The Chicago Fire notched their third straight win in their final home game of the regular season by defeating Toronto FC. A New England Revolution draw or loss would have seen the Fire make the playoffs for the second straight year in a row. Unfortunately, clinching a playoff spot will have to wait another week.
I had fairly low expectations of Juan Luis Anangonó. This has more to the Fire Front Office's speculative record when it comes to signing unknown South Americans than anything Anangonó has done. It's beginning to look like they might have hit the bull's eye with Anangonó. The Fire put 3 shots on target on Saturday night and 2 of those shots came from Anangonó.
Anangonó had 6 shots on the night - 2 on target, 2 off the woodwork and 2 off target. That is a pretty good night for a forward even if he did not put one into the netting. One thing he does need to work on is trying to put the ball into difficult spots for opposing keepers. The save that Sebastian Frei made in the 7th minute was a pretty good reaction save, but Anangonó needs to put that ball somewhere away from the center of the goal. Anangonó has done this quite a few times this year. Hopefully Frank Klopas can help with Anangonó's development since he played the same position in his professional career.
Shooting From Everyone Else
Outside of Anangonó, only two shots were inside the penalty area, and one was Mike Magee's penalty.
Let's face it - the Fire controlled a majority of this game, but they really struggled to break down Toronto. I know I might catch some flack for this - but if it wasn't for a very, very soft handball penalty, this game would have been a scoreless draw.
Attacking Impotence - Part 1
The Fire really keyed in on going up the right flank. It's hard to not blame them. Patrick Nyarko and Jalil Anibaba were looking pretty good against Ashtone Morgan when they could isolate him.
45.71% of the Fire's passes in the attacking third happened on the right flank; however, the Fire created more chances from the run of play on the left (3 key passes on the left to 2 on the right) while only having 26.67% attempted on that side of the field. Constantly moving the ball down the right side of the field made the Fire a little predictable.
Here is Sean Johnson's distribution from Saturday night:
Even Johson was trying to punt the ball up the right side. Toronto had to know where the Fire were going to attack all night.
Mike Magee - Attacking Impotence Part
I've beaten every piece of flesh off this dead horse, so I'm going to use more pictures and less words.
Egidio Arévalo Rios' passing:
Jeff Larentowicz's passing:
Together, they combined for 1 shot and no key passes.
As usual, this sucked Mike Magee into the midfield. Here is Mike Magee's passing from Saturday:
Magee did not drop as far into the midfield as he sometimes does, but he was still playing pretty far away from goal. Here is Magee's shots from Saturday:
Mike Magee needs to shoot the ball. Playing closer to goal will help Mike Magee with accomplishing that. Thankfully, Jeff Larentowicz's suspension will force Frank into starting Alex and Arévalo Rios in the midfield. Without Larentowicz, Rios will have a more clear idea of his role and focus on defending while Alex will add an attacking spark that a Big Red/Cacha midfield lacks. Alex's presence, should Klopas decide to start him, would free up Mike Magee to play closer to goal.