Fire 1 Toronto FC 1 - recap and ratings

With the Fire on their way to breaking their own record for draws in a season, the sober reality that playoff hopes are all but extinguished seems to be taking hold.

“Usually, you find a ways to lose matches as a group, as a lot of coaches say, but we find ways to tie matches, when we should be winning them,” said Frank Yallop after the match. “It’s frustrating, but it’s where we are at. I’ve never made excuses, and I wouldn’t hide behind anything either, but we’re not quite good enough. It’s what we are. We need to make changes and make sure we’re better moving forward for sure.” (catch his full post game press conference here)

Yet another late game break down, another case of lax marking on set piece second balls, and another missed penalty kick combined for a disappointing night against an opponent struggling to maintain playoff hopes of their own. The Fire were actually fortunate to avoid a complete melt down when referee David Gantar whistled Gilberto for a foul nullifying a 90th minute Toronto game winner. Replays showed that the play was probably officiated incorrectly.

Chicago came out on the attack in the first 15 minutes but quickly ran out of steam after taking the lead. The remainder of the match reverted into the all too familiar cavalcade of wasted chances and failure to put an opponent away. Jeff Larentowicz’s missed penalty kick in the 57th minute probably would have been enough to allow the Fire to hold on, although trying and failing to hold on due to a lack of quality going forward is something that has been commonplace this season.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) – Five saves with the most difficult probably coming in stoppage time on Bloom’s driven shot. What looked like a bit of miscommunication between Johnson and Soumare probably should have resulted in another late game loss but instead set off an on-field verbal confrontation between the players.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) – Did well against the speedy Oduro for most of the night. Gilberto did get in front of him to flick the ball back to De Rosario for the tying goal however.

D Jeff Larentowicz (5) – A mixed bag for Larentowicz. Played well for most of the match but there was that missed penalty kick and he was beaten by Gilberto on the play that led to the goal that was called back and resulted in the altercation between Soumare and Johnson.

D Bakary Soumare (5) – Was fortunate not to be the goat again as the referee’s decision saved another embarrassing goal. He was actually having A solid game until then.

D Lovel Palmer (6) – The Fire’s man of the match scored the goal and was very effective on the other end. He did get caught ball watching, however as De Rosario was unmarked for the equalizer as Palmer and Alex looked on.

M Grant Ward (5) – Had a decent look in the 8th but sailed a shot wide. Served a nice cross in for a chance in the 10th and drew a penalty in the 56th when he was tripped in the box by Bendik.

M Razvan Cocis (4) – With Toronto controlling the ball for 70% of the game, the Fire midfield was once again ineffective in creating chances consistently and keeping the ball away from the opposition. Cocis hasn’t been terrible but he also hasn’t anything more than just another rather ordinary midfielder. Headed the corner kick backward leading to the tying goal.

M Matt Watson (4) – Chicago completed only 67% of their passes. Watson played the ball in that led to the penalty kick. Even if it wasn’t intended for Ward it did result in a chance. Work rate and effort can’t be questioned but quality isn’t there.

M Alex (4) – Consistently one of the worst passers and decision makers in the starting eleven. A non factor offensively in this game as well.

F Sanna Nyassi (5) – Managed two shots but neither was on goal. Corner kick service was passable. Assisted on Palmer’s goal.

F Quincy Amarikwa (6) – Clearly out of gas in the last fifteen minutes but was the Fire’s only effective weapon from the run of play throughout the game.

M Harry Shipp (5) – Subbed in for Nyassi in the 69th. Did not factor in much over that period.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) – Entered the match for Ward in the 79th. Too often the Fire have reverted to cling and defend mode as games wind down and this was no different.

Next up

Playing for pride against DC United at Toyota Park next Saturday.

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Watching the replay of the TFC goal tonight, it also looked like Alex was marking DeRo, then resorted to ball watching instead of staying with his man on the second ball in.

    That's been Alex's set piece m.o. ALL season.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    In fairness, I feel like part of the blame was for whoever (Nyarko?) was on the post. When the ball popped up in the air, he should have come off the goal line. As it happened, DRo could find any space back there and remain onside.

  • How in the world do you give up 70% possession at home? At home!!!! That is just horrifying. Is that pretty soccer?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Home or away, Fire still lack the tools needed to control the center of the pitch.

  • Please, no more mentions of playoffs and "must win games" ... those ships have sailed!

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    Looking at the standings this morning, we are not going to win 4 or 5 games just to remain mathematically in the race, so I think it's very safe to say we've crossed the threshold and we are out of it!

