Chicago Fire at New England Revolution: Match Night Commentary


The 2008 MLS playoffs are about to kick off tonight with the most familiar of playoff match-ups as the New England Revolution play host to the Chicago Fire at RFK Gillette Stadium (8pm, ESPN2). (Sorry DC fans, guess it feels weird having playoffs without RFK).

The Revs have beaten the Fire in the past three playoffs, but the task will be extremely difficult this time around without Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston, who are both out due to injuries. Throw in red card suspensions to Khano Smith and Gabriel Badilla and the Revs will face Chicago without four key starters.

I will be providing commentary throughout the night. Whether you will be watching the match, or want to follow the match here, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match (commentary after the jump):


FINAL– That’s all for now. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below.


FINAL– Revs put together a respectable performance and definitely tested the Chicago back-line a few times, so anybody expecting New England to get blown away should think again.


FINAL– New England 0, Chicago 0. Even game and the Fire will feel comfortable going home needing a win to advance. Then again the Fire’s home record wasn’t exactly dominant.


90th minute– Revs corner. Peligro.


88th minute– Wow, Chicago dodges a bullett as the Revs took a few shots at goal from close range. Busch making a few good saves in that sequence, did well to get in the way and keep it scoreless.


87th minute– We’re still scoreless and neither teams looks close to scoring.


76th minute– McBride’s goal is waived offside. Tough one


69th minute– Blanco is up after being ‘hurt’.


64th minute– Soumare with a handball, not intentional though.


60th minute– Castro’s kick goes right to Busch.


59th minute– Larentowicz taken down by Pause at the edge of the penalty area and draws a yellow on Pause and free kick from the right top corner of the area.


56th minute– Chicago needs to try and find McBride with passes so he can hold it up and find Mapp and Rolfe on runs. Neither Heaps or Parkhurst is going to knock McBride off the ball so they need to get McBride more involved.


53rd minute– Nice sequence from the Fire but Blanco can’t do better with a close-range look.


51st minute– If you’re following the commentary feel free to say so in the comments section.


50th minute– McBride does well to hold the ball up but his teammates were too busy ball-watching instead of making runs to get open.


48th minute– Okay, so the knee to the cheek was a hard one.


47th minute– Albright caught Blanco with a slight knee to the butt cheek and Blanco is acting like he got stabbed.


46th minute– We’re back.


HALFTIME– So far, Shalrie Joseph has been imposing in central midfield, Blanco has been relatively invisible, Justin Mapp has been inconsistent, the Revs Africans have been active but not sharp and the center backs for both sides have avoided mistakes.

What will turn this game? Joseph and Castro need to deliver the quality pass to spring a Dube or Mansally because neither of them is creating a chance on their own. For the Fire, some patience and smarter player with possession will lead to quality chances. New England’s defense is far from impenetrable.


HALFTIME– Few chances and neither team really took control.


46th minute– Chicago has a nice counter working but Segares sends a weak shot wide to finish it off.


45th minute– Not enough creativity from Chicago in the first half, which is a bit disappointing.


43rd minute–  Mansally with a yellow card for a bit of a rough challenge on Rolfe. Not sure if it was yellow worthy, but referee Alex Prus wanted to calm things down there.


40th minute– Castro is really starting to work down the left flank for New England. If Prideaux isn’t careful, Castro could burn him.


39th minute– Nyassi with a great speedy run into the box, but his shot is just a bit wide. That’s what he needs to do instead of trying to cross balls in.


38th minute– Dube with a nice shot attempt from long range, that misses just a bit high.


37th minute– You have to love the loud f-bombs near the TV field mic. Another by-product of an empty stadium.


36th minute– Mapp is starting to get better with his passing, though his shot just now was awful.


34th minute– The Fire look better the past few minutes, showing more in the attack.


27th minute– Revs counter off a Fire short corner but it ends without a shot on goal.


25th minute– Conde with a nice dribble forward, but he and Mapp can’t connect on the final pass. Mapp has not looked good early on.


23rd minute-If the Revs score first tonight I have a feeling the Fire will start to feel some real pressure. The memories of the past three season’s playoff eliminations could start to weigh on the Fire.


22nd minute– The Revs are taking it to Chicago. This young and speedy team looks confident.


18th minute– Revs are showing some real bite and hustle in the first half. Chicago looks a bit timid, well except for that Soumare foul. And there is Conde with a nice elbow to the back of Kheli Dube’s head.


17th minute- Soumare gets a yellow for a crunching tackle on Mansally. Got there a bit late and Revs have another free kick.


16th minute– Blanco has a shot blocked off the line by Parkhurst.


15th minute-Nyassi keeps looking for the cross. Doesn’t make much sense since A) he can’t cross that well and B) there’s nobody on the Revs who is going to get on the end of his crosses.


