MLS Playoffs: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution (Matchday Commentary)


The Chicago Fire take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium today in Game One of their Eastern Conference Playoff series (2pm, FSC).

This is their fifth straight playoff encounter and there's no love lost here as the sides are a safe bet to play a physical and uncompromising series.

I will be providing commentary on today's match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary after the jump):


FINAL– That's all for this match. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the Revs' victory in the comments section below.


FINAL– Revolution 2, Fire 1. New England will take a one-goal lead to Toyota Park on Saturday. The Fire will consider it a wasted chance to take control of this series after such a strong first 30 minutes. The Revs deserve credit for taking control in the second half, particularly in midfield, where Joseph and Larentowicz dominated play.


94th Minute– Husidic gets a yellow for a foul on Phelan.


93rd Minute– Wells Thompson is in for Nyassi.


92nd Minute– Another good Blanco ball in but nobody can get a head to it.


90th Minute– Fire with some great chances, but can't test Reis. Blanco had a beautiful ball in for McBride but it was cleared away.


89th Minute– Justin Mapp's first touch is an errant pass.


89th Minute– Fire with a corner kick.


88th Minute– Justin Mapp is in for Chris Rolfe.


86th Minute– Dube comes in very hard on Robinson to draw a foul.


85th Minute– Things getting testy here late.


82nd Minute– Chicago doesn't look like there's much left in the tank.


78th Minute– WOW, Nyassi OFF THE POST. Great shot, but it hits the right post. Jon Busch isn't having his best game today.


76th Minute– Credit to Larentowicz for finding Joseph with the pass. Busch spills a stopped Phelan header, and the Fire can't clear it out. Then there are way too many Fire players watching Larentowicz's pass come in and Joseph just outworks everybody else to score that one.


75th Minute- GOAL REVS!!! Shalrie Joseph buries one in after a sloppy scramble off a corner. Revs 2, Fire 1.


74th Minute– Pappa tries to curl a shot in, but it's wide. Not a bad idea, just couldn't curl it in past Reis.

And Nyarko is in for Pappa. Baggio Husidic is destined to score after my comment.


73rd Minute– Who will the Fire bring in next? Nyarko? Mapp? Thorrington?


72nd Minute– Castro looking lively since coming in.


71st Minute– WOW, Husidic answers my comment with a BLAST off the crossbar from distance.


70th  Minute– Revs with a corner and Chicago needs to sub out Husidic ASAP. He just looks a step slow right now.


69th Minute– Mauricio Castro comes in for Kenny Mansally.


65th Minute– Joseph strips Prideaux to lead to a Revs break, but Pause steps in to intercept.


64th Minute– Gonzalo Segares comes in for Mike Banner.


63rd Minute– Joseph with a shot from 17 yards out, but it goes just wide. Fire are looking like a mess in midfield.


61st Minute– Revs with a corner after Joseph springs Nyassi with a great pass.


60th Minute– Revs had a great look but they can't test Busch with a shot (Fire look like they got away with a tug in the area).


59th Minute– Fire with another corner, but it's taken short and nothing comes from it.


58th Minute– Fire corner leads to a blocked Pappa shot.


57th Minute– Fire had some possession in the area, but can't do anything with it, and here come the Revs on the break. Whoops, the Fire get it back and counter.


55th Minute– Fire starting to press again. Blanco to take a corner kick.


54th Minute– Haven't heard much from Blanco or McBride in a while.


52nd Minute– Pat Phelan comes in for Jankauskus. Joseph should get forward now.


47th Minute– We're back and the Revs have started out on the attack.


HALFTIME– Revs 1, Fire 1. And some very attack-minded action. Who would have thought that of the Sounders-Dynamo, Crew-RSL and Fire-Revs series, that it would be Fire-Revs that would be the first to provide some entertaining attacking soccer and goals.


HALFTIME– Chicago is sorely missing Wilman Conde and Gonzalo Segares today. The Revs have made C.J. Brown look old and slow today. It was Brown who was beaten to a slow Banner pass by Nyassi and then Brown couldn't get the ball back and fouled Nyassi to set up the free kick.

