Inconsistent Fire vie for first win streak of 2012 season

Patrick Nyarko and Chicago face Portland

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Patrick Nyarko doesn’t think the Chicago Fire have been horrible.

But the Fire midfielder wouldn’t say his team has turned a corner, either, after climbing into fourth place in the Eastern Conference by gaining seven points in their last three games.

“I don’t think we’ve been consistent enough,” Nyarko (above) told MLSsoccer.com “You look at the games, we lost a disappointing one to Seattle, Colorado we just played terrible, Houston we certainly thought we could have won the game. I think it’s still a matter of stringing together a couple of wins.”

Numbers support the Ghanaian’s views. Chicago haven’t been able to put together two straight wins all season, and no two consecutive results have been the same this season, either.

The Fire, however, did manage to scratch four points out of games against Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City last week, both of whom led their conference at some point during that time.

But positive results certainly haven’t come easy.

In all but two of their nine games this season, Chicago have played from behind at some point, and they have yet to win a game by multiple goals.

“We wait until we get hit before we start attacking,” Nyarko said. “That’s got to stop. We’ve got to stop ourselves from trying to climb from deficits all the time. It’s worked a couple of times for us, but it’s not always going to work.”

The Fire will have an opportunity to start their first winning streak of the season on Sunday against Portland at JELD-WEN Field (7 pm ET, Galavision). The Fire had a rough time against the Timbers last season, losing twice – 4-2 in Portland and 1-0 at home.

“What makes it tough over there is the turf,” defender Gonzalo Segares said. “That’s an advantage. You can see when you go to an artificial turf field, it takes time to adapt. They’re used to it. For them, it’s like nothing.”

Even through all the ups and downs they've experienced so far this campaign, the Fire are much better off this year than last, when it took them until August 27 to stack up four wins. But they know there’s a long way to go.

“Right now, we know each other’s movement a lot better than we did last year,” said forward Dominic Oduro. “I wouldn’t say we’re there yet. But right now we have an understanding when we’re out there on the field and I think that has really brought this team together.”