That's now four losses in five games for the Chicago Fire after their 2-0 defeat to the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Chicago Fire captain Logan Pause is not about to make any excuses. The match in New England represented the final game of a two-week stretch that featured five games in five different cities, but he refuses to blame the fixture congestion or the hangover from US Open Cup elimination last Tuesday at the hands of the minor-league Michigan Bucks.
“To be honest, truly I think it was the exact opposite,” Pause told MLSsoccer.com after the New England loss. “Quick turnarounds are good. I think we were well-prepared for this game and we were fit, and we were physically and mentally ready. We had a couple of breakdowns there in the second half and gave up a few goals.”
Breakdowns have been a consistent problem for the Fire this season.
For the 11th time in 14 games on Saturday, Chicago gave up the first goal. Early in the season, they were able to come back, but that hasn’t been the case during this disappointing five-game stretch, which has seen them go 1-4-0 including an Open Cup third-round ousting.
Nine of those leadoff goals conceded have come in the first half, but Kelyn Rowe’s finish to give the Revolution the lead on Saturday didn’t come until the 69th minute.
Highlights: Revs 2, Fire 0
“Looking back at the Columbus game, we got off to a weak start, and we were chasing the game,” Pause said. “We were learning the hard way about the importance of a good start. I thought we had a good start tonight and we couldn’t finish the game.”
After their worst two-week stretch of 2012, the Fire now have a two-week break.
With several players nursing injuries and soreness, the extra time off is welcome.
“We need to use these two weeks to kind of physically shut things down a little bit,” Pause said. “It’s been a lot of games, and the results haven’t been going our way of late, so I think it’s tough to mentally step aside. I think it’s going to leave us hungry.”