Fire 1 Red Bulls 1 - recap and ratings


A 1-1 draw at home against the fifth place team in the conference isn’t exactly a sign that things are still on the upswing for the Fire. Neither the Fire, nor the Red Bulls played particularly well on either side of the ball and the result was probably a fair one although Fire players and staff seemed content with the point.

The Red Bulls took a lead in the 8th minute from a set-piece play and the home team looked lost for much of the first 15-20 minutes or so of the match. The Fire rebounded and looked to be the better side in the second half but couldn’t put away anything but one chance in the 66th minute.

Nemanja Nikolic broke his 9-game goal scoring drought in knocking in his 17th tally of the season but some of the same issues continue to hamper the Fire. A lack of creativity in the final third makes it very difficult for them to generate clean chances and momentary lapses in defending continues to put them in the difficult position of having to create against teams that know full well what’s coming.

This was a contest between two playoff contenders in the East but it also looked like a match between two teams that won’t be playing in MLS Cup come December.

Player ratings 

GK Matt Lampson (5.5) – The Fire only allowed NYRB five shots on goal and two on target. Lampson couldn’t do much with the Bradley Wright-Phillips chance, but he wasn’t called upon to do much else either during the match.

D Brandon Vincent (5) – In his return to the lineup, a cross or two looked promising, but New York defenders were there to clear when he did get a ball into the box.

D Johan Kappelhof (6) – Not only did his long pass over the top to de Leeuw lead to the Fire’s only goal, but seven recoveries, five clearances and five interceptions are pretty good numbers.

D Jonathan Campbell (6) – Also had a decent showing with four recoveries, nine clearances, and seven interceptions. Was in the picture for the NYRB goal, but it didn’t appear that Wright-Phillips was his mark.

D Matt Polster (5.5) – Not as effective as he was in the previous match against Montreal, but he was active on the right side. His ability to get forward does open up the offense some.

M Dax McCarty (5.5) – Completed passes well above his team’s percentage, but he doesn’t seem to be as sharp as he was earlier in the season before the national team call-ups. Some credit should go here for the Fire’s ability to limit clean looks on the New York side.

M Juninho (5) – Appeared to lose track of his mark on the NYRB goal although BWP wasn’t picked up behind him either. Drew a foul in a dangerous area in the 27th minute and took a couple of shots from distance, but doesn’t do much to help offensively where the Fire need it.

M David Accam (5) – Continues to play with an ankle contusion that is limiting him some and didn’t get many touches in dangerous areas. Hit the post with a free kick chance in the 44th.

M Luis Solignac (5) – Missed the net on a clean look in the 84th and had a very good chance denied by Robles in the 70th after he found himself alone at the far post.

Michael de Leeuw (6) – A fantastic touch to take in Kappelhof’s long pass in the 66th and leave the ball for Nikolic resulted in the Fire’s only score. Hit the crossbar in the 26th after working a sequence in traffic with Nikolic.

F Nemanja Nikolic (5.5) – Many of his goals haven’t been flashy and this one wasn’t either. Got himself into position, his strength, and ended his nine-game goal drought with a header that finally crossed the line in the 66th. That was his only touch inside the area in the match.

M Drew Conner (5) – As a substitution for Juninho in the 78th, his first touch was a giveaway that was cleared by Kappelhof.

M Djordje Mihailovic (5) – Entered the match in the 88th for Accam. Did not factor into much more than one unsuccessful pass attempt.

F David Arshakyan (5) – Replaced Nikolic late in second-half stoppage time, perhaps for some height?

Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • The performance last night was very similar to the way we played with Yallop. A lot of long balls and flustered play when we had the ball. It was strange to watch because we did not look like the team we have been for most of this season. The players out the yesterday we good enough to play better than they did yesterday. 1 point is fine but we need to start to get back to where we were this season.

    On to the "Meet the Team" event. That was the most ridiculous thing I have been to for the Fire. That is including all of those game with Yallop as the manager. We got to watch them play trivia 20 yards away. We could wait in a 200+ line to take a picture on the bench or with the FIRE letters. The FIRE letters are at every match. Then they tell us we are going to get an autographed poster on our way out. Any person over the age of 12 had to be disappointed when they were handed that. It reminded me of something Frank Yallop would organize.

    To sum up the events yesterday, it was a very Yallopy day.

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    Glad I didn't stay for that fiasco! The first one ( the match) was enough for me. I guess without Bastian we decided not to play the flowing passing game we started with when he arrived. I really hope that Pauno was not serious when he said post game this is how we are gonna play. Hope the injured players are ready for Saturday. If we don't win it could be close on the playoffs.

  • After the terrible fiasco of giving up the first goal, I might have to re-think my adoration of Campbell. After that, the defense played well. My biggest issue was that the team chose to hunker down and play for the tie for the last 10 minutes or so. What happened to going for it? They controlled the game really after the 20th minute. Then the last 10 they seemed to have given up. Re the Yallopy day, I agree but the only difference was that they did not give up the go ahead goal in the last three minutes. A yallop team would have lost. I would haver taken Solingnac out for Alavarez in the 60th minute. He should have finished at least one of his two looks in the second half. Those plays showed that the Fire are very talented but Solignac who is a talented player needs to relax in front of goal to slot shots home. DeLeeuw again proved he is the hardest working Fire player in a very long time. The guy just does not quit.

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