Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause couldn't quite explain what should have gone differently, but as Brad Davis's cross sailed past Bobby Boswell's head, past goalkeeper Sean Johnson and into the side netting, the possibility of a second straight encouraging result evaporated.
“I don't necessarily have an answer for how we can stop that, but it's unfortunate,” Pause told MLSsoccer.com. “I think we're all just kind of frustrated dropping points. I don't think we deserved to lose this game today. We just need to put our best foot forward and bounce back.”
The Fire took a huge step forward last week by notching their first win of the season, a 3-1 home win over the star-laden New York Red Bulls. And after Chris Rolfe leveled the score with his first goal of the season in the 29th minute, the Fire were in prime position to earn another huge moral victory.
But Davis's cross-turned-shot turned Sunday's performance into another lost opportunity.
“As a whole, I thought we went into it with a good game-plan, knowing that they're a hard team to play against," Pause added. "It's a little bit different climate than we're used to, and we wanted to keep things tight, and we did that. Unfortunately we let it slip late.”
The Fire will return home when they host Columbus next Saturday. And though their 1-4-1 record doesn't show much reason for hope, the Fire believed they made genuine improvements in the week leading up to their first win of the season last week.
A late loss may have been frustrating, but Pause is hopeful a solid performance showed signs of better things to come.
“We came away with no points in the standings, which is tough to swallow,” Pause said, “But I think this team is continuing to grow and continuing to understand and learn from these games, from each other. We need to take a gauge and move forward.”