FRISCO, Texas – The Chicago Fire are feeling conflicted about Saturday’s 1-1 draw at FC Dallas.
On the one hand, they’re pleased that they left a sold-out Pizza Hut Park with a point. On the other, they’re disappointed that they couldn’t take all three after Dallas defender Brek Shea was ejected in the 55th minute.
“It’s always a good result coming to Dallas and getting a point,” defender Gonzalo Segares told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “But we’re definitely not happy. We had every opportunity to come here and get three points and we couldn’t quite do it.”
For a while, it looked like the Fire wouldn’t even get a point. Though they went to halftime level at 1-1, Chicago were thoroughly outclassed in the opening frame, struggling for possession and registering a paltry two shots to FCD’s 12.
Things changed in the second half when head coach Carlos de los Cobos shifted from a 3-4-3 to a 4-4-2. The formation change settled the Fire, who began to limit Dallas’ strong flank play and contain FCD playmaker David Ferreira.
Chicago also stepped up their attacking play, coming excruciatingly close to taking the lead in the 49th minute when Uruguayan forward Diego Cháves – who scored the Fire’s goal in the 17th minute – hit the crossbar.
The team seemed poised to take the lead after Shea’s ejection, but they weren’t quite aggressive enough and failed to break through.
“We have to be more hungry to get that goal,” Segares said. “We were a man up. It doesn’t matter that we were on the road, we have to push up and look for the second goal to get the three points. I thought we were a little bit naïve and we have to work on that. We have to be better at finishing and better at creating chances.”
Though they’re a bit frustrated, the Fire feel like they’re headed in the right direction ahead of next week’s home opener against Kansas City.
“I think it is a little bit disappointing that we were up a man for about 30 minutes and didn’t win but we need to keep it in perspective,” captain Logan Pause told MLSsoccer.com. “Coming here and getting a point is fantastic. The guys showed a level of commitment that I’m proud of and excited to be a part of. I think were on the right track.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.