Breakdown: Fire at Earthquakes

train-wreck

A visual of the Fire on Wednesday night (unknown)

T.J. Zaremba breaks down the Fire’s train wreck in San Jose…

After much deliberation since the final whistle of the Fire’s 5-1 defeat at San Jose on Wednesday night, I concluded that a train wreck was a better description than a dumpster fire (and I used the dumpster fire after the Columbus road fiasco in May).

So, the question becomes, how did this game get to a score line that brutal?

The answer is not in the overall passing stats.

Is this really the same game? (mlssoccer.com)

Is this really the same game? (mlssoccer.com)

Or in overall possession.

More possession while being outscored 4-1 in the second half (mlsssocer.com)

More possession while being outscored 4-1 in the second half (mlsssocer.com)

However, Squawka’s overall numbers agree with the result.

An overall negative rating for the Fire may still be generous (squawka.com)

An overall negative rating for the Fire may still be generous (squawka.com)

Let’s start with the forwards. It is safe to say the Magee-Amarikwa pairing does not work. I’ll go a step further and say that Quincy Time is over.

Quincy Time was mercifully ended early (squawka.com)

Quincy Time was mercifully ended early (squawka.com)

He had three shots total (none on target) and zero created chances. In fact, in his past three matches, he has had four shots total, with only one on target (the goal at New England) to go along with one total created chance.

Mike Magee chose to make like Clifford Franklin in a bar fight for this match.

The overall numbers for the midfield also tell a compelling story. Matt Watson had a good night, Alex did not do much either way, and Larentowicz and Shipp were simply bad.

For the Fire to have any success on the field, their most potent weapon on offense and their captain cannot be this bad.

Big Red & Harry turn in their worst performances of the season (squawka.com)

Big Red & Harry turn in their worst performances of the season (squawka.com)

Harry Shipp’s performance raises a few questions. Was it just an off night? Has he hit the rookie wall? Or are the expectations of him being an outside midfielder as well as the only creativity in the Fire attack too much? Based on Wednesday, I think it was an off night and not enough help from others.

Harry couldn't spring the attack in San Jose (mlssoccer.com)

Harry couldn’t spring the attack in San Jose (mlssoccer.com)

LEGEND FOR FIELD PLAYERS

  • Circle = Shot; Soccer Ball = Goal (Green = On Target; Red = Off Target; Yellow  = Blocked)
  • Squares = Distribution (Green = Successful; Red = Unsuccessful; Yellow = Key Passes;  Blue = Assist)
  • Inverted Triangle = Dribbling (Green = Successful; Red = Unsuccessful)
  • Upright Triangle = Defense (Blue = Interception; Gold = Recovery; Purple = Clearance; Green = Tackles; Yellow = Blocks)

Larentowicz on the other hand, while not normally this bad, his upside is limited. His numbers this season support that. He is a decent support piece, but not one to build a team around.

This is not the production of an impact player (squawka.com)

This is not the production of an impact player (squawka.com)

And then there was the defense the Chicago Fire employed versus the Earthquakes.

Not sound tactics for the Fire back 4 (journal.managementinhealth.com)

Not sound tactics for the Fire back 4 (journal.managementinhealth.com)

The overall performance for the outside backs matches what I saw. Palmer at least showed heart and pace in recovery, but his skillset limits what he can do.

Segares looked old and tired, which is what happens when he is on short rest.

It appears that Segares just got tired and took a nap (squawka.com)

It appears that Segares just got tired and took a nap (squawka.com)

The center backs also had a rough night. Their overall ratings appear to actually be a bit generous versus the eye test.

There was bad & then Soumare (squawka.com)

There was bad & then Soumare (squawka.com)

Here is the heat map that Hurtado produced.

Was Hurtado really defending (unknown)

Was Hurtado really defending (unknown)

And then there was Bakary Soumare’s night.

When Somare is bad, it's monumentally bad (unknown)

When Soumare is bad, he’s monumentally bad (unknown)

 

Finally, we have Sean Johnson. To say it was not his night, might be an understatement. That is what happens when you only save 4 of 9 shots on goal for a 44% save percentage.

A save percentage below 50% won't even get a draw (squawka.com)

A save percentage below 50% won’t even get a draw (squawka.com)

At least the front office did a great job insuring this performance was forgotten quickly.

****

Follow OTF Soccer on Twitter @OTFSoccer

****

T.J. Zaremba was BarnBurner #110 and 1998 second-half season ticket holder in Section 8 of pre-mothership Soldier Field. After over a decade on walkabout, with a handful of guest appearances, he returned in 2011 and has been a regular (when his commitment to Uncle Sam allows it) at Toyota Park with his wife and the Hamster. Follow T.J. @TJZaremba

*infographics courtesy of mlssoccer.com and squwaka.com

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