Fire 2 Toronto FC 0 - Recap and Ratings

A picture perfect night in front of 12,020 fans at Toyota Park (some of which where sporting neckties in honor of the Fire’s record breaking season) and the first home victory since March 26 lifted team spirits after a ten game winless streak was finally snapped.  In a match that included defender Dan Gargan scoring against his former team, the Fire’s first score on a corner kick all season, and the first two goal lead since that March 26 home opener against Sporting Kansas City the Fire seemed to finally catch some breaks.  Julian de Guzman came inches from tying the match in the 52nd minute as his shot clanged the post and allowed the Fire to maintain the lead and control the game. A reversal of fortunes for sure.

Dan Gargan cited his excitement after the score against Toronto, “I can’t really hide it and I’m not going to try to either.  It felt like a long time coming but it was nice to get it against them.”  “Leo Percovich does our set pieces and he was very instrumental in bringing me here as well, he has a lot of confidence in my ability on set pieces and he was stressing all week to get to the back post and luckily it squirted through and I was there to put in the back of the net.”

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) – Credited with three saves.  His best was a 33rd minute stop on Ryan Johnson’s shot after the Toronto forward managed to get behind the Fire defense.  Solidly handled all of Toronto’s corner kicks and crosses into the area as well.

D Gonzalo Segares (6) – His service into the box provided the pass that led to Oduro’s goal.  Also solid on the outside in defense.

D Jalil Anibaba (6) – It’s going to be hard to get him out of the first eleven as he continues his steady play at center back.  Klopas said after the match, “I like him better as a center back.  He reads the game better there.  I think he can play both but I see him as a better center back than out wide.”

D Cory Gibbs (6) – Steady in the middle other than one play in the 33rd minute where Johnson managed to get behind him for a shot on net.  Also had a chance or two on corner kick opportunities.

D Dan Gargan (6) – Acquiring Gargan for Dasan Robinson and a draft pick appears to be a good bit of business on Klopas’ part.  He’s been solid in every appearance thus far.

M Logan Pause (5) – Pause always puts in the effort and today was no exception as he played a more defensive role for much of the match than he has over the last three games.

M Pavel Pardo (6) – Solid in the back of the midfield for the whole game and even provided good service on corner kicks, a novelty for the Fire this season.

M Marco Pappa (5) – Actually produced a good defensive play or two and a 45th minute blast almost found the upper ninety forcing Kocic into a diving save.  His corner kicks however, continue to be weak.  Subbed out in the 73rd.

M Sebastian Grazzini (5) – Active but not as dangerous as he has been in previous matches.  Playing into the 89th minute is a good sign, the Fire continue to look like a different team with him on the pitch.  Had a bad pass or two along the way.

F Patrick Nyarko (5)  – Not a bad game with a few decent crosses and a dangerous run or two but seemed to be just a step off for stretches.

F Dominic Oduro (6) – Finished his one good chance with a fancy flick that gave the Fire the lead and also had several runs that went unnoticed by teammates.

F Orr Barouch (5) – Came on for Pappa and moved into a lone forward role with Nyarko and Oduro dropping back into midfield after the Fire’s second goal.  Missed Oduro on a run in the 87th minute and botched a 2v1 opportunity.

F Cristian Nazirit (5) – Entered the game in the 89th minute for Grazzini and did a nice job of finding teammates and keeping the ball moving forward as the Fire looked to kill the few remaining moments of the match.

M Baggio Husidic (5) – Subbed in for Oduro in stoppage time.  His one shot attempt was blocked.

C Frank Klopas (5) – After a tough night against DC on Thursday pushed all the right buttons to finally get a victory.  Allowed Grazzini to stay on the pitch and moved into a defensive posture at the right time.  You can hear Klopas talk about the addition of Dan Gargan, the effect of the win, Diego Chaves’ role, and Jalil Anibaba’s future at center back by clicking here.

Next Up

A home game on Saturday night against the defending champion Colorado Rapids.

Shameless Plug

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  • Last game against Rapids was a 1-1 tie, yeah hard to believe we had a tie. Defending champ or not, they are beatable. Go Fire, you can do it!

  • Looks like Carlos de los Cobos is a top candidate to replace Ricardo Lavolpe as the head coach of Costa Rica.

  • i can't wait until this team becomes grazzini's team.

  • yeah, even without his goal last nite, gargan has been a good pickup for the Fire. for one thing, he has been pretty solid at that position, and maybe even more importantly, its allowed anibaba to play his natural position at center back, where he has looked pretty solid as well.

    pappa just frustrates the hell outta me. i guess i expect more out of our best player. terrible corner taker, and too often wastes possession trying to take on defenders. is it any wonder that the Fires first score on a corner this season it was taken by Pardo?

    and i think you were a bit generous on the nazarit rating. the one pass he made directly to a toronto player when the fire were trying just keep possession and run time off, was infuriating

  • How many think Oduro can get to 10 goals?
    The way I see it the ball bounce the Fire way this time. I think they just need to build on this...

  • In spite of his inconsistent finishing, Oduro for Carr is a great pickup and starting him with Nyarko seems to have been a big positive. They show the kind of understanding that we saw from Chaves and Puerari at the beginning of the season. I still miss the Uruguayan duo a little, but it's mostly just nostalgia for those early season hopes.

