Chicago Fire looking to turn their season around
With a win in the US Open Cup round of 16 vs. Columbus Crews and a critical 3 points in MLS league play at home vs. San Jose Earthquakes, the Chicago Fire might actually look to be turning their season around.
For Chicago Fire fans, Friday’s victory brings on a sigh of relief. The team had been battling with last minute upsets, wasted opportunities in big games and a struggle to adapt to the coaches’ philosophies, however, the last two victories might signify things are on the up at Toyota Park.
The 1-0 victory vs. San Jose was their first win in MLS league play since a 1-0 win at home vs. Houston Dynamo on May 21. The victory caps off a successful week for the Fire which included a good performance against Philadelphia (4-3 Loss) in which they almost erased a 4-1 deficit in the 2nd half and a 2-1 win vs. Columbus Crew in the US Open Cup Round of 16.
Now, anticipating Fire fans are hoping the team can build on this week’s success and stir their sinking ship to safety after a very poor start to the season that has left them bottom of the conference standing.
Though they ended up not taking any points away from their 4-3 to Philadelphia on June 22, it was definitely a moral victory for the squad. They were able to go to Philadelphia, who leads the Eastern conference, and go 1-0 early with a David Accam goal in the second minute.
Then, after giving up four goals (including a hat trick to Roland Alberg) they were able to get themselves back into the game with goals in the 69th and 80th minute. Those last ten minutes became a frantic search for an equalizer, and they were close on multiple occasions to mounting the three goal comeback. While it was unsuccessful, they showed a lot of heart and that they were capable of playing with the best.
In perhaps their most successful game of the week, the Fire were able to ride two David Accam goals to a 2-1 victory in the US Open Cup. Not only does this keep the hopes alive at the title, it also gives them a confidence boost against a conference foe. Not to mention, you can argue the Fire have the easiest game in the Open Cup quarters, facing the final remaining NASL team Ft. Lauderdale Strikers who upset Orlando City SC in the Round of 16. If they were to win their quarterfinal match it sets them up to play the winner to New England Revolution/Philadelphia Union in the semifinals.
In their final game of the week, they took a much-needed 1-0 victory at home vs. San Jose Earthquakes after a John Goossens 58th minute goal. The Fire were definitely the better of the two teams in this matchup and deserved the win. It gives them a much-needed three points, pulling them up to 14 points this season.
While they are still bottom of the conference, they are only two points behind the Crew and they have played the least amount of games in the eastern conference at 15. If they can pick up points in their next two games they will be right back in the play off picture.
Not only did the Fire get positive results this week, David Accam has proved he is 100% again. After being sidelined for much of the first third of the season with a knee injury, he has scored 3 goals in as many games for the Fire.
Also, Michael de Leeuw, may sign from Eredivisie side FC Groningen, should be starting to play soon. These two up top should make the Fire’s offense formidable. The Fire’s second half of the season is looking up. Hopefully for fire fans, they will be able to build on this week in MLS play and continue their run in the US Open Cup.
- IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE: John Goossens did more than just score an impressive and decisive goal on Friday. The Fire midfielder showed confidence and skill on the ball throughout his time on the field, even in moments in the first half when the game was at a complete standstill. He even nutmegged a pair of Earthquakes players in the opening stanza to demonstrate the quality he has, and then came up with a powerful finish in the 58th minute to give the Fire the three points.
- YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE: Another Chicago player who turned in a very solid outing was Rodrigo Ramos. The 21-year-old right back was one of the most dangerous weapons the home team had, as he constantly got forward into the attack with confident dribbles and marauding runs. Ramos even drew a nasty foul in the second half that the Fire believed should have resulted in a red card for Shaun Francis.