Shorthanded Chicago Fire Fall 1-0 To Philadelphia Union
63rd Minute Red Card Forces Men In Red To Finish The Match With 10 Men
May 18, 2013
Chicago Fire Communications
CHESTER, Pa. (May 18, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (2-7-1; seven points) fell 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union (5-4-3; 18 points) Saturday evening at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Jack McInerney scored the only goal of the match in the third minute and a 63rd minute red card to Fire right back Wells Thompson forced the Men in Red to finish the match with 10 men.
The Fire came out of the gates flying and got their first chance of the match in just the second minute. Jalil Anibaba won the ball just inside the Fire’s half and played the ball forward to Patrick Nyarko. With a nifty, no-look back heel, Nyarko sprung fellow forward Chris Rolfe. The 2012 Chicago Fire MVP played a short pass to Joel Lindpere, who took two touches to push the ball forward and unleashed a left-footed shot from outside the box that went just wide right.
A minute later the home side would get on the board. A cleared corner kick fell to Sebastien Le Toux. With one touch the Frenchman sent in a cross to Jack McInerney at the top of the six yard box. The Alpharetta, Ga. native snapped his header down and past Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson for his league-leading eighth goal of the season.
Searching for the equalizing goal, the Fire would continue to get their chances. In the seventh minute, Dilly Duka whipped in a corner kick and found Austin Berry inside the penalty area. The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year lost his defender and snapped his header towards goal but it went just wide of the post.
In the ninth minute, Nyarko received the ball inside the Union half and found Lindpere, who played a ball behind the Union defense to Rolfe, who unleashed a one-time, left-footed shot on frame but it went right to Union ‘keeper Zac MacMath.
Thompson would receive his first yellow card of the night in the 14th minute for a hard challenge on the Union’s Danny Cruz.
Nyarko would again prove dangerous in the 18th minute when he received the ball 35 yards from goal and turned towards goal. The converted forward took on two Union defenders and sent in a curving, right-footed shot but MacMath was able to get down low and deflect the ball out for a Fire corner kick.
The Fire came out of the locker room after halftime with renewed vigor in search of the equalizer.
In the 60th minute, Anibaba sent in a patented long throw-in into the Union penalty area. Nyarko pounced on the clearance and dribbled towards goal. Nyarko found Dilly Duka at the top of the penalty arc. With his back towards goal, Duka took a few touches to settle, and quickly turned and unleashed a dipping shot towards goal that MacMath punched out at the last second.
The Fire would be forced to play a man down in the 63rd minute when Thompson received his second yellow card of the night for taking down Cruz 30 yards from goal.
The Fire would get another look at goal in the 72nd minute when Duka sent a free kick from distance into the Union penalty box. Berry flicked on his header to Jeff Larentowicz at the top of the six yard box but the Philadelphia, Pa. native’s volley sailed over the cross bar.
In the 73rd minute, Sherjill MacDonald received the ball 40 yards from goal and dribbled down the left flank. Fighting for positioning, MacDonald turned and dribbled towards goal but was dragged down by Willams, well inside the penalty box. Williams was shown a yellow card for the foul but the referee awarded the free kick outside the box.
In the 78th minute the Fire would again get a shot on goal. Alex received a short throw-in deep in the Union half. The Brazilian dribbled up and towards the center of the pitch and from 30 yards out, took a left-footed shot that MacMath was able to bring down.
The Fire hit the road again next weekend and head to take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9 FM). The Fire return to Toyota Park when they host D.C. United on Sunday, June 2 at 4:00 p.m. CT (My50/UniMas/107.9 La Ley). Tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
-The Fire fell to 3-4-1 all-time against the Philadelphia Union, and 1-3-0 at PPL Park.
-Midfielder Daniel Paladini was a late scratch due to left calf inflammation. In Paladini’s stead, Naperville, Ill. product Brendan King was named to the 18-man gameday roster for the first time in his Fire career.
- This match marked the return of Jeff Larentowicz to both pitch and to his hometown. The Philadelphia, Pa. native missed the May 11 match while serving a one-game suspension for a red card that he received April 27. A graduate of Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, Larentowicz lettered in soccer, basketball and golf. The Brown University graduate won back-to-back national championships with FC Delco Arsenal in 2002 and 2003.
- With Larentowicz back in the lineup and the injury to Paladini, Fire head coach Frank Klopas started the tenth different lineup in as many games.
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
Thoughts on the game
“It’s amazing cause I thought there were moments where we played well, we had some chances. We gave up a fast goal which is tough on the road to do. They had a set piece, the ball comes back out and we give up the fast goal and then we created chances. I think first half we dropped off a little bit too deep. I felt Jeff (Larentowicz) was dropping too deep where we could push up a little bit higher, especially putting a little more pressure on Carroll, instead of having Chris (Rolfe) or Patrick (Nyarko) come deeper, so we addressed that. You come on the road and you have to take advantage of your chances and keep it tight, and don’t give up a goal. We gave up the early one but I felt the rest of the game we did well and obviously you played shorthanded and we tried whatever we could to push the game. We had some tired guys that worked hard, we tried different things, we tried to get the goal back but it didn’t work.”
On adjustments made from last week to this week
“Jeff (Larentowicz) coming back on the field and I think the thing we talked about was our ability to play more on the flanks because they do a pretty good job of inviting pressure in the middle where they keep numbers and then they are good on transition so our ability to look to switch the point of attack and look to see if we can attack more out on the flanks and be a little more direct and obviously we talked about not giving up any goals but it didn’t work out that way.”
On the play of Sherjill MacDonald
“I am going to talk as a team; I am not going to talk about any player right now. I think that we have to regroup; we’ve got another tough game ahead. Right now we feel bad but as the time goes by you’ve got to start thinking ahead… Right now it’s not a good feeling but I can guarantee you after an hour/ two hours as time goes by we can’t wait to get back on the field and start working and start thinking about the next opponent.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire Goalkeeper
On the game
“Philly was able to come out and jump on us pretty early, scoring in the first three minutes of the game. Obviously when a team scores it’s kind of deflating but you have got to forget about it quickly and the best thing about it is there is the rest of the game to play. I thought Philly did alright tonight and they were able to come out with the result. Obviously we were disappointed that we couldn’t get some points here but we will get back to work this week.”
On the season thus far
“It is just one of those periods of time where everyone needs to stick together and keep working hard and I think it will come. We got a great group of guys, we just got to do a little bit extra and that starts with me, with our back line going forward, everybody on the field has got to step up to another level. I think we are capable of doing that and it is something that we need to do next week.”
On what they could have done differently on the goal.
“Obviously keep the ball out of the back of the net. As a back line you want to be tight on guys and limit chances, but they were able to get free in the box and get their head on it.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire Forward
On his team’s performance
“Not a bad performance, the result doesn’t match our performance. I thought we came in here and tried to take the game to them. We gave up the early goal, which kind of pinned us back a little bit it allowed them to settle down and their game and they kept frustrating us. That was their game plan and it worked to perfection. Now we are not doing so well and we need a little bit from everyone and we just need to keep sticking together and keep moving on. But I didn’t think it was a bad performance today, just no results to match it.”