The Struggling Fire

by Anthony Yench

It’s no secret that the Chicago Fire has struggled during their time in Major League Soccer. The team’s inaugural season was in 1998 were they won their only MLS Cup. The last trophy the team lifted was in 2006 when they won the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. 2020 was supposed to be the year the Fire transformed back into a winning side; however, things have not been going so smoothly for the men in red in their 2020 season.

After 11 games, the Fire currently sit in 12th place in the Eastern conference with a record of 2-6-3. Out of the 14 teams in the conference, the Fire have the 2nd worst goal differential with a minus seven. There are two things that the Fire absolutely need to happen to have a chance at a postseason appearance:

  • They need to sort out the defense. After the retirement of World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger last season, the defense was left with a huge gap in the center of the back line. Former Minnesota United captain and current Fire captain, Francisco Calvo, has struggled so far this season to find his pairing in the heart of the defense. With the injury to Johan Kappelhof, homegrown player Mauricio Pineda needs to step up and be a staple in the Chicago defense if they want to have a successful season.
  • After the departure of 2017 Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic the Fire had to look elsewhere for their goals. In this past off season, the Fire signed designated player Robert Beric from Ligue 1 side, Saint-Etienne. In Beric’s first 11 games in the MLS, he’s only managed to find the back of the net 3 times. If the Fire want to start winning games, they need their star striker to start scoring.

The Fire play 4th place Orlando City next Saturday, September 19th at 6:30PM.