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Exhaustion: Chicago Fire vs NYCFC MLS Preview

MLS: New York City FC at Chicago Fire Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

There are some times I decide I hate and am fed up with MLS. This is one of those times. This is the Fire’s 6th game in 18 days, and afterward, they’re have one more game over the weekend before a week off and then another stretch of 4 games in 2 weeks before a 10 day layoff leading into the season finale in Columbus.

Whoever decided that this was the MLS schedule should be fired into the sun.

The second half of the season has been the EPL Christmas period but extended over the period of three months. You hear a lot about that being too much for the month period they do it in England, think about half your season being that.

The entire month of September has been 2 or 3 game weeks and it’s too much. Too much for fans, media, and especially players. We’re seeing quality drop around the league, and injuries and fatigue are leading to substandard games.

For the sake of enjoyment, MLS has to figure out the exhaustion problem and find a balance to keep the players fit and healthy.

Chicago Fire all-time MLS record vs New York City FC: 2W-5D-7L, 17 GF / 26 GA, 9 pts out of 39

Chicago Fire home MLS record vs NYCFC: 2W-3D-2L, 12 GF / 12 GA, 9 pts out of 21

Previously on…

The Citizens have had a tough time of late. They just came off a home and home against the Red Bulls where they drew the first game in Harrison and lost in Yankee Stadium. Before that, they beat FC Cincinnati before a thrilling 3-3 draw with FC Dallas after losing two games in a row against the Revs and Philly.

Suggested Lineup

I’m making four changes from the team that played over the weekend against Nashville. Offor and Luka completely change the front line to something that is potentially more dangerous than the Aliseda/Beric line that started in the draw. Terán comes back in as well, shifting Kappelhof over to give Jonathan Bornstein a rest, and first choice right wing back Boris Sekulic is back after his day off on Sunday.

Keys To The Match

In the Auld Onion Bag: The Fire creates plenty of chances. That the midfield can play inspired football and when all things come together. The problem, as always, is the strikers. The starters that played the game against Nashville were unable to score in a game where the Fire were dominating for large parts of it.

We know that long term, this can only be solved by the offseason, with either improvement that comes with a new season or more talented new signings coming in during the January transfer window. However, it would be nice if Offor et al. showed some glimpses into the future of the club by scoring against a playoff team like NYCFC.

TWTW: It’s not just the Fire that has a terrible schedule. New York is currently on a similar run of 3 game weeks that started in the last week of August. In fact the entire league has this problem. These games coming down the stretch are going to be decided on guts and guile more than they are on skill and technique. The Fire need to reach down and find some mental toughness and desire, that will to win, that they’ve been missing almost all season and turn a tough game like this into a victory.

How To Watch

Television: WGN-TV

Streaming: CFFC Live

Final Thoughts

I dunno. The Fire can win but I’m not sure they will, and NYCFC hasn’t played well, but they can always flip a switch to try and get hot going into the playoffs. I’m going to say it’s a 1-1 draw.