Morelia torches Fire 5-1 in SuperLiga opener


If the Chicago Fire want to make it back to the SuperLiga final, it will have some ground to make up after losing to Morelia, 5-1, at Toyota Park Wednesday night.

"Today it looked like everybody was dead," Fire defender C.J. Brown said. "We couldn't hold the ball, defensively we couldn't mark people, read the game very well."

The Fire came out with a thin lineup, with two rookies starting on the back line, and it showed early.

Morelia took the lead in the third minute when Elias Hernandez took advantage of a scramble in the box, controlling the ball after a Krystoff Krol whiff and slotting it past Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.

Defensive miscues quickly became a theme for the Fire.

The next two Morelia goals came off of crosses, both of which beat goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, leaving goalscorers Luis Gabriel Rey and Miguel Sabah wide open in front of the goal for tap-ins to make it 3-0 at halftime.

Steve Kinney gave the Fire hope in the 49th minute when he scored off of a Justin Mapp pass, but Morelia scored just a minute later on a driven shot from just outside the box by Rafael Marquez Lugo.

The Fire controlled possession for much of the second half, but couldn't get any closer, and Morelia sealed the game in the 70th minute on a goal by Jaime Lozano, which also came off a cross.

"I don’t think the five goals fully reflects the way the Fire played, because they played good in the second half and adjusted well to the game," Morelia head coach Tomas Boy said. "They are also in the middle of their season which may have affected them.”

Morelia, who played their full team, took advantage of the thin Fire lineup, who were without eight injured players and only had five players on the bench.

Still, only five days ago, with virtually the same lineup, two shots hitting the post were all that kept the Fire from gaining a result against defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake.

"I don't know why there was a difference," said an animated Brown. "That's what we've been saying, why is there a difference. Why this, why that? Are we fixing it here, are we fixing it there? We're not fixing anything, we're getting killed."

Brown, one of only two Fire players to talk to the media, blamed the loss on his team's defensive miscues. De los Cobos, while admitting to his team's poor play, chalked up the loss to the Fire's injuries and Morelia's quality.

"It's the worst game I've had since I joined the Chicago Fire," de Los Cobos said. "But there's one factor that I want to point out. We faced a strong team, one of the strongest team in the last seasons in … That performance stopped us from showing our game."

Fire notes

Shortly after the third Morelia goal, Kwame Watson-Siriboe was substituted for Deris Umanzor.

While the goalscorer was unmarked, Brown didn't blame any of the goals on Watson-Siriboe.

"I don't think Kwame made mistakes on those plays," Brown said. "(De los Cobos) could have taken me out, he could have taken anyone on the defensive back line out. You can throw it in the air, and whoever falls first, you can take them out in this game. There was nobody that had a good game. You can't put that on Kwame. He's learning the hard way. This year is the hard way."


Once again, Wilman Conde started in defensive midfield, but moved to defense in the second half.

Tim Ward also made his first appearance since May 8 after recovering from a calf injury.


Manchester United held a training session a few hours before the game at Toyota Park.

Sir Alex Ferguson is happy with his team's stay in the Chicago-area and was bullish while discussing the state of American soccer after the practice.

"It's fantastic. The facilities are brilliant," he said of Toyota Park. "I must say, we've spent a lot of time over here, and each time, I've seen improvement … in American soccer. MLS is improving itself now. The form of the national team helps. I think that gives the country a boost. I think that helps the younger people in the states."

A few thousand fans showed up in the 90-degree heat and were rewarded with autographs afterward.

"We enjoy coming here. The weather and the climate is good, the facilities are good. It's safe. We're very comfortable," Ferguson said. "There are so many million kids playing. The MLS has got to, now, shelter itself so they can help these kids eventually get into the MLS."

  • MC Pharoah

    I thought De Los Cobos was bad in MLS because it is a completely different league from FMF, but i now see that he is just a complete buffoon. What Chicago needs before a DP is a competant manager. Then they can go after a DP as long as its not Blanco.