13th minute– Chicago free kick on a clear make-up call, or just a bad call. Fire can’t do anything with it.


12th minute– As a rule, a two-handed shove in the back isn’t a "good tackle".


12th minute– Castro and Joseph need to find Mansally and Dube  with space to run at Conde and Soumare. Their speed can create problems for Chicago’s center backs, but they need to get some service.


10th minute-Wow, an empty stadium looks even worse in HD.

Another Revs free kick. Danger. Nope, blocked.


8th minute– Chicago needs to show some patience. It’s clear the Revs will struggle if the Fire can make sharp passes. Mapp trying to sell a dive isn’t the way to test New England’s defense.


4th minute– Castro’s free kick forces a save from Busch. Nice shot. Revs corner.


3rd minute– Interesting to see four African-born players on the field for this match. Three for the Revs and Bakary Soumare for Chicago.

New England free kick.


2nd minute– Revs going with a speedy lineup, but we will see who does the creating.


1st minute– We’re off and the crowd is buzzing. Okay, not really.


PRE-GAME– Here is the Fire’s lineup:






PRE-GAME– Here is New England’s lineup:





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87 Responses to Chicago Fire at New England Revolution: Match Night Commentary

  1. Isaac says:

    Shapes up to be a great game.

  2. Isaac says:

    The Revs hands are holding up 4 fingers and saying something, does anyone know?

  3. AlexS says:

    Announced attendence: 7, plus some inflatable carpool-lane buddies.

  4. AlexS says:

    Did I just see MLS refs at New England just NOT call a ball-to-hand in the box red card/penalty on an opponent?!

    Wow, that’s amazing.

  5. DCM says:

    There better be a boat load of people on the near side of the field, otherwise there are a few hundred people in attendance.

    I guess I just got my answer when the camera panned to the conner and you could see the blue tarp covering ALL of the seats on the near side of the field.

    Wow, I take it that the people of New England truly are fair weather fans of the Revolution.

  6. Isaac says:

    I just dont like the Fire’s lineup. Rolfe is not a winger. I like the Blanco, Rolfe, McBride triangle, Thorrington and Mapp on the wing, and Gutierrez as a defending midfielder, Segares,Soumare,Conde,and Prideaux in the back.

  7. AlexS says:

    Oh, and story out of the NFL:

    link to

    A Saints player is filing suit against a company who made supplements that contained a banned substance that the company didn’t list.

  8. goumba jimmy says:

    What a truly pathetic crowd turnout.

  9. Isaac says:

    Seems like Chicago is playing with Three forwards( Mapp, McBride, and Rolfe) while Blanco plays in the central midfield with Thorrington and Gutierrez. Thorrington apparently somethings up with his….face….

  10. Scott A says:

    Bos-ton sucks

  11. brett says:

    the ref has missed some OBVIOUS handballs both ways…

    MAPP IS PISSING ME OFF!!! the kid is the biggest pansy alive…shying away from everything… and whines if he feels fouled…. doesnt play defense… BRING IN PAPPA!!!

  12. Isaac says:

    Nice connection from Mapp and Blanco

  13. Isaac says:

    ooooooh justin that was just bad…….

  14. eric says:

    Joseph is looking imperial out there tonight. I thought he had a down year, but he really can be this good.

  15. Drew says:

    after a nice give and go w/segares, mapp shanks one. the silver lining is that mapp has picked up his play.

  16. Isaac says:

    Not bad Khelli.

  17. eric says:

    Dube! That looked fun. He’s been watching the highlights lately.

  18. brett says:

    Joseph is such a whiny *%&$%…..

    NE is LOOKING DANGEROUS :(…. hopefully the fire can get their act together

  19. brett says:

    HAHAHA Nyasi taking a bump by Mapp XD

  20. eric says:

    Joseph is still bitter he never went to Celtic

  21. Drew says:

    another turnover by mapp

  22. Isaac says:

    This game has been pretty boring. Ill give New England credit for being able to hold off chicago, but other than that the attacking football isn’t there.

  23. eric says:

    As Ives said, the lack of creativity for Chicago is surprising. At least Dube and Nyassi are trying things.

  24. Tom P says:

    Matt Reis and Uncle Fester

    Seperated at birth?

  25. Is Julie Foudy pregnant? She looks a little…chunky.

  26. Isaac says:

    For me the game is really tight in terms of goals(or lackthereof) and space in the field. There have been players who have been able to find this space in the first half either by technical ability(Mapp, Blanco, and Joseph) or strength(McBride and Joseph) or a mix of the two. In the second half those players will crack the game wide open and make this game a bit more interesting.

  27. Tom P says:

    yes she is.

