Losses in Montreal away and Toronto at home weren’t necessarily reasons for Fire fans to hit the panic button but dropping all three points at home to an expansion side that hadn’t won on the road all season may be cause for keeping the button within arm’s reach.
In losing a fourth consecutive game, and six of the last seven, the Fire now sit precariously close to the sixth spot in the East with seventh place Montreal only five points behind them and holding a game-in-hand.
The Fire are now 0-8-2 when they allow the first goal this season and careless defending set them back in this one by allowing a bad Minnesota side to take a lead and sit back. The first Minnesota score was the result of a badly defended throw-in. With two consecutive home losses, the Fire’s sense of invincibility at Toyota Park is disappearing, making the road rematch in Montreal all the more important.
The Fire are staggering and in desperate need of a win anywhere.
GK Matt Lampson (5) – Hard to fault Lampson on either of the two goals but Minnesota’s only two shots on target ended up in the net. They didn’t really challenge otherwise.
D Patrick Doody (4.5) – Both Minnesota goals came from breakdowns that started on the left side. On the first, Doody was out of position following a throw-in.
D Johan Kappelhof (4) – His failure to clear the ball cleanly following the 36th minute breakdown in defending a throw-in, resulted in an easy tap in for Danladi and Minnesota’s first goal. Didn’t pick up Danladi right before half-time on the second.
D Christian Dean (4) – Lost Danladi in a run through the middle of the box and left him wide open for the second score. Left at half-time with a foot injury and departed the locker room on crutches.
D Drew Conner (5) – Did try to get forward and get involved but couldn’t find the final pass. A few instances where recovery was slow but was one of the more active players on the night.
M Dax McCarty (5.5) – Sat deeper in midfield with Schweinsteiger taking a more active role. Did venture an occasional run forward with two shot attempts in the first half. The Fire controlled midfield and completed passes at a high percentage but again failed in the final third.
M Bastian Schweinsteiger (6) – Has tried influencing his way into a win in the last two games but has come up short and his patience appears to be waning. With frustration setting in, he picked up a yellow card for flipping a ball toward a Minnesota player and declined to speak to reporters after the game. A fantastic through ball in the 77th set up Accam on the counter for the Fire’s only goal.
M Luis Solignac (5) – Some involvement during the first thirty minutes while the Fire dominated possession. Did have some minor success in setting up and participating in half-chances early but trailed off from there. Decent look in the 64th was shut down quickly.
M Djordje Mihailovic (5) – More aggressive offensively than he was in his previous start in Columbus but still didn’t have much to show for all of his activity. Tried to draw a couple of penalty kicks by going down easily before he was replaced at half-time in another missed chance to step into the Fire’s #10 role. He wasn’t bad, but he didn’t deliver either.
M David Accam (6) – Scored the Fire’s only goal with a clinical finish in the 77th. The only play that the Fire seem to be capable of creating at the moment is finding Accam trying to get behind defenders on the left side. There were numerous instances, however where Accam wasted chances by trying to take on defenders 1v2 and 1v3 unnecessarily.
F Nemanja Nikolic (4.5) – More involved than he has been in some time with a couple of shot attempts in the first half but was shut down in the second. He was involved in the play that led to the goal by pushing the ball forward cleanly to Schweinsteiger. Needs to find a way to make himself more available against mediocre defenses like Minnesota’s.
F Michael de Leeuw (5) – Replaced Mihailovic to start the second half. Missed a chance to find Solignac charging to the near post in the 63rd with a late pass. A desperation attempt via a bicycle kick in the 89th just missed the post.
D Jonathan Campbell (5) – Replaced Dean at half-time. Cleared the ball toward Schweinsteiger to start the counter for the Fire’s only score.
M Arturo Alvarez (5) – Replaced Solignac in the 71st. Tried to get involved getting forward but Minnesota had packed in their defense and added more to the backline with a 2-0 lead.