Red Bulls 2 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

On a night when Jesse Marsch, Denis Hamlett, and Chris Armas celebrated a Supporters Shield clinching victory at Toyota Park, the current version of the Fire are looking toward next season and another new beginning. Nelson Rodriguez met the media before the game but the formality of one more match this season was just that.

A weak start with some players on the pitch that haven’t seen a lot of minutes resulted in a 2-0 half time deficit. On the positive side, the Fire did challenge the best team in the Eastern Conference and MLS during the regular season, with a good showing in the last thirty minutes that may have put some doubts into the minds of Red Bulls supporters as FC Dallas was busy winning their match on what MLS billed as Decision Day.

The loss leaves the Fire at bottom of the league with an embarrassing 8-20-6 record. Decision Day is coming for many involved in this disaster of a campaign.

Player ratings

GK Alec Kann (5) – Making his MLS debut he started a bit shaky but ended up with six saves.

D Matt Polster (5) – Got the start at right back. A bit out of sorts, along with the rest of the back line, to start the game but had a good second half. Forced Robles into a good save with a shot in the 68th and his cross found Accam for a chance in the 73rd.

D Jeff Larentowicz (5) – The back line was all over the place during the first New York goal in another classic example of team break down. Solid in the second half.

D Chris Ritter (4.5) – Seemed to be the guy that lost the last mark on the first New York goal. Left the game in the 21st with an injury.

D Patrick Doody (6) – Provided good service from the flanks and solid play all around. Doody has impressed in limited time this season. Cross in the 78th led to an assist on the only Fire goal.

M Razvan Cocis (5) – One of the players stumbling around in a cluster as Bradley Wright Phillips found an uncontested tap in to give New York the lead. Completed 85% of his passes and the Fire actually won the overall possession battle (54-46) with a better showing late in the game.

M Matt Watson (5) – Caught in a turnover that almost led to a goal in the 16th but Kann managed to save Grella’s attempt. Dangerous cross through the front of the goal led to a chance for Shipp.

M Patrick Nyarko (5.5) – His headed effort back toward goal found Gilberto to make the game close. Fouled just outside the box in the 89th leading to a good free kick opportunity. Tried to get things going in the first half but New York wasn’t giving up much space. Called for a foul in the box for a shoulder to shoulder challenge on Grella.

M Joevin Jones (5) – Relatively quiet although he did complete 93% of his passes. Exited in the 58th in favor of Accam.

F Harry Shipp (5) – A few good moments in combination and a shot attempt in the 83rd that led to a corner kick. Fair but not overly dangerous in the playmaking role.

F Gilberto (5.5) – Scored the Fire’s only goal with a well taken side volley. Wasn’t hesitant to take a shot or attempt to make something happen when it needed to be done. A bad pass in the 27th did squander a good chance on the counter.

M Daneil Cyrus (5) – Subbed in for Ritter in the 21st. Had one nice recovery late in the game.

M David Accam (5.5) – Replaced Jones in the 58th and the offense did seem to pick up from there. Hit the post with a shot in the 73rd.

F Kennedy Igboananike (5) – Came on for Watson in the 83rd.

Post game

Patrick Nyarko on the loss and his outlook on 2016.

Jeff Larentowicz on two frustrating seasons and his possible future with the club.


Nelson Rodriguez’s introductory press conference

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • The most telling part of the night was when Accam came in and he and Shipp were confused on where to line up.

    Also I thought that Bliss said earlier in the week he was going to field his strongest side yesterday. Why did he not do that?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    "Why did he not do that?"

    That's what I said.

    We should be getting some sort of thank you present from NY for handing them hardware and a CCL birth.

  • Looks like we successfully converted all those draws last year into losses. Yay us!

  • Who was that introducing Rodriguez? He seemed like he drew the short straw to be out there. Total lack of enthusiasm or energy. This has all the appearance of an outside coup by MLS, and not an internal decision at least from this guy's presentation.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    That was VP of Communication Doug Hicks that introduced him.

    I've said before that I don't believe this was an MLS hire a la Chivas USA. Rodriguez may have been recommended by the hire ups at MLS but the move wasn't forced on them.

    I semi-jokingly asked Rodriguez about comparisons people have made to the Wolf in Pulp Fiction and he got a laugh out of it.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Interesting interview. Some uplifting points and some "uh-huh" points.

    Well, the kitchen sink has been tossed in. Time to see what happens.

  • The off-season will be an interesting one. There were plenty of things this season that were frustrating and its unfair to blame one person, but for me Cocis has a really bad year. He seemed to try hard but just caused so many issues for our team. Sloppy turnovers, inability to move the ball, wrong times to step up, misplaced passes, etc. And most of those lead to prime chances for the opponent. At 220k this season its unacceptable.

    Just by looking at the roster and salary cap hits, you can see where the team was let down. I know they say try to separate salary from player to see their impact, but in a league with a cap, you can't. With Red, Magee, Adi, and Cocis equal close to 1.1m in cap space. Add Iggy and Palmer, it gets close to 2m in cap space. I would not mind seeing Palmer back as I think he can provide depth for the team and is a character guy. Red can also provide leadership and ability to play CB and CDM but would need to come back lower than 265k.

    The Fire would seem to have a ton of cap space to work with should they cut the bloated salaries that didn't contribute this season, along with top draft pick, top allocation spot, and Last place allocation money. Plenty of resources to improve the team.

    I'm sure they will spend again, but will it be spent in the right spots on the right players? My wish list is CB x2 (one big with the capability to step up and clear 50/50 balls, which they have lacked for a while) CM x2 (one needs to be a big money signing IMO, someone with a track record of taking over games, controlling the midfield) RB, and ST to pair with Gilberto. I know he gets a bad rap for some reason, but I think he is a solid player and can contribute if paired with another solid ST option.

    Obv the list can go on and on, but those seem the most important IMO. Sorry for my all over the place rant, in a season with so many things going wrong, its hard to stay on topic of what needs to be fixed.

    Lastly, for the love of god can we have some players make smart runs in the box next year? We always have 1 player just floating around, instead of near post run to drag defenders so that the second run can go back post or to the spot. I feel like for eternity this has been an issue in the final third.

  • In reply to KChance:

    also please pardon the grammar in my unconscious thoughts.

  • FYI...we lost video on the last question to Rodriguez regarding supporter discontent. The Fire also have the press conference video up with the answer to the question.

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