CHICAGO -- From the first minute of the Chicago Fire’s 4-2 loss to D.C. United, the Fire's tactics backfired. So says left back Gonzalo Segares.
“I think, from the beginning, that we were going to go pressure them high, and I think they made a good jump to find longer balls in the back of me and [right back] Jalil [Anibaba] and I think that made us stretch,” Segares told MLSsoccer.com.
HIGHLIGHTS: DC 4, CHI 2
“I think that was one of our mistakes. They’re very good on the counter, and that’s how some of their goals came. We lost so many balls right in the middle and they’re a very quick team with very good players.”
However, the Fire’s tactical plan may have worked had they defended more tightly inside their own penalty area. All four of D.C.’s goals came when the goalscorer was found wide open in the penalty area on a cross.
“I think we came out too casual in certain situations,” coach Frank Klopas said. “We have to be more alert and more focused. I think that teams must earn the goals they score against us, but some of United’s goals were a little soft and we could have prevented them.”
Unusual defensive lapse
The Chicago defense hadn’t given up more than two goals in any game all season heading into Wednesday’s game, and had only given up more than one goal once in their last 11 games. They were also riding their second three-game winning streak of the season.
But those streaks came to an end, and Klopas pointed out the devil in the details.
“It’s just little things,” Klopas said, “like opening your hips or looking at both references – the guy with the ball and the player making the run – that can make us a tighter team.”
The Fire, who played three matches in 11 days, now have a 10-day break before they host Houston on Sep. 2, with whom they are tied with for third place in the Eastern Conference.
Klopas gave the team a break from practice on Thursday and Friday.
“I think that we have to regroup now,” Klopas said. “We have a little break of ten days, which will let us to get some of our players healthy and allow us to get ready for some big, exciting games coming up.”