The Chicago Fire have matched an MLS record by recording their sixth consecutive draw in league play. Through seven games, the Fire have only been able to accrue six points, and currently sit in ninth place in the MLS Eastern Conference, ahead of only the Montreal Impact. While setting records is fun, this record is one the Fire would give back in a heart beat, as they still look for their first victory of the season.
The Fire started their season with a loss against Chivas USA, before drawing the six straight matches. Notable draws include the Impact, the Portland Timbers who are currently eighth in the Western Conference and the New York Red Bulls who sit right above the Fire in the West with seven points.
The team’s inability to gain victories against bad teams shows that they could be in for a long season under manager Frank Yallop. The team is led offensively by Quincy Amarikwa, who has four of the team’s 10 goals on the season. Besides him, only Jeff Larentowicz has multiple goals on the season. Most notably with only one goal is Juan Luis Anangono, who has only converted one of his seven shots. Even more shocking might be Patrick Nyarko, who has taken six shots in his six games played and has yet to register a goal. While the team hasn’t had a clean sheet against them this season, the MLS seems to be getting more wide-open, and teams need to go more for explosive play then defensive. If the team can’t start converting opportunities into goals, it will be a difficult season.
At the other end of the pitch, Goalkeeper Sean Johnson has not been playing all that well. Considering the highest scoring percentage on the Fire is 25%, Johnson’s 61% save percentage is not good. Johnson has seen only 33 shots on net this season, which includes penalties, and has stopped 20 of them. The Fire, including penalties, have 37 shots on net.
While the team isn’t losing games, their inability to win a game is much more concerning than the draws are redeeming. This season will be a struggle, but the Fire could always improve on their team during transfer windows and make themselves a threat, if they start soon enough.
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