The joke it seems, with this Chicago Fire season, is that every game, save a few aberrations like the 5-4 win in NYC, look pretty much the same regardless of score. The opponent has the ball more, Quincy Amarikwa runs around a lot, defensive errors costs them points, and there is always two narratives coming out of the match. An undermanned outgunned Chicago Fire squad overcame the odds and grabbed a point on the road. The other... The opponent had the ball more. Quincy Amarikwa ran around a lot. Defensive errors cost them points.
The Fire's defense self-destructed early this time, so they could A) make up for it later B) do it again or C) All of the above. An own goal off the knee of Bakary Soumare had the Fire 1-0 down minutes into the contest. A Justin Morrow cross was lept at by Soumare, but his jump was missed timed, and the ball ricocheted off his shin past Sean Johnson and in. The Fire looked like a disaster for the rest of the half, showing the form they had been playing with for the past month or so; having nothing going forward and hanging on by the skin of their teeth.
But honestly, it wasn't all about the Fire. Lets talk about how good this TFC team is for a minute, and why. There are three of the highest paid players which are impact guys in their own way, and It showed tonight. Andrew Hauptman, TFC is how you construct a winner in MLS. Michael Bradley is one of the best at controlling possession and busting up plays. He's a puppet master. Jermaine Defoe was a bit quiet tonight, but it seemed at any moment that could change. In the first half, he was just offside on what could have been a breakaway goal, and was testing the back line all night. And Gilberto.... Gilberto was the star, and had by far the best game of an individual on ether team.
If Soumare didn't put the ball into the Fire net, he would have. He was charging towards the net unmarked, and would have met the ball before Sean Johnson. He chased down a ball and pressured Soumare into giving up a throw in, which resulted in a dangerous free kick. And he scored TFC's second on the night in the 79th minute, after catching Soumare leaning, he was free to go in on goal. All that was left was to round the Johnson, and tuck it in the back of the net.
The second half was better from the Fire. And it started with one sub of a brand new player. Robert Earnshaw came on in the 65th minute against his former club who cast the Welshmen aside for Jermaine Defoe. And like he did eight times for TFC in 22 appearances, he scored a goal. It was a tough one, too. A cross from fellow Brit Grant Ward found his head, and the ball went past Bednik, and it was tied.
Quincy Amarikwa had six goals coming in to tonight, but was on a several game scoreless streak and it was looking like it wasn't going to happen this game ether. He had a glorious opportunity after 33 minutes when Alex released him after dispossessing TFC at midfield. Quincy chipped it over a sliding goalkeeper and the crossbar, as well. And yet, finally with TFC up 2-1 in the 89th minute, a Lovel Palmer cross spilled passed bicycle kicking Earnshaw, and was half volleyed in with authority by Amarikwa, and the Fire were able to grab a point in Canada.
Yes. Another draw. The joke it seems, is on us. The Fire are now 4-6-14 on the year, and play FC Dallas. Does anyone know who wins the Brimstone Cup is it ends in a draw?