Fire 1 Revolution 0 Game Recap and Player Ratings

The Fire hung on in the second half to beat New England 1-0.  After a fair first half effort the Fire were content to sit back and protect the lead.  Although bunkering seldom works and often results in dropped points the Revolution just do not have the finishing talent to make anyone pay for giving up way too much possesion and 12 corner kicks.  That being said, road wins are valuable and it was a good sign that the Fire was able to beat a team that they should beat.  

Justin Mapp was scratched during pre-game warm ups due to an injury and Mike Banner replaced him in the starting eleven.  During the broadcast Chris Doran mentioned that he would prefer to see Pappa in the middle with Nyarko on the right and Banner on the left.  I agreed with this proposed alignment although Pappa scored the only goal of the match shortly after Doran’s assessment. 

Player Ratings


GK Andrew Dykstra (6) – Muffed a few clearances but for the most part I thought he was more in charge and aggessive in the box than in previous matches.  Not called upon to make many difficult saves since the Revolution shooters could not find the net. 

D Dasan Robinson (7) – Good effort from Robinson and he even managed to get forward a bit.  Give away in the 75th minute gave Perovic a look at goal. 

D CJ Brown (7) – Controlled the penalty area.  New England was not dangerous in the box and most of their attempts came from distance.  Not many clear chances for the Revs despite twelve corner kicks.  Brown took charge vocally by all accounts.

D Wilman Conde (6) – Better in this game since there were no gaffes leading to opposition scores although a lazy giveaway in the 22nd minute was almost disastrous. 

D Kryzystof Krol (7) – Solid along with the rest of the back line absorbing pressure for the entire second half.  Not much from Nyassi on his side.

M Logan Pause (6) – Pause’s distribution forward in the first half was actually pretty good.  Got beat by Schilawski on a corner kick header that luckily resulted in a wide shot attempt.  A giveaway in the 28th minute almost lead to a Perovic goal. 

M Baggio Husidic (5) – His most active moment came in the 27th minute as his header was just high of Reis’ net.  Left in the 38th minute with an injury.

M Marco Pappa (6) – Like just about everyone else on the team, his first half was miles better than the second.  Pappa’s laser from 30 yards will get another Goal of the Week nomination.  Most of his goals are highlight reel material.  Played on the right side for the entire match which doesn’t allow him to cross since he is only dangerous going left but he keeps finding opportunities to shoot on goal…..a good thing.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) – Not much from Nyarko today.  Probably his least effective effort of the season so far.  It may have been the turf or the heat (or a combination of both) but he was subbed out in the 70th minute and looked gassed. 

M Mike Banner (5) – Managed to generate a couple of corner kicks opportunities but Banner looked lost playing in the middle of the pitch in place of Mapp.  I would have preferred to see Corben Bone get the nod ahead of Banner. 

F Brian McBride (6) – Looked more lively in the first half before being subbed out late.  Several headers were just wide and his shot in the 43rd minute was cleared off the line by New England. 

M Peter Lowry (5) – Came on for Husidic in the 38th minute and played a decent match although New England enjoyed way too much possesion in the midfield.

M Deris Umanzor (5) – Subbed in for Nyarko in the 70th minute.  Umanzor played in midfield in the Sister Cities Cup and resumed that role today.  Not bad but not good either.

F Stefan Dimitrov (5) – Came on for McBride in the 83rd minute.  Managed to get a header off but it was not dangerous. 

CSN Broadcast

Once again the camera work was awful.  During one point in the second half the camera focused on CJ Brown jogging forward in the box for several seconds while Patrick Nyarko tore up the left sideline to create a possible scoring opportunity.  McBride’s pass to Nyarko setting up the play was missed entirely as was the majority of the run forward. 

The post game show featured interviews with Robinson, Dykstra, Pause, and Frank Klopas.  That part of the program was much better than previous broadcasts. 

Doran also alluded to the possible return of Cuauhtemoc Blanco.  Although it’s mostly speculation at this point, the lack of buzz or talk regarding the Fire’s pursuit of designated players seems to indicate to me that we may see Blanco back in red come July 15. 

Doran and Kelly also made no mention of Collins John not being with the team.  That’s a pretty big oversight for a guy that was supposed to be the big offseason acquisition. 

US Open Cup

The Fire return to action in US Open Cup play on Tuesday night.  The Charleston Battery will visit Toyota Park and it will be interesting to see what kind of line-up De Los Cobos fields on a short turnaround.  Will we see rookies Bone and Watson-Siriboe, Umanzor and Dimitrov?  Or will De Los Cobos field the usual starters hoping to avoid any slip ups in pursuit of the Open Cup trophy?


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  • The Revs had an indirect kick in the first half and Chris Doran said it must be for time wasting or that Dykstra had handled the ball just outside the box. Wouldn't the latter lead to a direct kick? It must. He did get it correct when Banner was called for offside even though the ball was last touched by NE.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Banner also botched that break away. Although he was not offside the shot would have been wasted even if the referee did get the call right.

