Chicago look to sharpen their attack against Chivas USA
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Just because the Chicago Fire didn’t score until the 89th minute in last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Seattle, it didn't mean they were starved of chances.
Forward Dominic Oduro was sprung free on through balls three times in the first half only to be stopped in his tracks by a bad touch or a Seattle defender. Midfielder Daniel Paladini also had an open chance in the box but couldn’t find the back of the net.
“When you play that well and create that many chances and still come out and lose the game it hurts,” forward Patrick Nyarko (above) told MLSsoccer.com. “We just needed some luck finishing, and we could’ve beaten Seattle.”
Chicago’s only multi-goal game of the season came two weeks ago against Toronto, when Fire players took advantage of three opportunities with clinical finishes.
The Fire know finishing will make or break them Friday against Chivas USA (11 pm ET, ESPN Deportes), along with rookie defender Austin Berry’s ability to integrate into the defense during Jalil Anibaba’s one-game suspension.
“We created enough chances to put away [against Seattle],” head coach Frank Klopas said. “We’ve just got to make sure we limit the goals and go back to getting some clean sheets because we know that we’re going to score some.”
Chivas USA may seem like an ideal team to play in the midst of Chicago's goal-scoring rut after the Goats' 4-0 loss to Colorado last Saturday. But three of Colorado’s goals came in the last 10 minutes of the game and Nyarko knows the high altitude may have sapped Chivas.
"I’m going to be cautious drawing conclusions on how Chivas played that last half of the game and just prepare for this game mentally,” he told MLSsoccer.com.
The Fire have played from behind for part of each of their last three games, but Chivas USA haven’t scored in their last two games.
Still, Klopas knows the Goats are a dangerous team, especially against a Chicago defense that has been prone to making costly mistakes.
“They’re a team that creates opportunities,” Klopas said. “With [Juan Pablo] Ángel back right now, he’s always a guy that’s dangerous in the box. A lot of things revolve around [Oswaldo] Minda. [Nick] LaBrocca’s always a guy that’s dangerous. They do have some wide players with pace who will go at you one-on-one. They’re a dangerous team, for sure.”