Red Bulls 3 Fire 2 - recap and ratings

After last weekend’s four goal defensive meltdown against the Montreal Impact, Frank Yallop tried a different look along the back line with Daneil Cyrus and Ty Harden both making their Fire debuts. Predictably, the results weren’t any different. The Fire squandered a two goal lead and another decent effort against the best team in the Eastern Conference because they simply aren’t very good defensively. No matter who lines up in the back, defense will need to be the focal point of any improvement this coming offseason.

Next season is essentially here, however. The Fire’s 15th loss not only leads MLS in that category but it is the low water mark for defeats in one season in club history. These last two months should be used to weed out who returns for another rebuilding year in 2016. The Fire had a nearly full strength squad for this match and once again failed to do much better than play just well enough to lose. The pretense of playoff hopes should be long gone. They realistically have been for some time now.

Six games remain.

That’s in the season, and in the Fire careers of several.

Player ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) – Credited with four saves although he didn’t have much to add to the highlight reel in this one despite New York taking 16 shots. It’s hard to fault him for any of the three goals but that GAA isn’t going to be helped by this back four.

D Joevin Jones (5) – Back after missing time on international duty. Just not at the same level he was earlier in the season.

D Jeff Larentowicz (4.5) – He’s been serviceable enough but he’s fighting ┬álosing battle. Every mistake he makes is magnified because no one covers for errors. After vacating his spot unnecessarily in the 38th, he couldn’t get back quickly enough to stop Grella’s shot from finding the back of the net. He was also left to dry on the first goal. Did convert another spot kick though.

D Ty Harden (4) – The journeyman defender got his first start and appearance for the Fire since being acquired for Amarikwa via trade. He played himself well out of position on both of New York’s first half goals by stepping too far up the field for no particular reason. His ability to get lost resulted in Larentowicz getting beat with no cover.

D Daneil Cyrus (5) – Made his Fire debut at right back and had a few moments but it was pretty clear that he’s a center back that can play right back occasionally, rather than the other way around.

M Patrick Nyarko (5) – Not nearly as active as he typically is but New York controlled a whopping 68% of the possession so there wasn’t much to do but wait for counters.

M Michael Stephens (5) – Credited with an assist for the long ball over the top after a corner kick was cleared setting Accam off for his goal. There was also the unnecessary grab of Sam’s shoulder in the 70th minute which forced referee Armando Villareal to blow his whistle. The penalty kick call may have been weak but Stephens forced the call with the unneeded grab.

M Matt Polster (5) – Back in his natural position. Played acceptably against New York’s difficult midfield but there was that huge possession disparity and the usual wide open gaps to be found in front of the back four. Will miss the next match due to yellow card accumulation.

M Harry Shipp (5) – Really not just more than another player on the pitch at this point in the season. His effectiveness has waned considerably since the first two months of the season.

F David Accam (6) – Completely undressed Conor Lade on his way to beating Robles in a spectacular run for the fire’s second goal. Also embarrassed Kemar Lawrence with an ankle breaking move in the 36th but his shot was wide. Created another chance in the 51st by chasing down a ball that appeared destined to cross the end line. He was quiet from that point on however.

F Kennedy Igboananike (5.5) – Got the benefit of the doubt by drawing a weak penalty call against Perrinelle in the 14th. Had a chance in the 51st but his shot was blocked after Accam created something from nothing to cause a failed clearance. Left the match in the 61st with a calf strain.

F Mike Magee (5) – Replaced Igboananike but just didn’t factor into much over 29-plus minutes.

M Razvan Cocis (5) – Subbed in for Stephens in the 72nd. The match had devolved into “whatevering” at that point.

M Jason Johnson (5) – Came into the match in the 80th for Nyarko. Rolled any easy attempt at Robles in the 88th.


Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I love this club, but this team is pathetic. None of the back four should be starting on defense for us next season. Jones should be playing more up the field because he is not a very good defender. We need a lot of players this off season if we want to be anything close to good next year.

    It is just sad watching this team "play." They are not good with the ball and they are even worse without it. For every good thing they may do on offense, there will be 2-3 terrible plays on defense. Its hard to be a good counter attacking team when your defense is all-time bad.

  • Our lineup may be mediocre, even for MLS, but with a mediocre lineup, a decent coach should get mediocre results. In other words, a decent coach should have his mediocre team somewhere near the middle of the table instead of languishing at the bottom.

    How does Yallop still have a job?

  • In reply to jrpaine:

    Just remember that Klopas was fired for doing better than Yallop has been doing. Just sayin.

  • Guys. I will be honest with everyone when the team dumped Klopas I did not think that the coaching could get worse. Guess what Yallop came along to produce the worst team in the league. I was optimistic this year with the three DPs and thought that the direction of the team was on the rise. Well 2 of the 3 DPs worked out but I never thought that a professional coach could screw up so bad. How can this team improve under this ownership? I would love to see the x coach of the mexican team take the job. He would be like a Didka in chicago.

  • In reply to Brokerman:


    You'll be happy to hear that Evan Whitfield will be back on the podcast this week.

  • What does it say about a team's skilled players that a CB is taking penalties? To me, it looks like Cyrus can play and should be at CB, but there is no other quality CB on the roster. JL needs to go back to DM or elsewhere, he's just overmatched against every team's forwards.

    I think a lot of the poor quality comes from being at the bottom of the table and playing out the string. The coach has provided no consistency or imagination in their line-ups and seems to be phoning it in most of this season.

    I'm also really tired of watching Sean Johnson. Yes, he's capable of making impressive saves, but his control and positioning of the defense, ball distribution and indecisiveness on his own position causes many other issues in the back. I wonder if they ever track the number of times they lose possession with his long kicks up to our short forwards and mids. It's got to be well over 70%, but he keeps doing it, and the coaches don't correct it. If you can't build from the back and maintain some possession, then that's another indictment of the defense.

    I turned it off in the 2nd half after seeing more balls sent out of bounds by defenders who weren't under pressure, and more lost long balls. Same old crap every game. And Accam needs a better finish on the play where he broke the defenders ankles and was behind the keeper. Those are the plays that must be made.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    Sean does not have very good feet, that is for sure. With that said, Sean has been one of our better players this season and since he has been with the club. Things are always going to look unorganized when you have only one, and sometimes two, true defenders on the field. He also has to bypass the defenders because they are awful with the ball at their feet. Id rather him go long with the ball than give it to Gehrig, JL, or Palmer.

  • When will the podcast be ready? I can't wait to hear Evans opinion of the team.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Recording Wednesday night.

  • So now that the Fire are out of the Open Cup and are not in contention for the Supporters Shield, will they start focusing on making the playoffs?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Need those last six "must-win" games.

  • Who wants to bet against us having more losses this season than ties last season? Not me.

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