Red Bulls 2 Fire 1 - recap and ratings

The Fire played well enough for a draw and possibly all three points but came away with nothing. A handful of missed chances, a bad touch, and another defensive lapse on the right side led to a blown opportunity against an Eastern Conference opponent on the road.

Chicago won the possession battle (51-49), took more shots (14/5 to 10/3), and had a higher passing percentage (71-68) than New York but failed to capitalize when they had to. If they can continue to win at home they will stay in the playoff race but the better teams manage to come away with something in matches like this. The Red Bulls aren’t the same team that has ridden to the top of the East in the last few years, largely due to the loss of McCarty and they are beatable. The Fire just couldn’t beat them….or come away with a point in a match where they were mostly the better team for large stretches.

Games like this come back to haunt teams that are riding the thin line between continuing to play past October and going home. This story is likely to repeat itself if something isn’t done to, at the very least, shore up the right side of the defense.

Player ratings

GK Jorge Bava (5) – There were the usual bobbles, straight-out-of-bounds kicks, and shakiness that has become expected. There wasn’t much he could have done on the first goal and perhaps he could have made himself bigger on the second but it’s hard to fault him for either New York score.

D Michael Harrington (4) – He was beaten on the first NY goal but there was a bit of bad luck involved as Juninho’s touch placed the ball back on Royer’s foot. His positioning on the second was inexcusable. Had he been where he should have been, Lawrence getting by Solignac would have resulted in a harmless clearance. It’s clear that Paunovic can’t keep sacrificing results due to mistakes from this spot.

D Johan Kappelhof (5.5) – New York didn’t have a lot of chances and only three shots on target. BWP was matched up frequently against Meira. A late clearance denied a possible third NY goal chance. Gambled a bit higher up, but was successful.

D Joao Meira (5) – Wright-Phillips got behind him on the first goal and he fell while trying to get back on the second. A late give-away almost resulted in a third but he did contribute 7 recoveries and 6 clearances and a couple of good switches in play.

D Brandon Vincent (6) – Quietly turning in some solid, if unspectacular contributions. Service in the third minute afforded a chance for Nikolic. Can afford to be more involved with teams knowing they can attack the Fire’s right side much more successfully.

M Juninho (5) – Still seems out of place and not quite as effective as expected in the Fire’s current set up. Struggled a bit defensively early and touched the ball back to Royer in the 37, resulting in the first New York score. Didn’t have many consequential touches offensively but did have a few good sequences defensively in the second.

M Dax McCarty (6.5) – The Fire’s man of the match in his return to his former home. Created the Chicago goal by collecting a loose ball and dancing by his NY replacements to find Nikolic open for his chance in the 59th. Did not touch the ball much in the flow of the offense however with 28 0f 39 passes completed.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (5.5) – His quality is apparent, but for the second consecutive match he looked less effective than he did in his first three games at home. Pass completion rate was closer to the team’s 71% as New York’s press did have some success against the Fire midfield in possession, particularly in the first half.

F Luis Solignac (5) – Credit for being in position to have scoring chances but lost points by failing to put away those chances. Somehow botched a clear shot in the 35th, although the bungled shot appeared to hit a New York defender in the arm. Missed another big chance in the 66th when he couldn’t get a shot of successfully in front of goal. His missed chances were one of the main talking points after the match.

F David Accam (6) – Set up two big chances for Solignac with good passes but didn’t do much to generate his own chances. Credited with 5 key passes despite not having very many touches.

F Nemanja Nikolic (6) – Scored the only Fire goal and had three other shots on target in five attempts. Robles did well to stop his shot in the 30th. Staying onside has been a bit of a challenge.

M Michael de Leeuw (5) – Replaced Juninho in the 73rd. Drew a foul in a dangerous spot in the 87th.

M Daniel Johnson (5) – Came in for Accam in the 79th. Attempt at a through ball went to no one in the 91st. Will have do to more than dance around to keep earning minutes.

M Arturo Alvarez (5) – Subbed in for Solignac in the 86th. Free kick attempt almost found McCarty at the far post for a header for the Fire’s last real chance.


Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Solignac is so dangerous....and so inconsistent in finishing

  • In reply to Shinny:

    I love Solignac's effort, but the poor guy can't finish. I think Alvarez has to be the starter on the RW. TIME TO START DOODY!

  • In reply to go fire:

    I just don't understand how the same guy that had the uber-clutch settled and finish at the death against Montreal bungled much, much easier chances against NYRB this weekend.

    I remember the same thing last year, where Solignac's finishing was just wildly inconsistent.

  • In reply to go fire:

    The question has been "can Alvarez cover the same ground as Solignac?" Alvarez didn't last season - Solignac has been much more active.

  • Any updates on Polster? Is it that they are waiting for him to get healthy and plug up that right side? Or are there any possible transfer rumors that can make us feel better about giving away points on the road?

  • In reply to edubs:

    Polster had an injury setback. He's probably a week or two away.

  • fb_avatar

    Scrappy game that neither team deserved to win IMO. Chicago was unlucky though as both goals were the result of convenient deflections. I dont think anyone in a Chicago jersey can be at fault for either...just unfortunate bounces. Vincent had his best game in a fire jersey that I have seen. He was so much more composed and was able to pick some really good passes. If he continues to put in performances like that, I might finally shut up about trading Jones... Accam looked totally disinterested in this game...

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    Did you see Harrington's positioning on the second goal? If not take a look Jeff Krause's timeline on twitter and you will see a picture of it.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    and that is why we all keep complaining about harrington... If this were isolated incidents it would be a different story. But its week in and week out. Bad positioning, failing to close down defenders. Say what you will about Solignac being beat, its Harrington's job to provide the overlap coverage BECAUSE Solignac might get beat. He was right next to Kappelhof. I'm sorry but Kappelhof is more then capable in his position. Him and Joao can cover each other just fine. Instead of closing down the attacker, Harrington floated back towards goal first. By the time he realized that he needed to close down the defender the damage was done and he couldn't close down in time.

  • In reply to penapirata:
  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    For everyone to put this ALL on Harrington - once again - misses all the other culpabilities on this second unlucky goal. Solignac and Kap and Meira and Bava and Harrington all made bad choices and bad plays in allowing this score. By consistently placing blame on only one average player out of 5 in a (barely) average defense subverts the concept of team defense.

  • In reply to southsidefutbol:

    I don't disagree that there is blame to go around in a mediocre defense, but Harrington's errors are the most glaring and often the root cause of the breakdowns.

  • In reply to Carl Miller:

    Oh, no- just wait until Jovin Jones goes up against Harrington on the 13th. Unless, of course, someone else is playing RB instead of Harrington.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    One can dream right?

    One thing I've learned about Pauno is that he is slow to realize when he is wrong. Just look at the SJ situation last year. Harrington is this years SJ situation.

  • The rookie came in with 13 left made some good runs did not get on ball much, he did earn a corner and completed every pass, I would go back and look in the 91st minute he wins 50/50 header sends to Dax who plays through ball to no one .. Love your insight on the game.

  • In reply to 360soccer:

    He completed 3 of 4 might be right though...the through ball to no one may have been from McCarty.

  • Solignac reminds me a lot of Calen Carr. High energy, quick, buzzing around the field but with no real purpose. He gets into good positions and then drops a turd. For every Montreal goal, we are going to get 5 to 6 games NYRB games. He just seems like a guy who should be coming on with 10 minutes to go and he doesn't stop sprinting until the final whistle. As good as this team is in the middle of the field and up top, we lack any technical ability on the wings. Both Solignac and Accam could dribble directly out of bounds without anyone close to them. They could both out run the ball on a break away. They could both score incredible goals too. That is where this team is going to fail this season. You can't have 5 of the 11 guys (Accam, Solignac, Bava, Harrington, and Vincent) out there be capable of USL level play at any given moment. We need consistency and fast. You can't only get points at home and hope to be successful. Things need to get fixed quickly. It's not going to get any easier in LA.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I think that's harsh on Accam. He's been solid this year in a support role and his passing has improved exponentially from last year.

    Probably harsh on Vincent too. He's young but developing nicely

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