The game in 100 words (or less): The best way to find success against Real Salt Lake when they’re playing in their tried-and-true 4-4-2 diamond midfield, as they have twice now this week, is to spread the field wide and use pace up and down the wings to make the defend against you in space. With an available David Accam (suspension), the Chicago Fire probably could have done that and thus, given the Claret and Cobalt problems on Saturday. Instead, Frank Yallop started Harry Shipp on the wing and striker Guly Do Prado as a No. 10 behind Quincy Amarikwa. If you’re familiar with any of those names/players, Yallop’s gameplan worked out about as well as it sounds on paper. Which is to say, pretty horribly.
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Three moments that mattered
13′ — Saborio hammers one past Johnson — Alvaro Saborio absolutely abused this ball from the top of the 18-yard box, but let’s give plenty of credit to 20-year-old Jordan Allen for the preceding run down the left wing and cross into the center. Luis Gil deserves a tip of the cap for the quick dummy and letting the ball run on to Saborio.
56′ — Fire defense falls asleep, Mulholland slots home — The passing sequence in the build-up to RSL’s second goal was practically mesmerizing, but tons of blame has to fall at the feet of the Fire defense, particularly Adailton and Harry Shipp, who chose the wrong time to take a mid-game nap.
88′ — Larentowicz converts from the spot — Nick Rimando saved Juninho’s penalty kick in the 93rd minute on Friday, preserving a 0-0 draw for RSL, but the all-time leader in shutouts in MLS history was unable to get a hand to Jeff Larentowicz’s spot kick in the 88th minute, giving the Fire a glimmer of hope with five minutes of stoppage time still to be played.
Man of the match: Jordan Allen — The youngster picked up assists on both RSL goals and showed flashes of huge potential throughout his 65-minute shift. Easily the most impressive player on the field, which he might just have to replicate for the U.S. U-20 at this month’s World Cup in New Zealand.
Chicago Fire: Johnson, Jones, Adailton (Johnson 84′), Larentowicz, Palmer, Maloney, Polster, Watson (Cocis 53′), Shipp, Guly (Agboananike 58′), Amarikwa
Goals: Larentowicz (88′)
Real Salt Lake: Rimando, Phillips, Vasquez, Olave, Beltran, Beckerman, Mulholland, Gil, Allen (Stertzer 65′), Saborio (Mansally 82′), Sandoval (Garcia 90′)
Goals: Saborio (13′), Mulholland (56′)