The Chicago Fire are in the middle of their best stretch under Raphael Wicky. They’ve taken seven points from their last three matches, while scoring nine goals and conceding only four during that stretch. It’s been fun to watch, to say the least.
The Fire don’t play again until next Saturday night in Nashville (7:30 p.m. CT, WGN-TV/CFFC Live), so we’ve got some time to dig into some interesting stats that have emerged of late:
- With five assists in the last three matches, Álvaro Medrán suddenly finds himself third in assists in all of Major League Soccer. He’s been the Fire best player during the last three matches, absolutely bossing the midfield during that run. As our Alex Campbell pointed out, whatever Wicky said to Medrán has seemed to have unlocked a level of play we haven’t seen from the Spaniard. He was very good at times last season, but this is next level stuff. If he’s able to remain even somewhat close to this pace, he’ll have a chance to catch New England’s Carles Gil, who leads the league with 10 assists.
- Boris Sekulić deserves to be an MLS All-Star at right back. He has two goals and two assists this season, which is fantastic offensive production from an outside back. Defensively, he’s among the league leaders in tackles won at 19. For a guy who looked tired and flat at times late last season, Sekulić has been excellent in 2021.
- As a team, the Fire are third in MLS in key passes with 127, behind only Kansas City (141) and New England (132). Przemyslaw Frankowski and Álvaro Medrán lead the team with 19 each. Here’s a wild stat: While the Revs have racked up just five more key passes than the Fire, New England’s Carles Gil leads the league with 61 (!). That’s nearly double Atlanta’s Brooks Lennon, who is in second place with 34. Keep this in mind, though: while key passes are an indicator of success, they’re only counted when a final ball is played and there’s an attempt at goal, but the teammate fails to score.
- Here’s one more. In the 3-0 win over Atlanta and the 3-1 win over Orlando, the Fire had undoubtedly played their best two games of the season. Both came while defender/captain/lightning rod Francisco Calvo was away with Costa Rica preparing for the Gold Cup. So, is Calvo’s absence one of the reasons for the Fire’s recent success? Even after missing the last two matches, Calvo is still second in MLS in interceptions with 32—a category he dominated last season. Is the fact that Calvo is constantly looking to pick off passes the reason why the Fire look steadier on defense in his absence? That seems like a good question to debate in the comments below.