  • Mark

    I thought I read that the Fire were concentrating on this tournament which is why they lost in the US Open Cup. Really hope some other MLS teams have a better showing cause getting whipped 5-1 at home is embarrassing.


  • Juan Carlos Osorio

    Don’t worry. I am boarding a plane now & will take over the team this weekend.


  • Lost In Space

    Shameful. That’s the only way to describe this match. The bulk of MLS teams have no depth, limited creativity, and tend to be populated with over-aged players who cannot compete over a long, congested season (outside the top 2-4 teams in the League).


  • Paul

    A non-American writes: What’s the difference between Superliga and the Concacaf Champions League, and which is more important to MLS fans?


  • DC Josh

    Jebus save us. What an embarrassment to American soccer. I’m sick of losing to mediocre teams in their pre-season because MLS teams field a side that have never played together.


  • BSU SC

    This is a glaring example of why teams need larger rosters and a reserve league. Until that happens it’s going to be tough for MLS teams to compete in non-league competitions. This loss can’t completely be put on coaching. When numerous players are injured on an already thin roster, this will be the result playing against good competition.


  • STX81

    What about the Pumas-Revolution Superliga game? Where the mention of that? Media Coverage Fail! (PS: Revs won 1-0)


  • paul

    The Superliga doesn’t hold a lot of importance and is basically just a cash-grab. Though it is nice to see extra fixtures between the MLS and Mexican teams. The CONCACAF tournament on the other hand is our equivalent to the UEFA Champions League. The winner gets a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.


  • GJJ

    The Fire have gone backwards. They dump Busch, let Rolfe walk, allow Justin Mapp to dribble all over the field finishing with a cross to nowhere and play way too many balls into McBride in the hopes he’ll head one in. Yuck. Glad I did not renew my season tickets this year. The Fire’s relationship is not one based on generations of support from a fan base that will show up week in and week out even if they stink the place up. Maybe in forty years, but not now.


  • Kid Presentable!!!

    You cant blame everything on De los cobos..your squad is thin due to injury plus you dont have much depth.As far as playing conde out of position.. at this point it just seems you need bodies out there. You put your best defender on as a defensive mid because out of all the defenders on your roster he has the best control and is more versatile. You always want the best players on the field and if that means someone has to play where they are not accustomed then they need to adapt. I mean defensive mid is a super important position. do you put in someone who is untested and green or bring a player up who has experience at that position and can do a semi compotent job? de los cobos saw it wasnt working and moved conde back. he fixed his mistake.

    as far as trialist are concerned i know martinez is a solid player. Unfortunatly he couldnt cut it but how many times have you heard that in the mls? this is a tough and physical leauge. dont underestimate that. Its hard to build a team when, blanco and rolfe both leave.


  • sread

    An American responds: The difference is irrelevant because neither has yet to be taken seriously by MLS clubs. Maybe a Canadian side…


  • KEvin_Amold

    “I must say, we’ve spent a lot of time over here, and each time, I’ve seen improvement … in American soccer. MLS is improving itself now. The form of the national team helps. I think that gives the country a boost.”

    Hey, Sir Alex, any chance you can come help continue “giving us a boost” in a couple of years? I’d sure like that…


  • Smirking Kitten

    It is great to hear that New England at least had a good showing. I really do not think anyone should make excuses for Chicago…they were dreadful. I wonder if McBride wishes he were still in London playing with Dempsey, Gera, Zamora, and the rest of the Fulham lads…even if he were just a substitute. McBride, even at 38, deserves to be on a better team. What a disgrace.


