On Fire: Ljungberg, Chicago fantastic
The Fire put in a great performance Wednesday night, crushing the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
The match was perhaps the best game the Fire have played all season. The team was stout defensively, good in the attack and lethal in front of goal.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the win doesn’t do a whole lot for their dim playoff chances. The Fire sit in 11th place, 10 points behind the Seattle Sounders for the eighth and final playoff spot with just five games to go.
Two quick observations from Wednesday’s match:
1) Fantastic Freddie
Designated Player Freddie Ljungberg played wonderfully Wednesday night. The Swedish forward/midfielder dominated the match, scoring a beautiful goal – his first in a Fire uniform – and providing two assists in 90 minutes of action.
“I felt great,” Ljungberg told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “My teammates played really well, they made me look good, so I thank them. And, of course, I’m quite happy with my performance.”
Ljungberg’s goal was particularly well worked. Winger Patrick Nyarko fed the former Seattle player streaking just outside the 18 in the 72nd minute. The World Cup vet took a fabulous first touch, splitting two San Jose defenders to get into the left side of the area, then put an audacious left-footed chip past ‘keeper Jon Busch and inside the far post.
Performances like Wednesday night’s will have Fire fans clamoring for Ljungberg, a fan of head coach Carlos de los Cobos’ attacking style of play, to pick up his player option and return to Chicago in 2011.
WATCH: Freddie's skillful finish
2) Watson-Siriboe stands out
Rookie center back Kwame Watson-Siriboe made his second consecutive start Wednesday night and – for the second straight game – performed well.
Watson-Siriboe paired with Dasan Robinson in the middle of the Fire’s back line and the duo, who partnered up for their first start together, combined nicely to slow down San Jose’s dangerous attacking trio of Chris Wondolowski, Geovanni and Ryan Johnson.
Expect Watson-Siriboe to start at center back for the remainder of the season, as he’s likely to take a hold of that spot in 2011.