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Fait Accompli: Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire MLS Game 20 Preview

MLS: Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Fire are not going to win this game, and that’s okay. They don’t really need to in order to make the playoffs. They’re going into Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Union, the top team in the league and a team peaking at the right time. The Fire as we know them can’t compete against that for a victory.

At least, that’s what my head (and (spoilers) my prediction at the bottom) say, anyway. My heart on the other hand, knows that every game is winnable. The Fire has shown us that they can hang with the big boys in games for at least a time, and they have one of the best midfields in the league. It’s possible for them to win.

The reason why my head disagrees is simple. Despite all the thing I just said, the Fire haven’t shown the quality that their talent on paper would suggest. Their biggest downfall is they always find a way to screw something up at the end. If they could play a perfect game, then I think they can win. But they can’t. So they won’t.

Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs Philadelphia Union: 9W-5D-10L, 36 GF / 37 GA, 32 pts out of 72

Chicago Fire away MLS record vs Philadelphia Union: 2W-2D-7L, 15 GF / 22 GA, 8 pts out of 33

Previously on…

Philly are close to unbeatable at the moment. They just blitzed past their Supporters Shield rivals TFC 5-0 on Saturday Night and before that, they beat the Revs and drew with DC. The last time they lost was in early October to the same TFC side they just demolished.

Suggested Lineup

The Fire need to go back to the lineup where they had so much success. Djordje and Aliseda on the wings and Navarro and Gimenez, finally back from international duty, should both be available to return to left back and DM respectively.

Keys To The Match

Be Aggressive: If the Fire even want to have a chance against a team that seems unbeatable at the moment, the Fire are going to have a manufacture a situation that puts the Union on the back foot. You can’t do that by being passive. This is a dangerous proposition to be sure. Philadelphia can nail you to the wall on the counter, but playing passive and letting Philly have control is an even worse prospect for getting points. The Fire need to finally perfect the relentless pressure that’s helped them beat all the teams below them and kept them competitive against the best teams in the league.

Finish Chances: This one probably goes without saying, but the Fire HAVE to put the chances they create in the back of the net. Against the Red Bulls and in every other game they leave two or three chances on the table unfinished, and it always comes back to haunt them. That has to stop. Good teams score goals, and if the Fire want to be a good team, they’re going to have to either put away these chances that they’re creating or more likely, try to get someone in the offseason who can do the job.

On that note, Robert Beric can not continue to chase the game like he is want to do. Often times he’ll push out wide trying to find touches instead of being patient and waiting for service. Sometimes it works out like with Frankowski’s goal last game, but more often than not, he leaves a space unoccupied, so there’s no one to give the ball to in a prime scoring position. He needs to stay in goal scoring position to most help the team and trying to find the game is hearting the squad when it really matters.

How To Watch

Television: WGN-TV

Streaming: ESPN+

Game Time: 6:30 PM CT

Final Thoughts

There’s no way the Fire win. It’s get this over with and on to the next one. 3-1 to the Union.