Fire 2 Impact 2 - recap and ratings

The excitement of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s goal scoring debut was tempered by an all too familiar sight at Toyota Park. The Fire squandered and early lead and failed to put away an opponent that they should have been able to beat at home. Over the last several seasons, they have blown countless opportunities at home while not being able to accumulate points against teams playing at considerably less than full strength.

Schweinsteiger showed his quality but the problems that existed before his arrival were still evident. There are still issues with finding a consistent link to Nemanja Nikolic, although it’s possible that concern can be overcome as the team works through familiarity and cohesion over time. The main issues defensively, however will only be solved with upgrades at right back and goalkeeper.

The Fire did manage to win the possession battle 60-40 while completing 84% of their passes, which is a good sign and a massive improvement over the last match. However improved Schweinsteiger makes them will be limited by issues that won’t go away without a few more upgrades.

Player ratings

GK Jorge Bava (4) – Appears to be moving in slow motion at times. Did collect two easy saves but did nothing to step up when needed. There is little doubt that Tabla’s slow moving bouncer from 23 yards out should have been stopped in the 90th minute. Distribution also continues to be less than good.

D Michael Harrington (4) – Once again failed to close down an attacker which resulted in Tabla’s goal. Defending by “5 yard cushion” has cost the Fire several goals already this season. Did provide some decent service and occasionally helped in combination play, but the Fire simply cannot afford to continue getting a lack of basic defending on the right side of the back line.

D Jonathan Campbell (4.5) – Misjudged a cross in the 61st and Mancosu beat him to the ball in the 61st for the first Montreal goal. Needs to be more aware of his positioning and judgement if he wants to work his way back onto the field.

D Joao Meira (5) – Adequate for most of the match with Montreal limited in good chances with Piatti missing. The Fire will eventually need an upgrade at left centerback to pair with Kappelhof but there are big issues in back than Meira.

D Brandon Vincent (5) – Good involved going forward with some success. Came over late to mark Duvall on the cross that led to the goal in the 61st.

M Dax McCarty (6) – Completed nearly 90% of his pass attempts as the Fire controlled the ball for a change. Found Solignac with a good ball in stoppage time to preserve a point at home.

M Juninho (5) – Credited with a secondary assist on the Fire’s first goal. Still seems to be working his way into finding a comfort zone on the field. The second yellow in the 71st was a soft call as Junino looked to move out of the way. His shot in the 67th was easily saved.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (7) – Scored a goal in the 17th from a well taken header. Created several other opportunities for teammates. Found Solignac in the 80th with a fantastic pass out of his half leading to an expulsion for Cabrera. As good as the Fire could have hoped as a deep lying playmaker in this first game with the club….now let’s see if he can figure out how to get Nikolic involved.

M Arturo Alvarez (5) – Had some troubling finding the game and getting involved. Very little provided in dangerous areas.

M David Accam (6) – Very good ball in the 17th found Schweinsteiger for the goal. Not as effective from the 60th minute on. Went down in the box in the 95th. It was probably a good no-call.

F Nemanja Nikolic (5) – Needs service but he’s not making the best of the few chances he does get either.

M Michael de Leeuw (5.5) – Replaced Alvarez in the 66th. Touched a ball toward Bush in the 77th for a chance before leaving the game in the 77th with an arm/wrist injury, which was heavily taped after the game.

F Luis Solignac (6.5) – Came on for Nikolic in the 75th. Got the match to 10v10 by forcing Cabrera to grab him from behind but a better touch might have resulted in a goal. A fantastic finish in the 93rd salvaged the point at home.

M Daniel Johnson (6) – On for de Leeuw in the 79th and his activity and positioning seemed to open things up a bit for the Fire. Quality minutes for Johnson in this game.


Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Is it time to give Lampson another shot? My biggest complaint with him last year was his distribution, but Bava is just as bad in that department and Lampson is at least an average shot stopper.

    I also don't understand the decision to play Alvarez instead of MDL as the right forward in the 433. Alvarez has had a great 12 months, but he's effective coming in from the wings, not as a point of attack.

  • In reply to Shinny:


    MDL was still regaining full fitness after the hamstring injury that kept him out last week.

  • In reply to Shinny:

    NO!!! God NO!!!!

    Lampson's positional awareness is atrocious. He has no concept of how to defend 1 on 1. He isn't a strong enough presence in the box to get to the ball in dangerous situations. I'm not saying Bava is our answer, but if we hadn't already lose 2 GK's (Kann is doing better at Atlanta then Lampson ever did here.), I would be questioning why we even still have him in the first place.

  • In reply to edubs:

    I don't think Bava is appreciably better than Lampson. There's no sense in tying up an international spot with him, but that's been the case since they signed him.

  • In reply to edubs:

    I'm not saying Lampson is good or that he should be the starter for Fire...I'm just saying that he may be the lesser of two evils right now

  • Gotcha- that makes a lot more sense

  • I'd like to hear from the soccer coaches. Is Harrington better than Doody?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to go fire:

    No. I'm not a soccer coach but Harrington is simply not an MLS caliber RB. Until Polster is healthy I would absolutely be playing Doody or even an orange plastic traffic cone at RB. I would like to see Polster given a shot at RB when healthy though as he needs to be on the field somehow. Hell, I'd even give Cleveland a shot in goal as well because Bava is on Lampsons level and we already know Lampson is not an MLS caliber GK.

