In MLS there is one simple formula for success, 3 at home and 1 on the road. This means that a team should be getting wins at home and playing on the road to at least a tie. This formula gets you into the playoffs and sets you up for success. Last year, Chicago tried to use a different formula, tie at home and lose on the road. This is what I call the wooden spoon formula, it worked out well. Paunovic’s 2017 strategy seems to be a little different. Chicago started the year with an away point against their rivals in Ohio and then came home to a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake this weekend.
This is a great sign for the fire who currently sit in second place in the eastern conference two games into the season. Chicago came out the strongest we have seen them play for years in a regular season match. The first goal came from King Nico himself after a RSL defender slotted an awaiting Nicolic onto goal who then managed to slot one past a confused Nick Rimando. Although Nico was offsides, the ball came from an RSL player so Nico’s position didn’t matter, this was a great play on call from the center ref and a fantastic reaction by Nico. Minutes later it was Arturo Alvarez who once again cut inside and got a shot on from 18 yards out. The shot took a luck deflection and ended up rolling just past Rimando. Both goals were a little lucky but The Men in Red were at the right place at the right time.
The name of the game in the second half was defending crosses. Johan Kappelhof had a career game managing 18 clearances and 8 tackles. Although the second half wasn’t pretty, Chicago deserved all three points that it got. Game 1 was a second half performance and game 2 was all about the opening minutes. Hopefully next week in Atlanta we can finally piece together a full 90 minutes of beautiful soccer.
-Joey Calistri, Matej Dekovic, and Collin Fernandez have been loaned out to Tulsa, Collin seems to be for the full season.
-Fullback, Ryan Taylor is still on trail with the team.
-Matt Polster remains a few weeks from a return.
-Goossens is out until around October.