Fire 2 New York City FC 2 - recap and ratings

The Fire will rue opportunities like this one come October. After taking a lead in the 14th minute and clearly dominating a struggling and undermanned New York City FC side, the Fire added a second goal via a penalty kick in the 27th. The penalty kick foul also resulted in a straight red card to RJ Allen. It appeared that the visitors would roll at this point but a careless team breakdown late in the first half gave New York life. That lack of concentration is indicative of what is the biggest area of concern for this team behind the anemic production from the forward position.

The talk during the week centered around being more “ruthless” in both boxes going into this match and instead the result was a “toothless” effort while playing with a man advantage for over an hour. That lack of killer instinct should raise more eyebrows than any missed shot or blown opportunity in front of goal. The difference between the good teams in MLS and the teams that meander around the red line is the ability to pick up points against the lower half clubs while they’re struggling. New York City FC is not a good team right now and the Fire let them off the hook.

Frank Yallop expressed his thoughts on the match following another disappointing result. “Not good,” he said. “It was probably the best we’ve played in a long time in the first 44 minutes. There could have been more. I just talked to the guys in there an I’m just disappointed in how we handled the second half. We just stopped playing. I think the goal right before half time obviously gives them hope, then you’ve just got to get one goal to get a tie. I just felt that we allowed them to play when we shouldn’t have. We had chances to bury the game as well, but still, we shouldn’t give them a chance. We’re disappointed.”

As promising as the first 30 minutes looked, the last hour managed to dash any of that optimism by raising more questions.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) – credited with three saves but gave up a rebound on Villa’s long shot just before the half. Beaten on Shelton’s low shot in stoppage time. He wasn’t terrible but there seems to be something not quite there this season.

D Lovel Palmer (5) – New York really didn’t have much going from the outside. Palmer wasn’t very involved in getting forward however as the Fire seemed to sit back and played more cautiously in the second half. Where was he on the first NY goal?

D Jeff Larentowicz (5.5) – Very active in the first half on both ends. Buried the PK for his third goal of the season. In the picture for both NY goals although both were more indicative of team breakdowns rather than individual error.

D Adailton (5) – Not as active as Larentowicz but was also good for about 40 minutes or so before the tables began to turn. Both centerbacks stepped up to challenge Villa in stoppage time, which left an opening for Shelton to square the equalizer.

D Joevin Jones (5.5) – More active in the first half than he was the second as the Fire inexplicably stepped off the gas while playing up a man. Reemerged late to find Amarikwa for a chance in stoppage time.

M Matt Polster (5) – The Fire won the overall possession battle 52-48 but Polster was somewhat quiet throughout. He was also in the vicinity of Villa for the second NY goal.

M Razvan Cocis (5.5) – Scored his first goal of the season on a classy header in the 14th as the Fire looked like they were rolling at that point. Midfield play was mediocre for a large part of the last 50 minutes however.

M Harry Shipp (5) – A few chances that were off the mark, a handful of somewhat effective crosses, and one shot on target marked a so-so night for Shipp. The Fire should have been able to create much more than they did in the second half while playing up a man.

M David Accam (6) – There were numerous opportunities for a third or even a fourth goal that were squandered. That said, Accam does change the game for Chicago. He was tripped in the box after dispossessing Allen leading to the PK and a red card. All of those missed chances and a pass or two that should have been made keep this mark where it is.

F Shaun Maloney (6) – Back in the underneath role after playing outside last week. He was effective there for the most part, through the first 40. He was one of the few players that showed something in the second half, although none of his activity led to a third goal.

F Kennedy Igboananike (5) – Better than what we’ve seen from the striker position for the last several weeks but that’s not saying a whole lot. Should continue to start but that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of this game.

F Quincy Amarikwa (5) – Several wayward passes and dubious decisions after replacing Igboananike in the 67th. Did show some initiative late with a backheel flick that was saved by Saunders in stoppage time.

M Michael Stephens (5.5) – Entered the match for Shipp in the 71st. Long shot on goal in the 78th was saved relatively easily and he find Johnson for a look late.

F Jason Johnson (5) – Came into the game for Accam in the 88th. Had a good look in the 90th minute, just before Shelton scored, but sailed it wide.

Next up

A visit to Columbus next Friday.

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I'm sure glad I didn't watch this. This is just pathetic. Are Frank Yallop and Robin Ventura the same guy.. different accents?

  • 10 game mark coming up and no improvement. Heard others also mention 10-game mark as point of judging Yallop. 1 more game - against a good Columbus team (ouch!, that was very painful to type). New players same style of play, same mental errors, and no push forward even when numbers are in your favor. At some point this mental game, or lack thereof, has to fall at the coach's lap. The mental toughness/weakness is a reflexion of the leadership. It's getting to the point where the after-game comments are an exact duplicate of the previous games'. It's getting tiring....repetitive, and boring. Too much déjà Vu.

