There was a point early in the loss to San Jose where we saw a glimpse of what the Chicago Fire attack could look like. Robert Berić was wide to the right, and slipped a hard pass in to a streaking CJ Sapong.
The two failed to connect—just barely—and the team missed out on scoring the opener. That was only the second time Sapong had played with Berić in an MLS match.
“I was maybe a half second too late,” Sapong told reporters after the match. “When it comes to these games, with all the different factors, you gotta be on top of your game, and be mentally aware at every moment. That’s a ball that maybe with 10 games under my belt with Robert, I sense that coming earlier, and I can get there.”
After being eliminated in the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, the Fire returned to practice in Bridgeview this week, with the hope of re-starting the 2020 MLS regular season in August. Berić said the next few weeks will be crucial for the team to come together.
“We have some time now to re-organize,” Berić said in a video released by the Fire on Wednesday. “To feel each other a little more on the pitch. To get to know each other.”
The Fire have four goals through five games this season—two by Berić, and the other two by defenders—Mauricio Pineda and Jonathan Bornstein. While the team has looked good in flashes, it was clear in the 2-0 loss to Vancouver this is still a work in progress.
“We still don’t feel each other, like in soccer,” Berić said. “Hopefully in this 2-3 weeks, I don’t know when the next game is going to be, we’re gonna get to know each other a little more than we are now. We are still pretty much a new team.”