The odd situation with David Accam placed a darker cloud over a second consecutive disappointing outing on the road. The Fire’s most dangerous player on the ball was held out of the eleven for the second consecutive week and for the second time in as many games, he provided a spark to get the team back into the match.
Clearly outplayed in the first half, Chicago was fortunate to have a goal on the board thanks to Matt Besler’s deflection of a cross into his own net. A late first half goal put the home team ahead for good and a third goal in the 51st minute all but sealed it. Accam’s 12th goal of the season in the 78th made it close but the Fire didn’t play well enough to earn points here.
The second half was a marked improvement on the first 45 minutes but there are lingering questions above and beyond what is going on with Accam. Chicago struggled to create anything in the final third before Accam entered the match. Kansas City’s press showed some gaps but the Fire didn’t have the personnel on the field to exploit it. They also dropped back deep when the Fire managed to put together possession and dared them to try and break them down by allowing some space on the ball.
Accam will be a threat, for as long as he’s here and playing but this game showed that the Fire still don’t have the answers for winning against good competition on the road. There’s not enough reason for full panic just yet, but there are issues bubbling that must be resolved soon.
On and off the field.
GK Matt Lampson (5) – A few decent saves out of the six he made but struggled in distribution, particularly in the first half. Hard to pin any of the three goals on him as the sole contributor however.
D Patrick Doody (5.5) – Fair night standing in for the injured Brandon Vincent. Got beat by Zusi in setting up the second SKC goal in first half stoppage time but did provide some decent service and didn’t look entirely out of place getting forward. Provided the assist for Accam’s goal. Did need some help in containing the left side on occasion.
D Johan Kappelhof (5) – Caught flat footed and ball watched a bit on the second KC goal.
D Joao Meira (5.5) – A few key blocks but also had to scramble to recover on just as many occasions. His man got the header leading to the second goal.
D Matt Polster (5) – A give away followed by more ball-watching and late defending led directly to the third Kansas City score. Did provide a handful of dangerous, close-call crosses that threatened the opposite goal as well. His relatively harmless looking cross was knocked into the net by Besler for the Fire’s first goal.
M Dax McCarty (5.5) – His attempt to clear a ball inadvertently set Salloi off on a run that resulted in the first goal of the game. Not incredibly sharp but the Fire did end up with a possession advantage (51-49 and 82% pass completion.
M Bastian Schweinsteiger (5.5) – Kept the ball moving forward but the final pass wasn’t there. At the center of the Fire’s longest possession spells in the second half and did try to spring teammates with several long, cross field passes. Deflected Salloi’s shot after trying to play catch-up with him in the 23rd.
M Juninho (5) – The third wheel in midfield as a result of Accam being pushed to the bench for a second straight game. Decent in help defense but not really involved in much the other way.
M Michael de Leeuw (5.5) – The Fire weren’t dangerous for most of the first half but de Leeuw was active. A great bit of skill allowed him to get free in the 47th and he just missed Solignac in front of goal. Dangerous cross was cleared by Melia in the 69th.
M Luis Solignac (5) – Did not threaten much as Chicago only had 3 shots on goal.
F Nemanja Nikolic (5.5) – Absolutely robbed by Melia in the 85th. Had a clear look from distance in stoppage time that was high of the target.
M David Accam (6) – There’s more to just the All Star discontent as a reason for his place out of the eleven in the last two games. Made an impact right away after entering the match for Solignac in the 55th. Got behind the defense quickly but couldn’t get by two defenders. Scored on an excellent touch in the 78th. Also involved in the Fire’s three best chances to tie the game.
M Daniel Johnson (5) – A few decent moments trying to get involved after subbing in for Juninho in the 77th. Involved with Accam and Nikolic on a chance in the 84th.
D Jonathan Campbell (5) – In a show of the Fire’s lack of depth on the bench, he replaced Schweinsteiger in the 91st with the Fire trailing 3-2.