Saturday, March 18th was a big day for the Fire, a huge defeat against Atlanta. First two matches of the seasons gave high hopes against Atlanta and left the fans at home on their feet excited for this game. Who wouldn’t be? After those two matches, even people who didn’t like soccer supported the Fire. I mean can you blame them. People always join the winning teams… bandwagons, right? Atlanta is one hard team to beat. They have an amazing line-up, their first match was a little shaky but, now they’re all business. Once the match started Fire fans hoped for a good game. It didn’t take long for Fire fans to quickly lose hope. In the 4th minute a deflection from Brandon Vincent caused him to score in his own goal. From then on, the Fire became nervous and gave up easy passes. Leading to a red card given to Johan Kappelhof. After the Fire received that red card, it didn’t take long for Atlanta to expose the Fire’s defense. With Martinez scoring in the 60th minute and 82nd minute and Hector Villaba to score in the 67th minute of play ending the game 4-0.
Yet, after watching this awful game it is still too early to give up on the Fire and rule out the playoffs. Fans need to realize it’s only the third match not the 30th, they still have time to improve their defense which needs help, considering how sloppy they were against Atlanta and they will improve from that experience, hopefully. Schweinsteiger coming to Chicago Fire is still a possibility which would likely force the Fire to change their formation to have Juninho, Dax, and Bastian to play midfield. So, a 3-4-2-1 formation would fit perfectly with the three midfielders than their original 4-4-2 formation which will push Dax McCarty further back. When Polster recovers from his injury, he may be moved down to defense. From the way the defense has been playing this change wouldn’t hurt the team. As a fan, I want to see Michael Harrington out of the team completely because, with the position he has been playing, he keeps on losing possession easily and doesn’t add pressure on the opposing attack or flank the sides. Although Brandon Vincent played great first two games defensively and offensively this season, he should not be making rookie mistakes. Brandon Vincent is in his second year of his professional career, still getting used to the league, but that’s no excuse for mistakes because he is no longer a rookie. So, he shouldn’t be making rookie mistakes. But why pick on him? It was the entire defense, right? No, not really, Joao Meira played the best, he played his heart out trying to defend without his partner in crime, Johan Kappelhof, was difficult. Jorge Bava played a great game if you squint and avoid the 4 goals. The entire midfield, Nikolic, and Solignac did not make their presence known. Especially David Accam, who is always the one that ignites the Fire. Nemanja Nikolic either forgot to party or did not receive an invitation since there was no party with him on the pitch. Either way we can’t take away from the fact that Atlanta is a fantastic team. A team which will definitely make it to the playoffs if they keep it up. However, the Fire played horrendously and there is no excuse for the way they played with what’s at stakes, the fans, the league, and tradition. The Fire needs to show the league that they deserve to be here. Chicago is a top city for sports and lately the teams haven’t been doing well, this can be the Fire’s turn to shine and be recognized by not only the league but, by the city of Chicago. To accomplish this, the Fire need to step it up next match at home against Montreal Impact on Saturday, April 1st.