Sounders 2 Fire 1 - Recap and Ratings

Good efforts aren’t always rewarding and the Fire don’t have much to show tonight other than effort after a 2-1 loss in Seattle.  The Sounders controlled the action and the possesion for much of the first half as the Fire looked shaky defensively without Josip Mikukic in the middle.  A failure to close down O’Brian White inside the penalty area in the 7th minute resulted in Seattle’s first score. 

The second half was exactly the opposite as the Fire controlled possesion and easily could have equalized on three occasions if not for the stellar play of Sounder’s keeper Kasey Keller.  A diving reflexive save to his left on a Diego Chaves shot in the 58th minute, a fantastic leg save on a charging Gaston Puerari in the 61st minute, and another save to his left against Marco Pappa in the 66th rescued the points for the home side. 

Despite not coming away with points the Fire created opportunities and played well enough to feel like they deserved a better fate.  Good efforts aren’t always rewarding but the team’s play early this season bodes well for the future. 

One thing that doesn’t look good is the status of Patrick Nyarko for Thursday night’s match in Portland.  Nyarko took a nasty stomp tackle on the right ankle in the 90th minute from Servando Carrasco which forced him out of the match. 

Player Ratings

GK Sean Johnson (5) – Continues to look shaky on high crosses but his biggest error luckily did not cost him.  Charged a ball late and too far out in the 23rd minute which almost resulted in an empty net goal by Erik Friberg (who skied the chance over the net).  Hard to really blame him on the two goals but he could have done better to cut down the shooting space on Zakuani’s score.  Booted a goal kick out of bounds in the 84th which wasted a minute of valuable time. 

D Jalil Anibaba (4) – May have played a little better than the rating but he was involved in both Seattle goals.  Was beaten by Zakuani for the second score and was caught allowing too much space in the area (along with Robinson) on the first goal.  Did provide two excellent long diagonal balls to Pappa that could have led to chances.  Tough day for the rookie.

D Dasan Robinson (5) – Played a fair game overall but his failure to mark O’Brian White in the 7th minute gave Seattle the lead.  Did bounce back after the goal to break up rushes from White and Zakuani.

D Cory Gibbs (5) – Not a bad outing but White, Rosales, Zakuani, and Friberg enjoyed far too much possesion in the first 45 minutes. 

D Gonzalo Segares (6) – A better game from Segares than the last one against KC.  Provided a cross in the 44th minute that could have been converted but Puerari’s header attempt sailed high.  Friberg was ineffective in the second half. 

M Logan Pause (5) – Alonso and Rosales controlled the midfield area in the first half before the Fire turned the tables in the second.  Decent effort from Pause.

M Mike Videira (5) – See above.  Seattle controlled possesion for big stretches early.  Videira and Pause did not impose themselves into the match as they had in the previous two games. 

M Marco Pappa (5) – Didn’t figure into the score and was fair for most of the match.  Managed to creatively get a shot on target in the 66th minute which Keller denied. Free kicks in potentially dangerous areas were blocked. 

M Patrick Nyarko (6) – Assisted on a cross to Chaves for the Fire’s score.  Continually hacked and fouled for most of the match before getting stomped by an ugly tackle in the 90th minute.  Still shows some indecision at times. 

F Gaston Puerari (6) – Set up the goal with a good lead ball to Nyarko.  Stopped on another break away opportunity by Keller but continues to be dangerous whenever he touches the ball.  Drew the foul at the top of the box which led to the Chaves chance in the 58th.

F Diego Chaves (7) – Scored the Fire’s goal, could easily have had a second on a well struck left footed shot that Keller robbed, and set up Puerari on the break away chance with a fantastic through ball.  Quality from Chaves.

F Dominic Oduro (6) – Came on in the 83rd for Segares and managed to create two chances in the 87th minute with a cross and a foul suffered.

F Orr Barouch (NR) – Came into the match for Nyarko in stoppage time.  Although it took nearly all of the three minutes of extra time to get Nyarko off the field, referee Hilario Grajeda only allowed about a minute of pay after Nyarko was replaced. 

C Carlos De Los Cobos (5) – The team was in a position to gain points on the road and easily could have if not for Keller’s effort.  Substitutions could be questioned while the Fire was chasing the equalizer but the team was playing well enough to keep the starting eleven on the pitch.  A move that would have made sense late would have been Husidic for Videira but Baggio was not on the bench for this match.  Perhaps a move for free kick specialist Daniel Paladini would have been a good one as well. 

