FC Dallas 2 Fire 1 - Recap and Ratings


That was the key word most commonly heard after the Fire’s 2-1 loss to FC Dallas which all but eliminates them from playoff competition for the second consecutive season.  “We were flat from the beginning.  I felt we weren’t sharp.  We were just a step behind everything,” said Frank Klopas after the match.  Klopas was concerned with the team’s rhythm after last Tuesday’s US Open Cup loss but credited Dallas with a solid effort.  “They came out and made it difficult for us but we pushed the game late and we got something going but in the end we gave up two soft goals that hurt us,” continued Klopas while acknowledging that the team’s playoff hopes are all but gone.

The Fire’s interim head coach also answered questions about substitutions, the final two games of the season, and his status going into the 2012 campaign.  You can watch his entire post game press conference in the video above.

“I’m very disappointed.  I think we just started flat,” echoed Dominic Oduro.  “It was really hard for me to get behind the defense.  I think they dropped back the whole time so we had to change tactics during the second half.  I had to go play on the right and I was able to get to a few balls on that side but tactically they did well by just sitting back the whole time to try and stop our runs in behind.”

Patrick Nyarko also was at a loss to explain the frustrating defeat which featured a string of cards that will force the Fire to face DC United this weekend without Pavel Pardo, Dan Gargan, and Cory Gibbs. “Training had been good this week.  Guys knew what needed to be done and had the mentality to go in but I can’t really give an excuse for that.  Maybe since we’ve been doing well recently and we were playing at home we thought it was just going to be a gimme,” said Nyarko.

Pardo, who has been excellent on and off the field since joining the team in July was apologetic about his red card.  “I was a little bit late, I know it was a foul.  Sometimes it’s a foul that you (see) like ten or twenty times during a game but it’s the referee’s decision so that’s no excuse.  It’s a red card and I apologize because when you’re with ten players it’s difficult to play,” said Pardo while stating his desire to return with the team next season.  “I’ve spoken to people with the Fire and they’re interested and want (me) to be here next year and I would like to be here next year and more years.  I’m very happy here.”

With playoff hopes all but extinguished the Fire can now begin evaluating their course of action heading into 2012 on the pitch and on the sidelines.  The cupboard isn’t entirely bare despite a second consecutive year without post-season play but some difficult decisions lie ahead.  While Klopas wasn’t ready to discuss his future as permanent coach, Patrick Nyarko offered full support for his return.  “Personally I think, and this goes for most of the guys, he’s done a great job. I would absolutely vouch for him,” said Nyarko.

For post game video featuring Oduro, Pardo, and Nyarko check out the Fire Confidential Facebook page.

Player Ratings

Sean Johnson (5) – A great save on Jackson early was negated by a fairly soft first goal allowed.

Dan Gargan (5) – Had some issues with Castillo early.

Jalil Anibaba (5) – Pretty decent game except for getting caught by Jackson on a throw-in which led to the first goal.

Cory Gibbs (5) – Yellow card will cause him to miss the DC game this weekend.

Gonzalo Segares (5) – Fire defenders struggled with Dallas’ pace on the wings for most of the first half.

M Logan Pause (5) – Subbed out in the 56th when the Fire needed to push after going down 2-0.

M Pavel Pardo (5) – Uncharacteristic clumsy challenge led to a red card.

M Sebastian Grazzini (6) – Found little room to operate for most of the game but his well taken strike in the 86th minute gave the Fire a chance.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) – Never really got going.

F Diego Chaves (4) – Needed to find his early form and provide a spark in Pappa’s absence but provided a string of turnovers instead.

F Dominic Oduro (5) – Never really got going either.  Seemed to still be struggling to recover from illness earlier in the week.

F Orr Barouch (6) – Came in for Gargan in the 77th and provided a touch leading to Grazzini’s goal.

D Josip Mikulic (4) – Joined the yellow card brigade with a nasty foul on Santos late.

