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Aftermath: Chicago Fire vs Philadelphia Union 2021 MLS Game Preview

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the Chicago Fire have hit rock bottom. They’re bottom of the league and are devoid of answers. Nothing is going well and they’re not in a good mental state, especially after Wednesday’s loss. FC Cincinnati broke them.

So now it’s time to pick up the pieces. There’s no question that the Fire have the talent to be a good team, especially in midfield. But they’re lost in their own heads and have to find a way out, and Raphael Wicky has to get his personnel right. If they can’t, a house cleaning is not out of the question, and probably the right thing for ownership to do.

Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs Philadelphia Union: 9W-5D-12L, 37 GF / 41 GA, 32 pts out of 78

Chicago Fire home MLS record vs Philadelphia Union: 2W-2D- 9L, 16 GF / 26 GA, 8 pts out of 69

Previously on…

The Union have not lost since May 1st, and have won four out of their last five games, that’s the best sequence of games baring the New England Revolution who are on a 5 game win streak. All 5 of their wins have been clean sheets as well.

Suggested Lineup

Yes. I am advocating for the false 9 again. Robert Beric is boomed, as the kids say, and probably shouldn’t appear in a Chicago Fire shirt again. I know that’s a terrible thing to say, but he’s not performing and doesn’t look like he’s going to any time soon. I’ve liked what I’ve seen out of Chinonso Offor, but I don’t think he’s quite ready for the responsibility that is leading the line. Until the Fire can bring in someone during the transfer window (cough Jozy Altidore cough), playing without a striker is probably the best way to try to grind out results.

Keys To The Match

Make it Ugly: One of the positives of the Fire in recent years was their ability to play some real pretty soccer. Despite their lack of ability to close out games, you could always count on them to at least make the fun of the game to watch. However, for the last few games the passing, especially between lines, has been disjointed and the club hasn’t been able to get into a rhythm. The team has forgotten how to play it out of the back. Until they can do it consistently in practice, they need to just hoof it up the field and try to win the second ball. Make the game look like a 70’s English football match between Torquay United and Accrington Stanley. Just grind and shoot when you see any opening at all.

Play Hard: Sometimes, these keys are about what the club has to do tactically to beat their opponent on a given day. The 2021 Chicago Fire, however, are not in a position where something like that will matter. We have to go all the way back to the very basics of the game. We need 90 minutes of effort from this team.

There are times during matches where the team falls asleep, and they often have devastating consequences. The latest example was Robert Beric not jumping on the free-kick that was the difference in the match on Wednesday. That kind of stuff can’t be allowed and is another reason I decided to bench him in my lineup. You can’t do stuff like this and expect to be competitive, let alone win games. Get these things right, and then we can start talking about winning tactics.

How To Watch

Television: WGN-TV

Streaming: CFFC Live

Final Thoughts

They’re not beating the Union. If you’re going to the game, have some ice cream nachos, stay hydrated, and try to have some fun. 2-0 to Philly.