CHICAGO – It’s a campaign that begins in early March and continues into late October, even if a team doesn’t make the postseason.
So even though the Chicago Fire are around three months into their 2019 season, there is still plenty of time for the team to find their way in Major League Soccer, especially after an up-and-down start to the 2019 season.
To be more specific, home and road.
All of these are topics the team can reflect on as they get a bit of a break from MLS play following a 2-0 loss to Atlanta United has left them at 4-6-6 on the season.
They won’t be on the pitch against an MLS opponent until June 22nd when they host Real Salt Lake at SeetGeek Stadium. There is one US Open Cup game scheduled in between on June 11th when the Fire travel to St. Louis FC for a fourth-round game.
In the meantime, Velko Paunovic looks back at the first half of the season that was a tale of two places. At home, the team was 4-1-3, showed the offense they’d hoped from their group in a number of contests. On the road they’ve yet to get a win, losing five games and tying three others, making them the only team in the Eastern Conference and just the second in the MLS to fail to win away from home.
To be fair, seven of the team’s eight road games have come against teams currently in the MLS playoff race, including the top two teams in the league in the LA Galaxy and LAFC.
Newcomers have provided the scoring punch for the team so far as CJ Sapong leads the team in goals and early season acquisition Nicolas Gaitan leads the team in assists with five. Another offseason pickup, David Ousted, has seen the bulk of the time in goal, making 30 saves on 49 shots with four shutouts during the season.
All of this has the Fire at 18 points, tied for the seventh and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but there is still plenty of soccer left to be played in the MLS till the end of October.