Following last weekend’s debacle in DC the Fire showed some pride and put together another very good team performance reminiscent of the win in Montreal that they were looking to build on. Chicago was the better side for most of the night and have moved out of the MLS cellar surpassing Columbus and Houston for that dubious distinction. The Fire moved the ball well when they had to in generating 16 shot attempts and several good chances. Perhaps most impressively, they did so without David Accam who they relied on as almost a sole source of offense early in the season.
The Fire also continue to be a tough team to beat at home. The win moved their unbeaten string at Toyota Park to 12 games across all competitions. The third longest such streak in club history.
GK Sean Johnson (7) – From the outstretched stop of Pontius’ shot in the 31st which kept the Fire in the lead to another impressive save on Barnetta’s attempt in the 54th, Johnson came up big throughout the match. Credited with 5 saves, he was a key in the clean sheet and was very in control of the penalty area.
D Brandon Vincent (6) – The Fire defense was solid all around. A good run into the box led to chance that was eventually blocked in the 57th.
D Jonathan Campbell (6) – Didn’t look tired in this match as Sapong and most of the Philadelphia attackers were held to very few clear looks.
D Joao Meira (7) – He’s taken some criticism while playing in midfield but has been serviceable since assuming a starting spot at centerback. Led all players with an impressive 8 clearances.
D Johan Kappelhof (6) – Part of a good team effort on defense. May have shown some fatigue in reaching out to trip Pontius in a dangerous area in the 64th.
M Razvan Cocis (6.5) – The Fire didn’t win the possession battle (42-58) but they were more dangerous from plays developed through midfield than the Union were. Cocis was involved in the all important second goal by getting a good ball forward to Solignac for his chance. Led all players with 6 tackles.
M Matt Polster (6.5) – Set up the first goal with a clever pass attempt to de Leeuw in the 22nd that was deflected into the net by Alberg. Good in combination play as he led the Fire with 30 passes completed in 40 attempts. Overall, the Fire were at a respectable 77% completion rate.
M Arturo Alvarez (7) – Possibly his best match of the season. Involved in the build-up leading to the first goal. Involved in chances in the 51st, 64th, and 83rd before and impressive run, step over, and finish sealed the victory in the 90th minute. With Accam missing the Fire needed a spark from the outside mids and he helped provide it.
M John Goossens (6) – Did well to keep the ball moving positively in the “playmaker’ spot underneath. Completed 18 of his 23 attempts. Good free kick service set up a chance for Alvarez in the 51st.
M Luis Solignac (6) – His positive play has changed the dynamic of the offense. Didn’t score but this shot attempt in the 71st was saved leading to a rebound goal for de Leeuw. Headed shot in the 26th also forced McCarthy into a difficult save. Played on the left in place of Accam providing a different but effective performance.
F Michael de Leeuw (7) – Seems to find himself in the right places in the right times often and that was on display again in this match. Involved in all three Fire goals. The first was cleared away from him for an own goal, he scored the second with a rebound header into an open net, and he set up Alvarez with a pass from midfield on the third. He didn’t have a ton of touches (12 of 16) passing) but he has a knack for making the most of what he gets.
D Michael Harrington (6) – Replaced Kappelhof in the 66th. Cleared a dangerous Rosenberry cross away in the 67th.
M Michael Stephens (6) – Subbed in for Goossens in the 73rd. Completed all 10 of his passes.
M Joey Calistri (5) – Came on for Alvarez with one minute left in stoppage time.