Saturday evening as I made my way up the Skyway to my seat, I was thinking, "I have better not have wasted my time to come down to Toyota Park in miserable weather to see an uninspired team play again." Thankfully, that was not the case. This game turned out to be just what the doctor order, a game in which the Fire dominated every single facet of the match: Shots, 20 to 3; shots on goal, 11 to 0; possession, 65% to 35%; and - most importantly - the final scoreline, 3 to 0 in favor of the Men in Red.
It started out with David Accam running straight at Nigel Reo-Coker and drawing the first yellow card of the night in the 2nd minute. This was followed by long ball from Joevin Jones who was found by a physical Kennedy Igboananike who laid off a perfect pass to the feet of an on rushing Harry Shipp who walked around Laurent Ciman and found the far upper corner to make it 1-0. Marco Donadel than did in the Montreal Impact when he received 2 yellow cards in the span of 14 minutes. This first half was capped off by Bakary Soumare being Bakary Soumare and gifting the Fire a PK for his take down of David Accam in the box. The PK was put away by the Fire's leading scorer, Jeff Larentowicz. It was a dominant performance in the 1st half by the Men in Red
The second half was no change from the first. KI could have had a few goals in the second, but some of his touches let him down. He made good in the 72nd minute by slotting a through ball from Matt Polster past Evan Bush. All in all it was a very good performance from the Fire, Maybe us supporters can expect that this is the type of performances we will see the rest of the season - at least against a team with 10 men.
Let's Rank Some Players
My first star has to go to Kennedy Igboananike. Credited with a goal and an assist KI actually looked like the player that Frank Yallop had described when he was scouting him over the past few years. Honestly he could have had multiple goals on the night but I'm sure he was relieved to get his first goal for the team and to help them win. With 2 games this week I think he may be starting both but I'm pretty sure that in one of the games he will be coming out early.
My second star goes to Harry Shipp. With a goal on the night he was able to float around the field in order to create. Notice how his goal came on the left side when his position was the right side of midfield. This kind of performance will surely boost his confidence heading into a crucial span of three games, as Shaun Maloney will be away on international duty with Scotland. I will say that Harry has to play in the middle and be given the freedom to roam in the next few games if the Fire want to be able to create chances and not rely on the long ball.
My third star is Razvan Cocis, making the list for the second straight week. Cocis has grabbed a hold of that starting mid spot and he is not going to let go. He was a beast out there doing the dirty work and stifling the Montreal midfield. Just being able to help limit a creative player like Ignacio Piatti to only 14 touches in the game is impressive. The Fire will need him this week to be at his best and help stop players like Perry Kitchen for DC and Kaka for Orlando.
Honorable mention this week goes to left side of the Fire, David Accam and Joevin Jones. I noticed that those 2 have built up a chemistry that each player knows what they are going to do. This maybe be a key to offensive chances as these two have speed and a knack for getting forward into the attack. It almost reminded me (but I know it's not even close) of the relationship that Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Ivan Guerrero had back in 2007. Just being able to have two players that really understand each other is amazing to see and will help the team go far in terms of achieving its goals, doesn't matter how low they may be.