Published on May 22nd, 2017 | by Ryan Voyles0
Player Rankings: Chicago Fire vs DC United
For the first time in recent memory, the Chicago Fire have won a road match in North America. Whether you want to pop the champagne or lament on the team snapping a streak of only one road win in over two seasons; you can take solace in the fact the Fire took another step toward their long trek to relevancy with a confident victory over a mediocre DC United team that any self-respecting team with playoff aspirations needs to beat.
To get that long elusive road victory, a number of Fire players put on impressive performances that could have led to a larger margin of victory if not for the wall that is DC United’s Bill Hamid. And since we’re talking players, let’s get down to rankings!
XI – Bastian Schweinsteiger: He and McCarty were total bosses of the midfield for the full 90 minutes. Aisde from his highlight reel dribbling in the final minutes of the game, the German superstar completed 80 percent of his passes and even recorded three clearances.
X – David Accam: Scored the lone goal of the game on a nice breakaway that was onside by inches. His excellent pace and the development of his assist game has made him deadly against any opponent.
IX – Dax McCarty: Completed 77 percent of his passes on the day, including six so-called ‘key’ passes to set up scoring opportunities. He and Schweini played big role in the Fire holding 58 percent of possession on the day.
VIII – Brandon Vincent: The second-year player is no longer under the radar, as he is reliably becoming a major contributor for the team on the left side. Completed 72 percent of his passes, including two ‘key’ passes while also recording three clearances and one interception. No assists on the day, but those will come with performances like those on Saturday.
VII – Matt Polster: (small sample size alert) So far, so good for the third-year player; who has has rewarded Paunovic’s faith in him by putting together another good performance at right back. Completed a whopping 85 percent of his passes, including one ‘key’ pass, on top of five clearances. His performance gives hope that the Fire may have found their answer at right back
VI – Johan Kappelhof: He and Meira played a big role in why Matt Lampson only faced two shots all day. Recorded seven clearances on top of six recoveries to help prevent DC from getting many looks on goal.
V – Joao Meira: Recorded five clearances, one defensive block and one recovery on the day. His pairing with Kappelhof has continued been fruitful so far, as the club is tied for fifth-fewest goals allowed in the league despite some shaky goalkeeping earlier this season.
IV – Michael de Leeuw: Active again, completed 75 percent of his passes, including one ‘key’ pass. Still scoreless on the year, but his high energy play does help set the tempo for the offense.
III – Nemanja Nikolic: The MLS Golden Boot leader was held scoreless on Saturday, but not for a lack of trying. Was twice denied by huge saves from Hamid, but Niko whiffed on a late goal after Schweini’s dazzling dribbling set the Hungarian up on a tee in front of net.
II – Luis Solignac: Recorded the lone assist on the day when his long pass set up Accam racing toward goal. Recorded one shot on goal, but his offsides in the early part of the first half ended a Fire scoring chance.
I – Matt Lampson: Hey, somebody has to be in the bottom when so many players had great performances! Recorded two saves on the day, but was active in taking away the aerial game from DC United. Has been a calming presence in the back in his four starts this season, giving up only three goals.