David Accam also known as King David extended his contract through 2018. He will remain with the Fire for the rest of the 2017 season as they continue their quest for silverware. However their quest for the Supporters Shield took a gigantic hit as they fell to Columbus 3-1 on Saturday. With only one win in 5 games the Fire seem to be experiencing a bit of a slump after the Gold Cup break. Once again the Fire’s inability to break down a team that bunkers down in their defensive end reared its ugly head in the Columbus game. Michael de Leeuw scored the opening Fire goal in the 13th minute, before the Crew’s Kekuta Manneh equalized in the 18th minute. The Crew then went on to score two unanswered goals, including a questionable penalty. The Fire held most of the possession but it was a series of errors that proved the Fire’s undoing. Head Coach Veljko Paunovic had this to say after the match, “”I think today we actually killed ourselves. I think we conceded things and mistakes that we had and the adjustments we did weren’t good enough. I just think in the second half especially, at some point, even controlling the game we dropped the attitude and the concentration; we lost a couple of very dangerous balls and teams like Columbus will always punish you for that.” The scorer of the Fire’s goal Michael de Leeuw had this to say after the game, “I think we played well in certain parts of the game but most of all we were very sloppy. I think we had twenty unforced errors and at the end, the goals came from red I was also the third goal was a mistake for me. The positive — I think we played well but the sloppy mistakes were too much.” They know that they will have to improve their road form if they are to challenge for the Supporters Shield.
They get a chance right away as they travel to Montreal to face the Impact. They got their first road win last season a 3-0 victory. They will need to keep their concentration and find the blazing form they had in the first part of the season. Michael de Leeuw said this about what needs to be improved upon, “Well the sloppiness — we have to play better and when we play possession. Just hold the ball and not make stupid mistakes because Columbus profit big because of that.” Montreal certainly has the fire power in the attack to also take advantage of any mistakes. The Mid-week game is the game in hand the Fire have over second place New York City and first place Toronto, so a win would place them back in second place and within three of first. Saturday the Fire return home to face Toronto, a win would place them in a tie for first. The Fire are undefeated at home and a large crowd is expected to cheer their beloved Men in Red. Beat both Montreal and Toronto and the Fire will have swept all three Canadian teams having already beaten Vancouver. So can the Fire find the inferno they started the season with or has the competition figured out the fire extinguishers?