Fire look to extend home streak vs. Real Salt Lake
The Chicago Fire will carry a six-match home unbeaten streak into Saturday’s contest against Real Salt Lake.
The Fire (4-6-6, 18 points), who own a 4-1-3 record at home, as opposed to 0-5-3 on the road, have outscored their foes 14-3 while posting a 4-0-2 unbeaten mark in matches played at Bridgeview, Ill.
“Six games (unbeaten), we’ll just be looking to add more to that,” midfielder Mo Adams said. “I think we’ve got to keep picking up points at home because that’s an advantage to us right now. As long as we keep doing that, we’ll be good.”
Chicago dropped a 2-0 decision at Atlanta United in its most recent MLS match on June 1 before falling 2-1 to USL Championship club Saint Louis FC in the U.S. Open Cup fourth round 10 days later.
“There are no excuses for (that) performance,” Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said following the loss against lower division opposition.
“It’s a mix of sometimes a casual approach and an immaturity that we have in some moments of the game. Some lapses that are unacceptable at this level of competition — and any other level that we are performing in.”
Nemanja Nikolic, whose five goals trail only fellow forward C.J. Sapong (six) for most on the team, converted a penalty kick in the 72nd minute against Saint Louis.
Real Salt Lake (6-8-1, 19 points) also fell in the fourth round of the tournament with a 3-0 setback to Los Angeles FC on Tuesday.
The Utah side has lost two straight MLS matches, most recently a 4-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls on June 1.
“We’re a special team. I’ve said it many times, (but) we hate losing like this,” Real Salt Lake forward Sebastian Saucedo said.
“Our goal is making the playoffs. At the end of the day, we had three games in a row where we were phenomenal, and (then) these types of games are how we get out of position. It takes character to get out of this.”
Midfielder Damir Kreilach’s brace fueled Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 victory over Chicago at Rio Tinto Stadium on Aug. 5, 2018.
REUTERS/Field Level Media