M Daniel Paladini (4) – Entered the match for Pause in the 56th presumably to add some offense.

C Frank Klopas (4) – The team came out flat in a must win situation at home.   There really shouldn’t be any excuse for a match like this one in this situation with Dallas missing key players amid a losing streak although to his credit none were offered.  Barouch probably should have been inserted into the match earlier than the 77th minute.

Next Up

At DC United, who lost 2-1 in Vancouver.


Oh….and FC Dallas has the Brimstone Cup….. again.




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  • Apparently Smith is considering leaving Colorado. How about him as the new coach?

  • In reply to colton:

    I think Klopas will be back on the bench come 2012....just a feeling.

  • Dismal is another word I'd use.

    On a separate note, there were a couple of guys walking around with Fire away jerseys and black masks. They had the names Soto and Steichen (?) on the back and it seemed a bunch of people in the front row knew who they were. They were the keepers for the oompa loompa halftime game. Does anyone know who they are?

  • In reply to Doug:

    Doug, those guys are part of the marketing team. They've been wearing the same get-up all year. They help launch t-shirts from the slingshot before the games and during half-time.

    Not sure what the black mask is for -it's a little weird to tell you the truth, but they've been wearing them all year.

  • Imagine if the Bears needed 3 wins to make the playoffs and Jay Cutler had to leave the team to play in an Olympic qualifying game if there was such a thing. Until this league can play a schedule with its team intact without losing key guys to international play, its going to continue to be a minor league joke. I'm sick of this crap.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    Aren't the European clubs fighting this battle with CAF regarding the timing of the African Cup of Nations?

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    It's a legit problem with no easy answer but I wouldn't go as calling the league a minor league joke because of it. It's an issue that has to be addressed at some point and the easiest thing to say is "international calendar" or extend the schedule with breaks in between. It's more a function of the maturation and growth of the league that this is a serious concern.

  • The way the Fire played last night, Pappa probably wouldn't have made a difference. Saying they were flat is an understatement, both the team members and the coach are responsible. Think they would show more effort in a must win situation. In retrospect, should have started Barouch, Chaves appeared lost out in the field, didn't make any sense to put Paladini in for him, should have put Barouch in at that point. The Fire have a rather deep lack of capable midfielders, once when one of the regulars are out, the team is in deep doo-doo. The lack of Pappa didn't cause the team to go flat.
    Hopefully, there will be a new coach next year, The poor spacing
    and poor passing are inexcusable this late in the season. It's one thing if one or two players being off their game, but another matter
    when most of the team are. Felt some of the ratings were a tad generous for several players, instead of 5's, several should have been 4.6 or 4.7

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Point taken.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Tend to agree on this. Especially the player ratings, though I think the scores should have been lower. During a long string of ties, the ratings were consistently around 5. During this outing, I'd say we had a lot of 3s and 4s out there. Pavel Pardo with an inexcusable red card (ok, he apologized, i guess I can forgive him) near MIDFIELD that basically blows the team's chances to dig itself out of its hole - and he gets a 5?!? Guillermo, that's too high. And the players who got yellows causing them to miss the next match? 5 is TOO HIGH. Oduro a 4? When did he threaten goal? If you saw that, please refer me to the time stamp in the video because i didn't see it - and threatening goal is his job. if there were tactical issues preventing him from doing so, then it's a coaching issue, which means that Frankie's score should take a hit.

    I think Guillermo was very generous during the dry spell of ties, but just because the team tied doesn't mean the players put in an average performance - not when winning is the point of being on the field. for the most lackluster performance i can recall this season (ok, my memory may be short) and with the playoffs on the line, I don't think such generosity is in order. Guillermo, I love the team and the players, but they deserve an honest and critical review, especially during a season when they end up with a losing record.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I can see your point on last night's match, perhaps I was a bit generous on this one in retrospect. That being said, I think the previous ratings particularly the 16 draws are pretty accurate and consistent with how the ratings are attained as described.

