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Chicago Fire vs. Colorado Rapids - MLS #7: Good, Bad, & the Ugly

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Oduro: a little bit good, a little bit ugly
Oduro: a little bit good, a little bit ugly

The Chicago Fire finished with a 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.  It was a night of firsts as Carlos de los Cobos revisited his 4-1-4-1 formation for the first time this year.  Corben Bone and Daniel Paladini started for the first time.  Dominic Oduro started at RM for the first time.  With Logan Pause injured, Marco Pappa received the honor of wearing the captain's armband for the first time in Pappa's Fire career.  With the draw, the Chicago Fire went winless in April for the first time in team history.  The usual Good, Bad, and the Ugly is after the break. 

The Good

Marco Pappa answered the call as team captain linking up well with teammates and scoring a goal right before halftime.  Dominic Oduro looked great on his assist from the wing to Pappa.  Oduro made great runs down the wing all night.  He might be faster than Nyarko but his dribbling is not as good.  Gaston Puerari continued his hustle play.  Puerari's lob pass set up Oduro's cross to Pappa.  Jon Conway had some good saves.  I'm not convinced he should start next Saturday though.

The Bad

Josip Mikulic had to leave the game due to a shoulder injury.  Colorado's goaltender Matt Pickens came down on him after a set piece and it didn't look too bad.  I'm worried that Mikulic is fragile player.  The defense continues to look day and night different when Mikulic is on or off.  Daniel Paladini was fairly mediocre tonight.  Yamith Cuesta and Gonzalo Segares had a dispute on coverage after Andre Akpan slipped through the defense to score his goal for Colorado.  The team gave up a goal after having the lead... again.  Diego Chaves had too much confidence tonight.  He took two shots from outside of the box when the Fire had numbers on Colorado.  He is the one scoring goals so I'll give him a pass on the first chance but not the second.

The Ugly

Oduro looked solid on the wing but he also took two shoots that went nowhere near the goal.  In both chances I would have liked to have seen him pass.  Fans who rail against Nyarko for not shooting enough, well look at the alternative.  Corben Bone was essentially invisible.  However, I think the decision to start Paladini and Bone together deserves to be in 'the Ugly' itself.  Chicago lost possession to Colorado 64% to 36%.  Mike Videira is not an automatic starter at this point but if Logan Pause is out, why not start Videira?  Videira has at least connected with Pappa, Chaves, and Puerari this year.  This was a random lineup and the possession numbers show it.

Final Thoughts

At least the Fire came away with a point tonight.  You usually would take that if you put out an unfamiliar lineup against the defending MLS Cup Champions on the road.  Carlos de los Cobos needs to figure out what he is going to do with the central midfield.  If he wants to start Dominic Oduro, what about keeping Gaston Puerari in the midfield but starting Oduro up top?  We saw a lot of different attempts to resolve questions but I don't think we got too many answers.  The work in progress continues.  Hopefully the team can take three points next Saturday when the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps visit Toyota Park.