This game oh man this game. This one beat me. Right now I'm just glad there are only two games left to go over. Join me after the break as we go over this game. Not a whole lot of good things to talk about here so I'm going to make this quick.
After the game there was a lot of talk about how the team wasn't "trying" or lacked effort. This is no where near the truth. Generally speaking the players work hard. They track back, they chase, they were not afraid to get physical. Simply put the Fire lack talent. A legit target man striker to pair with Oduro. Another box to box midfield player who can impact the game. These are the pieces they are going to need to move forward. To go along with the deficiency in talent is that the team has no tactical direction. The team is willing to fight but they don't know what piece of the pitch they are fighting for. Compare this to Dallas. They went to war to own the center of the midfield. You could have the wings but no way were they letting Grazzini and Pardo dominate the middle of the field.
Where was the adjustment that this game was screaming for in the 60th minute? To say I was frustrated with the in game coaching decisions during this game is an understatement. The smallish strike "duo" of Patrick Nyarko and Dominic Oduro was clearly not getting the job done. Barouch in at half made sense. Or at the latest the 60th minute to give him 30 minutes to impact the game. Instead he gets 15 minutes to see what he can do. I just don't understand that. Your minimal playoff hopes were on the line and instead of bringing on a bigger striker to partner with Oduro we get to watch the same players keep slamming their heads into a brick wall. Of course the team perks up after the substitutions were made along with the Pavel Pardo red card. Imagine if the team was at full strength with the new players in? Perhaps things would have been different.
The lack of playing time for Orr Barouch continues to be perplexing. Without Marco Pappa in the lineup you would fully expect Nyarko to slide back into the midfield and play a legit striker next to Oduro. It can't hurt to try this in a game where you are going to need goals. Yet we just get the same old stuff trotted out. Diego Chaves is not big enough to be a target man though he tries hard to do what he can. He also isn't a guy who makes runs across the face of goal. He likes to sit back and try to create or get free in the midfield. Especially right now as his confidence has clearly never returned from the early part of the season. At least Orr provides a big body against the quality size and strength of the FC Dallas backline. I could go on and on about this. Incredibly frustrating to watch a young, seemingly good player sit on the bench.
Sean Johnson was again very good. Yes the first goal he let in was soft by his standards. Yet he had already made three outstanding saves so I can't give him to much grief about it. Grazzini was good again. Not as impressive as past games but I chalk that up to the sub par games the rest of his midfield gave him. Logan Pause was effective at times but not consistent enough. Pavel was solid but either a step behind or just missing his passes. Patrick Nyarko continues his disappearing act. Another disappointing game from him in a game where his A game was needed.
Defensively Cory Gibbs was good. The rest of the back line had a sad night. Mikulic was an effective substitute when he came on. Probably should have started as he clearly has played himself back into form. Sega was substandard and Dan Gargan had his moments but I'd like to see a bit more from him. As a unit it was not a good night.
Frank Klopas is not a coach. He came into the squad and simplified the offense while providing motivation. That was great. Now that teams have figured out how to stop their offense there should be a plan b. There doesn't appear to be one. This game, more than the USOC Final, shows why Frank shouldn't be back as head coach next season. He doesn't have the coaching acumen. It is as simple as that. Yet, as with everything surrounding Frank, moving him back to TD or getting rid of him completely is going to be difficult. He loves this club. He may be the last damn person in that front office to know how much this means to the fans. He legitimately cares if the team wins or loses. You know this is killing him on the inside. As much as Frank Klopas the coach drives me insane I can't imagine the club without him in some capacity. I'm afraid that is where we are headed.
I'll be back with some thoughts on the DC game. Enjoy your weekend everyone.