The Fire were left wondering after their goalless draw against 9 man Orlando. The Fire seemed to lack the passion which has become a big part of their recent resurgence. They were missing their big mid-field engine Dax McCarty who was away on international duty. The two hottest strikers in the league David Accam and Nemanja Nikolic failed to find the back of the net. On a few occasions the white friend saved Orlando, when the fire hit the crossbar and the post with their shots, including a late shot by David Arshshkyan hit the underside of the cross bar and bounced out and cleared by Orlando. Head Coach Veljko Paunovic was not happy at all with his team’s performance, saying after the match “I’m disappointed because we had to convert the two-men-up advantage we had during most of the game. It was okay to control the game, but it’s not enough. We have to understand that we are not the team that we were in the past. We are a team that could control the game and dictate the game. And it’s not enough to get the point, especially in a game like this. So I’m not happy with that.”
Chicago Fire mid-fielder Dax McCarty is in camp with the US Men’s National Team. He did not see action in the 1-1 draw with Venezuela. He and Defender Matt Polster were named to the preliminary US roster for this summer’s Gold Cup by US Head coach Bruce Arena. That 40 will then be trimmed to 23 based on league performance to 23 before the July 1st friendly with Ghana. The Fire will again be missing McCarty for their June 10th match with Atlanta. They will be anxious to get him back for their 4th round Open Cup match against United Soccer league side St. Louis FC.
Nemanja Nikolic was named Alcatel MLS player of the month for May. He scored six goals and added one assist for the month. The Fire were 4-0-1 during that time. Nikolic is leading the Golden Boot race, the award given to the League’s Top Scorer at the end of the Regular Season. He will hope to add to that total when Atlanta United come to the fire home. Atlanta routed the Fire in their first meeting in Atlanta 4-0, so a measure of revenge is hoped for. So will Fire fans be treated to the new look team that plays with excitement and passion once again? The Fire are only six points away from equaling their end of the season points from all of last year. They now have as many wins as all of last season, and need only 8 more to equal the total of the past two seasons. Dare we dream of trophies and playoffs Fire Fans?