Coming off of a game in Seattle that held very mixed feelings, we take a look at what the Chicago Fire and their supporters can learn going into next week.
After a very long offseason ramped up into a lot of signings in a very short period of time in the past few weeks, it is only natural that the Chicago Fire wouldn’t be completely ready for the season to start when a trip to the Seattle Sounders loomed. To make matters worse, CJ Sapong, one of the few carryovers from last season, was out with a chest injury. Despite all of these problems, however, the Fire produced an encouraging performance.
In their first half, Chicago more than held their own against the defending champions. There were other factors in play for the Sounders and the Chicago Fire still lost 2-1, but this was an entirely hopeless outing.
Here are three takeaways from the Chicago Fire’s first week of the 2020 MLS season.
3. Central midfield pecking order
Going into this season, there was one narrative that many Chicago Fire fans pondered: When is Djordje Mihailovic going to show his potential? Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we have already seen his peak.
In this game, he was the only member of the midfield or attack who wasn’t in-sync with the others. His passes were much more conservative than they needed to be in important situations, when he did take risks, he rarely completed the passes or dribble, and while he ended the match with an assist and impressive looking numbers, his overall play was poor.
In the opposite camp is Alvaro Medran, who came into this game off a preseason in which he was completely invisible. Medran was crucial to the Fire’s excellent passing, working his way out of situations with impeccable distribution. There was a sequence early on in the game when the Fire were able to make a few risky passes to get the ball out and towards the center where they could work into the attack. And Medran was at the heart of it.