  28. Cameron says:

    They just mentioned Julie Foudy’s pregnancy, guess that answers that question

  29. Tom P says:

    yes she is

  30. Isaac says:


    Good I wasn’t the only person thinking that >.>

  31. RandomInternetGuy says:

    I’d still hit it

  32. eric says:

    Agh, nobody running off the ball for McBride to pass to

  33. Isaac says:

    Anyways, I think this game is tight in terms of goals(or lackthereof) and space on the field. Certain players can find this space either by technical ability(Mapp Blanco) or physical means(McBride Joseph). These guys will open up the game in the second half.

  34. nothing says:


  35. Isaac says:

    RandomInternetguy, are we still talking about Julie? If so:


  36. eric says:

    Again, McBride gets the ball deep and no one is running off of it. Paging Chris Rolfe!

  37. eric says:

    Occasionally checking the commentary, Ives

  38. Isaac says:

    yes ives we’re following the commentary

  39. tom p says:

    What is going on? Rolfe looked liked a world beater against NYRB last match! Where the heck is he now? Do the Fire look uptight?

  40. LJ says:

    reading the commentary

  41. Isaac says:

    Well done by Jeff, Pause gets a yellow for holding.

  42. eric says:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking, tom. I don’t get why Chicago are running it thru the left wing and “Turn-Over” Mapp. And why Rolfe isn’t making the 2nd run when McBride or Blanco get the ball deep.

  43. Geoff says:

    Is Twellman out the rest of the season if the Revs make the cup final?

  44. mikeK says:

    Following ya Ives. My thoughts on this match? I’m asleep. Okay, so I’m just browsing the internet at the same time. The fact that no one in New England appears interested has transfered over to me. You can sure say the stadium is empty again.

    For the playoffs, no less.

  45. rmiller says:

    I think the ref is doing a good job letting some things go and others not.

    The fire look like they want to come away with a scoreless game so they can win at home.

    Revs arent doing bad considering the injuries and suspensions.

  46. Isaac says:

    JP and Jon are right on one thing:


  47. mikeK says:

    I think the Revs are absolutely not doing well. They’re at home. They need the win. If it ends like this, as it looks, it’s mission accomplished for the Fire.

  48. RS says:

    Following along…not much to type though.

  49. Isaac says:

    NICE challenge from Thorrington, maybe he is a good centre mid.

  50. eric says:

    My god Chicago have no ideas on offense today. NE look way more likely to score, if they have anyone left capable of it.

  51. eric says:

    I want one of those Wallbangers of Blanco lying on the ground…

  52. Isaac says:

    The injury on Mensally(or Dube) looked fine, but i cant remember a single game where Blanco hasn’t been ‘injured’.

  53. mikeK says:

    Reputation card for Blanco.

  54. Isaac says:

    HEY HADADADADADA CHILLEEEY. Love the silliness from Primetime.

  55. mikeK says:

    Certainly a foul. This game’s getting chippy now. Now it’s interesting. It seems there’s a reasonable chance for a red card now.

  56. Drew says:

    the crowd sounds like it’s a high school game. the wnba has gotta draw better than this. it’s too bad.

  57. Isaac says:

    Can’t wait for the Chivas-Houston game and the Columbus-Kansas game.

  58. Isaac says:


  59. eric says:

    That last Fire attack look like it had some intent, but Joseph put an end to all that. And I don’t care how bad that shot was, at least NE is trying so go at goal.

  60. rmiller says:

    i cant wait till they play in Chicago and hopefully a chicago and columbus semi

  61. eric says:

    What a header, even so. Good to see Chicago showing life.

    BTW, Ives, some of my comments aren’t showing up…

  62. Isaac says:

    AWWW the flag is up……That looked perfect. Great ball from Mapp great header from McBride.

  63. mikeK says:

    Nice camerawork, panning around at the fort just standing around. Seriously guys, it looks cold, jump around and stuff, you’ll be warm, yeah?

  64. JPA says:

    ives you just go for a piss or somethin???? last update took forever!

  65. Drew says:

    Would like to see Pappa or Nyarko enter the game for the Fire

  66. mikeK says:

    Wait, is Wynalda telling the kids watching to not help opponents up, or am I misunderstanding him?

    Either way, it’s quite the assumption that there are kids watching.

    P.S.- Oh I wish Joseph signed with Celtic.

  67. eric says:

    Do we have any confirmation that Chris Rolfe is out there???

  68. mikeK says:

    I wonder what type of gum Reis chews.

  69. Homer Simpson says:

    This game is more boring than church.

  70. mikeK says:

    Seems like comments are delayed, both in here and in your commentary. Maybe Ives is taking a bit of sleep though, I wouldn’t blame him. He’s not missing much out of the ordinary.

  71. Isaac says:

    Sometimes the Revs fans are more interesting than the actual revs seriously guys do something.

  72. Isaac says:

    I want that 108 minutes of my life back…..

