Robert Beric battles Josh Williams
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Fire FC coach Raphael Wicky "100 percent confident" in Robert Beric despite goal drought

With two goals in his first three games for Chicago Fire FC, Robert Beric got off to a hot start to his MLS career.

But since scoring in a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders at the MLS is Back Tournament, the Slovenian international forward has gone cold. The Designated Player is goalless in his last five games and was subbed off after 66 minutes of a 3-1 loss to New York City FC on Saturday.

But Fire FC coach Raphael Wicky said he isn’t concerned with Beric’s recent goal drought, stressing that he has full faith in his striker.

“Robert is a No. 9 who I believe and who I trust 100 percent, who I believe will score always his goals,” Wicky told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. “Yeah right now, the balls don't go in, but I'm 100 percent confident that if he keeps working and he's getting his chances he will score again.”

Wicky said subbing off Beric against NYCFC had more to do with fixture congestion than scoring struggles.

“He had one or two chances in the first half, actually had two, three good chances in the first half,” Wicky said. “And then we said at one point, let's bring fresh guys with more legs.”

And with the Fire thin at the No. 9 currently, Beric hasn’t had a lot of chance to rest of late. CJ Sapong is another dependable option, but he just returned from an absence due to personal reasons. He’s currently in quarantine upon his return and is training on his own after being limited for the “last three, four weeks,” Wicky said.

“As soon as he will be back in team training hopefully he will be available to be an option for us,” Wicky said.

Luka Stojanovic could be used as a second striker, but he’s sidelined with a knee injury. And Djordje Mihailovic is another attacking option, but Wicky said he felt ill Saturday night, which is why Mihailovic didn’t feature in that match.

“Starting or not starting, Djordje is a good player and can help this team,” Wicky said. "So hopefully this time he will feel 100 percent.”

Chicago head to Nippert Stadium Wednesday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; on DAZN in Canada) to take on an FC Cincinnati side they defeated 3-0 a week ago at Soldier Field.

Beric didn’t register a shot in that game — only the second time that’s happened this season — with goals coming from midfielders Fabian Herbers, Alvaro Medran and Ignacio Aliseda, who has featured as a second striker.


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