Red Bulls 4 Fire 0 - playoff recap and ratings

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.

Player ratings

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

Filed under: 2017 Playoffs

Tags: Chicago Fire


Leave a comment
  • Fire announce that Djordje Mihailovic has a ruptured right ACL. Will undergo surgery in the coming weeks.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    That is brutal. He clearly is a good player who obvioulsy was watching and learning from Dax and Basti. Here is a question for you G: everyone in the world knew that the Red Bulls were going to press high and put pressure on the Fire's defense and mids. Why were the Fire so obvioulsy unprepared for that tactic. They seemed to not have a clue where they were supposed to be. Also, was there any mention that BWP might have been offside on the first goal and that the offiating as a whole might have been just slightly better than horrendous?

  • In reply to Krasov:

    They just don't have the personnel that can beat the press or create consistently against good teams. With Accam still laboring a bit, the best chance to get behind the press was easily handled by New York. They don't have anyone else who can break it down off the dribble, and passing was just not very good in the first half. They were successful early in the season, until teams figured out how to stop them. They never came up with a counter.
    There was some talk about an offside call on the first goal, it was pretty close. If you slow it down on super-slomo, you can even make a case for it.
    Elfath did not have a good game as referee.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    If you have to slow it down to super-slomo to be able to see it, then in real time its not hard to see him being called on sides. Thats why we have video review, but then again... real time decision making, might not have enough to overturn it. With that being said... ya officiating was being horrendous, but the ref might have gotten that one correct. Or at least correct enough for the situation.

    That aside, Kap and Meira were sleeping and Lampson... well Lampson was Lampson. At the end of the day... its kinda of like the Panama Phantom goal, with how we played... did we really deserve anything different?

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    G, isn't that what a coach is supposed to do? If Pauno seriously could not figure out what the team needed to do to be succesfull with the hampered personell he has, then maybe he needs to go. You cannot keep trying to do the same thing over and over and watch it fail and not see that the tactics needed to change. Wait...he did try to change by putting three in the back and a giant up front...If anything that shift showed that Pauno is in over his head. I honestly would rather have Dave Sarachan back than watch another season with Pauno at the helm. He is a great guy and improved the team year over year, but he has serious short comings as a tactician. The team was just not prepared too many times to be successful in the long run. I would add new coach to our list of needs.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Agree 100%. The manager Pauno was last season is the manager he is. We saw real leaders come into this team and change the way we play. When BS was healthy, he dictated what this team did. Pauno had no influence in what was happening. Last season, all we saw was 10 passes between the defenders and then a long ball over the top that the opposition easily handled and then did what they want. In the second half of this season, with a tired and hurt BS, we saw our team play 10 passes between the defenders and then a long ball to nobody. Wednesday night was so much like last season it was pitiful. We looked beat from the opening kick off. I lost faith in Pauno after his first 10 matches last season. Two seasons in and I know he is not the manager to take us to the next level. Hopefully others will come around to it too.

    Just think, we could be without BS, Juninho, and Accam at the start of next season. Our needs start with a manager and then move on from there. I would also like to see Polster go back into the middle too.

  • In reply to manyou07:

    That was supposed to be:

Leave a comment