Two struggling teams played to a 1-1 draw in Colorado but the Fire probably feel good earning a point on the road. Despite losing the possesion battle yet again by a lopsided margin, 64-36 and allowing another lead to disappear the second half actually seemed to be an improvement in controlling the play for longer stretches of time.
Colorado won the possesion battle but the Fire were just as dangerous and probably more so in terms of legitimately threatening goal scoring chances. An attempt to stimulate better play out of the center of the pitch with a five man midfield showed some promise as the Fire looked content with playing for counter attacks but the play from the central midfielders wasn’t appreciably better than it has been through the first six matches.
The Fire should be concerned however, with the status of Josip Mikulic. The defender left the match in the 37th minute with an apparent shoulder injury leaving the Fire without both starting central defenders in action.
GK Jon Conway (6) – Started for a third straight match and playerd reasonably well. Had more to do in this match than in the previous two. His best save of the night came on a stop of an Omar Cummings shot in the 31st minute.
D Jalil Anibaba (5) – Showed well at times against Cummings and is attempting to get forward at times. Plays one or two long diagonal passes per match that have come close to connection for dangerous chances.
D Josip Mikulic (6) – Left the game in the 37th minute with the aforementioned shoulder injury after colliding with Matt Pickens and Drew Moor. Seems to be the steadiest of Fire defenders when he is on the pitch.
D Yamith Cuesta (5) – Had a good outing with the exception of the one play leading to the Colorado goal. Cuesta appeared to react to Akpan’s presence in the area a fraction too late allowing the Colorado forward to turn and fire a blistering shot past Conway.
D Gonzalo Segares (6) – Seems to be rounding into the Segares of old but not quite there yet. Missed an excellent opportunity to score again in the 14th minute with a shot wide left but it was not an easy chance.
M Daniel Paladini (5) – Had one chance to show his skill on set pieces but his free kick was directly into the wall in the 67th minute. Better in the second half after some “urging” from De Los Cobos on the sideline but he didn’t distinguish himself either.
M Corben Bone (5) – Disappeared for long stretches in between some sporadic passing and hesitation on shooting opportunities. Baggio Husidic may have been a better option here.
M Marco Pappa (6) – Scored the Fire’s only goal and managed to get a few attempts at the net but the Fire’s midfield was outplayed again tonight as a whole.
M Dominic Oduro (6) – Started at right mid and provided an assist on Pappa’s goal with an excellent run and cross into the area. Continues to create dangerous opportunities with this speed.
M Gaston Puerari (6) – Set up the only goal with a perfect chip pass to Oduro. Also provided the pass that sent Segares in for his chance and forced Pickens into a tough save with a shot from a free kick in the 78th minute. Played behind Chaves as usual but was tucked packed further into midfield due to the Fire’s issues in the center.
F Diego Chaves (5) – Dangerous again with several long distance chances but none were on net. Chaves also may have done well to hold back once or twice and attempt to play in a teammate but he can’t be faulted for the attempts.
D Dasan Robinson (5) – Came on for the injured Mikulic in the 37th minute. Almost kicked a ball into his own net on a Nyassi cross in the 58th minute.
M Orr Barouch (5) – Entered the game for Bone in the 83rd minute and slotted into central midfield but didn’t fare much better than his predecessor.
M Patrick Nyarko (5) – Came in late (90th minute) for Puerari and had a few touches but he wasn’t on the pitch long enough to be dangerous.
C Carlos De Los Cobos (5) – Shuffled the line up due to injury and ineffectiveness and managed to garner a point on the road. A tactical shift to a 4-1-4-1 in an effort to gain more possesion didn’t work in terms of more time on the ball but it did allow the team to wait for a counter attack chance. It almost worked, with a little bit better flow late in the first half and into the second. Waited too long to get Nyarko into the match. Bone should have come off sooner.
A home game against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps, who lost to Columbus 2-1.