The Chicago Fire’s winless streak was extended to ten with a frustrating 3-2 loss in Toronto. The Men in Red put on what was by many accounts their most resounding 90-minute performance of the season, but conceded three preventable goals, and the game ended 3-2. While the offense showed flashes of potential, the Fire couldn’t convert on their chances in the final third and lost despite dominating the game from start to finish.
Starting Lineup (left to right): Slonina; M. Navarro, Czichos, Terán, Sekulić; F. Navarro (Gutiérrez 88’), Giménez; Torres (Herbers 75’), Shaqiri, Mueller; Pryzbyłko (Duràn 83’)
Gaga Slonina (5) — Slonina’s rough patch continued, and while he wasn’t totally at fault for all three goals, it was a disappointing performance for the 18-year-old. On the first goal, he could not make what appeared to be a relatively routine save, though he did get a hand on the ball. His positioning also showed that it needs to be improved, and some of his saves in the game could have been made much simpler has he not taken a misstep immediately prior.
Miguel Ángel Navarro (7) — Navarro put in a solid shift and had one of his best defensive performances of the year so far. He made four tackles and was a good presence at the left back position. Offensively, he also got involved, creating two chances and getting two shots on target. Neither could find, the back of the net, though, and merely contributed to the Fire’s 33 shots on the night.
Rafael Czichos (7.5) — It would be hard to say that Czichos had a bad game, despite shipping three goals. He was at fault for none of them, and he had a good defensive showing. Czichos won 7/8 ground duels and 9/12 aerial duels, and was also an effective passer, completing 34 passes. Despite how good Czichos and his regular partner Wyatt Omsberg have been in their appearances for the Fire, the team has not kept a clean sheet since April 16th.
Carlos Terán (7.5) — Terán scored his second MLS goal, and overall had a solid performance. He did not have a lot to do defensively, admittedly, since Toronto hardly threatened the Chicago goal; he made 9 recoveries, as was a presence on loose balls when they entered the Fire’s half. He used his size and power to score the Fire’s first goal on the night, finally getting the breakthrough for the team that was in control of the first half of the game.
Boris Sekulić (6.5) — Sekulić has not seemed like himself over the past couple of games, and his drop in form has been emblematic of the Fire’s recent struggles. Tonight, he was mostly ineffective again in the attack, and while he got forward and put some balls in, they were never dangerous enough to put Toronto into trouble.
Fede Navarro (5) — There were a some positives from Navarro’s game as a whole, but he has numerous individual moments that cost the Fire the game. In front of goal, he had a great chance in the first half to get on the scoresheet, and he scuffed a shot from inside the box. Navarro was at fault for both of Alejandro Pozuelo’s second-half goals; he gave away the penalty for the first, and gave the ball away for the game winner.
Gastón Giménez (7) — Giménez had a decent performance in the midfield, and notched an assist of Kacper Przybyłko’s go-ahead goal in the second half. His passing was excellent, completing 57 throughout the 90 minutes. He was also a defensive presence, winning 3 tackles, though he was sent to the ground by an attacker on one occasion.
Jairo Torres (7.5) — Jairo Torres has been a breath of fresh air in the attack, but that hasn’t turned into production in front of goal yet. He had a goal disallowed for offside, and was constantly a threat in the attack. His first start showed many signs of promise, but there was only glimpses.
Xherdan Shaqiri (8) — Shaqiri had a really good game today, but it was not perfect. As has been the case for him over the last few weeks, he has had many good small moments, but has perhaps had some frustrating luck. The attacking midfielder had the assist on the first goal and had the secondary assist on the second goal. Shaqiri created 9 chances and had an excellent playmaking performance. Perhaps this is wishful thought, but it feels like the Swiss international has been beginning to find his feet in MLS, and upon return from the international break, he could turn the corner and help the Fire start getting some points on the board.
Chris Mueller (7) — In his fourth start for the Fire, Mueller continued to be a lively energetic presence in the wide positions. He was able to combine with his teammates well, and got four shots off, though none could find the back of the net. He got on the ball a lot, making 80 touches, he now just needs to be more productive with that in the final third.
Kacper Przybyłko (6.5) — While he finally got another goal after a two-month dry spell, it is, weirdly enough, difficult to say with Przybylko had a good game in Toronto. He missed numerous opportunities in front of goal, and didn’t seem like a threat in the attack. His goal, though important, was admittedly a very lucky finish, the bounced into the goal after a bizarre contact.
Fabian Herbers (6) — The first substitution didn’t come until the 75th minute, and Fabian Herbers wasn’t able to make a huge impact on the game. His passing was fine, but he didn’t add anything that wasn’t already there.
Jhon Durán (6) — Durán played 7 minutes at the end and didn’t have enough time to receive a fair assessment, though he did have one header on target, which was saved.
Brian Gutiérrez (7) — With Torres finally ready to start, Gutiérrez has to settle for coming off the bench; when he came on, with just stoppage time to play, he looked like one of the Fire’s best players, taking on defenders on the dribble. However, he didn’t have enough time to make an impact in front of the goal, and his introduction was too little, too late.
Ezra Hendrickson (6) — You can’t say that this result was on Ezra. The Fire put in their best performance of the season, and as shown by the mainly positive individual ratings, it is inexplicable that the Fire managed to lose. Ultimately, it was individual mistakes and deviation from the game plan in the final third that cost the Fire the three points.