    How about that third kit?

  • Fire Reserves take on FC Dallas this morning at 10 in Texas.

  • 5 for Larentowicz? That's generous. He hit that penalty right down the middle and was not marking well down the stretch when it counted. Grant Ward played great I thought and was winning the sideline repeatedly. It would be great to see what would happen if Yallop subbed out the guys playing poorly instead of the guys that have been playing well, like Nyassi and Ward in this game. Sub a defender out if they're gassed.. do something original Yallop. Too predictable.

  • Did the players speak about Soumare and Johnson with their hands literally on each other's throats after that phantom foul disallowing the second Toronto goal?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I agree - what the hell was that about. Was Soumare actually standing there waiting for Johnson to come off his line to pick up that ball? Is he really that dumb? I wish the goal had stood, to punish them for the error.

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    Had a wonderful time this weekend at Riot Fest, completely oblivious to the Fire game. Their season is over anyway so might as well enjoy the few weekend we have left.

    (This must be what it's like to be a Cubs fan...) There's always next year.

  • Taking Ward out was a joke. Shipp was anonymous. Other teams have figured out that he cannot play defense and is easily dealt with with physical play. I think Bradley didn't even notice he was there.

    Alex just seems a step slower this year. Is he playing hurt? Also, he has to learn to take shots with his right foot just to keep teams honest. It's not like he is Arjen Robben.

    I see no reason to give Yallop more time. He has had enough time and made enough personnel errors in my view to reap the criticism. He has players arguing with each other on the field. He has lost this group.

    GR, can you start a "New Owner Now" poll?

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Pretty sure the owner isn't going any where.

  • Matt Fondy......yes, Matt Fondy.....scored a brace in a 2-0 reserves win over FC Dallas this morning.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    And because of that Yallop will pick him to be first off the bench this weekend.

  • fb_avatar

    Well that's great. Hopefully he'll stay on the reserve squad for a long spell.

  • So any truth that Chivas USA is not going to be fielding a team in 2015?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Sounds pretty plausible to me.

  • RIP "Kings of the Cup"

  • It sucks seeing Seattle work so hard to win this trophy every year. The fans of just about every club want it, so why not the actual clubs? Who do they play for? Not the fans it seems. Congrats to Seattle, but that just sucks.

  • In reply to waamsy:

    I'd actually say the Fire usually are right there, and actually try pretty hard to win. The problem, as we all know, is that the club has been mismanaged and the skill level of the squad has been below par...thus, no trophies...

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    Have to agree. The fact that they make it to the semis is actually a credit to the Fire, in light of their overall poor quality the past few years. Every other MLS team is also in the Open Cup, but not all of them are putting in the effort of Chicago and Seattle. And, I guess, Philly. Don't see LA or RSL around in the semis this year. Look, DC won it last year, when they couldn't take 4 games in MLS. Ben Olsen knew that was their only shot at hardware and he made it happen. you could say that's proof that the Fire doesn't put in effort, but I think they let off the gas last year based on MLS results and forgot that strange as it may seem, the Open Cup is another ball of wax.

  • MLS has unvieled a new logo as part of a re-branding for the league's 20th season. If you've seen it ... comments?

    My comments .. wow, a crest. How original. I hope they didn't spend a lot of time and $$ on it. Not impressed.

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    I don't mind it, but certainly don't love it. On Guillermo's rating system, I'd give it a 5. I do prefer it substantially to the old logo though, so there's that.

  • Is the new home jersey the home jersey for the next two years? So basically, next year, during "Jersey Week" will the Fire be unveiling a new home or away or both?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    This home kit is for 2014 and 2015. New away kit in 2015.

  • Also, I keep getting the "administrator review before posting" warning. Am I on your double-secret probation list, Guillermo?

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    I get that as well from time to time, my friend. It's a Chicago Now thing. Guillermo hasn't put anyone in the slammer that I'm aware of. :)

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    Correct....just spammers.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Damn, I was kind of hoping you were trying out a secret allocation order for commentors so as to better understand the next big signing the Fire are jobbed out of!

  • I much prefer the new logo over the old one. I liked the Fire's white away jerseys. I hope they go back to that. I cannot see that happening with the Quaker logo though. What are the odds of Yallop being shown the door? Zero chance?

    One more comment, the Fire spend a couple of million on a training facility they will not use, but they cannot help Bridgeview keep the turf at TP on good shape. That is 100% the definition of why this club is crumbling before our eyes.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    Yallop's not going anywhere.

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