Next Up

The Fire travel to Portland for the Timbers first MLS home game on Thursday night.  It’s important to come away with points against an expansion side in order to come away with any consolation on this two game northwestern trip.   


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  • I agree with your ratings with the exception of Dasan - he gets a 4 from me.

    I've not been Dasan's biggest fan since Twellman's bicycle kick in front of goal years ago in the Eastern Finals. I really wanted to see him do well this season due to his years of service with the Fire . . . but I'm not sure he's taking advantage of his opportunities.

    Offensively I like our creativity and the chances our guys have produced this season. A couple of lights-out goalkeeping appearances by Hartman and Keller prevented the Fire from getting more points.

    Our guys will put some goals in. We don't need a DP, we just need creative, attacking players with a nose for goal. Good job Jefferies and boys, "Just win baby".

  • In reply to fireman451:

    At this point Robinson is not much more than a fill in player. He's well below Mikulic and may be behind Cuesta after today.

  • In reply to cesba:

    The Nyarko injury at the end didn't look to good. What is Nyarko's status?

  • I'll look forward to Portland, and to Nyarko healing, and to beating Seattle when they play Toyota Park. I don't want to invest in moral victories, those don't earn playoff berths. That said, at least there was fight in the game all 90. Keller is just hard to beat, and Coach Sigi has a title for a reason.

    On another note, what can we do abt the Wizards, and the Firehouse sub promo they are running when the Fire looses?

  • In reply to ChrisConnolly:

    Apparently KC is doing everything they can to draw attention to their new stadium opening on June 9.

  • Agree w/ your assessment GR, only exception was CDLC substitutions. It seemed around the 75 min. mark that a few of the guys were gassed, could've brought some fresh legs in to streak by the weak Seattle defense. Keller definitely won the game for them, we had our chances in the 2nd half, but weren't able to capitalize.

    Also agree that Videira and Pappa had quieter games, gotta have them more integral in the offense to create more chances.

  • In reply to DFBJeff:

    A true two way central midfielder who can insert himself offensively on a consistent basis would be nice.

    The subs can be questioned but I can see why DLC stayed with the starters. Things were working offensively while Keller was stoning them.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Yeah, I REALLY hate to admit it, but Keller was lights out today. Sucky day for him to turn in a good performance. I'm almost willing to guarantee that one of those saves goes up for SOTW. Eh....

  • In reply to DFBJeff:

    When does Pappa realize that he is not very good at free kicks or corners? He never gets it over the wall. His corners either get cleared by the first man or go way past the far post. It's very frustrating, especially when we are down and its the end of the match. Those are park district type things. Chaves is a good find and is putting the ball in the net for us.

    The 4-4-2 is working quite well for us. Robinson should not have been in this game. With the speed that they have up top, having Gibbs and Robinson in the back was a mistake. Hopefully we can turn things around on Thursday and take 3 points from this road trip.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I agree with Robinson. Robinson is slow and average. He is a fill in player when someone at that position is down with an injury. I would promote Watson-Siriboe or Cuesta ahead of D-Rob on the depth chart behind Mikulic.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Was it my imagination or was the ref spray painting a mark that showed where the wall was supposed to stand on free kicks?

  • In reply to oliotya:

    No, that was not your imagination. The paint dries after a few minutes.

    The problem with someone besides Pappa taking free kicks is no one else in our Starting XI are good at them either.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    too bad the ref didnt have the balls to enforce it - that last free kick he let the players completely stand on the wrong side of the line

  • In reply to oliotya:

    At least the Crew and D.C. Each tied, and in that they did not get that far ahead of us in points.

  • In reply to ChrisConnolly:

    Philadelphia won but they will be back with the pack too.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I agree. They can only grind out thes 1-0 victories for so long.

  • In reply to cesba:

    MLS is running a Game of the Week promotion where you can win an official match ball.....

  • In reply to cesba:

    too bad you have to have facebook to do it :(

  • In reply to cesba:

    Tribune DLC story.....,0,3587145.story

  • In reply to cesba:

    This report claims New York is interested in Juan Roman Riquelme.....

