Game after game, we hear Chicago Fire Head Coach Raphael Wicky talking about the amount of scoring chances his team creates. It’s a stat he’s proud of, and he views it as proof if his players can just finish more of those chances, the team will turn around.
At the moment, here are the top seven teams in Major League Soccer in chances created, including assists:
- Los Angeles Football Club 150 (9th in West)
- Toronto FC 145 (4th in East)
- Colorado Rapids 137 (6th in West)
- New York City FC 130 (5th in East)
- New England Revolution 129 (7th in East)
- Chicago Fire FC 127 (14th in East)
- Houston Dynamo 127 (10th in West)
So, is there a correlation between chances created and wins? Four of the seven teams on this list would make the playoffs, if they started now. LAFC will likely find a way to sneak in, too. But what about the Fire, and tonight’s opponent, Houston? They sit tied for 6th, and they’re both struggling.
“We’ve had a lot of talks about the amount of chances we’re creating,” Fire forward Elliot Collier said in a video released by the club. “Ultimately, if we want to win games, we gotta put those away. That’s one of our key points, just putting those chances away. We know Houston has some good attacking pieces, and is good on the counter, so we just gotta prepare for that, and defend the box well.”
Houston’s scoring troubles struggles may continue tonight. The team just sold Designated Player Alberth Elis to Portuguese club Boavista. Elis had four goals and three assists this season for Houston, so the Dynamo will have to get used to life without one of their best players.
As for Chicago? Maybe tonight is the night the weird bounces and bad calls start going the Fire’s way. It’s the first time the Fire will play at Soldier Field this season after a Chicago Bears game, so it’ll be interesting to see how the pitch looks. One good note on that: we’re told the football gridlines will be removed.
Chicago Fire FC vs. Houston Dynamo
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
MLS Regular Season Match #13 | Soldier Field, Chicago
TV: WGN-TV (local)
Streaming: ESPN+ (sign up using our link!)
Radio: 1200 AM TUDN
Live Twitter Updates: @HotTimeOldTown (from Ruben)
Next Up: Chicago Fire vs. Atlanta United | Sunday, Sept. 27 | Soldier Field, Chicago | 6:30 p.m. CT | WGN-TV & ESPN+
Chicago Fire Injuries
- OUT: GK - Kenneth Kronholm (torn ACL, meniscus tear 8/11, out for season)
- OUT: M - Luka Stojanovic (MCL surgery 7/23)
- OUT: D - Johan Kappelhof (hip flexor)
- OUT: M - Jeremiah Gutjahr (knee injury)
- OUT: M - Przemyslaw Frankowski (undisclosed injury)
Houston Dynamo Injuries
- OUT: F - Michael Salazar (right knee injury)
- QUESTIONABLE: M - Wilfried Zahibo (right thigh injury)
Other prematch notes:
The remainder of the Fire’s updated 2020 schedule was announced yesterday. Take a look!
And finally, it appears Jeremiah Gutjahr’s knee injury rehab is going well. He was seen on the field with the medical staff at a training session this week. Gutjahr’s surgery was back in June, and the initial prognosis had him out for four months.
Some good news from #cffc training yesterday: @jeremiahgutjahr was out there going through a workout with the medical staff. He suffered a medial meniscus tear in his knee in June. #cf97 pic.twitter.com/IJAjIJENDI— Patrick McCraney (@patrickmccraney) September 23, 2020