In my last article, the Fire comfortably sat in a playoff spot. Most fans, including me, were optimistic, considering we had a stretch of playing very winnable opponents that sat below the Fire in the standings.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and after a losing streak of four MLS games, Chicago sits 10th in the Eastern Conference and out of the playoffs if the regular season ends today.

Offensive Struggles

One of the primary reasons for this slump is undoubtedly the goal-scoring. It’s been terrible; only one goal in four games. That’s 360+ minutes of soccer, and the Fire have only found the back of the net once. Not good.

Kei Kamara has started the last three games as the main striker and has not impressed at all. But he’s a 38-year-old veteran who was brought in for depth and leadership; Klopas feeling the need to start him shines a light on the slow season the other starting striker options have been having. Either Kamara finds form, or one of Koutsias or Przybyłko needs to step up and help solve this goal-scoring drought.

DP (Designated Player) Problems

It’s fair that Shaqiri takes some blame in this slump as well; being paid $8M to be not even half as productive as other cheaper CAM DPs around the league is not a good look for the Fire. The other offensive DP that isn’t helping much is Jairo Torres, who’s still in search of his first goal this season. The third DP, Ousmane Doumbia, hasn’t had the best string of performances lately and found himself benched for Federico Navarro last night.

In a league where Designated Players are supposed to be the stars and cores of teams, the Fire have 3 DPs who started on the bench last night against DC. Georg Heitz, the leading man responsible for building this roster, has got to go. He’s failed the club for several seasons, and if he stays, I honestly do not see the Fire being a contending team anytime soon. 

Is There Still a Chance?

Although I’ve been very pessimistic in writing this, and times are not good for the team, there’s still a clear chance the Fire can make the playoffs. Klopas’ squad finds themselves only one point out of the picture and have seven games to go; that’s a potential of twenty-one points that can still be earned.

A win in Montreal may be all the team needs to get back on track and find form again, and 3 points that day could also be the difference in finding themselves above the playoff line again.

Chicago has a pair of weeks to recover from the DC United 4-0 battering and come back strongly.

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