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CA News 2024

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Something has to change: Fire the 0-1 New England Revolution

The Fire completed a crucial three-game homestand against the struggling New England Revolution, but it was the Fire who left the match looking like the team at the bottom of the conference, losing 1–0 on a goal from Tomás Chancalay.

It has now been 372 minutes since the Fire have scored a goal, and the Fire’s homestand ends with just one point from the nine on offer.

The force simply wasn’t with the Fire on the night: For the second year in a row, storms delayed the team’s Star Wars Night kickoff, causing kickoff to take place about an hour later than planned. It might have been for the best if the weather held.

For the second game in a row, Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas was chosen to line up in a 4-4-2, with Georgios Koutsias remaining as the second option at striker in the hope of generating more attack for the team that had failed to to score. 282 minutes and had scored just two goals – one in open play – in the five games since the last time these teams met on March 23. The only change to the starting lineup was the addition of Brian Gutiérrez and the subtraction of the now injured Tobias Salquist, but there were a number of shifts within the formation: Chris Mueller returned to his natural position on the left, flanked by Gutiérrez on the right . This forced Fabian Herbers to play centrally alongside Kellyn Acosta, pushing Mauricio Pineda to the backline in place of the stricken Salquist.

New England head coach Caleb Porter made four changes to his lineup, including giving goaltender Alvaž Ivačič his first start in a Revolution uniform after being selected off waivers on April 23. He also brought Giacomo Vrioni back to the in the team’s 10th game.

The first half put the spotlight on both teams’ struggles: The Fire opened the match and controlled most of the ball possession and they put pressure on the Revolution, but they failed to get a shot on target. Hugo Cuypers had a glorious chance from inside the six-yard box in the thirteenth minute, but the play was in a sea of ​​bodies and was blocked. The ball ricocheted and landed on Mauricio Pineda, who also had a chance, but his attempt was also blocked. In total, the Fire had eight shots in the opening frame, but none were on target as three were blocked and the rest sailed wide or (more often) above the target.

As the Fire’s attempts proved futile, New England grew into the game. Carles Gil in particular showed why he is such a celebrated player for the Revs, playing the ball up the pitch and laying it off to players in dangerous areas, but it was Tomás Chancalay who took the first shot in the frame of the match had when he scored a one-time ball from just outside the six-yard box. Chris Brady was equal to the task, parried the ball away and kept the score level.

Six minutes later, Chancalay, who scored a goal and was generally a handful for the Fire the last time the teams met at Soldier Field, tried Brady again, but this time his shot, like so many of the Fire’s, sailed high.

Late in the half the Fire started to get the pressure back on but failed to get a shot on target, let alone a goal. When the half ended, bEach team’s problems were clear: neither team could sustain the pressure; the shots were wide, and Vrioni was almost completely anonymous for the Revs, which made it clear why Porter benched the DP in the previous game. As the team entered the tunnel, de Brand had yet to get a shot on goal (something they had not done in the entire previous match either), and both teams seemed more curious about, than interested in, the opponent’s goal. .

The Revolution came out of the restart flying and Esmir Bajraktarević had a shot in the first minute of the second half, but the Fire blocked it. A minute later, the Revolution recorded their second shot on goal as Xavier Arreaga tested Brady, who was equal to the task. Bajraktarevic would try Brady again a few minutes later with a shot from just inside the box, but he again denied the Appleton, Wisconsin native.

Klopas went to his bench in the 53rd minute, bringing on Carlos Terán for Rafael Czichos, who had played every minute of the Fire’s 2024 campaign to that point. After that the game was inconclusive and neither team looked particularly dangerous until the 62nd minute, when – unsurprisingly – it was Tomás Chancalay who recovered the Fire’s ball deep in the team’s own half and fired a shot past Brady shot from the top of the bow. , giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

That spurred Klopas to return to his bench for a second time, this time with Xherdan Shaqiri, marking the Swiss stars’ return from injury to Chris Mueller, and Tom Barlow for Georgiou Koutsias in the final 25 minutes of the match . regulation. The moves did not cause the Fire to change formations, and Shaqiri largely played from a position off the pitch, although he occasionally stepped in and played centrally.

The substitutions helped the Fire regain the initiative and in the 68th minute Arigoni had a beautiful ball in the penalty area, but no Fire player could connect.

A few minutes later, Chancalay was booked and gave the Fire a free kick in a beautiful location a few meters beyond the arc, taken by Xherdan Shaqiri who fired a hard shot that Ivačič caught. No goal, but it was the first time in the past two games that the Fire had a shot on frame.

The pressure caused Caleb Porter to go to his bench for the first time, ending Bajraktarevicv’s evening in favor of Dylan Borrrero.

In the 79th minute, Klopas used his final substitution period to bring off Herbers for Gastón Giménez and replaced Gutiérrez with Omari Glasgow. The move marked the MLS debut for the young Guyanese international, drawing applause from Fire supporters in the crowd of 18,379. Glasgow’s early touches were dangerous but he failed to gather the ball for a final cross for the Fire.

Omari Glasgow didn’t change the result but was strong in his MLS debut (via Chicago Fire FC)

Glasgow was ultimately unable to change the team’s fortunes, but he was active during his time on the pitch, collecting balls, running forward with dynamism and winning corners for the team. When asked about the decision on the Glasgow game, Klopas said: “We believe in him as coaches, but it is another thing to get respect from the players and that is what he has, because he has earned that with his game… He deserved a chance and we were waiting.” to grab this moment for him,” adding that “he has earned this opportunity and… I wish we could find a way where we can have him permanently.”

When asked about his debut, Glasgow said it was an “exciting moment” but noted that he “came here to play and get a result, but unfortunately we didn’t get a result.”

After the subs, the Fire had most of the pressure, including a glorious chance on the net in the 88th minute, but sailed wide. In the 90th minute, Arigoni played the ball in for a cross to Cuypers, but his shot was easily handled by Ivačič.

In the 5th minute of second half stoppage time, the Revolution almost doubled their lead, when a Fire corner ultimately led to Dylan Borrero recovering for New England. He passed the ball to Chancalay, together with Gil. Both Revs players were 10 yards away from any Fire defenders, but he played the ball to Gil instead of taking the shot, but his pass was misweighted and Gil had to go off his run to regain the ball, causing the Fire could turn on. defense. The Revs may have gotten their second win of the season, but they’re still not really out of their rut.

Ultimately, the Fire had pressure and chances, but lacked the finishing touch and never seemed to follow up an opportunity with a second look. When asked about the team’s performance after the match, Shaqiri said: “Everyone is disappointed because we lost today, but I think the team fought and we did everything… In these games you have to score, and this is the only thing we missed today. didn’t score a goal.”

The Fire return to action next week in St. Louis in their first-ever MLS match at home to their emerging regional rivals, the Fire’s first opponent under current head coach Frank Klopas after he replaced Ezra Hendrickson after 10 games in the 2023 of the team. campaign.