  • In reply to FireRog:

    I think 20 games is a better measuring stick.

  • By 5 minutes into the second half I was expecting the Fire to lose the match. So I considered the tie something of a victory, though they succeeded in holding it off long enough to make me hopeful they might actually pull off the impossible, a Fire victory.

  • Some draws feel like a win, some feel like a loss. This one felt like a shellacking. I was starting to feel good about this team but this performance shows that Yallop is no longer able to lead a team to the Promised Land.

  • Should have started Busch in goal instead of Johnson who seems to be somewhat out of step lately, Fire probably could have won.
    Still the tie can't be laid totally on Johnson, in the second half and several minutes in the first half, the team to let up and became less aggressive. Disappointing tie. Giving up the first goal late in the first half is inexcusable.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    No, you're right. Johnson doesn't play his best with the Fire. Time to find another solution there. I would take Busch any time. He's much more vocal getting people into position and more aggressive off his line at the right times. He also doesn't allow second chances. They've been really poor with Johnson in net since he's been there.

  • On a positive note, we are still unbeaten against Eastern Conference teams. But we also have no road wins and no wins against the West.

    Can't believe we couldn't step on their throats. That ruthlessness Yallop was talking about? It just isn't there. This was the ideal chance to show that, yes, Yallop identified a problem and managed to fix it. Ruthless would have been burying the Man City Yankees in their own baseball stadium while a man down. With the small field and Villa on the field it seemed obvious that they were going to get good looks. And they have guys who have proven they can finish...

  • I can't agree that every player was average or better when the team played over 2/3 of the game up a man and was outscored 2-0.
    Also, what would the player ratings be on a scale of 1 to 10, instead of 5 to 6.

  • In reply to DVMAY:

    I get the frustration but I'm grading the entire game, not just the second half. The first 44 minutes were pretty good. They were clearly better in that period.

    The ratings are scaled from 1-10....see ratings tab above for an hour explanation of the scale.

  • One positive takeaway is that we got to play a role nyc's season-turnaround. /s

    I thought Palmer did pretty good. He made a lot of blocks/interceptions. I didn't mind his more defensive posture.

    SJ. He doesn't seem to have the hungry intensity he's had. Maybe it's time for a change of scene.

    Like I've said, I have faith in this squad, but the confidence is another matter entirely.

  • Agree with the gist of the comments that Yallop's ability to motivate/lead is questionable. Two years, two substantially different rosters yet the second half failures continue! Will Yallop survive? History seems to indicate no change--nuts!

  • In reply to shortpasses:

    I don't see the sense in changing managers again after 1 season and 9 games.

    He also has another year guaranteed after this one, so he's not going anywhere.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    ...and unfortunately neither is this team! SMH.

  • In reply to FireRog:


  • In reply to shortpasses:

    It is in the DNA of fans to be impatient. so, I guess these types of comments are to be expected.

    I hope Hauptmann has the sense to keep Yallop around and let him finish what he has started.

    Rome was not built in a day, and championship teams are not built in a year.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    I guess you can say we got spoiled early with teams that consistently were competing for championships until Andy bought the team.

  • Anyone still think Iggy still has a chance? Anyone remember a player in a similar situation as Iggy catching fiire?

  • Championship teams are not built in a year, but they require an inspirational manager who gets the best out of his players. This team is Yallop's team and they look far from inspired.

    I feel the only thing this team will accomplish this year is to give Yallop the team record for futility of which he is currently flirting with. Being close to Carlos de Los Cobos for points earned is not the direction they need to be heading. It is the consistency of these types of results I find troublesome.

    9 games into the season and your defenders have scored more than the forwards is a problem, a problem which has yet to be addressed.

    There is no better option out there now, but the team would be foolish not to consider an upgrade if one becomes available at seasons end.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    They've been looking at forwards for several weeks now. They'll do something in the next window, although I'm not sure what that will be yet.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    How many more windows do they need? Same story, different window.

    Yallop scouted Igbo for 2 years...

    Instead of looking for potential, take a crowbar and pry open the wallet for a proven striker. It's not rocket science, it just does not come cheap.

    Time to put up Keane money for Keane like player! Then maybe the stands wont be so empty, looks kind of bad.

  • Well, here's to a half-hearted hope we're surprised in a good way on Friday.

    This season is a horrible test of patience. I'd almost rather be punched in the face.

  • Anyone watch Orlando City slaughter the Galaxy on Sunday? LA didn't look inspired, yet they've won how many championships? Portland is inspired right now, and they have one more win than we do. I think the Fire are playing for a manager that they look up to and who can get things done. We all agree that we're better than last year. If we were headed in the other direction, that would be different.

  • The Fire's ability to find quality strikers at bargain prices hasn't worked out so well, they have a somewhat solid core to build on,
    but need to part with some cash, Accam looks good but in some
    respects seems like a more accomplished Amerikwa.

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