As the Fire inch closer to mathematical elimination from playoff contention it’s obvious that something just isn’t right with this club. Their second loss at home this season to expansion Orlando City SC was a case study in the type of loss that has come to be standard operating procedure at Toyota Park. A large crowd of 20,280 saw the Fire muddle through much of the match while waiting for the eventual shoe to drop late in the game.
Another late goal courtesy of the usual inopportune breakdown in defense should serve as a slap of reality for anyone holding out playoff hopes at this point in the season. “I thought we played well enough to get something out of the match; if not win, at least a tie. Just frustrating,” said Frank Yallop after the match. “What we’re getting is very frustrating right now. You can say whatever you want about it. We seem to find every sort of opportunity to give goals up, and tonight, we obviously couldn’t get a great chance on goal to score.”
The Fire are now nine points behind Montreal for the sixth and final playoff spot. The Impact have also played two less games. Even if the Fire do manage to break their 21 game road winless streak on Wednesday night in Montreal these last five matches are auditions for 2016.
The math may tell them it’s over but anyone with non-biased vision has known that for some time now.
Changes are definitely on the way and they may come sooner rather than later.
GK Jon Busch (5) – Stepped in for Sean Johnson, who missed the match due to shoulder pain. Recorded 4 saves but Orlando wasn’t really dangerous for most of the night. May have been fortunate that Rivas’ shot hit the crossbar in the 18th minute with a clear look.
D Daneil Cyrus (5) – He was better than he was in New York but he’s clearly not a right back. Tried to cover space in the middle on the goal but didn’t arrive or react in time.
D Jeff Larentowicz (5) – Orlando attackers didn’t have much in terms of clear chances.
D Ty Harden (4) – Stepped up too late and too far to stop Rochez from scoring the game winner. Offered little resistance on the play. Also beaten to a ball in the 75th but Rochez’s header was saved by Busch.
D Joevin Jones (4.5) – Lost track of Shea on the play that led to the goal. Had some positive play but not nearly as effective as he was earlier this season, again.
M Patrick Nyarko (5) – One shot on target after a header was bounced at Hall in the 7th minute after a cross from Jones. Had a few other decent plays in combination but not enough to produce a score.
M Razvan Cocis (5) – Better in the second half than he was in the first. Attempted 4 shots with one on target. The Fire completed 85% of their passes, which isn’t bad but they didn’t do much with it.
M Michael Stephens (5) – Provided decent service for a chance in the 34th.
M Harry Shipp (5.5) – Had one of the better chances in the 38th when he gathered a cleared ball and forced Hall into a big save that resulted in a corner kick. Service from the corner was somewhat better in this game.
F David Accam (5.5) – Took four shots but only one was on target. Orlando City was more prepared for him in this match, throwing multiple defenders at him whenever he touched the ball. He talked about the frustration surrounding the team in post game comments.
F Kennedy Igboananike (5) – Had some of the better chances but also squandered a few. Decent but just not enough in the final third.
F Gilberto (5) – Replaced Shipp in the 71st. Other than a couple of ill-advised long attempts, didn’t factor into much.
F Mike Magee (5) – Subbed in for Nyarko in the 85th.
M Jason Johnson (5) – Came in for Stephens in the 85th. Neither late sub had much impact.