Next objective for Chicago Fire FC? More touches for Xherdan Shaqiri

Through the first two games of their 2022 MLS season, Chicago Fire FC have two points but no goals following back-to-back 0-0 draws against Inter Miami CF and Orlando City SC.

While the consecutive clean sheets are a positive sign after defensive lapses in recent seasons, jumpstarting the attack has become the top priority for head coach Ezra Hendrickson on the training ground ahead of Saturday's matchup at D.C. United (7:30 pm | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada).

"We've spent the past couple days focusing on the attacking part of things," Hendrickson told reporters on his Wednesday video call. "Focusing on what we do when we're in the front half because it's not like we're not getting into the front half. I think that what we've seen from the film from the past two games is, for instance, in Miami: We got in the front half, created opportunities but just didn't put them away.

"Against Orlando we created a couple opportunities but not as many as we did in Miami. So we have to make sure we maintain that in the sense of we're creating chances, but now we're putting them away also."

Key to that objective will be increased production from Designated Player Xherdan Shaqiri, one of the marquee signings of the MLS offseason. He's started and played all 90 minutes of each of those first two games, but is yet to find the scoresheet.

Shaqiri joined for a club-record $7.5 million from Ligue 1's Lyon and is aptly wearing the No. 10 shirt at the Windy City side.

"I think the chemistry has been great. Shaqiri's a very, very friendly person. He's a very good player, which always makes it easy to integrate with a new team. He gets along with everyone off the pitch, on the pitch," Hendrickson said.

"Now, as far as putting him in better positions, I think we just need to make sure that when he makes his runs or finds the open space, that the guy on the ball has got his head up and is able to find him. Because he's a big part of what we do getting into the attack, so we need to make sure when he found those little spaces, those little half-spaces, that we get him the ball."

Going forward, it's about getting the 30-year-old Swiss international as many touches as possible higher upfield and allowing him to make use of the traits that have made him such a dynamic threat from previous stops at Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Liverpool.

"Sometimes a ball to Shaqiri with two guys around him is a good ball still because he's so clever, he's so good at getting out of those tight spaces," Hendrickson said. "I think sometimes guys are not used to playing a ball with a guy or maybe two guys on him, but he's a guy who welcomes those passes.

"We just need to trust him. When he asks for the ball, make sure we give it to him. I think the more we can get him on the ball, especially in the front half, the better it's going to be for us, the more chances we're going to create because he's so clever on the ball and he's so good at that final pass. It's just a matter of getting him more touches in the front half, especially in the final third."

With increased reps on the training ground and games ramping up into full swing, Hendrickson is confident that goals will come sooner rather than later.

"It's been two games, we have zero goals – they have to come at some point," Hendrickson said. "What better time to come than in D.C.?"