And if delivering the bad pass that led to the free kick wasn't bad enough, Banner got beaten terribly by Osei on the goal.


HALFTIME– What a streaking header from Osei on a great curling free kick in from Mansally. The Fire had the better of the play in the first half, but the Revs improved in the final 15-20 minutes and are now tied because of it.


45th Minute- GOAL REVS!!! OSEI heads home a Mansally free kick. Revs 1, Fire 1.


45th Minute– Revs with a free kick about 23 yards out, near the right corner of the area.


41st Minute– Pappa is down after an Alston challenge. He gets a yellow for his trouble. Pappa is back up now.


40th Minute– OSEI OFF THE CROSSBAR!!! Great shot


36th Minute– Dube with another look, but Banner comes to help, not before Dube draws a corner.


35th Minute– Dube sends a shot high. He is going to be able to find looks with Brown on him because Brown just doesn't have the speed to stay with him. The question is can Dube finish when the chances come?


34th Minute– New England starting to apply more pressure on Chicago.


32nd Minute– Somewhere, Robert Warzycha is watching this match and thinking, "Wait, we're allowed to attack on the road in the playoffs?"


31st Minute– Revs come right back and Larentowicz forces a diving save from Busch on a long shot.


30th Minute– It always interesting to see how much better the Fire can play on the road than at Toyota Park. You almost think Chicago would be happy playing all its playoff games on the road.


29th Minute– Pappa skins Heaps again, but McBride can't connect on his volley of Pappa's cross.


27th Minute– Busch still shaking off the cobwebs. The Fire comes right back on the attack but can't put one on goal.


26th Minute– Busch hit his head hard after being undercut by Joseph when he came out to challenge a ball. The Fire got lucky there.


25th Minute– Wow, Busch is wiped out and the Revs almost put in the equalizer, but Larentowicz's shot hits the left post.


23rd Minute– Nyassi strips Banner for a dangerous look, but skies it.


20th Minute– Chicago is dominating play. The Revs are struggling to keep up with Chicago's movement.


20th Minute– McBride OFF THE LEFT POST!!!!


19th Minute– That's Chris Rolfe's fourth career playoff goal. So much for any thoughts that he won't be playing all out as he prepares to leave MLS this winter.


18th Minute– Pappa was working the right flank against Heaps, sends in a hard cross that Reis gets a hand to, but the rebound falls to Rolfe, who volleys it and gives the Fire the lead. Things should get interesting now.


17th Minute- GOAL FIRE!!!! Chris Rolfe buries a rebounded punchaway of a Pappa cross.


16th Minute– McBride with a chance, but can't turn and get a shot on goal.


15th Minute– Random thought: Anybody who thinks this crowd is troubling Cuauhtemoc Blanco is nuts (That said, the Revs fans who are there are being as loud as they can).


14th Minute– Larentowicz's shot hits the wall low, the rebound leads to a Larentowicz shot right to Busch. Fire get lucky there.


13th Minute– DANGEROUS FREE KICK. New England with a free kick on the top edge of the area after CJ Brown tackles Mansally. Very close to a PK.


12th Minute– Sad really. If you can't draw a decent crowd on a Patriots bye week with the Red Sox already eliminated, when can you?


12th Minute– Nyassi with a weak grass-cutter of a shot.

Did I mention how putrid this crowd is?


9th Minute– Chicago looking good early.


8th  Minute– If you had 7th minute for Blanco's first questionable collapse to the field, you're a winner.

The subsequent long free kick he earns is cleared away.

McBride WIDE with a header on a feed from Blanco. Another dangerous pass.


7th Minute– There's a good stat. Of all the players on the field for New England, only Jay Heaps has ever scored a playoff goal. Think the Revs miss Twellman and Ralston?


6th Minute– Nice cross in by Pappa and McBride's header is just wide. Nice sequence from the Fire early on.


5th Minute– This is going to be an ugly game. I think drinking games are in order.


3rd Minute– No Conde for the Fire tonight, but C.J. Brown and Robinson is a solid tandem.