  • In thinking that the season is now essentially over, I'm trying to decide if the highlight is getting $50K for being runner up in the US Open Cup (which, btw, is 1/4 of what the MLS Cup winner takes home, so it's not a bad purse) or leading ManU for more than half the game. Pretty miserable results over all this season.

  • Can we finally get a coach that commands respect and some players with some leadership ability. No more nickel and dime players that are mediocre in their domestic leagues and even worse here. How about an owner who is active in the team and shows some passion? One more thing, how about a front office that can raise the profile of the team around the Chicagoland area?

    Not asking for too much...

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Actually I can tell you that Klopas is well respected in the locker room. There are also some players on this team who are quite capable of being leaders on and off the field although two of them picked up cards last night.

  • That is the main problem with the team, lots of potential, none of it being fully realized. I would like to see proven leadership and ability out there, not just players who show flashes of it or might have it. That is what separates us from the top half of the league, the other teams have proven talent and leadership. With the team fighting for a playoff spot and coming out flat in the USOC they did not step up and make the difference you expect from a team leader. If
    these players are quite capable, what are they waiting for?

  • Well can we now conclude that this team needs new coaches! I do not care what the players are saying about Klopas, its like the pot calling the kettle black. Who performed to their ability this year? Maybe Oduro.
    Pappa went awol during mid season as Klopas made excuses for him.
    Nyarko has all the tools to put balls in the net and needs to play both ways. Pause at outside halfback when you have Bone sitting the bench. No offense from him at all. Grazzini and Pardo played like their best is behind them. What good is an attacking mid if he is only on the pitch for 45 min game. How many line ups, How many defensive miscues led to goals? No excuse for Klopas this team and the one before were his players. What was CDLC record his last 20 games. Get a new coach who can get the best out of these primadonna players. And for the record quit asking players how they feel about Klopas ask the fans next week when they will be watching another MLS team in the playoffs.

  • In reply to bigdog:

    So you're saying the media shouldn't ask players what they think about their coach and should ask fans if they think Klopas should be back?

    Isn't that what you and others are doing now? Letting your opinion be known?

    And for the record....not all fans agree with the notion that Klopas shouldn't be the coach next year.

  • Unless we had a sure-fire coach with a proven track record of MLS success (Sigi, Bruce, or Kinnear are the only ones that come to mind), I think we're much better off sticking with Klopas than starting over for the third time in three years. You can do a lot worse than a guy with international experience, the respect of the locker room, and an untoppable commitment to the organization, the city, and the fans. He had these guys playing some pretty good soccer at times, and I'd like to see what he can do with a full season. My only concerns are whether Grazz and Pardo can stay healthy and give us good minutes over the course of the season. If they can, then this is already a playoff team.




  • Primadonna players?? Woah, ok. Not quite there.

    I get the frustration, but direct it properly, and keep some perspective. Also, having a coach that's respected in the locker room by the players is a pretty clutch point to be made. I would reference CDLC's relationship with the 2010 team as a counterpoint to your point there.

  • In reply to DFBJeff:

    Frank Klopas was a good forward in his time.
    That does not make him a good coach.
    He has shown that his coaching skills if there are any leave a lot to be desired.
    I am very frustrated with his substitutions bringing on players with less than 10 minutes to play shows a lack of coaching skills. I don't know what he sees in Paladini he has shown very little in a positive way. I think we need a New Coach who actually knows what he is doing. We also need a New President
    Posada has done very little No Yersey Sponsor and doing next to nothing to promote the beautiful game. I would like to see Peter Wilt replace Posada and then clean house and bring in a New Coach and a competent Front Office Staff.

  • In reply to Juergen:

    I can appreciate everyone's loyalty to Peter Wilt (I'm a fan of his as well) but I think it's time to let it go. I don't think we're going to see him back in the position that many fans would like to see him in.

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