Galaxy and Ibrahimovic defeat Fire 1-0

A first half stoppage time goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic was all the Los Angeles Galaxy needed to earn all three points against the Fire on a cold and rainy day in Bridgeview. The match drew the largest crowd for a Fire game a Toyota Park with announced attendance of 21,915.

The Fire were competitive but failed to get much going in the attack and now embark on a difficult stretch of games that will feature challenges against some of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. The Fire travel to New York to face the Red Bulls next weekend, followed by a trip to Toronto FC before returning home to face Atlanta United FC.

Catch post game reaction from Dax McCarty here.

And Zlatan Ibrahimovic here.

Filed under: 2018 regular season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • It seems like the apathy surrounding the Fire has infected this website, too. Where Ivan we rant about the team? I haven't watched a game since Portland game and it sounds like they are even worse. Not surprising from ownership that cares so little about the fans that they don't put the games on tv, and more importantly haven't made any decent moves since last year. They should have kept Alvarez and Accam for sure. It almost seems like they are setting up to move the team. How dreary.

  • This team is so frustrating. We are 5 games in and already have 5 different lineups. There is no scenario where that is a good thing. These formation and position changes are so confusing. We have zero creativity going forward. We have nobody who can turn and run at the defense. If we collect the ball in our final third, we only have Niko to play to, who is usually offside or too slow to run onto a ball. Adding Gordon to this squad is a clear sign that we are quickly moving away from a possession based team. We're depending on our right and left backs to play crosses in. It's very frustrating to see what has happened to this team. From the BS signing to the All Star game last season, we were the best team in this league. We dominated teams for long stretches of the game and passed them off the park. Things have completely bombed since then. This team, without any serious investment and signings, will not make the playoffs. Signing Casillas or Fernando Torres will be a clear sign that they are looking to put butts in seats and not looking to win games. Both of those players were fantastic players 10 years ago.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I believe that the lineup changes have primarily been Pauno's response to injuries in his squad. Lillard, Campbell, Polster and Solignac were all injured in pre-season, and now Polster and Solignac are re-injured. Also, I think that many MLS coaches tinker with their lineups. How many teams have had the same lineup for five consecutive games?

    I'm also not a fan of Gordon's; his presence on the field will not solve the Fire's fundamental problems.

    Possession soccer is beautiful soccer. It is hard to play possession soccer when a guy like Tony "Turnover Machine" Tchani is in the first 11. The guy is a good ball-winner, but he gives away possession far too easily.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    You just mentioned two starters who are out injured in Polster and Solignac yet Pauno is making whole team changes. Not just one or two changes because of injuries. Pauno is not tinkering with his lineups. Only Tchani, Niko, Dax, and Vincent are the only outfield players who are playing in their same positions. That's crazy!

    I also think you're (and others) are being a little harsh on Tchani. He's being asked to play a position he doesn't play. In Columbus he was fantastic next to Trapp with Higuain in front of them. He's being asked to be creative in this team. He is not creative. His job should be winning the ball and playing it quickly to a more creative player, which we don't have (or is currently our center back). There have been times where Tchani has been playing right behind Niko. Again, that's crazy! This team needs so many pieces to be competitive in this league. This team is not a playoff team, which is incredible. Still a starting attacking mid, wide player, centerback, and keeper away from competing.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Hey, all I'm asking Tchani to do is to consistently pass the ball to a guy wearing a red shirt. From what I've seen so far, he's not good at that.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Tchani can break up plays, but once he does, he often gives the ball right back to the other team in an even better position for them. That's not a problem of not being used to each other. I like Tchani's touhness and effort, but he needs to be able to make a simple pass.

  • Playing Basti in the back is an embarrassment to soccer. The guy is the only player on this squad that can create space and make plays for others. He needs to play more forward between the defensive mids and and the forwards. Get him the ball between the lines and the Fire will score. Until Polster is back, play Lillard and Campbell at CBs and Kap at right back. Threaten Vincent with a trip to Tulsa if he doesn't get his butt in gear. In needs to go forward with urgency (which he showed at times last year). Get Tchani and Gordon off the field. Put Dax and one of the kids in the defensive mid spots. Have Katai, Basti, Campos play attacking mids, with Niko up top. Katai and Basti need to interchange a lot so that Katai has time creating in the middle. He can do that in MLS. Stick to this formation and line-up. Let them get used to it before panicking and changes 20 times a game. Pauno you are not Johan Cruyf so stick to a plan, prepare your team, and trust them to takeover. You are not paying Basti millions to clear the ball from the six yard box.

  • Well I pretty much concur with everyone else. This team is miles away from the one we had this time last season. Partly due to injuries, yes, but also poor performances, some poor moves and poor replacements. Tchani is abysmal. Collier and Gordon are not starting-caliber players (at least not on a team that wants to make the playoffs.) I thought Katai provided a decent spark off the bench in this game, his entry coincided with a period of sustained pressure.

    We're in dire need of possession, cohesion, and some purpose in attack. Moving Basti into the back 5 (?!) certainly doesn't help.

  • All excellent observations. Obvious that the hand full of us who give a damn have more soccer acumen than the average bear, whether that be from playing or coaching at a higher level or lifelong students of the game.
    Seeing as this is one of the few games I will see this year (I am not giving ESPN one more dime on top of my DirectTV and MLS package bill) my 2 big observations.
    1.) It would be funny if it weren't sad, but seeing 3 opponents at the top of our 18 while attempting a goal kick reminded me of U8's. Maybe we need a build out line too. Putting your best and most skilled player at centre back had a very 5 y.o. rec league feel
    2.) I think Pauno is one of the better coaches in the club's history. Last year he had a strategy that was more or less successful. Even when teams learned how to defend against it was still good enough to go from wooden spoon to the playoffs in one year. This year there has been no consistent strategy. I get it there are "some " injuries, but you have to play the hand you have been dealt. There are constant lineup and formation changes. For pete's sake pick a style of play and coach your players to plug into that system. And if Connor and DJ are healthy stop letting them ROT on the bench!

  • Breaking news from Bridgeview:

    Toyota Park is going to be renamed "SeatGeek Stadium". I feel really bad for the residents of Bridgeview. They were so screwed by the financial terms of the stadium. They have had their property taxes doubled and the village still cannot pay the debt. I really think their only option is to pull a Detroit and file for bankruptcy. They cannot keep rolling over the debt. The stadium cost $98 million to build but the village's general obligation bond debt has risen to $260 million. Not sure how much of the $260 million is tied to the stadium, but it is probably a lot. They will never be able to pay it off. They should just give up the ghost and file for bankruptcy and the let the bondholders clean up the mess.

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