The Fire fell to Atlanta 2-1 in a match at home last Saturday. The Fire were able to keep Atlanta’s dangerous attack at bay until the 53rd minute when a tactical switch by Atlanta head coach Tata Martino finally paid off. Big money offseason signing Ezequiel Barco scored his first MLS Goal. Josef Martinez scored Atlanta’s second. Kevin Ellis scored the Fire’s only goal of the game. The Fire had plenty of chances in the first half, Nemanja Nikolic almost had a goal after he beat Atlanta Goal Keeper Brad Guzan only to see his shot cleared off the line by Atlanta defender Michael Parkhurst. The Fire controlled 60% of the ball in the late stages but couldn’t find that last minute equalizer. Defender Johann Kapplehoff was named Man of the Match. Rookie defender Home grown player Grant Liilard had another stellar performance as he attempted to slow down Atlanta Magician Miguel Almiron. Head Coach Veljko Paunovic said in his post-game press conference that he was proud of the team despite the loss. Man of the Match Johann Kapplehoff also voiced pride in the teams performance, What I am beginning to see from the Fire is a fight and a team mentality that was very much lacking in previous seasons.
Don’t worry Fire fans help may be on the way in the form of a certain Spanish stirker named Fernando Torres.. Torres is on the Fire’s discovery list and so until talks break down the Fire are the only team allowed to negotiate with the player. One thing strongly in the Fire’s favor is the fact that head coach Paunovic and Torres were teammates on his current club Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. It is rumored that representatives from the Fire were going to Madrid to seal the deal. However it is also rumored that he also has offers from Japan and China. Atletico Madrid will play their last game of the season on May 16th in the Europa League Final. So hang on to your scarves Fire fans we could be in for big news or not. Just when I thought the nail biting was at a minimum a new rumor has surface that” talks have taken place with the player without Fire present.” It is this writer’s opinion that Torres would be an excellent partner for Nikolic in the attack.
The Fire will back on the Toyota Park Pitch this Wednesday against the Montreal Impact before traveling to face long time rivals the Columbus Crew in Columbus. In Montreal the Fire will again face another dangerous attack with danger Ignacio Piatti who had three assists and a goal in their 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.