BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (March 24, 2013) – The Chicago Fire (0-3-1, 1 point) dropped a 4-1 decision to Chivas USA (2-1-1, 7 points) Sunday evening at Toyota Park. Patrick Nyarko scored the equalizer after Chivas USA’s Edgar Mejia opened the scoring. Chivas found two unanswered goals two minutes apart from Joaquin Velazquez and Juan Agudelo before a Jalil Anibaba own goal resulted in a final score of 4-1.
The Fire pressed from the first whistle and maintained a lion’s share of the possession in the early going. The Fire would get their first dangerous chance in the 15th minute, when Daniel Paladini pounced on a loose ball outside the penalty box and drove in a cross that was just inches over the offensive line’s heads.
In the 38th minute the Fire again looked dangerous when midfielder Wells Thompson unleashed a driving shot 30-yards from goal that went just wide of the post.
Just one minute later, Chris Rolfe stole the ball and went racing towards goal. Rolfe got behind the Chivas USA defense and broke into the box but Chivas ‘keeper Dan Kennedy was able to knock it away.
Not to be deterred, the Fire continued to search for the opening goal. In the 44th minute Nyarko drove in a low cross but Kennedy again was able to make the save.
Both teams came out of the locker room with renewed vigor. In the 47th minute after a nice series of team passes, Rolfe played the ball to Alex but the Brazilian’s shot was just wide. Two minutes later Alex would again prove his offensive prowess when he tried to chip the Chivas USA defense but his pass was just a touch too heavy for MacDonald.
The Fire again threatened an in the 51st minute, MacDonald played the ball in through the Chivas USA defense to Daniel Paladini. Paladini turned and unleashed a shot from just inside the 18-yard box but his shot dinged off the post and went out for a goal kick.
Chivas USA broke the deadlock in the 57th minute. Agudelo, with his back towards goal, played a square ball to Mejia outside the penalty box. Mejia took a touch and unleashed a right-footed blast past an outstretched Tornaghi.
The Fire found the equalizer and the first goal of the season in the 64th minute. Maicon Santos received the ball on the right touchline and carried it to the top of the arc where he played a short past to MacDonald. MacDonald turned and laid the ball off into the path of an onrushing Nyarko, who with one touch slid the ball under Kennedy to bring the score level.
Chivas USA would go up 3-1 in the 75th minute. Kennedy unleashed a long throw to Jorge Villafana who dribbled into the Fire’s half and played a long, looping ball to Agudelo racing into the box. The U.S. international went shoulder-to-shoulder and bumped Larentowicz off the ball, took a touch and curled a right-footed shot around Tornaghi.
Chivas USA put the game away in the 89th minute when Jose Correa drove a ball in across the face of Tornaghi’s goal. Racing back to defend was Jalil Anibaba and the ball took an unfortunate deflection off his right foot into the goal as the game finished 4-1.
The Fire will use a bye weekend to regroup and return to action when they host the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Park on Sunday, April 7 (ESPN2/107.9 La Ley). Tickets for the match are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire or by visiting www.Chicago-Fire.com.
- The Fire are 8-5-3 all-time against Chivas USA and 4-3-1 in matches played at home.
- This match marked Wells Thompson’s first start in a Fire shirt. This match also marked the first Fire appearance for forward Quincy Amarikwa, who entered the match in the 68th minute for Sherjill MacDonald.
- With Sean Johnson on international duty, Paolo Tornaghi deputized in his stead and made two saves in his fourth appearance for the Fire.
- Patrick Nyarko’s goal in the 64th minute put an end to a record-setting 410 minute goalless drought for the Fire
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire Head Coach
“Obviously we started the game very well. We had chances in the first half. We got in good spots in the field and it’s a shame. Sometimes the game is not fair but what are you going to do? We had good looks and got in good spots. I thought we should have at least walked away with something to show for it, then we didn’t. I thought we started well in the second half. We just made some mistakes and gave up some silly goals. Other than that it’s a disappointing loss.”
On the number of injuries
“I don’t use that as an excuse. I thought we prepared well for the game. We were ready. If you look at the game, we dominated the first half. We had the better opportunities playing against the wind. Right now we do not seem to be getting a break. We are making some mistakes that are hurting us. You look at the guys, the game, the stats, everything you can say it’s not fair but it is what it is. When you don’t put the chances away, and we made some mistakes that hurt us, that’s it. You have a team; the injuries are part of it. You deal with it. The other guys have to step in and contribute. We talked about that and the depth we have. I felt that the guys we ready they stepped in. You could see from the game sometimes you are at a loss for words. Try to prepare for the next match.”
