Head coach Frank Yallop described this week as “make or break” for the Chicago Fire. But despite two defeats he’s not prepared to give up on the Fire’s season, or their chances of making the playoffs.
The Men in Red followed up Wednesday’s 6-0 US Open Cup semifinal hammering at the hands of the Seattle Sounders with a disappointing 1-0 loss to MLS’s bottom club, the Montreal Impact, on Saturday.
“You never give up, until there’s no points available, right?” Yallop told reporters after his side’s sixth defeat of the regular season that sees them ninth in the Eastern Conference, but just three points from a playoff spot. “It’s been a tough ride because we’ve had 13 ties, and I don’t think I’m being generous, but six of them we should have won.
“Maybe there was a couple we should have lost, but you get two more points for the win. But maybe we’re not good enough to be higher up the table because we’re not [good enough].”
Both sides gave an indication of why they prop up the standings in the East with a lackluster performance in which both sides only hit the target twice.
“This is our season, in terms of performance,” Yallop admitted. “We play OK at times, we weren’t very dangerous, to be honest, going to goal and when it comes to the crunch we didn’t get the job done. It’s disappointing, but it’s where we are right now. We’re inconsistent, we’ve showed consistent performances before, but we got beat 6-0 on Wednesday and now we have a chance of bouncing back and we lose.
“It was going to be 0-0 or 1-0 to them, that’s what I felt.”
Despite the disappointment, Yallop believes that there is time to turn the season around, especially given Friday’s signing of Robert Earnshaw and their continued interest in bringing in US national team midfielder Jermaine Jones.
“We’re still waiting to see if the league signed the player, and then we can start chatting to him,” Yallop confirmed when asked about any development with Jones. “We’ve heard nothing more on that. But with the addition of Robbie Earnshaw, hopefully we’ve got some help coming, because it’s been tough.”
Yallop added: “They [league officials] are talking to the player’s agent. It’s the league that’s going to sign the player, and whatever team gets him then the ownership has to pay the money. At this point it’s in the league’s hands.
“I just know that we’ve been asked where we stand with it, we’ve said we’ve put a really good offer in, and now it’s up to the player and agent to accept it or work with the league. Hopefully we’re close.
“I think we’re pretty close, but until it’s signed, you don’t know.”