This recap isn't a week late! Yay for me!
OK I'm keeping the intro short this week. I would like to head out to the tailgate. My witty rejoinders will be back for the Houston recap.
Read on for the recap!
Chicago vs LA game recap
Weather: 45 degrees and windy
Surface: Natural Grass
Location: Stadium in Bridgeview IL (take our corporate name and stick it?)
Referee: Niko Bratsis
Line Judges: Colin Arblaster, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Announcers on Match Day Live Feed:
Coach: Carlos de Los Cobos
GK: Jon Conway
D: Gonzalo Segares
D: Josip Mikulic
D: Jalil Anibaba
D: Cory Gibbs
M: Marco Pappa
M: Davis Paul
M: Logan Pause (c)
M: Mike Videira
F: Diego Chaves
F: Gaston Puerari
GK: Sean Johnson
D: Yamith Cuesta
M: Daniel Paladini
M: Bratislav Ristic
M: Patrick Nyarko
F: Dominic Oduro
F: Orr Barouch
Changes from last game: Paul gets the start as Nyarko starts the game on the bench. The big move is Jon Conway coming on for Sean Johnson. Personally I don't like the move unless the team is committed to making Johnson earn his way back into the starting lineup. On the bright side Conway has some sweet slicked back hair.
Coach: Bruce Arena
GK: Donovan Ricketts (c)
D: Todd Dunivant
D: Omar Gonzalez
D: Frankie Hejduk
M: Miguel Lopez
M: Chris Birchall
M: Michael Stephens
M: Paolo Cardozo
M: Mike Magee
F: Chad Barrett
GK: Josh Saunders
GK: Brian Perk
D: Sean Franklin
D: A.J. DeLa Garza
F: Juan Pablo Angel
F: Bryan Jordan
Changes: LA shorthanded due to injury. No Becks (actually this is a positive for LA), no Donovan and a short bench.
- Free kick earned. Mike Magee takes it. Cleared away by the Fire defense.
- Long ball from Pappa to a streaking Chaves, Ricketts comes out of his box to chest it down and clear it away. Why do announcers talk about Goal's disallowed as if they are a black mark on the defense that "conceded them". Hight of silliness if you ask me.
- LA feed killing me with no timer up. Guess what no graphics for this entire game. Unreal. Thanks Match Day Live. Going to make this recap difficult. Working stop watch program now, this might actually work. Fire in a 3-5-2 Segares pushing up the left hand side.
- Chaves wins ball passes off to Pappa who tries to combine with Anibaba but loses control and LA wins throw in. Rash challenge by Burchall who is lucky not to get a Yellow on that play. Did not come close to the ball and put Segares on the turf for a while.
- Sega recovering during most of this time.
- Sega still on the ground. Would it kill local announce teams to acknowledge that DLC may not have come back this year was because he was considering taking his old job back? It had nothing to do with him possibly getting fired. I don't see him getting fired during the season either. That was/is pure fan/press speculation. Thanks.
- Nothing really happening here.
- Apparently Mike Videira looks like Gaston Puerari according to LA announce team. Well maybe now they will know who Videira is as he just earned a yellow card on the exact same kind of challenge Birchall had just a few minutes ago.
- Ensuing free kick gets cleared out for an LA corner.
- Corner: Cardozo takes it and it is headed into Section 8 by LA. Chaves wins the ball gets it over to Pappa who earns a corner.
- Pappa takes the corner and Gonzalez heads it clear for a Fire throw in. Another corner earned this time by Puerari who takes the corner. Still calling Puerari Videira.
- Corner headed away. Pappa fouls Magee in the offensive third. Ends spell of Fire pressure.
- Puerari tries to take the ball up the right hand side but dribbles it out of bounds.
- Foul on Puerari. Free kick heads into the box but is cleared away. Pause wins the ball in the midfield and Fire regain control.
- Anibaba with a poor pass to no one giving up a possession poor play. Mikulic fouls Barrett free kick for LA.
- LA with terrific possession around the box. Ends up with a Lopez shot at the top of the box that goes wide. Conway was beaten on that play.
- Chaves volleys it up to Puerari who ends up one on one with the keeper and puts it wide. Unbelievable chance that he missed. Horrific regrettable miss. (Oh God these announcers are awful)
- Puerari keeps the ball in bounds near the end line. Throw in deep in LA territory.
