Chicago Fire Match Review
In a game where the scoreline could have read 4 or 5 nil, it only read 1-0, the Lions bounced back with a much-needed win over the Fire to improve to 3-2-2 on the season. The Fire were already down to 10 men with little time left in the first half, and managed to only concede one. I give them credit on that part. Kara opened up his account for the Lions with a headed goal in the second half put on a plate by Pato, who even though he’s been pretty wasteful, he’s clearly the Lion's best attacking player. Kara and Pato BOTH need to be more clinical against top tier competition because these opportunities come few and far between.
Even Head Coach Pareja had a say in how the match played out. “We may think that just winning 1-0 isn’t enough, but I said to the players that we can choose just being worried about things, be negative about things that didn’t work the way we wanted, or enjoy the victory that was necessary for the team. It was not an easy game and we created a ton of chances. I know we all have that feeling now we need to be more precise. Sometimes we get worried by not creating them.” (credit to Mane Land for this quote).
Overall though, there are a lot of positives to take away from this match. Lions fans watched with horrid eyes as Antonio Carlos went down with an injury and it was announced that he’d miss 3-4 months of action. Schlegel slid in next to Jansson and had a decent day. Besides one big save from Gallese, the defense was really solid in my opinion. Pato operated on paper in a right wing position and was constantly finding spaces behind Kara and next to Torres. Torres continued his tricky play and Kara probably could have had a bunch of goals. He pissed me off a bit, playing rather wastefully and not always looking to have the necessary pace. I can’t complain too much as the Austrian opened his account with the Lions and got the winner.
A big relief for Orlando fans was that Shaqiri had to sit this one out with injury. The Fire did not look too threatening going forward and maybe this was why. All in all, it’s good to get 3 points against a team you should be 2-0 against this season.
Yellow Card - 4’ - Gutierrez
Red Card - 43’ - Gutierrez
Yellow Card - 54’ - Espinoza
Goal - 59’ - Kara
Yellow Card - 81’ - Jansson
Yellow Card - 85’ - Mendez
1. The Duck is Class
I know I mentioned he was rather wasteful on the day, but he wasn’t the only one. Lots of players missed chances they should've scored, and overall, the Duck was on one Saturday. Re-signing Pato probably was overlooked as the biggest move of the offseason, behind the loss of Nani. Pato had 8 shots vs the Fire, two on goal, two dribbles, and an assist for Kara’s header. Sometimes his passes don’t always come off which affects his rating, but he’s trying to be creative and open up channels for his teammates. Without him on the pitch, the Lions are a different team.
2. I Don’t Think Kara is That Good
Might get some hate for this. And even at the start of the season and on the podcast I talked about how I want Kara to get some more time. But, I don’t know, was I the only one who wasn’t heavily convinced. I could have scored that header if Pato put it on a plate for me like that. He was the most wasteful player on the day. He’s really not that fast and his technical skill isn’t completely there. Hopefully seeing one go in will get his confidence up and more will follow. If the Lions had another winger as good as Torres and Pato was moved up top, Kara would only be used as a sub. The offense is clicking but I would have liked to have seen Kara bang a few more in. Hope he proves me wrong.
3. The Lions Need a Convincing Win
I’m sick of draws and 1-0s against teams with only 10 men. The fact Orlando could only score 1 against 10 men for an entire half is kinda annoying. A convincing win would really let these players flourish in the future with the amount of confidence it would provide. On the defensive end, the Lions were really strong. Only a couple first half chances forced Gallese into some saves and besides that the defense really overwhelmed the short handed Fire. But Torres should be taking players more one on one. Pato should be hitting the target more and creating. Kara should have been on the scoresheet multiple times. I wasn’t born as a fan of this team so I don’t have a guard up about them. Get a convincing win in the future and then I’m all aboard. Until then, you better hope that Carlos gets healthy and the offense has a bromance unlike no other.
Don’t want to be too big of a negative nancy. A win is a win is a win. It’s good to see the offense somewhat clicking but it better turn into more goals and then my articles will be more positive. Every game in the MLS is difficult and take the highs when you can. The puzzle pieces are there - it just has to be put together.
The Lions will take the road and travel to Columbus to take on the Crew on Saturday, April 16th at 7:30pm EST