Breakdown: Fire vs. Red Bulls, Game 2

Magee decides to use his PK to get Robles out of the way for his rebound shot (espnfc.com)

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.

Possession doesn't matter if you can't score (mlssoccer.com)

Possession doesn’t matter if you can’t score (mlssoccer.com)

Therefore, it is no surprise that Sean Johnson received high marks in this shutout.

Free Milk plus a bonus save (squawka.com)

Free Milk plus a bonus save (squawka.com)

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.

Larentowicz anchors the Fire defense (squawka.com)

Larentowicz anchors the Fire defense (squawka.com)

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.

Sometimes the player beats the house (squawka.com)

Sometimes the player beats the house (squawka.com)

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.

Stymied by the Fire's back four (squawka.com)

Stymied by the Fire’s back four (squawka.com)

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.

Finished on a positive note (squawka.com)

Finished on a positive note (squawka.com)

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.

Harry playing the #10 from left mid (squawka.com)

Harry playing the #10 from left mid (squawka.com)

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.

Cocis fills the hole in the attacking mid (mlssoccer.com)

Cocis fills the hole in the attacking mid (mlssoccer.com)

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…

no words necessary (unknown)

(unknown)

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.

So much potential, so little cohesion (squawka.com)

So much potential, so little cohesion (squawka.com)

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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Follow OTF Soccer on Twitter @OTFSoccer

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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

One thought on “Breakdown: Fire vs. Red Bulls, Game 2

  1. I enjoyed watching the game and I especially liked the result. But the reality of the situation with this team is that we pretty much suck. Despite an excellent performance on the defensive side I can not see this club advancing far with Baky on the pitch. I’m sorry but the guy is a disaster just waiting to happen.

    And if Magee and Quincy are our “offensive” guns – well then we really suck! How many non PK goals has “Magic Mike” tallied this year? I won’t bother to look it up but it has to be pathetic.

    Quincy is not much better since the league figured out he is a one trick pony. Besides taking dives he hasn’t put on a real show in a while.

    I have always gone with the axiom “the best defense is a good offense”.

    We don’t have a good nor even a decent offense – so don’t look for much improvement on the defensive side until we do.

    Onward lads!

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