The Chicago Fire drew the struggling expansion Vancouver Whitecaps 0-0 at home. Vancouver had previously not gained any road points while the Fire had yet to achieve a shutout. Vancouver was the first of 3 struggling teams they hoped to beat in the next 4 weeks but luck was not on their side as several good looks at goal simply could not find the net. The overall play favored the Fire but the finishing wasn't there and the team's woes continue as they are off to one of the worst starts in club history. Bone and Paladini made second appearances as Johnson, Gibbs, Nyarko, and Pause all sat the match out with injuries.
We rate the players after the break...
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Jon Conway (6) - Not tested in the first half. Had one punch on a corner that didn't get much distance. In the second half, had to make a few fairly routine saves. Got caught out on a corner that left an open goal. Good positioning and battle in a one-on-one in the 75th. Gets the first shutout for the Fire.
Jalil Anibaba (6) - Got caught out of position and couldn't collect the ball in 4th, led to ugly Mikulic foul that could have seen red. Connected well with Oduro. Good overlapping. Some poor crosses and an illegal throw-in. Better in the air.
Josip Mikulic (5) - Should have seen red for tackle in 4th but likely saved a one-on-one by Camilo. Good sliding tackles. Hit or miss in the air. Mostly poor distribution except a good ball that found Oduro. Seemed like the weak link in the back line for once.
Yamith Cuesta (6) - Very strong defensively. Weak passes
Gonzalo Segares (6) - Good overlapping again tonight. Strong defensively. Was the last one tracking back in the 75th on Conway's save and arrived in time to back him up.
Dominic Oduro (7) - Oduro was a magnet for the ball in the first half and was giving Vancouver fits with his speed. He could have been rated higher if he would have put away his beautiful look at goal, but alas his finishing troubles continue. He was connecting well with everyone and seemed to be involved in every attacking play. Look to see more of Oduro on the wing.
Gaston Puerari (5) - Poor passing from Puerari. An ugly tackle. Did start a nice play with Oduro and Chaves in the second half. Poor shots from distance. Hasn't seemed the same since the move to midfield.
Daniel Paladini (5) - Paladini looked terrible in the first half and only slightly improved in the second. He forced way too many long balls forward to Vancouver defenders. His completed passes were mostly back to the defense and just didn't seem like the attacking minded Paladini I expected from preseason. He gave the ball too frequently near the box, often leading to a Vancouver threat. He whiffed a clearance. Paladini was certainly allowed lots of touches and possession, but nothing ever really came of it. The Paladini vs. Pause debate will likely continue, but I think DLC is playing Paladini out of position and he will never succeed as a DM.
Corben Bone (6.5) - Great night for Bone. Those who cried "underrated" after last week's player ratings may have been right as the CAM connected well with Oduro all night. He started several good plays from the center, showed good speed. He gave the ball away but tracked back and earned his ball back. Had a couple poor crosses and a couple poor shots but overall much more threatening from the center. He saved Conway's mistake in front of goal in the 74th. Husidic simply could not replace him.
Marco Pappa (5) - Overall a disappointing night for Pappa. He did have a couple passes that led to good looks, including Chaves shot that went off the post. He lost possession too much, however, and continues to try to do too much when on the ball frequently dribbling into defenders.
Diego Chaves (5.5) - He works so hard and had some great chances, but I can't rank him in any higher when he's not capitalizing on chances. Should have put the game away at least twice and failed twice. Seemed to lack a sense of urgency in the box.
Bratislav Ristic (4) - Not really enough time on the pitch but lost the ball nearly every time he got it.
Baggio Husidic (4.5) - Didn't bring the attacking pressure that DLC had hoped for. His substitution for Bone brought a change of formation that seemed to kill the Fire's possession game and therefore their attack as well. Overall seemed a worse option than Bone at the position.
Carlos de los Cobos (4) - "This is soccer". He seems to be content with the way things are going and just hoping that these chances start falling. He repeatedly references the youth of the team but doesn't seem to have any tactical answers for the struggles. A loss at home against a struggling expansion team is a really poor result despite the possession and looks at goal. There are some positives to the new starting 11 and 4-1-4-1 formation, and he gets some respect for going with Bone again, but overall the leash is shortening for the coach.
Man of the Match - Dominic Oduro
Flop of the Match - Daniel Paladini