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Red Bulls 2, Fire 1: First Thoughts

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The Fire put in a very good performance, but can’t muster a point against Red Bulls

MLS: Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
  • Alright. We’ve had more than a week to recover from that last performance. Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!
  • Accam in for de Leeuw. Not my favorite move, but MdL hasn’t looked great the past few matches.
  • I’d still like to see Polster play RB instead of Harrington. I’ll keep dreaming...

FIRST THOUGHT: I don’t see this going well for the Men in Red. Call me the Negative Nancy in the room, but if we play solid at the back, I’ll be happy. Prove me wrong, Fire!

KICKOFF!

2 - One long ball attempted, one long ball failed.

2 - Head injury, but the referee ignores it. Concussions aren’t a big deal, right? (SMH)

3 - Nikolic gets a head on a Vincent delivery and puts an attempt on goal. Nice opportunity.

6 - Chicago looking calm and collected defensively.

7 - First Fire corner, we can’t even get the ball in the box. Very, very frustrating.

9 - I’m sure this is just my nervous, pessimistic side coming out, but every time Schweinsteiger falls, it looks like his body is going to break into a thousand pieces.

13 - Misplayed cross by the Fire, and a big exhale as Lawrence has a golden opportunity but skies it over the bar.

19 - Schweini is bleeding - face to face collision with Perrinelle, but both players are fine.

22 - Harrington with a questionable decision, which eventually turns into a counter for the Red Bulls and their first corner of the match.

26 - After a bit of panic on the defensive end, the Fire have a good counter but fail to generate an effort on target.

27 - With such blistering acceleration, sometimes Accam forgets the ball and goes flying forward. Stuck the landing, too.

29 - This has been a really good midfield battle so far. Opportunities for both sides, but both defenses keeping the opponents strikers at bay.

30 - Nikolic takes a through ball from Accam, makes some beautiful moves and gets a really great shot on target. Accam and Nikolic linking up well, something lacking when de Leeuw was playing.

33 - Fire settling into this one in the final third. Schweini loads one up, but sends it over the bar. I feel a first goal coming soon here...

34 - Haven’t heard much from Dax so far. He’s been good defensively, doesn’t seem to be flustered by the occasion.

35 - OHHHHHH MAANNNNNNNN! I think Soli misplayed that, but I also think I saw a handball there! No call. Either way, WASTED opportunity.

36 - Brandon Vincent continues to impress me. He’s playing with confidence that he’s never had before, and I love it.

37 - GOAL - RED BULLS. Gar. Bage. Juninho tries to help defensively but it deflects right into the path of Royer, who puts it onto Wright-Phillips who scores. 1-0.

42 - The Fire need to pull themselves together and end this half no more than a goal down.

43 - Nikolic. Selfish, and gives a layup to the keeper. This half has been so frustrating.

HALFTIME THOUGHT #1: So disappointed. The Fire played very, very well in that first half and are down 1-0. I’m also really angry at Nikolic, it should be at least 1-1.

HALFTIME THOUGHT #2: We’ve been denied pen’s in back to back matches. That sucks.

47 - Oh boy, Solignac nearly equalizes on a rebound. Decent start here for the Fire.

51 - YELLOW CARD - MUYL - Went studs up on a challenge on Vincent.

56 - Chicago is getting some good opportunities now. But the counter attack from NYRB is dangerous. Need to make sure they’re getting back every single time.

58 - I still feel confident we’ll even this one up. As long as we don’t make a mistake defensively...which as I type that, I start to chuckle...

59 - GOAL - FIREEEEEEE! YEAH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH!!!! PASS DMC SETS UP NIKO FOR A FIRE GOALLLL!!!!!!!!! 1-1, BABY!

60 - For as negative as I’ve been on Nikolic has been, that was a clinical strike. I have to give him that.

64 - Side note, so pumped for Dax. That assist could give him a lot of momentum moving forward.

66 - OH, OH, OH SO CLOSE! Solignac juuuuuuuust misses on a nice ball from Accam, and Basti was centimeters away from tapping it in. Fire should be leading.

67 - Back and forth they go! Soli, again, nearly scores, quickly followed by a GOAL SAVING tackle by Juninho!

68 - Dan Kelly droppin’ some knowledge — that was the first goal the Red Bulls have allowed at home this season -- and they’re unbeaten in their last 18 home matches.

71 - GOAL - RED BULLS. Welp. Harrington decides he’s a midfielder the Red Bull right back Lawrence slots home a goal. 2-1, Red Bulls.

72 - *Alex writes a letter to Pauno urging him to start Polster at RB next week*

73 - de Leeuw on for Solignac. We’ll see if he can spark something to level it up.

78 - Sorry. Was just screaming internally. Corner for the Fire, wasted again with a pathetic delivery.

82 - YELLOW CARD - FELIPE. Took down Dax, who was making a good run forward.

84 - Daniel Johnson is on as well. He was close a few times last week, maybe he gets us a point tonight?

85 - Veljko knows his guys. Same 14 have features that last few weeks. Alvarez coming o...

87 - YELLOW CARD - GULBRANDSEN. Big chance from a FK now...Fire have to take advantage of these late opportunities.

88 - Dax gets a head to the FK, but can’t get it on target.

90 - Tick, tick-tick, tick-tick...did the ‘keeper really need the captains armband, Sasha?

AAAND 5 minutes of stoppage time!

91 - Harrington really not interested in getting back on defense anymore. To be fair, it’s not like he was interested in it before.

92 - Meira almost just gave the Red Bulls a third goal...nice recovery defensively to deny the chance.

95- The Fire look out of gas. They really have given a great effort here tonight.

FINAL THOUGHT: Frustrating optimism. That is not an easy place to play, but Chicago took their punches and were really close to not only getting a point, but were a few plays away from taking all three. Let’s carry this good performance cross the country to LA and get 3 next weekend!