My grace period is three games. The Fire have three games to figure out their rhythm and communication style. They get three games to work out the kinks and ruffles in their playing style. Heck, the transfer window doesn’t close until May. This isn’t probably isn’t even the final roster..Players could be coming in and out on a weekly basis until then. You could argue even for more time based on that, but I give this team three games.
Last week was a good example of a performance worth forgiving. They played well, despite their fullback situation and the fact that their star striker couldn’t play because his wife had a baby. (That he took the red eye just to be with his teammates on opening day shows his commitment to the team, and that is to be commended.) CJ Sapong scored a goal, and was very close to scoring a few more times after only joining the team that Tuesday. It’s kind of amazing that they didn’t win the match.
They’ve had another week together and Niko should be back. This game against Orlando City is a perfect opportunity to, as the kids say, flex on ‘em. Orlando is coming off a performance that was part new player coming in, part disaster from their opponents. On paper, now is when they should start winning games.
For me, the Fire have two games left to get good. Let’s see if they can do it a bit early.
Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs Orlando City : 3W-4D-2L, 16 GF / 9 GA, 13 pts out of 27
Chicago Fire home MLS record vs Orland City: 2W-1D-1L, 12 GF / 6 GA, 7 pts out of 9
Orlando came back to draw 3-3 vs NYCFC at home on opening week.
Unfortunately for everyone, Corrales will probably get the opportunity to redeem himself, and Niko should return to the line up. Hopefully the baby has let him get enough sleep.
Keys To The Match
Play like the better Team: Based on the way both teams played last weekend, the Fire are the better of the two sides. They need to boss Orlando around the park in their home opener.
Shut Nani down: Orlando didn’t really get going until the former Manchester United winger stepped onto the pitch. Whether he starts or comes of the bench, the Fire need to know where he is at all times and need to stop him before he can give Orlando some momentum.
Get Niko Going: Nemanja Nikolic didn’t play in LA due to the birth of his child, and the Fire suffered for it. Niko needs to be able to put away the chances his fellow forwards set up for him, and it’s imperative that Djordje, Frankie, and Katai keep the quality balls coming.
How To Watch
The Fire should win this game. And win it going away. It will finish 2-1.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!