Chicago Fire's Frank Yallop critical of match official after club's winless start extends to seven games

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop insisted referee Sorin Stoica missed some ‘important plays’ following his side’s dramatic and controversial 1-1 tie with the New England Revolution at Toyota Park Saturday.

The Fire had to settle for a record-equaling sixth consecutive tie at the start of the season after Stoica sent Quincy Amarikwa off in the 73rd minute with a second yellow card for a seemingly high and reckless challenge on Andy Dorman. This followed a caution on Amarikwa for an apparent dive in the 34th minute.

Yallop could not hide his disappointment when he faced reporters after the match and he questioned the referee’s performance over the 90 minutes, especially on the critical dismissal of Amarikwa.

“I just saw the clip and he didn’t touch him,” Yallop declared. “And, there may be a foul on Quincy, he’s not diving, he gets run into, goes down. I can’t comment on referees as you know, but he wasn’t good. He missed some plays that were important in this match.”

As the late drama unfolded, striker Mike Magee hit the post in the 90th minute and substitute Victor Pineda’s follow-up was stopped on the line by Revolution defender Kevin Alston, who was subsequently shown a red card for a handball.

And the Fire, who were denied victory over the Philadelphia Union when Magee had a penalty saved deep into injury-time in their last home game, threw away the chance to gain all three points when substitute Juan Luis Anangono claimed the ball and tamely drove his penalty down the middle for New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to save.

Shuttleworth followed up with a second stop to thwart Jeff Larentowicz’s rebound, as the visitors held on to claim an unlikely point after a relatively one-sided contest. The Fire boasted an impressive 17 shots on goal to the Revolution's paltry four.

The Fire have now scored just once from three penalty kicks this season, with Larentowicz converting against the Portland Timbers in game two and Magee and now Anangono missing.

When asked if he had a say in who would take the injury-time spot-kick, Yallop said the players ultimately decided who would take the chance from 12 yards out.

“Mike missed his last one, Jeff scored a penalty, but I’m 50 yards away," said Yallop. "I can scream whatever I want but it’s up to them to sort it out and decide who’s taking it and they decided Juan’s going to take it. ... It wasn’t a good penalty kick."

For his part, captain Larentowicz refused to criticize Anangono when asked about yet another missed opportunity for the still-winless club.

“Juan steps up and grabs the ball and that’s just what happened," said Larentowicz. "As captain, as the one who has made a penalty this year, I probably should have taken the ball, but that’s on me, not Juan.”