  • Der Sting

    We need help and fast, central mid is a glaring weakness. The problem is what DP would want to come into this mess. A coach who can’t instill basic defensive tactics, management that has lost the ability to identify talent, it is easy to blame it on injuries, but the starting 11 when healthy were not setting the league ablaze either. It is truly sad that soccer in Chicago has dropped to this level. The Fire would be hard pressed to beat an English league 2 team at present. Hate to post like this but the season ticket holders and all fans who show up for that matter deserve a far better product than they are recieving. I hate seeing so many empty seats…


  • Eric

    I actually agree. I’d like to blame De los cobos but quite frankly the roster isn’t as strong in certain areas as people think. Dykstra has potential but he’s young and needs games to improve. The center of our defense is in shambles, brown has experience but not the speed to keep up with the game anymore. Our center mids are non-existant right now. We’re using Lowry there because he’s probably one of the better passers of our options there. Husidic is still young and doesn’t know how to control the run of play properly. Pause is solid but is worthless going forward. Thorington has been hurt all season which has been a problem too. Our strengths are the flanks but Nyarko is hurt and Pappa just hasn’t found top form. I thought, like a lot of people, that Collins John was a good signing but he’s been either hurt or looked out of form on the field. I think De Los Cobos could be doing things differently but you don’t fire a brand new coach this early. In MLS I say you give them at least two seasons to reshape the roster in their way.


  • PC

    Can Conde end the I can see through my hair experiment? Someone get the dude a rubber band.


  • jomar

    I don’t know if the league realizes how much of the steam a loss likes this takes out of die hard fans. I’ll keep watching, but who wants to follow a league that repeatedly gets torched in international competitions. It’s like following the USMNT in 1982!


  • DJ

    The winning team of SuperLiga gets a $1,000,000 pot to distribute to the players. For MLS players who earn low salaries compared to the rest of the world, the extra cash is a godsend.

    Maybe in the future, CONCACAF could take SuperLiga and turn it into something like the Europa League. Until then, it’s a payday tournament.


  • Aden

    So far this calendar year, we’ve lost our top 4 players, and we have replaced… NONE.

    Who is running the team any longer?


  • pux90mex

    It was pathetic out there. Very little effort put out there. I took two friends that had never gone to a soccer game and needless to say, they won’t be coming back anytime soon. Not to mention Fire fans were outnumbered 2-1 by Morelia fans. Simply embarassing.


  • joejoe

    so now you’re going to blame it on injuries… Just accept that the Fire is a horrible team.


  • joejoe

    Pumas scored one, but was called off on a offside call. The video clearly shows the player was inbound. In any case Pumas and Puebla are the weaker teams on the Mexican side. By the way, New England looked like Holland. Fouling like crazy to stop play.


  • Jeff

    You mean you wouldn’t take one of the best central defenders in the league and have him play a different position?


  • joejoe

    Morelia is a solid team. Most of the team remains. Expect them to contend for the price. The Fire is out. There’s not even smoke in sight.


  • Josh D

    I don’t get this at all. Why wouldn’t they come back? At the end of the day the game was enjoyable to watch. Just because your team loses doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate a team that is miles better.

    Never come back because the game was absolutely unwatchable, I get that. But not coming back because your team loses? Wusses. Enjoy the game, drink a couple beers after and appreciate the game for what it’s worth.

    Us Americans have the worst outlook when it comes to support. “I’m not going to support my team until they start winning.” Withstanding the fact that by not going you’re hurting the team financially which cripples their ability to do better.

    Support through thick and thin and even if they’re playing crap, enjoy the other team, enjoy the game, enjoy the atmosphere.


  • Charles

    Why is MLS doing this ?

    The teams that lost last year compete against other teams that lost.

    Most of the league barely draws fans to games that MEAN SOMETHING.

    Well if they do it in Europe, it must be a good idea here too.


  • Never First

    I know this is late, but since no one gave you a serious answer, the US Open Cup champion, two MLS Cup finalist and best regular season team qualify for the Champions League. The format is similar to the UEFA Champions League with the winner declard the best team in CONACAF.

    The top 4 MLS teams that do not qualify for the Champions League play in the Superliga with the top 4 Mexican teams that do not qualifying for the Champions League. It’s meaningless with the exception of the valuable $1 million prize to the winning team.


  • C-note

    I was at the game, left at 1/2 time, heard the reaction to the goal at 49 min from the parking lot. For a second I regretted leaving, but I really thought the end result would be just what it was. The worst game. It is also cause to be fearful of a bottom of the standings. This Fire team can not compete. I want to be hopeful that Thor, Collins John, and a DP could make the difference….. Not holding my breath.


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