Breakdown: Fire vs. Red Bulls, Game 2
T.J. Zaremba breaks down the Fire’s second win of the season against the Red Bulls…
I think it is safe to say that the New York Red Bulls (or is it Red Bulls New York?) are not fond of Toyota Park. In fact, since its inception in 2006, the Red Bulls have compiled a 0 win, 8 loss and 4 draw record at the Bridgeview stadium.
Therefore, the Fire’s 1-0 victory over New York should come as no surprise. Actually, half of the Fire’s four wins are against the defending Supporters Shield winners.
But, getting that victory was not easy. It took a lot of defending by Yallop’s men to make this a reality.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Sean Johnson received high marks in this shutout.
The move of Jeff Larentowicz back to anchor the Fire defense continues to pay big dividends. In fact, the Fire have only conceded once in three league games since that move.
After having two games off to think about the shit show he put on in San Jose, the Fire saw the return of “Good Baky” to their lineup. After a shaky start in his first time pairing with Big Red, Soumare played a strong game.
This duo, along with Segares and Palmer shut down the league’s leading scorer in Bradley Wright-Phillips and led to pedestrian performances by Henry and Cahill.
The midfield saw the return of Harry Shipp and the introduction of Razvan Cosic to the lineup. Their results were a bit mixed, but that was to be expected.
Shipp reverted back to earlier season form and pinched into the middle a bit. This left Segares a bit exposed on the flank, which with his lack of speed, left that side vulnerable and factored into his lower overall number.
Cocis, as with his previous appearances in relief, continues to improve as he plays more minutes. After a tentative first half, he became much more involved and provided the Fire a much needed link from back to front via the center of the midfield.
LEGEND FOR FIELD PLAYERS
- Circle = Shot; Soccer Ball = Goal (Green = On Target; Red = Off Target; Yellow = Blocked)
- Squares = Distribution (Green = Successful; Red = Unsuccessful; Yellow = Key Passes; Blue = Assist)
- Inverted Triangle = Dribbling (Green = Successful; Red = Unsuccessful)
- Upright Triangle = Defense (Blue = Interception; Gold = Recovery; Purple = Clearance; Green = Tackles; Yellow = Blocks)
As for “Perfect Strangers” Mike Magee and Quincy Amarikwa…
Together, they make up the worst forward combination in MLS. There is a reason why they have only scored twice in the past three games. Both of those goals involved penalty kicks by Mike Magee. But, that goal is why Magee overall had the better numbers.
After the win against New York, the Fire are shockingly only two points behind the Union and Crew for the final playoff spot with a game in hand.
More importantly, they have some positive momentum heading into Wednesday’s US Open Cup semi-final against Seattle, which is also known as
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T.J. Zaremba was BarnBurner #110 and 1998 second-half season ticket holder in Section 8 of pre-mothership Soldier Field. After over a decade on walkabout, with a handful of guest appearances, he returned in 2011 and has been a regular (when his commitment to Uncle Sam allows it) at Toyota Park with his wife and the Hamster. Follow T.J. @TJZaremba
*infographics courtesy of mlssoccer.com and squwaka.com