After loss to open 2nd half, the Fire prep for the reigning MLS champs

HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 28: Chicago Fire midfielder Dax McCarty (6) defends during the Major League Soccer game between the Chicago Fire and the New York Red Bulls on June 28, 2019 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – The key to finding success in the second half of their season figured to start with their offense, which had plagued them at times during the first part of the MLS campaign.

In 17 games, the Chicago Fire scored 25 goals, including just two in their final three games of they went 0-1-2.

They did what they could in their second half opener against the New York Red Bulls on the road, peppering the goal with a season-high 26 shots. But it wasn’t enough as their opponents stop all but one of them in a 3-1 victory that extended the Fire’s winless streak to seven.

Veljko Paunovic’s team hasn’t picked up a win since May 11th, and they’ll have to be at their best to snap that streak in their next contest.

For the first time this season, the Fire welcome in reigning MLS champion Atlanta United on Wednesday to SeatGeek Stadium. It’s the second time the teams are meeting in just over a month, with the United picking up a 2-0 win at Mercedes Benz Stadium on June 1st.

They’ll come to Bridgeview having won five-or-their-last six games, sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference with 29 points, three behind the Philadelphia Union for the top spot.

At least the Fire get them on their home field, where they’ve been a different team than compared to the road. They’ve 4-1-4 at SeatGeek Stadium with their last win coming nearly two months ago there against Minnesota United FC.

It will be the last time the teams will meet in the regular season, with the only other match-up possibly coming in the playoffs.  Paunovic’s team could use a victory to help them get to that point, as they sit four points back of the last playoff spot.

No better time to find yourself than when the champs pay a visit.

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