1st Minute– And we're off. Already a clash of bodies.


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






PRE-GAME– Here is the Fire's starting lineup:







This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- New England Revolution. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to MLS Playoffs: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution (Matchday Commentary)

  1. Haig says:

    Sunday afternoon, really? Kraft doesn’t give a damn about atmosphere anyhow, taking the fact that there is only seating on one side, but MLS games have always drawn worse on Sundays than Saturdays.

    The supporters section looks good, though. Good for the Midnight Riders and other groups for sticking it out despite ambivalent ownership.

  2. Texar says:

    wow, that place looks empty.. so sad

  3. kevin says:

    anyone got a link?? couldn’t find anything on and doesn’t seem to be working

  4. Brent McD says:

    new england did a good job erasing the football lines. pathetic crowd though

  5. sammysounder says:

    Crowds like this make me think about expansion vs. relocation.

  6. kevin says:

    thanks a ton!!!!!!!!

  7. afrim says:

    someone who cares needs to buy the revs serioulsy. The crowd looks pathetic on tv and thats only the side facing the camera! Kraft is so 1996

    such a shame that a big market like NE is being neglected.

  8. Chris in Belfast says:

    Wow… that turn-out is incredibly depressing. Come on Fire.

    This is exhibit one for why they need to get their own stadium. The turn-out is pathetic, but it would look less pathetic if there weren’t those gaping stands going unoccupied.

  9. chicagosoccerguy says:

    nice to see the Fire still pushing it and not bunkering

  10. sammysounder says:

    NE’s playing better. That was one heck of a fall by Busch. I thought it was clean though. That’s why you go in with a knee up.

  11. DomiNate says:

    Can anyone explain why the attendence is so poor? Can’t be NFL, the Patriots have a bye week.

  12. Haig says:

    Taking that shot when Busch clearly couldn’t get up was classless. So glad Larentowicz missed.

  13. Adrian says:

    um i would almost give a red for that tackle, jumped into him studs up

  14. sammysounder says:

    Yellow’s fair. Larentkowitcxks has impresed me so far today.

  15. Jeff says:

    Not offside?

    (SBI-Not even close. Osei isn’t even past Banner yet when Mansally strikes the free kick. A well-timed run and Banner fell asleep.)

  16. Supsam says:

    CLassless? Im not a Revs fan but Busch put himself in that position and Toledo did well to play on. The Revs had possession of the ball in the attacking third so why should they stop play when it was Busch decision to come out and when there is a chance to score a goal

  17. Haig says:

    New England always play a very physical style in the playoffs. How do they get away with it? Does Nicol know that referees let more go?

  18. This Guy says:

    I can’t stand watching the Revs for the simple fact that their little Gambians dive all over the place.

  19. EricJ says:

    it seems every team has their divers.

  20. sammysounder says:

    Nyassi worked hard and deserved the free kick. Dumb foul.

  21. EricJ says:

    I cant believe noone got a good shot off there.

  22. EricJ says:

    WOW what a shot…SOOOO CLOSE

  23. EricJ says:

    Ugh, i hate NE…such a lame team to watch.

  24. EricJ says:

    Joseph DIVES and then complains when someone calls him out for it.

  25. afrim says:

    a little piece of MLS just died right now. For all the heat the redbulls got for making the finals last year atlest they didnt bunker and hack their way to the finals.

    dont clear your schedule for the follow up game at chicago if your’e a neutral fan….if this score holds up it will guarntee a snooze fest

  26. EricJ says:

    Wow these NE fans dumb. All ball tackle right in front of them and they complain.

  27. SG says:

    Revs are tough

  28. EricJ says:

    Revs are thuggish and bunker…

  29. afrim says:

    blanco looks like he’s done…mentally and physically. He’s already in Mexico

  30. Spike says:

    Only 3 minutes extra time? He spent 3 minutes carrying the ball around talking.

