The Chicago Fire fell in heartbreaking fashion to the Seattle Sounders on the opening day of the 2020 MLS season. Here are three things we learned.
The Chicago Fire started their 2020 season with a tough loss on the road, falling to the Seattle Sounders 2-1 at CenturyLink Field. After a frantic first half that saw two Chicago goals (correctly) called back for offside, the deadlock was finally broken for real minutes after the break when Robert Beric volleyed home from close range to give the away side the lead.
The Sounders responded well and equalized 15 minutes later when Jordan Morris got on the end of a low cross from Christian Roldan. They missed several chances as the game went on, and the Fire were starting to think that they could steal a point against the reigning MLS Cup champions. However, Seattle eventually ended any dreams in stoppage time. Morris got free from a corner to head home from only a few yards from goal.
Here are three things we learned from the heartbreaking 2-1 defeat.
3. Learning crucial lessons
The Seattle Sounders may have snatched a late goal to secure the victory, but it was arguably the right result considering how the game went. Not at their best, the Chicago Fire should still be quite happy with their performance, especially since it was their first game with a new coach and many new players. They looked threatening going forward on several occasions and could have gotten more goals if they were more clinical in the final third. There were also distinct passing patterns in the midfield, which supporters hadn’t seen from the team in years.
The Fire were far from perfect, of course. A big reason why the game remained close was because of Seattle’s woeful finishing in front of goal. The Chicago defense was extremely suspect, while there were also some issues with the formation. It wasn’t exactly clear what formation the Fire were playing. The primary shape was a 4-4-2, but with Djordje Mihailovic coming in centrally. However, it didn’t get the most out of the team as Fabian Herbers looked lost and Przemyslaw Frankowski was left isolated near the end of the contest.
It seems head coach Raphael Wicky couldn’t utilize his preferred 4-3-3 due to the absences in the team, but he may have overtinkered with the lineup this time. Supporters knew the team would go through some growing pains early on in the season. That is not surprising, more than concerning, at this stage. What is crucial, however, is that they learn from what went wrong and make the necessary changes.