  • In reply to Mateu:

    Now that you mention it, me too. I did like the way Diego and Gaston played together. There are moments between Patrick and Dom where I'm like that could look like attractive soccer, but than I come to my senses pretty quick...

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    It took a while to put our team together, but it's here now, and it's finally beginning to gel. I know, this is just one win, and that Whitecaps game is still not out of my memory just yet, but I feel if they put their best effort, and players that should play well, do so, we could still make a challenge for the last playoff spot, and definitely challenge for the US Open Cup trophy. I keep saying, win that one, and I would be satisfied with this year. Absolutely satisfied.

  • IMO - oduro is having the best season of all the fire players this year up to this point

    grazzini may be the most important player for the fire as of now, but for who has contributed the most and been the most consistent player for the whole season, oduro is my choice

    also, both inter-MLS trades have been net +'s for the Fire, so klopas has made some shrewd moves & is not the total incompetent that some understandably frustrated comments have been made

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    It's more than two trades. Cuesta, Oduro, Gargan and Conway were acquired by trade.

    Don't look now, but Oduro's finishing is not bad. He also stopped by the Section 8 tailgate after the game to hang out.

  • In reply to iron81:

    Really? What did we give up for Cuesta and Conway? Nevermind, I'll just look it up.

  • In reply to DDT5583:

    A supplemental draft pick (value=0) for Cuesta

    2nd round pick for Conway

    I think we overpaid for Conway but the other 3 trades are steals

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Like Dan Kelly's call on Oduro's goal: "BOOM GOES THE DOMINIC!"

  • Did anyone notice Fire have the most yellow cards. That's got to say something about this team. Maybe they are getting nastier...

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Kiss that Fair Play Award goodbye. :)

  • FC Dallas George John sold to Blackburn of English Premier League

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    One less to worry about in the potential final with Dallas. But ofcourse, it's going to be the current Kings of the cup vs the true Kings of the Cup for the final. We just have to beat Seattle, in Seattle for it.

  • In reply to waam:

    If we draw the 10/12 home date v. Dallas, the USOC final might also determine the Brimstone Cup. Could make for a fun night in Bridgeview.

    The winner of the yearly series between the clubs will be determined, in descending priority:

    i. Total head-to-head record, all regular season MLS league matches played between the clubs during the MLS regular season in a given calendar year (points accumulated according to MLS rules).
    ii. The winner (according to MLS rules) of any head-to-head MLS playoff series or match between the clubs immediately subsequent to the regular season in which there is a head-to-head tie.
    iii. The winner (according to USSF rules) of any head-to-head Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup match between the clubs during the calendar year in which there is a head-to-head tie between the two clubs during the MLS regular season.
    iv. Previous year's holder retains cup.

  • According to this site, the Fire still have a 1.2% chance of making the playoffs......

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Never tell me the odds. - Han Solo

  • In reply to WBO5ElGuapo:

    Love me a well placed Star Wars quote.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    So you're saying there's a chance.

  • In reply to Doug:

  • Well a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then! Now everyone is giving Klopas credit for all of these great trades. Come on! Quit drinking the cool aid!

  • In reply to bigdog:

    I feel that credit is due when earned, getting Orr and trading for Oduro and Gargan were solid moves and Frank deserves credit for these. But he has made moronic moves as well, protecting Banner and letting Lowry go and the signing of Castillo come to mind immediately. There have been players that the Fire let go who ended up with decent careers with other teams. How well a player does with a team is just more than talent, team chemistry and how the player fits in the playing style matter as much.
    I'm certain the team that ended up with Carr would in retrospect
    would rather have Oduro back.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Klopas acquisitions:

    Good: Acquiring Pappa, letting go injured prone John Thorrington to Vancouver, Oduro, Gargan, Grazzini, drafting Johnson, Nyarko, Anibaba, Gibbs, McBride, Mikulic and Gibbs

    Bad: signing Castillo, C. John, Conway, letting Busch go and kept Dykstra, reacquiring Andy Herron, Lider Marmol, Vidiera, Dave Myrie, Maric, Dimitrov, re-signing Pause and protecting Banner

    Time will Tell: Barouch, Nazarit, Kinney, Watson-Siriboe, Pineda, Gulley, Cuesta

  • In reply to bigdog:

    i think i've been consistent this season in saying how well the oduro deal has panned out. but when oduro has a bad game, every chicken little pops his head out and the sky is falling. now THAT is drinking the kool-aid :)

    i also said recently that i think the personnel the Fire have are good enough team as far as ability and talent. what they've been lacking is mental toughness to see matches out to the end. too often they get the lead and play like they are afraid to lose it. they need to play to crush the opponent and break its will. it was even worse last season, tho. i think things will get better next season, esp if they can get a coach that can get these guys better mentally prepared

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    It's Kool-aid bd. And its red. Yummy. Just tells you how much we are suckers for this team. It's like a bad child, or a lazy dog. You hate em, but you can't help but loving them to the death. Too many years of Cubbie syndrome perhaps. Illini syndrome. Bears, Blackhawks, Post Jordan Bulls, and White Sox syndrome. Damn these dogs! But I love em all.

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