- Fire keep control all the way back to Conway who boots it long.
- LA with control outside the box. Magee puts in a nice ball into the area but it is cleared away. Fire try to counter but it is snuffed out.
- Puerari almost wins the ball between three LA defenders late touch from Gonzalez takes it from him.
- Lopez caught a good 5 yards offside. This was not a good play Christopher Sullivan. Fire win ball in the midfield.
- but promptly turn it over. Hi my name is Mike and I turn the ball over. Turn Overs anonymous meetings for Mike V need to happen soon. Chaves wins ball down sideline Hejduk falls down and Chaves gets past him. Chaves waits a bit to long and ends up getting his shot blocked by a defender. Still nice work.
- Gibbs blocks a Birchall cross. LA throw in.
- Dunivant gets the ball in great position inside box clear of any defenders and hits a shot that goes right off Jon Conway's chest. Ball cleared. Turns into counter attack for the Fire. Anibaba puts in a strong pass to Puerari who is unmarked at the top of the box, he tries to one time it but completely misses the ball. Unfortunate bounce after that as the ball pops up and hits Pappa in the hand for a hand ball call. Well someone should have scored there. Golden chance for both teams. Excellent save by Conway.
- Dangerous work by Pappa down the side. Ends up at the feet of Paul who hits a cross into the box and it gets cleared for a throw in.
- Cross into the box that is grabbed by Ricketts. Chaves was lurking. Fire win the ball back and Davis Paul brings it up combines with Segares who gets a one on one chance against Ricketts and puts it just wide of the far post. Another unfortunate miss. He beat Ricketts here and he should have scored. Another chance that will be an unfortunate miss. Sega may have been off side hard to tell from the replay.
- Game picking up as Cardozo knifes through the defense but gets his shot partially blocked and Conway easily picks up the loose ball.
- LA controlling ball. Birchall hits a nice long ball pass to Magee.
- Magee fouls Anibaba, complains a bit and eats a yellow card for dissension.
- Fire win the ball and try to counter but LA shuts it down. Chaves ends up making something out of nothing as he puts in a dangerous through ball to Puerari who can't quite get to it before Ricketts. Nice dangerous play.
- Long range blast from Lopez goes wide.
- Nice tackle on Lopez in the box. Cardozo hits the rebound shot but Lopez pops up and makes a play on the ball and is rightfully called offsides. Good call by the ref and a rather obvious thing to call. Of course now I will be subjected to LA announcer debate about the play for the next few minutes.
- Videira is really not running hard today defensively. Considering that is one of the few things he does well he should probably come out at half. Embarrassing effort from him so far.
- Chicago wins the ball in the midfield gets the ball out to Pappa on the right hand side. Gibbs tries to pound the ball cross field to Davis Paul, ball cleared for throw in.Paul dribbles around and tries to hit a cross but it is blocked Fire earn a throw in.
- Off the throw in Chaves ends up trying a diving header but misses the ball. Pappa with a shirt tug on Magee who falls down and gets the call.
- Anibaba holds Barrett off and gets a throw in.
- LA wins possession and takes it up field. Controlling possession.
- LA passes the ball out over the goal line for a goal kick. Inexplicable play from them really. Wasted a good two minutes of possession. They do win the ball back on the ensuing goal kick.
- Galaxy continue to control the ball. Just to much possession. Nothing good can come from this. Galaxy earn throw in. Goal Barrett: 1-0 Galaxy. Horrendous defending by Anibaba. Anibaba keeps everyone onside and misses the offside trap even though he can see his fellow defenders moving up. Mikulic has tried to take blame for this play this week but Anibaba was FIVE yards behind the next nearest defender. Awful. Barrett celebrates in front of Section 8 who were jeering him earlier.
- Galaxy continuing to control. Barret makes a nice through ball to Hejduk who can't get on the end of the ball. Barrett did hit it a bit hard. Stoppage: Anibaba with a nice clearance of a ball with Barrett right there trying to score. Fire clear the ball and the whistle blows. Davis Paul was invisible this half and Mike Videira was terrible. Anibaba with a rookie mistake leaving Barrett wide open.
