CHICAGO – At the moment, it’s easy to argue that the professional team with the most momentum in the Chicago area is playing at Soldier Field.

That hasn’t been the case that often over the last decade, but Chicago Fire FC has had one of its best stretches of success since they last made the postseason in 2017. Saturday provided another example of that in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

After failing on a few chances to put in the go-ahead goal against Toronto FC at Soldier field, Miguel Navarro sent a ball into the box in the 90th minute for Kacper Przyzbylko. The striker, who’d entered the game minutes earlier, headed it into the open part of the net for the winning goal in a 1-0 triumph.

The victory over Toronto FC is the fifth for the Fire in their last six matches, sparking the most enthusiasm in the club in what was another difficult start to the season for the club. That has flipped thanks to the recent stretch before the MLS All-Star Break, which has put the club over .500 at 8-7-8 on the season.

Their 32 points have the Fire sitting in eighth in the Eastern Conference and, for the moment, over the playoff line.

“Yeah, I think it just sometimes, it takes time for things to come together and stuff like that. I felt that we always had the quality in the team and it was just about working extremely hard and believing,” said manager Frank Klopas of the club over the past two months. “I think there is a strong belief within the group right now. Obviously, results do help in that belief, but the guys are committed and the belief is getting stronger.”

That was strengthened by this week when the club won three matches in the span of a week that followed a 3-1 loss to Orlando on July 1. They knocked off Nashville SC 1-0 at home on July 8 and then beat Montreal 3-0 at home four days later.

“Yeah, it feels amazing. And I know the backline is really satisfied with the job they’ve done. But for us we’re just happy that we got it for the team,” said goalkeeper Chris Brady, who posted three clean sheets in a week’s span. “It makes this entire team look a whole lot better when you get three wins, but also you don’t concede in three games. It feels amazing for us, but I’m really happy that these guys get to enjoy the nine points and the clean sheets.”

Yet Klopas isn’t getting ahead of himself as the club heads to the All-Star Break this week. They’ll open up Leagues Cup play against Minnesota on the road on July 27 then return to MLS play on August 20 against Orlando at Soldier Field.

They’ll have 11 matches to try and end their six-year playoff drought and keep their July momentum going.

“We have a really difficult schedule coming up; we come back, we play, after Leagues Cup, you play Orlando at home and then you go to LA and then you have Vancouver and September becomes really difficult,” said Klopas. “That’s why these games at home become really, really important that we pick up points. And this was a massive week for us: three games, obviously three wins, but the biggest thing of all was three clean sheets also.

“You know, that’s huge, that really shows the character and the commitment and the mentality of the group.”

One that has found it’s form in the middle of the summer.