On evaluating the roster
“You have to look at everything. Right now we are not getting things done. We have to evaluate and make some decisions to do what’s best for the team.
On the backline
“I think if you just look at the goals it’s just marking on set pieces, it’s decision making at times. We have to scramble a little bit with certain players going in and out. I don’t think we’ve had the consistency that we did last year. This game is different. You have Arne [Friedrich] out, Logan [Pause] isn’t 100 percent. With the last game we played with Mike Videira, now he is out. Sean [Johnson] is away. That position in the back is key. Paolo [Tornaghi] is a very good keeper, but you need minutes, but I don’t blame that. Our marking let us down and we got punished for it. It’s unfortunate because we did create a lot of opportunities. We had possession, we dominated the game in the first half. In the second half sometimes it hurts but we fought all the way to the end.”
On Alex’s injury
“I don’t know. I haven’t really spoken with the medical staff yet to see how severe it is. In the moment I was focusing on the game. He was down and I needed to bring another player in quick. We did, I’ll evaluate it and see.”
On the play of Sherjill MacDonald
“It was better. He came out he had a calf issue. He came out because I don’t know if he strained his calf. He was better, but at the end of the day when you create opportunities we got to put them away. It puts a lot of pressure on us. The only thing I can tell you is the preparation was well. The guys came in and they were ready. It’s a shame, it’s tough being at home and losing like this in front of our fans. I know it’s not a good feeling and the players care. But it’s my responsibility.”
Gonzalo Segares, Chicago Fire defender
On the result
“We’re not putting balls away, we’re giving away easy goals, and that’s a bad recipe. We just need to get past this by learning from our mistakes and bouncing back in the next game.”
On the team’s difficulty with set pieces
“We’re losing our guys and getting punished. We were pushing to come back after the first goal and gave up a quick goal on a set piece. We’re not putting away our chances and giving up easy goals which is hurting us badly.”
On missed opportunities
“We should have had at least two or three goals, but we’re just not putting them away which is frustrating. I think it’s even more frustrating when we give away a goal and have to come back from being down 1-0 when we could have been up by two or three goals. Things are just not working and we need to bounce back from this and turn this season around.”
Paolo Tornaghi, Chicago Fire goalkeeper
On the goals scored from set pieces
“The first goal was scored from a ball advancing out of the box and Meja had a very nice finish off a half-volley.”
On Agudelo’s goal
“The back line was pushing because we were down a goal. We needed to come away with at least a point, so we were pushing high with the back line, and Agudelo made a very good play with the goal. He put the ball just to my left, and we were pushing because we felt like we could get back into the game and he scored.”
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire midfielder
On scoring the first goal of the season
“The only thing on my mind is us not getting the win. We’ve played in four games and we have no wins and it’s pretty disappointing today.”
On the result
“We thought we played well enough to get a result, especially in the first half. I think we got over excited by the fact we played well in the first half, even against the wind, and were going to go for it in the second half. Unfortunately, we left gaps behind and they capitalized brilliantly on them. They didn’t create much, but they capitalized on what they did. We created a fair amount of chances and couldn’t finish them. It put the pressure on us to have to push the game more because we didn’t want to lose at home. We can all look at ourselves and admit that these were pretty bad goals we conceded. The best thing is that we know we can only go up from here. All of the players know what we did wrong and it’s easily correctable.”
Chicago Fire 1 – 4 Chivas USA
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi; Wells Thompson, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Daniel Paladini (Maicon Santos 62’), Chris Rolfe; Sherjill MacDonald (Quincy Amarikwa 68’), Alex (Yazid Atouba 86’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Hunter Jumper, Logan Pause, Corben Bone
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy ©; Mario de Luna, Joaquin Velazquez, Bobby Burling; Eric Avila, Josue Soto (Jorge Villafana 45’), Edgar Mejia, Marvin Iraheta (Daniel Antunez 62’), Carlos Alvarez; Juan Agudelo, Tristan Bowen (Jose Correa 73’)
Substitutes not used: Tim Melia, Carlos Borja, Giovani Casillas, Steve Purdy
CHV – Edgar Mejia (Juan Agudelo) 57’
CHI – Patrick Nyarko (Sherjill MacDonald, Maicon Santos) 64’
CHV – Joaquin Velazquez (Edgar Mejia) 73’
CHV – Juan Agudelo (Jorge Villafana) 75’
CHV – Own Goal (Jalil Anibaba) 89’
CHI – Daniel Paladini (caution) 22’
CHV – Bobby Burling (caution) 26’
CHV – Tristen Bowen (caution) 40’
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistants: Anthony Vasoli, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Jorge Gonzalez