  31. El Rey says:

    Lost the superliga final, eliminated in the 1st round of the U.S. Open cup, can’t win a game at home to save our lives and we can’t hold on to a lead…. PLEASE DON’T RESIGN HAMLETT. Enough with the excuses. he’s had two years with a roster that would make any coach’s mouth water and he’s proven that he can not win. GET RID OF HIM!!!!!!

  32. DJ says:

    He needs to go now.

  33. sammysounder says:

    Chicago’s gonna have a tough off-season

  34. Ives, get these people some valium or something. says:

    for all the hate and aggression from the commenters on this site, I really hope none of you take it out on your family and friends.

  35. This Guy says:

    I’m talking about over 2 seasons now not just 1 play that you watched.

  36. This Guy says:

    He should have been fired months ago

  37. galloway84 says:

    I would explain why Hamlett has to go. Why do you start a rookie in Baggio Husidic at midfield when you have guys like Mapp, Thorrington or Lowry on your roster. Enough of Logan “I Pass Backwards/Sideways” Pause. Segares should had started instead of Banner. “IMPEACH HAMLETT” he is USL head coach at best. I would like to know why Mapp was substituted for Chris Rolfe….that is beyond me. Blanco on top makes no sense what so ever….he not a forward. First is Soumare, next is Rolfe and Blanco leaving to play for Veracruz because Hamlett chased this guys away. Very frustrating to lose to a mediocre team. Can’t get enough of “Hamlett Long Pass” for 40 yards. WOW!!! unbelievable.

  38. EL CUERVO says:

    GOOOOOOOOO MY REV’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done…

  39. lubs says:

    Agree Dennis needs to go but not necessarily for the reasons you cite. Thorrington and Segares are both coming off injury and are not 90 minutes fit. I liked starting Husidic–possesses, had a nice chance from distance. Lowry is more comfortable wide than in the middle–remember his brace v. Columbus? Mapp just sucks more often than not–either Thorrington or Lowry would have been a better sub for Rolfe, a move that should have been made earlier. And, while I do like Blanco, I’m not sure that losing him will be such a bad thing in the long run given the number of changes that may take place over the next few months.

  40. Chris says:

    and you can watch the fire? blanco is by far the worst diver in the league. and i thought ruiz was bad…

  41. The Wild Mushroom says:

    Its a shame the Fire are finishing the season with a line-up that is very different than the one they started with.

  42. Eric K says:

    I love how consistently competitive the Revs are, and how much they are hated for it. The team got it done tonight. The Revs have solid support from the diehards but like a lot of the MLS originals, have a tough time getting the casual fans and Eurosnobs in. Never forget that the success of some of the new markets is partly due to the lessons learned from the older teams. The league founders invested when it was not profitable at all, when the blueprint for putting together an organization wasn’t written and the way to market the product wasn’t known. This shouldn’t excuse shortcomings but the Krafts give the team what they need to succeed, the right people in place to run it like they want to, and they do own the stadium (privately financed). I would love to see a SSS for the Revs and that time will come. Until then, go Revs, keep building, keep winning, keep confounding the haters.

  43. Chicago Mike says:

    That’s what I can’t believe what happened to all these guys? I roster seemed stacked and a lot of these guys that started tonight looked like solid subs.

  44. Martin says:

    Saturday afternoon was Halloween, most people already have plans. I wouldn’t have been able to go had it stayed on Saturday as originally scheduled.

    The crowd probably looked terrible on TV, but remember, Gillette is ENORMOUS, and if 15K people show up it looks packed in Rio Tinto or something but looks like garbage in a place like Gillette. We need an SSS stat.

  45. Martin says:

    Agreed 100%, Eric. They play tough, defensive football, which makes sense considering their goal-scorers are all hurt, and the fact that they were able to play as much attacking ball as they did today shows a team working hard.

    And considering how much Firemen were lying all over the field, I find it risible to suggest that the Revs are some kind of diving team. Blanco taught the rest of his team well in that regard.

  46. Socrates says:

    Talk about a talent drop off:

    Segares — Conde — Soumare — Ward


    Banner — Robinson — Brown — Prideaux

    Chicago is probably wishing ol’ Diego Gutierrez could come out of retirement.