HARRISON, N.J. – If the club wants to find a way to rally and get back into the postseason, they were going to have to find a way to break one of their more dubious streaks of the last two seasons.
Not since October 6, 2019 had Chicago Fire FC won a game on the road before Saturday. They failed to get three points in the shortened 2020 season in 11 tries (0-6-5) the hadn’t won in their eight matches away from Soldier Field in 2021 (0-7-1).
Finally, that streak came to an end of Saturday night in Harrison, New Jersey, and it helped snap a drought on two fronts.
Thanks to a score from striker Robert Beric, which was just his third goal of the season and his first since July 7th, the Fire were finally able to get a win on the road with a 1-0 triumph over the New York Red Bulls.
Snapping the 19-match winless streak on the road also snapped the club’s two-game losing streak overall as they now have 23 points on the season. It’s still seven points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but at least they took a major step toward getting something started in the second half of the season.
Obviously, it feels really good to have an (away) win. One-and-a-half years almost, or so many games, is a long time.,” said manager Raphael Wicky. “We (have) had, for sure, prettier games on the road. We (have) had, for sure, games where we played much better football, where we created way more chances.
“But this was just a great team fight and the team showed a great mentality and spirit and I think it was very hard to break down and that’s why it’s a deserved win.”
It’s especially relieving for Beric, who led the Fire with 12 goals in his first season in Chicago but only had two going into Saturday’s match as he’s dealt with a year-long scoring slupmp.
“I think I needed a goal, the same like we needed a win away,” said Beric. “We are really happy and it’s a relief, finally, for me and the team that we succeeded; me to score and finally to win away, and yeah, let’s work hard and let’s try to keep this momentum going.”
They’ll have to wait to get it started back up again with MLS taking the week off due to the FIFA international window.
Two Fire players – Fransico Calvo (Costa Rica) and Gaston Gimenez (Paraguay) were both called up to their respective national clubs for World Cup qualifying.
Saturday, September 11th is when the club will continue its six-game road trip against Sporting KC with a 7:30 PM match. They’ll face DC United on September 15th then Montreal on the 19th before returning to Soldier Field on September 22nd to face the New England Revolution. All of those matches can be seen on WGN-TV, Channel 9.
At least they can enter some time off with that road streak off their minds as they try to make a push towards the end of the season.
“Obviously these three big points help us to get to where we want to get. But I think the mentality is take it game by game, and we’ve got to be gaining points and closing that gap to get to the playoff picture,” said defender Jonathan Bornstein. “There’s enough points out there for us to accomplish that goal, and so that’s kind of what we have in the back of our minds and that’s how we prepare ourselves for each weekend or each game.”