  73. EricJ says:

    I am sorry, but that was a pathetic game and horrible on national television.

  74. Ives says:

    Sorry guys, internet connection was off at times.

  75. TheNug says:

    snooze fest.

  76. Scott A says:

    Attendance: 5,221

  77. Ethan says:

    Rolfe is a much better forward than he is a midfielder, and the Fire needed him next to McBride tonight, although, it could have been their strategy just to hold tonight. He needs to play up top in Chicago for sure.

  78. Ethan says:

    Rolfe is a much better forward than he is a midfielder, and the Fire needed him next to McBride tonight, although, it could have been their strategy just to hold tonight. He needs to play up top in Chicago for sure.

    Do many people think New England should lose their team? Or Kansas City?

  79. supsam says:

    pathetic!! 5,000 in attendance for a playoff game…. PATHETIC!!

  80. rorvis says:

    Huge result for the Revs, since they haven’t put up a fight in weeks. For a Revs fan, I can’t believe we are actually still in it. Yes, a draw at home is usually not good, but we are so out of sorts, this is a plus. at least we can pretend we have a team for the next week.

  81. matt says:

    That was the worst game I have ever seen. Both teams really know how to hold on to the ball, both managers really know how to use that long ball strategy, and both teams must really work on diving in practice because there was a lot of that going on. Makes me wonder why no fans showed up?

  82. Tim Crawford says:

    I think these comments are a bit harsh. It was a hard-fought, gritty match. I understand there were no goals scored, but tactically, you could see the playoff fever causing both teams to get frantic around their own area and play very tactical games. I think it was just a very defensively sound game. Anyone watching the Revs has to say that they weren’t likely to score based on recent performances, but both teams were really defensively sound, and I think that deserves some credit. There are different types of soccer matches, and this one still deserves its own type of credit. I’m sorry the poor American soccer fan seems to need 5 goals to make a game interesting. In regards to the fans, this is why it’s a bad idea to make two cold weather cities play on weeknights.

  83. George Griffin says:

    The comment just above is spot on. This was playoff soccer at it’s best between two teams that really don’t like each other. This match was all about who would win the defensive battle. Next Thursday should be an epic battle.

    FWIW, one of the reasons the attendance was low beside it being mdweek and a very cold night, this was not a game where season ticket holders got in as part of their season ticket package.

  84. brett says:

    ive got 2 things i disliked…

    1) Mapp: doesnt give 100%… doesnt play defense…. shys away from EVERYTHING… gave up too many balls… HIS ONLY POSITIVE WAS THE CROSS TO BMB WHICH WAS RULED OFFSIDES…. hope PAPPA starts next game >:(

    2) Dennis Hamlett: ok, so ive been a “it’s his first season as a coach” kind of guy this season, but what was up with the lineup?? we’ve done this lineup before and failed… NE was down on starters, they were playing some of their bench players and we come out with a lone forward and rolfe on the side?? we should have stuck to our guns, thrown rolfe up top wih BMB and stuck Thor out right….

    DH failed the fire last night…. there is no better way to put it…. NE came out more physical and the game became sloppy all around… congrats to NE for stopping the fire from rolling, they figured us out last night… now they have to come to TP and try to get a result… dont expect it though…. the Fire are going to come out guns blazing b/c we are at home…. last night was a nightmare…

  85. skawars1 says:

    -We sucked. They sucked. That game was just bad. It’s the kind of thing that gives the MLS a bad name.

    -Conde was the best player out there. Who is going to replace that guy next year?

    -Blanco needs to go. I can’t take it anymore. He is such a diving little #$%&*. Between him diving and the whole fan comments thing this season, I’ll drive him to his next club.

    -Last but not least. NE fans you suck!!! A playoff game and all you can muster up is 5 thou and some change. Watch next week to see how its done. “The Chicago Way”

  86. An MLS playoff game at RFK Stadium this season? No fair taunting the DCU fans, Ives….

  87. Fumar says:

    I have to disagree, this was chippy rugby match because that’s how it was called. the ref let too much go and that’s why these teams were beating each other phyisically and turning the ball over. Yes, Blanco flops, but he’s also excpetional at simply holding the ball out of reach and getting hacked. He gets a lot of calls, but he also doesn’t get many because of his reputation.

    If the ref would have called it tight early on this would have been a much more open match. Also Rolfe played on the wing in the game he had a hat trick, but he pushed inside much more in that game. it seemed like the Denis told him to stay home and defend, thus there was no counter attack and no one going forward when we had the ball.

    Mapp’s a pansy out there and had no business in a physical game like last night’s. We need to get someone in there that will challenge for those balls, like thorrington. That said I think thorrington in the right back position and pushing up is the best place for him, he’s much more dangerous than brandon prideaux