    Speaking of, hey GR any news about any back line or GK upgrades? I keep having this feeling we'll be sending Dax to Orlando for Spector and even though Dax is a quality player I'd be fine with that move. Also, any news on a Polster injury timeline and how would you like to see him incorporated into this current roster?

  • In reply to Joe Brancato:

    Polster is running and working with the ball but not full training yet (as of last week). Probably a couple weeks away.

    No way Dax for Spector happens.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    What about Polster for Spector? If Polster has fallen out of the starting lineup, maybe it makes sense to get Spector for him.

  • In reply to edubs:

    No! When one of our MF starters is injured we will be lucky to have Polster ready to step in to minimize the loss. They will eventually address the defensive personnel problems without the need to sacrifice Polster who may be a future stalwart in the Fire midfield. Let him stay, practice with Schweinsteiger, Dax & Juninho, filling in as needed. I can't think of a better opportunity to develop him for the future.

  • In reply to edubs:

    I can't imagine that Orlando, who desperately needed a CB, is looking to trade him.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to go fire:

    As much as I dont like Harrington, I think he can whip a decent ball into the box. That being said, his primary responsibility is defending and he just doesnt know how. From his limited minutes, I dont remember how effective Doody was in the attacking half but I do remember he was a pretty solid defender. I was just thinking today that I would like to see him get a chance at RB until Polster is healthy.

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    Doody is a stay home defender. He's not as good going forward but he will defend. He's also not that fast.
    You might see him or Conner get a shot at right back.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Harrington has been an incredible disappointment. I recall him from his days with KC and Portland and my impression was that he was a solid MLS defender, kind of like Dan Gargan was for the Fire. He won't be MLS Best XI, but he goes out there and does a job.

    Most of Harrington's games for the Fire have been a disaster. I cannot fathom why Paunovic doesn't try something new at RB. Are the other options worse? If so, the Fire are in very bad shape.

    I don't care if Doody never crosses the halfway line when the Fire are attacking. I want my defenders to defend! If he can do the defensive job better than Harrington, then let's get him out there ASAP.

  • In reply to StaryByk3:

    Amen to this.

  • Wasn't able to watch the MTL game, but the highlights make Bava look horrible. The first goal was savable with a good, not great, save. The second goal was savable by a blind mouse. This is so sad. I really would like to hear an honest explanation as to why NR determined SJ was not worth keeping. He wants the Basti signing to be the key signing of his career, but he has to be able to honestly explain how his deletions from the roster were made because I cannot figure out just about any of his decisions on that front.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    "He wants the Basti signing to be the key signing of his career"

    Yeah and for some reason N-Rod keeps quoting Bill Polean.

  • One thing that stood out to me on Saturday was that we seemed a lot better at possession and creating chances in the final third. It would be nice if that continued.

    I hear you can find a good RB on eBay if the day is right...

  • Question GR?
    Would 75Kin GAM and TAM makes sense for Anibaba who's spot is taken by DeLaGarza?

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    That's almost what the dynamo paid for Delagarza, that's way too much. Anibaba is a bench player. Better than Harrington, yes, but that's not a high bar to clear

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Would need a better RB than Anibaba.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Then who are we targeting or we can get?

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    I hear that we can get a traffic cone for a reasonable transfer fee. Would probably do better then Harrington.

  • In reply to edubs:

    Home Depot have some on sale right now

  • I think that Basti showed that he can be the "10" that we need. He had only been with the team a few days and was already creating more opportunities than any other player has for the Fire. Those perfectly weighted through balls were amazing to see. imo he should have had at least 2 assists, but the forwards didn't finish. I'm really excited to see this team gel. We still need an RB, goalie, and CB depth, but it's easy to see this team has potential to be very good.

  • It was curious that his best passing (which I agree, was amazing) came with connections to Solignac late in the game. I wonder if it just took him time to find his new rhythm, if the chemistry isn't there with Niko, or if that the 10 v 10 field just happened to open things up (or some combination of the above).

  • In reply to Shinny:

    While I don't recall Schweinsteiger trying the kind of through ball with Nikolic that he twice served up for Solignac late in the game, it is also my opinion that Solignac is faster than the back line and can outrun them to the ball. I'm not sure that Nikolic has that kind of speed.

  • In reply to Shinny:

    Schweinsteiger had other perfectly waited balls that put the defense on their back feet. I think the ball that started the play where Accam got the free kick and Schweinsteiger scored started because of a perfectly weighted ball over the top. He was moving the ball expertly all game.

    The thing about Solignac though is that he has great positional awareness (imo). I feel that he is good at finding the right places to be and in stretching the defense. This skill is probably why he was able to be in a position for Schweinsteiger to make those particular passes. My main problem with Solignac is his poor finishing. The first time his first touch was horrible (luckily he drew the red card). And the second time through he looked like he didn't know how to go 1v1 with the keeper. Although, his goal in stoppage time does give him quite a bit of redemption. That was really good.

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