Due to lack of graphics I'm going all FMF on you and charting the second half as its own separate 45 minutes. Just remember there is a 2T to indicate its the second half (or tiempo if you want).
Subs: Patrick Nyarko on for Davis Paul.
- Conway gets an early goal kick. Barrett tries to slip through but the Fire defensive is solid.
- Pappa called offsides. Pass just a step behind.
- Pappa blasts a long shot wide of goal. Ricketts passes the ball out of bounds. Fire throw in.
- Ends up being cleared.
- Chaves gets the ball on the side of the box tries to cross gets knocked out for a throw in. Throw in ends up earning a corner. Corner headed up and over the bar by Anibaba. Need a better effort there. He got open and got his head on the ball.
- Videira with a lob pass towards Nyarko who slips around a sliding LA defender to put in a cross that is booted towards safety.
- Throw in for the Fire. What do you know Mike Videira turns the ball over and then Pause clips Barrett to slow things down. Free kick LA.
- LA earns free kick in offensive third. Taken quickly, Fire clear.
- Anibaba long ball to Chaves who keeps control. Gets the ball to the midfield. Pappa and Nyarko combo there but nothing comes of it as Birchall breaks it up. Nyarko steals the ball back but makes an uncharacteristically bad pass.
- Sega cleans up and then earns a corner. Magee clears the corner away and a volley is blasted high above the net.
- Pappa appears to DDT Cordozo no foul call. Sloppy float over DDT by Marco. Not a lot there good no call but it still looked cool.
- Nyarko comes down the left hand side switches it over to Pappa ends up with a bad pass by Anibaba that allows LA to clear. Pappa with a bad pass that was intended for Chaves.
- Fire look off at the beginning of the second half. Guys who were making mistakes in the second half are continuing to make mistakes. Dominic Oduro comes on for Mike Videira. I hope that is the last we see of Videira for a few games.
- Oduro offside. Immediately you can see better control from the midfield after Videira left the game. Sega has stepped up a bit and Nyarko is tucked a bit inside.
- LA doing the Bruce Arena thing trying to kill the game off up 1-0.
- Chaves tries to dribble through the midfield but with no luck. LA not putting a lot of pressure on the ball. Chaves wins the ball off a goal kick, Nyarko gets the ball and makes a pass that goes off of Puerari's leg. Good combinations there.
- Michael Stephens tackles Nyarko down gets himself a yellow card. Good move by Stephens stopped a potential counter.
- Oduro gets to the ball off the free kick but is not awarded a corner. Oduro did indeed earn the corner missed call here but it was an easy one to miss. Oduro again looking lively, playing with effort and lots of passion.
- LA earns corner. Mike Magee header heads towards the line Sega bikes it off the line. Conway came out and missed the ball. Quick counter, Chaves runs the ball down and shoots wide of the net. Probably should have cut back and tried to pass.
- Chaves earns free kick.
- Throw in for the Fire. Not much happens after this.
- Sean Franklin comes in for Cardozo. Nyarko cleans up at the top of the box, Oduro with the back pass Fire maintaining control.
- Chaves controls ball and goes back to Pause. Sega looking for Nyarko gets cleared away by LA. Orr Barouch comes on for Puerari. I like this sub puts a striker on with some height.
- Gibbs slides in for a tackle. Gibbs stays down grabbing his quad. Bad time for this to happen as the Fire were controlling play and now will have to play a man down for the rest of the game as Gibbs will not be able to continue.
- LA earn corner.Goal Gonzalez LA 2-0. What sucktastic two minutes. Losing Gibbs and then giving up a goal to Gonzalez who had a terrific header. Just towered over the Fire player who was marking him. Hejduk with bad challenge on Oduro. Hejduk gets a yellow for the challenge, he hit Oduro in the back of the head.
- Oduro gets free for a shot and slightly miss hits it but it is on frame but Ricketts saves easily.
- Pappa has a log blast on frame that Ricketts saves easily again.
- Conway comes out and grabs a lose ball that Barrett was trying to track down. The fire are still controlling most of the ball. Oduro gets the ball going down the right hand side and whips in a cross that Omar Gonzalez punches over the goal line for a corner. Almost an own goal.
- Barrett subbed out for Juan Pablo Angel. Corner: goes over the head of Mikulic and Ricketts plucks it out of the air and clears.
