A tie at home against a lesser Western Conference opponent certainly should feel like a loss. Somehow for me though, this one doesn't. Maybe it's because we outplayed Dallas, to the point where I think we really deserved the win. This felt like it should have ended at 2-1. Oh well. I guess we'll just have to steal back those extra two points when we play them again on the road in two weeks.
1. That's two weeks in a row now where the standouts for me were Ivan Guerrero and Santino Quaranta. Guerrero's effort throughout the match, but especially on Tino's goal, made a huge difference. He laid it all on the line, and may have even injured himself falling into the advertisements after his awesome assist. Quaranta has really come on strong since Superliga, and added his fifth goal of the year.
2. Jaime Moreno continues to make a plea to be considered for the MVP award this season.
1. Louis Crayton was 10 minutes away from earning Man of the Match in my book, that is until his failed dive to block the cross leading to the Fire's second goal. He made a lot of great saves tonight though.
2. I'm not sure whether to truly hold either of them at fault, but I feel like Marc Burch and Gonzalo Martinez each may have been able to do more to stop the second goal. But both looked good through most of the match.
3. I liked the starting lineup. But there was one move made by Tom Soehn that was just inexplicable to me. Our left midfielder gets injured, so you replace him with Dyachenko of all people?! A move that forces Quaranta, who had been excellent all day in the middle, out of his natural position to cover on the wing. You make that move while up a goal and while having two legitimate wingers in Cordeiro and Thompson sitting on the bench?! D brings up a good point too in asking why Zaher and Carroll were both left off the gameday roster behind Dyachenko and Doe. Most teams would have subbed in a more defensive minded player when up a goal with 15 minutes to play. Not Soehn. He went for Dyachenko.
1. It was a poor touch and a costly mistake by Devon McTavish that led to the first goal. I'm starting to look ahead to which players will be protected in the expansion draft this offseason, and wondering whether McTavish might be left exposed in favor of guys like Burch, Quaranta, and Guerrero.
2. I do believe that Rocha should have been Rod Dyachenko's man to cover at the back post. Seriously though, why was he in?! Do you think Craig Thompson would have let that happen? WHY?!
Aw well. A decent performance by a still somewhat limited team doesn't help us much in the standings, but does still give me hope that we may be able to put together a decent run in the CCL and/or the MLS playoffs. Soehn's starting lineup for this game though does seem to indicate that we will be taking the Champions League fairly seriously. Fred and Emilio started this match on the bench, but it's a pretty safe bet that they'll both be starting on Tuesday, and so may Gallardo and Peralta.