  • In reply to cesba:

    i wonder if Banner could hit an open net from the penalty spot. i get frustrated just watching him and Conde make so many poor decisions, each with several silly giveaways or weak passes. in fairness tho, Banner did put in a nice cross early in the game

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    I have an answer for that....HELL NO!!! I saw him in the SuperLiga Finals last year in the PK's. Banner shot the ball and squibbed it to the right out of bounds like a girl. Banner is terrible and he has one strength...speed.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    it was time wasting. they said Dykstra had held the ball for something like 24(?) seconds. plus replays showed that he had kicked the ball from inside the box. was a little surprised the ref didnt at least whistle and warn Dykstra to move it along before calling the foul

  • The Fire did well to finish after the dissapointment against Colorado. The Fire's attack looked very good with great ball movement and player's making different runs through the opposing defense. It's good to see that we have someone like Pappa who can score from range. The defense looked better but there were still moments where NE players ran unmarked. Is there any more talk of the Fire signing Guily or any other European designated player.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    The first half looked good. The offense disappeared in the second half as they tried to kill the clock.

  • In reply to cesba:

    someone tell the Fire its easier to kill the clock if you have possession. frustrating watching them just give the ball back to the revs only to let them reset their offense and try again, time after time. no pressure on the ball at all. the revs were constantly pressuring our backline and mids.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    CC --dead on comment! but to clarify---I didn't see this game but your comment was equally applicable to the Rapids draw. We gave away midfield and allowed them to continue to drop long balls into the box. I have no problem with protecting a lead but we need to be able to do so without totally abdicating control of midfield.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    Collins John is still dealing with his illness and didn't make the trip with the team.

  • In reply to SamuelStejskal:

    Just found it odd that it wasn't mentioned on the broadcast.

  • In reply to cesba:

    GR --Are you hinting that the relationship with John is encountering some problems? Could Chicago unload him and use the money for a real DP?

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    Not hinting that at all, there is apparently a legit health issue. I just found it odd that it was overlooked during the broadcast.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I'm with you GR. Everytime they talked about the short bench, they mentioned that Thor and Carr were injured... but nothing about CoJo, and I was like, um... guys, where's CoJo? When Dimitrov got subbed in, it really should have prompted them to discuss it.

    My favorite part of the broadcast was when CdlC subbed in Umanzor and the guys were at a complete loss for an explanation of why.

    And on the camera work... horrible.

  • In reply to cesba:

    My theory with John's issue is fatigue or muscle/bone issue...that is my guess.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    World Cup Ratings are large......

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    as far as individual play from the game, my opinions: - nyarko was kinda quiet, the few times he did get a touch he did pretty well setting up others, though.

    banner was active but generally ineffective on offense. same with dasan- making some nice runs on the right, but then showing ineptitude with the ball when needed most. would have liked to seen krol making the forward runs more often, he usually puts a better pass or cross in than dasan. banner also made a few lazy plays & showed poor awareness on the ball, got dispossessed too easily a few times. he did help out quite a bit defensively, however. i dont quite get coaches infatuation with Banner, however. its like Bradleys love of Findley - sure there's speed, but nothing materially results of it. maybe i am missing something

    conde again showed his usual lapses in concentration, a couple times making a lazy pass that nearly cost a goal. aside from his mugging that resulted in a yellow card, he was pretty good on defense tho

    pappa played great the first half, and the second half he was helping out quite a bit on defense, often collecting the loose ball after a revs corner failed.

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    also, IMO- take away pappa and nyarko and this team is bottom of the league

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Depends who you replace them with. Take away Pappa and Nyarko and add in Messi and Renaldo and we might be top of the table. :) (Please God, make it happen.)

    I agree with you regarding Banner and Dasan. Some flashes of excitement, but just nothing coming of it. Frustrating too because I like those guys and they're generally maximum effort kinda guys, but those are some of the weaker spots on the roster.

    The most telling quote of the whole night was Andrew Dykstra's postgame comment about having learned which guys "tune in and which guys tune out" in the last 10 minutes of the game and being better able to direct the defense because of that knowledge...

  • In reply to Byron:

    Yeah but if you take Donovan and Buddle off the Galaxy....oh wait...never mind.

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Will the Open Cup game be broadcasted on TV.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    There is no TV for the match unfortunately. carried Charleston's US Open Cup match last Tuesday but there is no announcement on the site regarding tomorrow's match.

  • In reply to cesba:

    The red bulls were showing us cup games online. Any chances of that for Fire?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    No, but may have an audio stream.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    The anti-soccer media is going to hate this......

  • In reply to Adam25:

    This guy has drawn interest from MLS

  • In reply to cesba:

    Scratch another one off the list......

    Michael Ballack has signed a two year deal with Bayer Leverkusen. Rumor has it that the Red Bulls were in the hunt.

  • In reply to fire1020:

    There hasn't been much talk recently. I'm guessing the Fire will sign a designated player who has played in Mexico and Spain with years of international experience. The player is older but is very popular with the Mexican fan base.

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