Newcomer MacDonald says best still to come in Chicago

Sherjill MacDonald

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire forward Sherjill MacDonald has found during his six weeks in Chicago that he’s a little bit more sore after games than he normally is, he’s a little slower to the ball than he wants to be and his finishing hasn’t quite come along.

The Dutchman said he isn’t at full form because he didn’t have a preseason, but he still expected things to come along a little quicker. He thought the goals would come at a faster pace, especially after he found the back of the net against New England two games ago, his only goal for the Fire.

“I want to score bad, but it’s going to take hard work,” MacDonald said. “I work hard every day to show the people what I can do. Some days it comes out, some days are difficult days, but you need to keep positive.”

MacDonald has been hard on himself throughout his six-game stint. But he’s played at least 45 minutes in the last five games, and the Fire have gone 4-1. 

Chicago players and coaches stressed the importance of continuity at the beginning of the season, with every starter back from the end of 2011. But the team that’s making a strong push toward the top of the Eastern Conference right now is much different than the one that took the field in preseason.

MacDonald is a big part of that, and the best might be yet to come. Paired up top with Chris Rolfe, the former Ajax man feels his hold-up abilities fit well into the physical style of Major League Soccer. Once he’s at full strength, he’s confident the goals will come.

“[MLS] fits my style, but you see that you’re a little bit behind,” MacDonald said. “It takes more energy for me than for them. I like the style, I like the physicality. It’s just difficult sometimes mentally to stay positive, because if you play a bad game, you don’t feel good. … Once I get to the same level [of fitness as] these guys, it’s not going to be a problem."