The Fire used their two week international break to recover from a busy stretch and three straight losses (including USOC) to bounce back with one of their best performances this season. Another breakdown on a set piece temporarily allowed New York to get level but the club responded impressively with what should have been three consecutive goals. The Fire appeared to take the lead in the 64th minute but assistant referee Ian Anderson somehow failed to see Dominic Oduro’s rolling shot cross the goal line before Wilman Conde cleared it from the net. His vantage point may have been obscured by a sliding Conde but referee Baldomero Toledo was in position with a good look in front of the net and inexplicably blew the call as well.
Regardless of the missed opportunity, the Fire answered again minutes later when Gonzalo Segares hammered home a loose ball to officially provide the game winner. An upcoming home game against the Crew will give the club a chance to respond to a loss in Columbus on May 26 and make a statement in the Eastern Conference race.
GK Sean Johnson (6) – Good match for Johnson registering three saves. Deflected away a difficult bouncing shot from Solli in the 40th and stopped Cooper with a diving effort in the 54th.
D Dan Gargan (5) – Had a good game up until losing his mark on Dax McCarty in the 55th minute resulting in New York’s only score. Lindpere was fairly silent as well.
D Jalil Anibaba (6) – Other than the shot in the 54th which allowed Cooper a little too much space to turn and shoot the big forward had a quiet night and the Fire’s young center back tandem played a big part in that.
D Austin Berry (6) – Solid and composed in back. Has earned the right to start next to Friedrich when he returns next week.
D Gonzalo Segares (6) – Usually shuts down Richards and he did so again in this match while scoring a goal to boot. His 68th minute tally gave the Fire the lead for good.
M Pavel Pardo (5) – Not a bad game but missed an open look at goal in the 12th minute that probably should have at least been on net.
M Logan Pause (5) – New York wasn’t very dangerous from the middle of the park but they did enjoy a bit too much possession.
M Marco Pappa (7) – Solid game for Pappa after traveling from Guatemala on Thursday and resuming training with the team on Friday. High effort, excellent passing, and several close call long distance shots that were taken within the flow of play rather than being forced. Through ball to Segares set up the Fire’s second goal and a fantastic long distance switch of field led to the third score.
M Patrick Nyarko (7) – Scored the first goal on a header of all things and continued to show why he is one of the most dangerous wing players in MLS when he set up Rolfe for a tap in with a cross through the box to the front of the net.
M Sebastian Grazzini (6) – His perfect pass in the 4th minute set the tone early finding Nyarko to give the Fire the lead in a match for a change. A well taken shot in the 25th forced Meara into a diving save, just missed Oduro with a through ball in the 35th, and subbed out in the 60th minute. He didn’t appear too happy to leave the match as TV cameras caught him walking past the coaching staff on the bench. Went directly into the locker room after the game ended and wasn’t available for reporters after the match.
F Dominic Oduro (6) – Looked more like the player that finished last season on a roll and started well this season with a couple of excellent chances. He was robbed of a goal on the missed call in the 62nd and was denied by Meara in a 1v1 situation in the 72nd.
F Chris Rolfe (7) – Should have had a goal and an assist after entering the match for Grazzini in the 60th. A fantastic ball through to Oduro in the 64th should have resulted in a goal and a smart run to the far post enabling him to get on the end of Nyarko’s cross for a tap in. If Rolfe can stay healthy and produce like this the Fire will be extrememly dangerous in the East. You can see Rolfe’s post game comments at the Fire Confidential Facebook page.
M Rafael Robayo (5) – Came in for Oduro in the 75th but a bad pass in the 79th led to a counter for New York.
M Hunter Jumper (5) – Entered the match for Pappa in the 85th and slotted into a left midfield position.
C Frank Klopas (6) – Clearly handled his side better than Hans Backe who started Heath Pearce at a holding mid spot next to McCarty. Emphasized the need to score first and not fall behind all week and the club responded with one of their best games of the season after a two week break.