Revolution 2 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

A must win game on the road against a Revolution side that is on a roll was always going to be a difficult task but the Fire, as they’ve done all season, made it more difficult on themselves than it had to be. Following the formula of frustration that has placed them in the position that they are in today has made any slim playoff hopes even more of a prayer.

Missed opportunities to come out of the first half with more than one goal, a late first half equalizer as a result of sloppily defending a set piece second ball, and a critical team mistake are all symptomatic of the big issues through the first 26 games of the season.  The Fire didn’t play terribly in withstanding some early pressure but aren’t good enough to overcome mistakes and missed chances.

“We’re a really weird team,” said Frank Yallop after the match. “We do everything right tactically in the first half, shutting down their main players, we’re dangerous on counter attacks, but we give up a silly goal before half time and let them right back in the match. That’s the frustrating part right now. We don’t play the complete ninety minutes right now.”

Only one shot on target over ninety minutes in a road game against a conference opponent isn’t going to win many matches unless you’re managing to maintain a tight and mistake free defensive effort. The Fire can’t afford even the slightest of errors because they don’t have the weapons to overcome them. The final eight games will be open auditions for players making a case for return in 2015. Unfortunately there have been too many mistakes and missed chances this season for anything more than that.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (6) – Two big saves in the 56th minutes, one on Rowe and the other against Barnes, kept the game tied for the time being. Davies’ goal came in a 1v1 situation and Fagundez’ goal came as a result of horrid team defending on a second ball from a corner kick.

D Gonzalo Segares (5) – Beaten by Barnes off a corner kick for a clear header that Johnson knocked away.

D Bakary Soumare (5) – Drawn out of position to cover a ball at the opposite side of the field after a corner kick in the 41st. That led to the defensive break down on New England’s first goal.

D Jeff Larentowicz (5) – Reacted a second late to the offside trap and kept Davies onside resulting in the go-ahead New England score. Center backs were decent but the Fire can’t afford one mistake.

D Lovel Palmer (6) – Had the best all around game of all Fire defenders and continues to show well over the last two months.

M Alex (4) – Continues to offer very little in terms of offensive support. His highlights included a pass that was too long for Cocis in the 38th and a shot from distance that was just wide left in the 51st. That was it. Lost mark on the first New England goal.

M Razvan Cocis (4) – Also lost his mark on the first Revolution score. Rarely figured into anything going forward. New England won the possession battle easily (62-38).

M Matt Watson (4) – With the Fire completing only 72% of their passes, the overall play in midfield was much less effective than it was against FC Dallas. Watson was errant for most of the night and not much of a factor on either side of the pitch.

M Grant Ward (5) – Started well with a dangerous cross in the 12th while looking to beat defenders. Quiet from about midway through the first half until he was subbed out in the 75th.

F Sanna Nyassi (5) – Scored the lone goal on a well taken header in the 28th but should have had two others in the first half. A wide open header attempt in the 14th ended up missing the net altogether and a 1v1 break away against the ‘keeper ended up rattling the goal post.

F Quincy Amarikwa (6) – Managed to create two great opportunities for Nyassi with excellent crosses that should have resulted in two goals. Didn’t have many chances of his own however.

F Matt Fondy (4) – Inexplicably was the first call off the bench when he replaced Alex in the 65th. Several bad touches and giveaways marred any chance of a comeback.

M Harry Shipp (5) – Entered the match for Nyassi in the 75th. A free kick in the 82nd sailed over everyone and harmlessly past the endline.

M Patrick Nyarko (6) – Subbed in for Ward in the 75th and immediately showed some of the skill that makes him valuable. After dispossessing Jermaine Jones in the 78th he drew a yellow on Caldwell who was forced to foul him to keep the attack from progressing. Another similar play in stoppage time ended up with Cocis giving the ball away.

Next up

The Fire are now 7 points out of the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with only 8 games remaining. A home game against a struggling Toronto FC is on tap for next Saturday.

Filed under: 2014 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Too generous with the points. Soumare with a 5?! He completed more passes to rev players than to his own teammates. Fondy with a 4?! He gave the worst performance of the game. He deserved a negative number.

  • Nyassi missed a wide open net, but finished one nicely and created his own excellent chance that he just missed. Main point being he was dangerous and pretty effective with one big miss. He seems like a type of player worth moving forward with.

    Yallop going w Fondy as the first sub is just another feather in the cap of the anti yallop crowd. What he sees in that guy is beyond me.

    Jones was almost the goat when Nyassi dispossessed him and then clanged the ball of the woodwork, but just our luck this year that he ended up with the asst on the game winner.

    Nyarko looked good in his short time on the field. I gotta think he was fired up to be back.

    SJ had another solid game and a few really nice saves, imma go ahead and hand him the MVP of the team this year.

  • So now what? 7 points back and not able to put a streak of consistency together. What happens if this is a preview of next year? Do you think Yallop is a good judge of talent? What happens in 2015 if by May we are in the same situation? What happens if Yallop and Bliss fail to bring any players that can make an impact in during the preseason?