- Barouch with a bad turnover, Nyarko chases down and pushes the ball out for an LA corner kick. Corner heads towards near post and easily cleared away. Fire earn throw in.
- Hejduk subbed off for Brian Jordan.
- Barouch shows nice composure on the ball, passes to Chaves who controls the ball and the Fire have some possession in the LA end.
- Barouch again kicks off the nice midfield control. Oduro puts in a cross that is just to long for Nyarko. Barouch and Oduro playing really well. As is Nyarko. All the subs are playing well.
- Galaxy are trying to stay compact and not putting to many numbers forward.
- Anibaba blasts a ball out of bounds for an LA throw in. The Fire end up with the ball
- Chaves controls long pass and kicks off some possession in the LA end. Nyarko and Pappa combine on the left hand side. Pappa tries to make some space to shoot but puts it way wide.
- Fire getting the ball and LA clearing. Almost like a game of tennis at times right now. Lopez gets into the box and puts a high ball over to Angel who heads it over the bar. Anibaba was there and made it difficult for him.
- Oduro combines with Pappa who is wide open and puts it wide left. Unfortunate miss for Marco. Theme of the day apparently.
- Nyarko tackled down free kick earned.
- Sega holds up Birchall but doesn't earn the corner. Weird decision from Sega.
- Oduro gets by on the right hand side and blasts a shot towards the far post and it goes in. Excellent finish from Oduro. Chaves was lurking for any rebound. Excellent play. Ricketts reacted late, toe poke finish from Oduro.
- Marco wins the ball out of the defensive end. Chaves holds it up and combines with Pappa who gets it out to Oduro, Oduro shoots and its is deflected for a corner. 3 minutes of stoppage.
- Conway comes flying in and just misses a header. Nyarko is de-facto keeper and cleans it up. another cross comes in Chaves can't chest it down properly.
- Barouch and Pappa combine and Barouch puts in a weak shot on goal saved by Ricketts. Silly play from LA as they don't take it to the corner.
- Oduro wins corner but is pissed at Leonardo whom he thinks is time wasting. Oduro is pissed and gets a yellow. It is official. I love Dominic Oduro. Passionate play and great hustle. Leonardo stays down. Eventually gets stretchered off. We learn post game that he is most likely out for the season.
- Corner heads towards near post eventually gets knocked out where a shot is deflected wide. Another corner is earned.
- Corner sales just over the outstretched fingertips of Ricketts, Sega just misses the open header. Incredible finish. Sega buried in the net right now. Game whistled over.
First the good: This team doesn't quit, ever. Down a man for the final 15 minutes and they just kept coming even down two goals. Had an excellent chance at tying the game. All the subs worked and the trade for Oduro is looking mighty good right now. Oduro and Barouch in particular have worked hard and been excellent substitutions the last two games. I would look at starting one of them in place of Puerari during heavy game weeks like the one the team just had. Diego Chaves is great. Works hard, holds things up well. Pappa was again very good today. No goals but he worked hard and distributed well. His early season form of not passing the ball when he should seems to be gone.
The bad: Mike Videira can not start any more. He turns the ball over to much and was lackadaisical at times defensively which is something he can not do. The other problem is Jalil Anibaba whose inexperience is showing. I have less of a problem with Anibaba as for this game there weren't a ton of options to put in his place. Going forward though you have to consider starting Ristic in his spot. I don't like the idea of Dasan playing out there as he has been in poor form so far this season. Either stick with Anibaba or go with Ristic. Davis Paul was invisible in the first half. I would be surprised to see him make the bench against Houston.
It might be time to change the midfield formation. Starting Paladini or Husidic as an attacking central midfielder makes some sense. Anything to get a better passing player on the field for Videira will help shore up some of the defensive issues. Videira also has some value as a late game defensive sub when he is fresh against tired players.
This team is not that far from winning this game against LA. Three excellent goal scoring opportunities pushed wide and some bad timing injury wise and this could have been at least a draw. I see a team that is pretty good but needs to shore up the defensive third. Surprisingly that might mean a more offensive orientated player taking the field to help keep possession that the midfield has been generously giving away.
Next game's starting lineup will tell us alot of what the coaching staff thinks moving forward as there are clear adjustments to be made. I'll check in sometime tomorrow for the Houston game recap.