Six straight losses.
On Saturday night the Chicago Fire were handed their record six straight lost by a team who affixed “Real” on their name. This is now getting downright embarrassing and hard to watch. Even with a win against the Philadelphia Union this upcoming Wednesday, this season will be marked as a failure.
Just eight to ten months ago, that sentiment wouldn’t of have probably crossed your mind. Sure, the Fire bowed out against the New York Red Bulls in their first playoff appearance in five years, the team was showing progress. Many were hopeful that the Fire would be able to replicate their 2017 exploits this season but alas, look where the club is at now.
But who is to blame for all of this?
You could blame some of the players. Some of them aren’t just up to MLS standards. It wouldn’t be fair to single anyone out, but there are some players in the back who cost the team points because of their inadequate defending. That isn’t to say the front isn’t free from the blame as well. Their finishing has been horrendous this season.
You could blame Veljiko Paunovic. Pauno’s tactics has questionable at best and there are times where his formations looks like he is a man with nothing else to lose. Throughout the whole season he has been playing some players out of their natural position (Brandon Vincent is not a centerback) and shuffles around players like he just acquired a new mystery pack of FUT cards. He is making Claudio Ranieri blush with all his tinkering. Unlike Ranieri, he doesn’t have the results to back it up.
You could blame Nelson Rodriguez. For some fans, he sold them a bottle of snake oil with his three-year plan. That three-year plan has now become a crumpled-up sticky note with revisions everywhere, if you can even call it revisions. At the end of it all, his legacy with the club will be tainted with broken promises, failed transfers and alienating a whole fanbase.
It is easy to blame anyone or anything for the misfortunes of the Fire this season, and anything can happen in soccer. The under-performing players of the team can turn themselves around. Puano will finally have a set game-plan in mind. And who knows? Maybe Rodriguez will find a way to amend all his mistakes and shortcomings.
Or none of those will happen and the club will continue its downward spiral, only to witness glory through past exploits via archival videos on YouTube.
However there is still much soccer to be played. The season may be lost, but there is still a small chance a silverware. A small chance of once again, becoming the Kings Of The Cup. The club may be in shambles, but they still need your support, through the good and the bad.