Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Fire midfield needs a boost
by Ridge Mahoney, April 22nd, 2011 12:27AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  chicago fire, houston dynamo, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT] There are myriad reasons the Chicago Fire has lost three in a row heading into a home match with Houston on Saturday.

There have been goalkeeping gaffes by Sean Johnson, who coughed up a gift rebound in Portland during a 4-2 loss last week and was benched in a 2-1 loss to the Galaxy Sunday. The defending hasn’t been stellar as formations have been switched and some disjointed play in midfield is also to blame as head coach Carlos de los Cobos tries to instill a firm foundation to buttress a very potent attacking corps.

He is mulling changes in his lineup and he can start in midfield, where ex-Rev Mike Videira isn’t getting it done. A hard worker and fairly good tackler, he’s in that regard a paler version of Logan Pause, and he’s yet to provide the incisive passing that can link balls out of the back to the attacking elements. He’s looked overwhelmed at times this season and opponents are taking advantage by forcing interceptions and turnovers.

With the likes of Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko, Gaston Puerari and Diego Chaves on the field, there shouldn’t be any lack of options when Chicago wants to get the ball forward. Videira managed just 12 appearances for New England in 2009 and 2010 before dropping down a division to AC St. Louis, which folded after last summer, and his lack of experience handling transition situations shows.

It isn’t just the speed of MLS action that is befuddling Videira and many other players like him during this early phase of the season. There’s more defensive guile in midfield, and balls played into what appear to be comfortable spaces are snapped up by fast-closing opponents. Maybe later in the season, when fatigue and summer heat slow down the pace of play, there will be more room, but at this point a lot of teams are squeezing those spaces effectively.

With the visit of the Dynamo, attention will be focused on players who changed teams a month ago, when Houston traded Dominic Oduro for Calen Carr. Oduro replaced Videira against the Galaxy as de los Cobos shifted to a more attacking lineup and he scored Chicago’s only goal as it tried to rally from a 2-0 deficit.

Yet the Fire needs to be better in midfield, where Houston fields Brad Davis, Geoff Cameron and Lovel Palmer to good effect. Being overrun in Portland and thumped by the Galaxy is evidence the central core has to be stronger.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Gallardo shines as U.S. U-17s rout Cuba     
Joe Gallardo, who suffered a broken shinbone last August, scored a hat trick as the USA ...
Garber: 'Nobody's looking for a work stoppage'    
Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday, MLS commissioner Don Garber ...
What They're Saying: Univision's Juan Carlos Rodriguez    
"If the rights are already fixed, there's little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The MLS preseason wraps up on Saturday with 18 of 20 teams in action, all but ...
MLS issues record fine to owner Dell Loy Hansen    
One MLS owner, Real Salt Salt's Dell Loy Hansen, has not been shy about expressing his ...
id2 tour kicks off Monday in Argentina    
The id2 National Selection will kick off its tour of Argentina with the first of four ...
Concacaf Under-17 Championship television schedule    
The USA kicks off play in the Concacaf Under-17 Championship Friday against Cuba in San Pedro ...
USA enjoys long history of U-17 regional success    
The U.S. U-17s will get a chance at the 2015 Concacaf Under-17 Championship to avenge the ...
D.C. United sadly outclassed in Costa Rica    
Alajuelense jumped on top early and pounded D.C. United, 5-2, in the first leg of their ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"I do not understand why they [the English media] want to do this. They want to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives