The Chicago Fire won’t win awards for stylish soccer after their first two matches of the 2017 campaign, but there are plenty of indications that they are on the right path. Their 2:0 win on Saturday over Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park was built on pragmatism, hard work, and taking advantage of opportunity.
On the day, RSL won just about every statistical battle, generating more shots, generating more corner kicks, and coming out on top in the possession battle. All of their possession amounted to precious little, as only one of their twelve shots was on target. Their mostly toothless attack was missing that final decisivetouch and it makes one wonder whether they jettisoned Javier Morales too soon.
Both the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew come into 2017 looking to turn a page and forget about their respective dismal 2016 campaigns. They squared off on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in the season opener on a chilly afternoon and battled to a 1:1 draw. Based on the soccer on display it’s unlikely that either side learned much about whether 2017 will bring more joy than 2016 did, but both teams have a lot of work ahead if they want to be competitive. The Crew controlled play in the first half, while the Fire were the better team in the second. Given the sparse number of shots that found the target the 1:1 result can be considered a fair one.
Welcome to the Boot Room.
Give us fuel, give us Fire, give us depth which we desire. (photo via YoDesportes)
Preseason has started for your 2016 Chicago Fire. Prior to tomorrow’s friendly against fellow basement-buddy Philadelphia Union, we wanted to look at the depth chart battles going on. Continue reading
The “Original Recipe” OTF Roundtable returns. Preseason practice has begun, the team looks considerably younger and (dare we say it), there are even some signs of hope. Even some of OTF’s perma-skeptics may be coming around to the team … maybe.
Today’s roundtable question:
What is one prediction about the 2016 Fire season that you are sure will come true?
Ironically, when things move so slowly it is hard to see what’s really happening. Aside from the wheeling and dealing on Draft Day, there was considerable movement on the Fire roster so far in the offseason…
Here’s all the official player movement that has occurred since October 24th through January 27th in handy GIF form. Below is a description by week.
(Last Update, 1/29)
Chicago shed a lot of player contracts last week as new GM Nelson Rodriguez and new coach Veljko Paunovoic freed up as many dollars as possible for the upcoming MLS post season scramble.
As Phase One of the Re-Entry draft begins it’s worth taking a look at how the 2015 Fire performed in context to their MLS salaries.