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Chicago Fire at FC Dallas: Game Recap and Player Ratings

FRISCO, TX - MARCH 19: The Chicago Fire pose for their team photo before the start of a MLS game against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on March 19, 2011 in Frisco, Texas.
FRISCO, TX - MARCH 19: The Chicago Fire pose for their team photo before the start of a MLS game against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on March 19, 2011 in Frisco, Texas.

The Chicago Fire opened their 2011 campaign with a 1-1 draw and will have to share the Brimstone Cup until the two clubs meet again October 12.

Diego Chaves had a great debut by opening the scoring, but the Fire relaxed a little too much and quickly relinquished the equalizer. Dallas defender Brek Shea earned a red card by pulling a passing Gaston Puerari to ground as the last man, but the Fire could not capitalize on the man advantage.

Player ratings and links after the break.

Video Highlights

Game Summary Links

FC Dallas vs Chicago Report -

Opening kick in Frisco saw FC Dallas hosting the Chicago Fire in the opening leg of the Brimstone Cup. Two goals in two minutes, split between teams, and a red card to FC Dallas were the story of the match as points would end up being shared in a 1-1 draw.

Chicago Fire: Chicago Fire gain rare point in Dallas -
"It was a difficult match," Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos said. "I'm not very happy with the result but I'm very happy with the effort by the players."

Fire Feel They're Going In Right Direction | Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Hope to build on FC Dallas result 

Chaves, Fire secure draw against Dallas - Chicago Fire Blog - ESPN Chicago
Led by Diego Chaves' goal, the Fire earned a draw in their opener at Dallas.

Hartman rides to the rescue for FC Dallas | Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Veteran 'keeper keeps it level for short-handed FCD 

Cháves debut just inches from perfection | Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Uruguayan striker nearly had a brace in Fire's draw with FCD 

FINAL: Fire 1 - 1 FC Dallas | Chicago Fire Soccer Club
Fire, FCD trade early goals 

Fire 1 FC Dallas 1 - Recap and Ratings - Fire Confidential
Despite not being able to find a second goal after playing up a man for 35 minutes the Fire have to be fairly content with gaining a point on the road against one of the better sides in MLS last season. Only several big saves by Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman denied the Fire the full three points.

BRIMSTONE BRAWL   Fire draw with FC Dallas 1-1
Sometimes all a team can ask for is a chance, just a chance when everything seems to be going against it. The Chicago Fire took that little chance Saturday and spoiled FC Dallas’ MLS home opener with a 1-1 draw at Pizza Hut Park in front of a capacity crowd of 21,145.

Player Ratings

Sean Johnson 6 - Pretty average outing for Sean. No huge mistakes though he continues to show some uncertainty coming off the line and getting in the air. If he continues to go up for the ball and come down without it, some unnecessary goals could sneak by. His shot stopping was up to par as he safely handled several powerful punches from distance. The lone goal was more on the defenders than the keeper as there was not much he could do.

Jalil Anibaba 7 - Solid in the back despite it being his professional debut. Generally well positioned, an overall comfortable outing without many mistakes.

Josip Mikulic 7 - Great in the air with several strong clearing headers. Strong presence in the middle. Always well positioned.

Cory Gibbs 6 - Overall a strong outing staying tight with the above defenders. Great sliding tackle to take the ball from a breaking Brek Shea. Suspect contact with Ferreira in the 30th minute earning a yellow.

Gonzalo Segares 6 - After a weak start, improved at LB after the switch to a 4-4-2. Good header on goal from a corner. Picked up a late yellow on a tackle that could easily have produced a red.

Logan Pause 7 - I would give Pause an 8 if it weren't for his role in covering Rodriguez on Dallas' goal. He was able to break up numerous plays through the middle. Strong on the ball, solid passing. Great shot at the end, really testing Hartman on what could have been the game winner.

Mike Videira 6 - Videira is a more defensive midfielder and made the first 11 to try and squelch the potent Dallas attack. Unfortunately, this also sacrificed some offensive creativity and seemed to affect the midfield chemistry a bit. Did have some great takeaways and worked hard while on the pitch.

Bratislav Ristic 5 - Poor outing by Ristic's standards. He was burned by Lloyd 1-on-1 on the right leading to the goal by Rodriguez. He seemed to be struggling on the ball, frequently losing possession whether on the ball or intercepted passes. Seemed to lack game fitness and was substituted early in the 42nd minute after taking a knock and showing signs of cramps. 

Marco Pappa 7 - Plenty of creative passing, strong on the ball, almost scores a game winner late.

Gaston Puerari 6 - Early break away, could have scored but wasn't composed enough in the end, probably should have passed it off with Chaves and other numbers accompanying him on the counter attack. Lots of energy and speed which we are learning to expect from Puerari. Sped past Shea to earn the red. Did lose possession up top on occasion.

Diego Chaves 7 - Man of the match. Opened the scoring by being in the right place at the right time and comfortably finishing a "garbage" goal after Hartman paried the first shot. Just missed a possible game winner by clipping the crossbar in the opening of the second half. Strong presence and size up top, helping out in the midfield too.

Patrick Nyarko 6 - Came on in the 42nd minute for Ristic and made an impact, adding speed to the attack and getting out wide to the corner. Struggled to connect with the others up top and didn't run at the Dallas defenders enough. Probably could have benefited from having more time to adjust to the pace of the game by starting.

Baggio Husidic 6 - Came on for Videira in the 63rd minute to add a bit more creativity and attacking dynamic and avoid evening the numbers as Videira had picked up a yellow. The Fire attack did show more promise with his presence, though like Nyarko he could have used more time to adjust to the pace of the game.

Orr Barouch 6 - Came on in the 76th minute for Chaves. Good run up the left and a nice dish to Pappa. Otherwise quiet in his short time on the pitch.