Slumping Chicago plan to attack, pressure Toronto
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — The Chicago Fire are getting impatient.
It’s been six weeks and six games since Chicago last won a league match. That unimpressive streak has landed the Fire in seventh place in the East, eight points behind the conference-leading New York Red Bulls through the season’s first eight games.
Chicago know they need to kick it into gear, and they know this Saturday’s match at Toronto FC — who will be playing their seventh match in 22 days — is a perfect opportunity to do just that (7 pm ET, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live).
“They played [Wednesday] night and we’re kind of going in with nothing to lose,” Fire midfielder Corben Bone told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “We’re looking for a win and we need one real bad. I think we’ll put out a pretty attacking lineup and plan on pressing pretty high and using that to our advantage.”
Toronto slammed Chicago in last year’s match at BMO Field, thrashing them 4-1 in one of the Fire's worst performances of the year. Of course, a lot has changed for both teams since that May 2010 meeting and Chicago says that last year’s loss won’t affect their attitude this time around.
The winless streak is a different matter, though. The Fire know that they’re up against it and that they need a win in the worst way this weekend.
They’ll try and use their possession style to try and beat TFC head coach Aron Winter’s “Total Football” approach, but if they win the match, it will likely be because they finished better than they have in recent games.
“This one’s extra important,” Bone said. “Obviously they’re in our conference and we’re kind of at similar points, so it’s a head-to-head battle to get a win. It’s really important for the playoff race, for our confidence and just for our team all around. We need a win and we’re planning on getting one.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.