CHICAGO – For the start of a new regime with a healthy amount of new players, the first month and a half of the 2022 MLS season was fairly positive for the club.
Chicago Fire FC’s defense was strong as the offense was still trying to find its footing as the club suffered just one loss through their first seven matches of the season.
But over the last week-and-a-half, it wasn’t the best of times for the Chicago Fire FC thanks to losses at two different levels.
First came a stunning shootout loss to Union Omaha of USL League One in the US Open Cup first round at Soldier Field on April 19th. Then came their most lopsided loss of the season as they allowed three goals in the second half in a shutout loss.
Manager Ezra Hendrickson is aware of the difficult stretch as the club takes the field against the New York Red Bulls at 7 PM at Soldier Field on Saturday, a match which you can watch on WGN-TV.
“Well, we’ve kept it positive because you have to look at the reality of our situation, and that is at the end of the day we’ve only lost two games,” said Hendrickson of dealing with the last two losses. “We’re tied for the least amount of goals that’s been given us. But then also address some issues that we have. That’s, going forward. That’s putting the ball in the back of the net.”
That has been an ongoing issue for the club even before this rough week-and-a-half, with the club only scoring five goals the entire season. It figures to take time to get together with a new system along with a healthy amount of new players, but solving it sooner than later will be key to aiding the club’s run for a postseason spot.
Doing so on Saturday will be crucial since the Red Bulls have a 4-0 record on the road in the 2022 MLS season. With that in mind along with the hope of snapping out of their recent funk, captain Rafael Czichos has seen an uptick in the club’s work in training.
“Yeah, it was a tough week, both games with a bad result at the end. But we’ve been talking a lot about it, and I think –yeah, I saw the last two practices, the team showed already a good reaction,” said Czichos. “It was a high intensity in our practices, and yeah, I think this is how we have to work this week for Saturday.”