Fire 1 Rapids 1 - Recap and Ratings

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. 


Player Ratings

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.

Next Up

A home game against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps, who lost to Columbus 2-1.


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  • The good news is that the schedule in May looks pretty light. Nine points should be the goal, which would put us right back in the mix of things.

  • As soon as the game started , I forgot that the Fire is great against ex Fire keepers , they have never lot to Thornton , Pickens , or Busch.
    On the broadcast , it was wrongly said that the Fire lost both games to Colorado last year, they tied both games last year. After not being able to win or tie in Colorado for many years , the Fire is 1-0-2 in their last 3 games there and they are 2-0-3 against the Rapids in the last 5 games.

  • A point is good, but still kind of feel bad about how we played, no possession, and only felt like gaston, and chaves were any kind of standouts.

  • In reply to lijien:

    Possessino is not everything , but it is an important thing. What counts is what you do with the chances you get. Even though Rapids had much more touches , to me it seemed like the Fire had the more dangerous chances.
    However , even back in the NASL days the teams that controled the ball like the Sting, Cosmos, Strikers, and Rowdies always lead the league in scoring because they always controled the ball.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    yeah, posession isn't everything if your a talented defensive squad with good counter attacking, and you can absorb the whole time, fine. However, we aren't the more we absorb the more we play with fire, and almost always give up that late goal. Possession is as much about defending as it is attacking, like a run game in football to control the time and tempo, when passing is what scores.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    It's hard to fault Chaves for taking shots on goal, especially when he's the team's top scoring threat. However, I did become increasingly aggrivated with him after the third and fourth times he elected to shoot when there were clear options with teammates making good runs. You established the shot, now pass it off and create a chance. That being said, I'm hopping he can capitalize in one way or another this Saturday.

  • i like 5 minutes in the second half were i thought the fire were playing attrative soccer. Man U is going to give the Fire a whopping...

  • reserves 2-1 over colorado

  • i think the reason i like oduro over nyarko at right wing is oduro at least has some strength. nyarko gets knocked around like a pinball and if the ref isn't buying it, then he is just a useless liability for that match

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Oduro is like a run away train when he gets the ball in the open field , the last 4 times he has got in the open it has resulted in 4 huge scoring chances , a goal vs. Galaxy , a great save was made on him in Portland , he cracks one off the Bar against Houston , he sets up goal last night.

  • I still can't believe Conway is in goal for us. Trading for him was a huge mistake in the first place. The only positive we got from last year was finding Sean Johnson and that was pretty much it. We trade for this veteran keeper and the only thing that does is put more pressure on Johnson because he had to look over his shoulder the whole pre season and now he makes a few mistakes in the pouring rain against Portland and now our best young player is sitting on the bench. That goal went right through Conway's hands last night and I dont remember him catching one ball the whole night. All he did was parry away shots right at him. He's slow, has terrible foot skills, cant catch and doesnt offer anything special to the team. He is not our future and Johnson is. As much as we don't want this to be a rebuilding year, it kind of is with all the changes we've had. Out of the 11 players that started last night for us, 2 started games last year. Nobody is saying "Conway is in goal, now were going to win games." Get him out of here...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    This is nonsense...

    Conway was brought in for the exact reason that he's playing now: in case Sean Johnson didn't start the season well.

    Bravo to the Fire technical staff for knowing that MLS players often have sophomore slumps. How dare they think ahead like that!

    I'm also now convinced that those complaining about Johnson's benching didn't watch a Fire match before the Portland game because thats all they seem to refer to, "one bad game vs. Portland"... It was more like one horrible game in Portland which came after three very shaky performances to start the season. Johnson was bad in the air, bad holding on to the ball -- just all in all pretty bad to start the season.

    Conway is not the reason this team has dropped points since he started but the big difference is that there is a bit more stability between the sticks right now. Conway probably won't start the whole season but this is how the position goes...if you lose your spot you have to earn it back.

    If Sean is indeed the U.S. goalkeeper of the future everyone says he is, he'll have to have face far more adversity than this. He's a professional athlete and dealing with this will only help him in the long run. Show me a top goalkeeper that hasn't been benched in his career and I'll be quiet.

    Having said, starting Conway is one decision I wholeheartedly agree with CDLC on so far this season.

  • In reply to seaside:

    well stated, I agree with you. This is why conway is here

  • In reply to seaside:

    Is Conway a better keeper than Johnson? No. Does he offer more to the team than Johnson? No. Is he the future keeper for the Fire? No. He may not be the reason that we dropped points, but he's also hasn't helped Johnson's confidence. This is a rebuilding year for us. No matter how many times we say it isn't but it is. You don't rebuild with a 33 year old keeper when you have a 21 year old keeper that was just called to the national team in the winter. CDLC has made the wrong decision and I mean that wholeheartedly.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    You also don't continue to start a keeper thats shown poor form, rebuilding year or not.

    This isn't a new concept. It's the game of soccer, Johnson's been bad this season. He got benched. It's MLS, not AYSO.

    Johnson has to earn the job back plain and simple.

  • In reply to seaside:

    I'm also more than confident again with your comment that you failed to see Johnson's play prior to Portland. Your argument is completely nonsensical.

  • In reply to seaside:

    Did we lose games because of Johnson? Did Conway win us games or at the very least get us a point because of his play. Conway has come in and hasn't done anything that Johnson wasn't doing. Johnson should be in the net, plain and simple.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Conway has come in and...

    ...not spilled crosses that have led directly to goals.
    ...not spilled shots that have led directly to goals.
    ...not flailed in the air when coming off his line, which nearly led to goals.

    You obviously haven't watched all seven matches this year if you're still going with this rhetoric because you're dead wrong.

  • In reply to seaside:

    Oh and yes, I could say we lost games because of Johnson this year.

  • don't fancy Conway but Johnson was out of his depth in every game, waving at crosses and out of position. perhaps that was the reason he was a 4th round Generation Addidas: very very raw. I thought Paladini played well, especially the 2nd half, and knit things together. We still need a stud center back an attacking midfielder, and a striker, and that is not for depth.

  • In reply to Celt:

    I agree with you Celtic. The Fire need a top center back to go with Mikulic.

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