Fire Notebook: Creating chances not an issue, says Klopas
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Never mind that the Chicago Fire’s 2-1 win over Toronto last Saturday was their first multi-goal game in their last seven contests. Frank Klopas insists the Fire don’t have problems creating chances.
To wit, Chicago’s head coach said, look at the eight scoring chances in the Fire’s 1-1 tie in San Jose the week before.
“When we get those opportunities, we need to put them away,” Klopas told reporters at training on Thursday. “When you don’t finish them, I think there’s a tendency for players to tighten up, and maybe you give up one goal. Once you put those chances away, I think confidence changes from players. I think we keep working on things like that in the final third.”
With 12 games left, the Fire find themselves in the fifth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Klopas said the team has targeted a specific number of points that will qualify them for the playoffs.
“We do have something within the team, we have a goal that we set,” he said. “If we reach that goal, we’ll make the playoffs.”
Soumare could debut
A few Fire players may see their former teammate, defender Bakary Soumare, make his Philadelphia Union debut on Sunday.
Soumare played for Chicago from 2007 to 2009 before leaving for Europe.
“I’m happy for him, I think he’s in a good place,” Fire captain Logan Pause told MLSsoccer.com. “I don’t know where he’s at physically, but I know when he’s back at full go, he’ll definitely help that team.”
That Fire of old
Klopas won’t see his former teammate Peter Nowak on Sunday, after the former Union manager and Fire original was fired on June 13, with the club sitting at a 2-6-2 record.
Since Nowak’s departure, the Union are 5-5.
“I know they made a change, but for me, Peter was a very good coach,” Klopas said. “It’s toward the end, so everyone’s playing for something, you’re playing for contracts or playing to stay in this league. There’s a lot on the line.”