As noted thinker Ebby Calvin Laloosh once said, “I love winning. It’s like…better than losing.” So goes the desire to create postgame ratings. And as expected, the ratings are what you would expect after a 3-0 win.
Beric: 8 – This is what should be the expectation from the designated player. He put the Fire out in front early and was dangerous and heavily involved in the attack all night. He also should have been awarded a penalty kick in the 2nd half, but instead tried to score instead of going to ground.
Sapong: 7 - He came on late, drew the penalty through sheer will, and converted it on the second try. Good night for CJ.
Herbers: 8 – Another game at Soldier Field, another goal for Fabian. Spent most of the evening in the 10, allowing Aliseda to drift wide on the left side. Great finish on the goal after being played through on a slick pass from Nacho. He also had a hand in VAR taking away Mihailovic’s goal by being rightfully called offside.
Aliseda: 7 – A wonderful assist on Herbers’s goal. Being positioned out wide on the left seemed to provide him more space to work with. Having more of a stay-at-home defender like Jonny B behind him seemed to play into his creative tendencies. However, he also did well tracking back when called upon.
Mihailovic: 7 – He had a beautiful goal taken away by VAR rightfully due to Herbers being offside, but his insertion into the starting lineup seemed to be the catalyst to awaken the Fire attack. He did well balancing getting into the attack when needed, but not over-committing.
Medran: 7 – There are a lot of calls for his goal in the 40th minute to be considered for goal of the year considering he picked the ball up in the defensive half of the center circle, beat several defenders and slotted his goal away. However, in watching that replay, it seemed more about inept defending by Houston than a Maradona-like effort.
Gimenez: 7 – I almost considered giving him a 6 tonight for the simple reason is that the more I watch him play, the more I realize the bar for him should be higher. As I have said before, his ability to switch the field with a 40-50 yard cross and placing it near perfect is a thing of beauty. Along with Medran, he bossed the center of the park.
Collier: 5 – He was out there doing his usual effort as the Kiwian Crouch, but I do not recall anything good or bad from him after he came on for Mihailovic in the 62nd minute. He was out there and was decent in attack and defended well. He had a header wide, but overall was solid. Which, considering the game was 3-0 at the time, that was plenty enough.
Bronico: 5 – He came on for Medran in the 73rd while the game was already 3-0. He did his job and made sure the Fire net stayed clean.
Bornstein: 8 – Johnny B is in the 11 to make sure the other team does not score first and foremost. His run into the corner and subsequent cross to Beric was a thing of beauty. Any time you can keep a clean sheet in the back 4 and have an assist, it is a good night.
Pineda: 7 – He was active in the possession game for the Fire and connecting the ball from the back to the midfield. From the eye test, it seemed like a relatively quiet night for the Fire rookie, but in looking at the stats, he was an important cog for the Fire.
Calvo: 7 – In my opinion, this was his best game of the season defensively. He was continually active and well positioned during Houston’s sustained period of attack tonight. His name was called often for good defensive work and did a nice job of getting the ball forward. This was an instance of Good Calvo being in the 11 tonight.
Sekulic: 6 – A quiet night for him whereas the focus of the Fire attack was on the opposite side of the field. He got forward quite a bit when needed in combination play with Mihailovic and was relatively clean with his passes. However, considering how potent he can be in the Fire attack, this was a quiet, steady night.
Shuttleworth: 6 – How does a shutout merit only a 6? When you are called upon to only make one save and are bailed out by the post when beaten on Houston’s best chance of the night. That said, as a goalkeeper, I would take a rating as a 6 when there is little to do, the team shuts out the opponent and there is little action.
Patrick McCraney and I broke down the Fire’s 4-0 win on the Minivan Dad Soccer Pod last night. Give it a listen!