The Fire got back on track following two consecutive road losses. The 4-1 victory over the New England Revolution was the third win in three meetings between the two clubs this season. This one was just as convincing as the other two, with New England struggling to gain control of midfield and allowing Fire attackers some space with which to operate courtesy of some less than aggressive defending.
Patrick Doody contributed in Brandon Vincent’s absence to show that Chicago may indeed have some depth at the left back spot. His three assists should earn him MLS Team of the Week honors and keep him in consideration for a spot in the 18 when Vincent does return.
New England didn’t have many answers, although they did manage to tie the game in the 24th minute when Kei Kamara out-jumped the backline following a free kick. That was pretty much it from the Revolution as Chicago easily controlled the match from that point and took the lead in the 39th on Juninho’s well placed shot from 26 yards out into the left corner of the net.
The Fire pulled back to within three points of Toronto FC at the top of the Eastern Conference but beating the Revolution isn’t a testament to whether or not they can catch the league leaders. This win was a welcome sight and sorely needed but it’s expected now.
GK Matt Lampson (6) – A shaky moment or two in clearing away passes/shots but also some good sequences in coming out strong to cut off passes on the ground.
D Patrick Doody (7.5) – Credited with an assist on Juninho’s goal in thee 39th. A fantastic cross in the 49th found de Leeuw on the run at the far post for the Fire’s third and a layoff for Solignac in second half stoppage time earned him two more helpers. An outstanding night for Doody, who became the first Fire Homegrown Player to ever record three assists in a game.
D Johan Kappelhof (6) – The backline tightened up in this game, only allowing nine shot attempts. Kamara did leap over Kappelhof in the 24th from a dead ball situation to head the ball in and tie the score but he wasn’t really dangerous after that.
D Joao Meira (6.5) – New England has some attacking talent and Kamara, Nguyen, Fagundez, and Agudelo were held in check for most of the match. Four interceptions ad four recoveries. Found Polster early on a cross field pass to set up his chance for the first goal.
D Matt Polster (7) – The Fire’s fullbacks did some damage. Polster’s beautifully taken shot with the outside of his right foot from 20 yards away in the 8th minute gave the Fire a lead early. Fagundez and Agudelo silent for most of the night on the right.
M Juninho (7) – Scored in the 39th with a shot from distance that New England didn’t defend very well but he also had one of his better all-around games in a while. The Fire’s three-man center midfield combination easily handled New England’s 4-4-2 diamond. Juninho was available to receive passes and clear balls from danger throughout the entire match. Completed 94% of his passes.
M Bastian Schweinsteiger (6.5) – With the Fire completing 86% of their passes with seemingly little resistance from New England, the midfield had room to operate and expose gaps on the outside. He also dropped back defensively often to continue helping the back line.
M Dax McCarty (6.5) – Heaps has to reconsider how he plays against the Fire if he’s around for the next contest. The Fire midfield easily controlled this game with the Fire’s DM trio showing they can play together successfully against the right opposition.
F Michael de Leeuw (6.5) – Rewarded with a great pass from Doody in the 49th to score his second goal of the season. Ran into the ball with a far post run to head it into the net while Revolution defenders ball watched. Workrate on the flanks is always high.
F David Accam (5.5) – Set up Nikolic with a chance early but didn’t factor in much for the rest of the match as Revolution defenders were waiting for him with some help. That did leave plenty of space for Doody to get forward, however. Catch his post game comments about his future below.
F Nemanja Nikolic (5.5) – A relatively quiet night with only one early shot on goal.
D Jonathan Campbell (6) – Came on for Accam in the 65th as the Fire dropped five in the back to close out the match.
M Drew Conner (6) – Subbed in for McCarty in the 70th. Just missed Solignac in the 83rd as the Fire continued to press New England despite the two-goal lead.
F Luis Solignac (6.5) – Replaced Nikolic in the 82nd and scored the fourth goal dancing past Delamea to find the far post.