Fire 3 Revolution 2 - Recap and Ratings

The Fire continued to show their improved form at home with a 3-2 win over the New England Revolution while keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.  After taking a 3-0 lead against a sloppy and disorganized New England back line the Fire allowed two late goals that kept the score line close as the Revolution managed numerous chances on Sean Johnson’s goal.  The first New England goal probably should have been waved off after Milton Caraglio bumped Johnson off the ball but the second was a result of lax late game defending of a New England throw-in.  “We’ll talk tomorrow. The most important thing is we won the game but we’ll look at this game at we’ll look at the tape and we’ll talk to the guys because we’ve got to have a better finish to the game,” said Frank Klopas when asked about the two late goals allowed.

Klopas also discussed resting players ahead of the US Open Cup Final, Sebastian Grazzini’s injury, and Patrick Nyarko’s first goal of the season.  “I was very happy for Patrick because I’ve told him at times he needs to be a little more selfish.”  The entire press conference can be seen right here.

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) – Allowed two goals but registered eight saves. As mentioned before, the first goal may have been a result of a missed foul call and the second was an uncontested look but Johnson has been outstanding of late. Johnson talks about the match and late goals here.

D Dan Gargan (5) – The Fire’s back line was just okay for most of the match as New England managed to register 22 shots putting 11 of those on goal.  Gargan wasn’t as involved today as he has been in previous matches after returning from a one game suspension.

D Josip Mikulic (5) – The Revolution had far too many touches in the box and on free kick opportunities as Mikulic replaced Cory Gibbs in the line up.  Decent effort but not outstanding.

D Jalil Anibaba (6) -The best of the Fire’s defenders in this match.  His cross in the 68th minute provided a scoring chance that forced Reis into a save.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) -The entire back line seemed to fall asleep during a throw-in on Ryan Guy’s second goal.  The score came from the spot vacated by Segares as a quick re-start left the Fire scrambling to cover.

M Marco Pappa (5) – Continued improved play defensively while still trying to find a comfortable role in an offense that no longer runs through him.  Some positives and negatives on the passing side but his best sequence came in the 65th minute when his well placed ball allowed a 1v1 chance for Nyarko.

M Pavel Pardo (6) – The more I see of Pardo the more I appreciate what he’s done for the team (along with Grazzini) in re-shaping the way the team plays.  Solid as usual in the holding role.

M Sebastian Grazzini (7) – The Fire had control of the match while Grazzini was on the pitch but it was a good sign that things didn’t completely fall apart upon his exit in the 25th minute due to a tight left hamstring.  Grazzini said after that the match that he felt fine but wasn’t sure if he would be available on Wednesday night.  Besides converting the penalty kick, a great pass sprung Oduro for a 1v1 chance against Reis and a 2-0 advantage.  Grazzini talks about his injury here.

M Logan Pause (7) -Tireless work in the first half set the tone and allowed Fire attackers to jump on New England.  His pass to Nyarko led to the penalty kick and an interception led to the team’s second score.

F Patrick Nyarko (7) – Could have done better with a chance in the 65th minute but Nyarko continues to create countless opportunities for teammates with pace and passing ability.  Finally got on the scoreboard himself in the 30th minute although Matt Reis’ effort helped it along.  Catch Nyarko’s post game comments here.

F Dominic Oduro (6) – Scored his 11th goal of the season but could have had more.  Reis foiled a chance in the 57th after a great pass from Nyarko and another one in the 74th.  Finally returned the favor for his Ghanian teammate with a lead pass setting up Nyako for his score.

M Baggio Husidic (5) – Can’t be expected to provide the same type of play but chipped in with a decent game in relief of Grazzini.  Produced a shot on goal with a header in the 68th.

F Diego Chaves (5) – Came in for Nyarko in the 66th but didn’t figure into much action offensively as the Fire were looking to ice the match.

F Orr Barouch (5) – Entered the match in the 77th in place of Oduro.

C Frank Klopas (6) – Another must win at home against a team that should be beaten is definitely a positive.  Two sloppy late goals need to be addressed along with preventing 22 shots from the next opponent.  The return of Cory Gibbs should help.  Used subs wisely after Grazzini went out in an effort to rest the speedsters up top for Wednesday night.

