Post-Match Report: Chicago Fire

March 23, 2015

Welcome home, San Jose Earthquakes and fans!  The Quakes waged war and came out victorious at Avaya Stadium, jumping to 2nd in the West and 2nd overall!

First to score an official Avaya goal was Fatai Alashe (who posted my pic on his instagram!) off a set piece from MPG at 5′.  Ty Harden doubled the lead in 21′ with a nifty meg of Sean Johnson on a rebound.  Ironically, it took Fatai Alashe one home game to score his first goal.  It took Ty Harden eight seasons.  Harry Shipp, whom I also highlighted in my pre-match report, got one back for Chicago at 29′, which turned out to be the final score.

I predicted a 2-2 draw, and I stand by that prediction.  When you look at the stats, the game was close!  The Quakes had 13 shots to Chicago’s 12. Chicago led possession 58% to 42% (wow!). Chicago had eight scoring chances to the Quakes’s seven.  Chicago had 454 passes to the Quakes’s 312.  The difference came with shots on target: the Quakes had six (converting two, 33% accuracy) whereas Chicago had four (converting one, 25% accuracy).  It was not a blow-out win, but a hard-fought victory.

My man of the match: Ty Harden.  His first MLS goal proved to be game winner, and his defense was put to the test to hold the victory.  He is not a starter, and did have a few miscues, but he hung in and delivered when needed.

Final thought:  this team is for real.  Our only loss was to Dallas, who is now 3-0, and that loss was a stoppage time goal which could have been a draw.  If we drew Dallas, we’d be tied for first place.  Once our starters get back (Stewart specifically, and hopefully Renato over Bernardez) and we can play our starting XI, we should have a great team going forward into the year.

Next game: At New England Revolution on 3/28.

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