BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The goal that broke open the game in the Chicago Fire's second straight loss on Sunday didn't come off of an opponents set piece, which has been a consistent area of weakness for the club.
Instead, it came off of the Fire's own set piece.
Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton quickly punted a failed Fire corner kick to forward Camilo, who broke through Chicago's defense, beat newly-acquired left back Shaun Francis and scored in the 66th minute for the first of three Vancouver goals in a 3-1 Fire loss.
“We did not defend well, we did not go as hard into the tackle as we should've and we let him get free,” midfielder Patrick Nyarko told MLSsoccer.com. “We need to be better at stopping plays early and going in hard and not letting those kind of things happen, because we definitely didn't go hard. [Camilo is] a good enough player to carve those chances out of nothing.”
That lack of aggression was a theme for Chicago in Sunday's second half after they created several chances during the first half.
After Mike Magee expressed last week that the Fire lacked urgency going forward late, Chicago couldn't create much late in the second half against Vancouver.
“We should have been more aggressive in the second half like we were in the first half, and that change of mentality cost us the game,” Nyarko said. “We dropped back a little bit and we got away from what we were doing in the first half and it cost us. I think we played great in the first half.”
After reeling off a nine-game unbeaten streak, Chicago have started another winless streak because of lapses similar to the ones that felled them early in the year.
“We thought we easily could have won the game in the first half, we thought we played that well in the first half,” Nyarko said. “It's just been mental breakdowns. We can definitely do better. I think we got on track with the run that we went on. Mentally, we stuck in games and concentrated throughout the games. Now, I think we lose a little bit of concentration and we're getting punished for that. I think that's the most important thing to figure out.”
Anthony Zilis covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com.