  • Anyone who reads this space or listens to the podcast knows my opinion of Juan Luis Anangono.

    That said, I can't for the life of me understand why Matt Fondy is a choice over JLA, let alone the first sub off the bench in a game when the Fire needed a goal. Fondy isn't suited for USL-Pro, let alone MLS.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    This has puzzled me as well. The only thing I can conclude that makes any sense at all is that the strategy is to simply blow off this season and get the best position possible for rescue via draft position and MLS allocation money. Nothing else adds up short of believing Yallop has lost his mind.

    Was great to see Patrick back on the pitch even if it was too little, too late!

  • In reply to Arklow:

    This. I think Yallop made the decision to move on from JLA and his salary and the expense of this year. It was the right move, but using Fondy in the way he has used him is what the problem is. No question Nyarko, Shipp and Joya were better/early options.

  • Disappointing overall. Alex is not a creative force. Good to see Nyarko back on the field. I'd be more excited about Nyassi if he put his chances away. Defense still schizophrenic.

  • Looking at weekend results and the table this morning, I think we're *finally* reaching the "but statistically the we're still in it" threshold. At least we can look forward to giving Pause an ovation on October 24th.

    As for Fondy, I wonder if last night was an "here's your chance, kid, prove yourself" moment, and that now he'll be relegated to reserve squad status.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    He did have a good reserve game last there's that.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Fondy's already had his chances...

  • Yallop blamed the teams tactical naivete for the loss last night. Should that naivete be blamed on him?

  • Stick a fork in the season, it's done. Yallop should be done as well.

  • Anyone who evaluated Matt Fondy and decided that he should be on our team should be let go. He is the worst player I have seen on the Fire. Worse than Chad Barrett back in the day.

    Is there any interest in signing Joya? What a wasted year for him. Only the Fire would have a young quality player sit on the bench for the entire season.

    This has to come back at Yallop. He has created this team and he needs to be held accountable for them. The only players that have played pretty have been players that were already here. Big Red, SJ, Shipp, Quincy. He has brought in crap after crap and he seems to just say what he thinks we want to hear. Id rather have CJ lead us into the new season and have Yallop walk out the door. He has brought nothing new to the team. Yallop out

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    He has also traded away Anibaba, Berry, Rolfe, and Duka. Not very much of a difference in Anibaba and Palmer except 5 years in age. Rather have younger. Berry and Ianni, another 5 years. Rolfe was never given a chance this season, gets traded and then shows what he can do. Duka and Nyassi are a wash I guess. Duka has scored 2 in 3 since he has moved on. Yallop wanted control of players and has made us older and less talented. We went from having a pretty young core of players going forward to having only Shipp and Johnson as bright spots.

  • Have to agree with most of the comments, Fondy, what could you expect from someone that was cut from Chivas, might be a good
    for a fill at a reserve team but not major league quality.
    Can't blame Yallop about Rolfe, it was about time for him to move on and a fresh start, no guaranty that he would have played as well with the Fire as with DC. Other factors would include the supporting personne on the pitch for each team. The Fire just cannot generate a consistent offense or a consistent defense.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Rolfe couldn't get a game for us but was starting for one of the best teams in the league. Duka couldn't get on the field and now he is scoring goals. We can't get any consistent performance because our players are nowhere near good enough and the ones that are, are getting traded away with the lame "cap problems" excuse. I'd rather have Rolfe or Duka instead of Ward and Alex. I'd rather Anibaba than Palmer. I'd rather Berry than Ianni. Can't think of many positives that Yallop has done this season. Just failure after failure. Is there any trade that made us a better team either now or in the future? IMO, not a single one.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    How's the "cap problems" excuse working out for Yallop now? Apparently he was creating cap space to bring in impact players, well where are they? 6 days until the roster freeze. I say they won't sign anybody else except for maybe that French guy and he starts from scratch in 2015 with only a few carry overs.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I felt that Duka really never got a decent shot with the Fire and was sorry to see him go, still would keep Ward but can't understand why
    Alex continues to start while Shipp is left on the sidelines.
    He probably will lose out the rookie of the year award based upon
    the amount of minutes he's played in the last five or six games.
    Don't know why Yallop hasn't put Ward on the defense given the problems on the back line, think his original position prior to the Fire was left back.

  • If Yallop thinks that Fondy has talent, then he has to have his head examined. GR, what is your sense of how the players relate to Yallop? Has he lost them along with the fans?

  • That's the scary thing. Him starting fresh. The players he has brought in, wouldn't be playing for any of the teams ahead of us in the standings. I'm scared to see what he does in the off season

  • As expected the Fire have signed Florent Sinama-Pongolle.

    He will be added to the roster pending receipt of his P-1 visa and ITC.

    Reports suggest it will be for this year plus an option for two more.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Yeah. Wake me up next March.

  • In reply to Modibo:


  • No doubt the Fire's new signing will create fear and loathing in the hearts of our opponents and continues the great Fire tradition of signing players no one else wants.

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