Abandon all hope ye who enter here.
After a glimmer of positive play in the summer, the Chicago Fire are back in the cellar of the MLS and most fans who have stuck around to watch the team’s mediocre to turrible play have been forced to question their life choices.
Things likely won’t get any better tonight, as the Chicago Fire’s long, painful slog toward the offseason continues as the team travels cross country to Seattle to face the Sounders. After a demoralizing loss this weekend in the Bronx to NYCFC, the Fire get the chance to right their ship against a surging Sounders team desperate to get back into the playoff chase. Needless to say, optimism for a win has quietly jumped out the window.
Our friends over at Sounder at Heart already gave us a good idea of just what all to expect tonight. So this will be a shorter recap. What fans should know is the Sounders once looked to be near Fire-level of incompetence as of three months ago. But the tides have turned in recent months, including a 5-2-1 run since the start of August, and now the Sounders are just three points out of the final postseason spot - with two games in hand on their Cascadia rivals, Portland Timbers. Its with this that it’s hard to simply look at their below average 38 goals in 29 matches, as their first-half mediocrity really skews the numbers. They’ve scored 17 goals in their last eight matches, and that has mostly been without All-American hero Clint Dempsey, who will miss the rest of the season with an irregular heartbeat. A lot of the new offense has been the result of Nicolas Lodeiro, who already has three goals and eight assists in nine matches. The offense flows through Loderio, and his vision and passing ability has been able to take advantage of the speed of his teammates. Perhaps not other player has benefited as much as Jordan Morris, who has 12 goals and 3 assists in his first year in the league.
The defense has remained mostly consistent this season, having allowed 39 goals this season, tied for third-fewest in the western conference. They can be prone to the occasional defensive collapse, most recently in a 4-2 loss to the Timbers in late August. Perhaps they’re due for one against the Fire…
Unfortunately for the Fire, it’s hard to see that happening. The Sounders are streaking right now, and they have everything to lose. The Fire are just killing time until they enter another end of the year without playoff soccer. The Sounder have struggled at home this season (5 losses) but so have the Fire on the road (goes without saying). The Fire’s season will likely hit another low tonight, as I’m seeing a 4-1 Sounders victory.
What are your thoughts and predictions? Leave a comment below?