was headed wide and a nifty move to get free on the right side to find Nikolic again in the 29th provided some half chances. Just missed Mihailovic at the far post in the 55th. Completed 60% of his passes.
M Djordje Mihailovic (4) - Asked to play the de Leeuw role but couldn't generate much in finding Nikolic or Accam in the final third. Went down in the 65th with an apparent serious knee injury.
M David Accam (4) - Still a half-step off and shut down by New York defenders in the second half. Completed 46% of his passes.
F Nemanja Nikolic (4.5) - Little service outside of the two half-chances from Solignac. Only 16 touches is simply not enough for the team's top striker in a game of this magnitude.
M Bastian Schweinsteiger (4.5) - Came on for Mihailovic in the 65th. Participated in one decent combination with Alvarez and Nikolic in the 85th but that was it.
M Arturo Alvarez (4.5) - Replaced Meira in the 70th. One free kick attempt in the 82nd was well high of the net.
F David Arshakyan (3) - Subbed in for Juninho in the 70th minute. A bumbling 87th minute touch and turnover led to New York's fourth goal. Closed the match in appropriate fashion with a comically bad whiff on a sitter in front of the net in stoppage time. He managed to get credit for a shot on target for that effort.
Veljko Paunovic post game video
Bastian Schweinsteiger post game video
Dax McCarty post game video