  • In reply to cesba:

    Klopas has mentioned he is looking for another forward, midfielder and a number 10 guy like Blanco. I believe Riquelme signed a 4 year 5 million dollar deal with Boca Juniors and he is now 100 percent healthy after missing some time with a leg injury. So far with Boca Juniors, he has 2 goals in 6 games in the 2010-11 season. Imagine Riquelme with Puerari, Chaves and Pappa together. What is his market value if a MLS team wants to put a bid for him? I can't see NY pursing him after they acquired DeRo.

  • In reply to cesba:

    NY and LA have all the big names, and neither team can score goals

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    Thanks a lot for jinxing us for Sunday, Count Chocula!!!!

  • In reply to CountChocula:

    On April 11th 1981 , the Chicago Sting started the 1981 season that would finish with Chicago's first major championship since 1963. If you can believe this, John McDonough was Sting's general sales manager that year. The team opener took them to Skelly stadium in Tulsa to play the Roughnecks and Tulsa had a 2-0 when with 5 minutes to go in the game Karl Heinz Granitza woud score on a direct free kick ( a feat he would do many more times this season ). With only 9 seconds left Arno Steffenhagen tied the game.
    Five minutes into overtime , Steve Long beat Zeljko Bilecki from long range to give the Sting a 3-2 win. Get used to hearing " Granitza scores on a direct free kick " and " Sting has late comeback "
    More to come.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    Did the "We just won't quit, we just won't quit, we're the Chicago Sting" commercials start during the '81 season? It might be stealing your thunder, but didn't John Tyma get a reputation as a guy who came off the bench to get late goals? Also, could little Taylor Twellman have been conceived during that dream season?

  • In reply to oliotya:

    The Twellman speculation seriously made me laugh out loud.....but Mr. Tight Shirt was born in 1980.

  • In reply to cesba:

    So he was 3 when Tim Twellman scored that goal.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Looks like the Red Bulls once again find it hard to score on the road so far this year just like in the past

  • In reply to oliotya:

    You're not stealing my thunder at all , the feedback is great. The " We just wont quit " commercials started right after they won the Soccer Bowl to promote the upcoming indoor season.
    John Tyma did get late goals indeed , just for example he tied home games very late against Vancouver and Tulsa.
    Tim Twellman cam to the Sting for the 1983 outdoor season , he had only one outdoor goal and that came off a corner kick at Soldier Field against the Cosmos ( Sting won that game 2-1 on Dave Huson's late tie breaking goal ), I remember Semus Malin was crying a river in the Cosmos broadcast booth after Huson scored.

  • In reply to FireStingDoug:

    A note on those Tulsa Roughnecks , Barry Wallace who was a defender / midfielder for that team passed away a few years ago.
    That team by far was the dirtiest team of that time period .
    Some notable players on that team were Duncan McKenzie ( who would join the Sting for the 1982 outdoor season in a trade to Tulsa for Dave Huson and John Tyma )
    Iraj Danaifard, Victor Moreland , but the biggest hack on that team was a guy named Billy 1983 he viciously tackled Pato Margetic in a game at Soldier field and the benches cleared.
    Caskey while playing for the Dallas Sidekicks in 1986 assulted an official and he was suspended for 3 years , he never played indoor soccer again. This guy was a player that the league should have banned years before the MISL finally did.

  • In reply to oliotya:

    Referees in Mexico have been using that spray for a few years. I've always wondered why more leagues don't use it.

  • No word on Nyarko yet but Gibbs did say after the game that "We're worried about him. I'll try to get an update tomorrow.

  • I think Kelly does a decent job for not being a "soccer guy". Whitfield got a little better from his first game and we were thankfully spared from Oscar Guzman on the sideline yesterday. He did a great job on the Spanish radio call but you can't have him on the sideline for a major league broadcast.

  • In reply to cesba:

    In total agreement, GR. I will give Evan some time to develp a style, but Oscar can't be there. Even I cannot come up with a defense for those sideline reports. Go back to Amy.

  • In reply to CuulBreez:

    Unfortunately Amy Freeze has signed on to do weekend weather for WABC-TV in New York. She did a fine job on the sidelines.

  • Johnson's positioning looked pretty poor on that second goal, and indeed he got beat near post. A bit of a sophomore slump?

    Better get those three points on Thursday, but it's going to be tough. You know Portland and their crowd will be pumped for the home opener.

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