Up Next 

A difficult road game at Rio Tinto Stadium.  RSL will not be in a good mood after getting waxed 4-1 at DC.



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  • GR did you stop rating the refs a long time ago and I didn't notice or is this a one time thing since Michael Kennedy was SO horribly bad on that first NE goal? I think you could've replaced Kennedy with any of the refs from the Bears game on that one!

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I did stop rating the refs a while ago because it was impossible to rate any of them higher than a 4 or a 5.

  • The "no call" on the first NE goal was dubious, I agree. I recall thinking at the time that the pile-up may have been sufficiently complex to properly call that perhaps the ref just decided to let it go as the game seemed to be over anyway. Of course, moments later, after the second goal, that "no call" decision took on a different perspective. I wonder if Kennedy was considering escape routes at that point.

    I recall thinking after the second goal that it came from Segares' area but I didn't see where Segares was at the time of how it came to pass that he was out of position. I suspect the team was still puzzling over the previous "no call" and it very nearly cost them dearly. That's a very good reminder that when stuff happens in the course of the game you just have to forget it and move on. There will be time to review it after the game, and there's nothing you can do about it during the game, EXCEPT get distracted by it.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    The first goal should have been waved off but the second goal was just carelessness at the end of the match. The entire team reacted a bit slowly to the throw in perhaps feeling the game was over. Segares was jogging toward the play as the ball was thrown in. Once Fagundez flicked the ball for Caraglio, Mikulic came out too far to mark him leaving the middle of the box undefended. Segares came over to attempt to help Mikulic with Caraglio's run leaving the entire far post vacant where Guy was making his run. Anibaba tried to come over and cover the space vacated by Mikulic after Fagundez' pass but it was too late.

    Just a lack of concentration at the end of the match.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Sadly, both could have been prevented. The first by the ref, the second by the team.

    On reffing. It's a soccer thing in general. One field, one ref with two linesmen is just not working for soccer. Not in world soccer, not in EPL and Europe. Not even in Champion's League where they also have the goal judges as well. We need reform. I would hate to take it to the level of the NFL, but it needs to move just a little bit more to where refs can't control a game the way they do in soccer. It's just too hard for a ref to do the job well, and too easy to get everything wrong, and too easy to have conspiracy theories about it... games like Chelsea vs Barca 08 come to mind. A lot will have to happen before I can ever think UEFA wasn't corrupt after that game, and I hate both teams lol.

  • In reply to waam:

    i've never seen a goal line ref make any sort of call in any match whatsoever. they are useless "feel-good" refs only

  • Oduro should have 12 goals by now. If Patrick had just dished the ball off to him like he did against the Goats.

    Bob Lee gets non-soccer-hater of the week award. While showing highlights of a touchdown in the Alabama-Arkansas game, he said the runner resembled Leo Messi moving through the penalty area (or something like that).

  • Let's not forget that football (American) started off with a three-man referee system as well. However, over the years as the level of play and skill/athleticism improved/sped-up they added referees to better monitor the play. Now this is not to say soccer needs 7 referees, I do believe that a hybrid of the local high school two-man system coupled with the traditional three-man system (head ref, linesmen) could be beneficial to the game. As a former referee myself, I believe that a strict guideline of what each referee is responsible for should be set by the governing body especially in the professional game. Most times, the head ref dictates to the assistants what they can and cannot call on their own and this discrepancy leads to confusion and controversey as seen when players will ask an assistant for a call that they some times cannot call on their own. "Stick to offsides/onsides and in-or-out calls, I've got everything else, son" as I was once told. In most cases though, the refs will always be the putzes (sp?) or the villans but rarely the heros. I just think Michael Kennedy, one of the better refs in the league (cue up the "Tallest Midget" award music) really blew it with that call.

  • We don't need any more officials on the field. What both footballs need are one or two officials on the field to communicate with the teams and break up altercations, and then a small team in a video booth with access to all the different angles and replay options to watch the field and make the call. If these guys could run with and move and keep track of 22 footballers, they wouldn't be officials, they would be highly paid professional athletes.

    A booth of video officials would be able to cover the entire field without ever getting in the way of the ball or making erroneous calls by virtue of being out of position/looking the other way.

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