While The ‘Men in Red’ didn’t have a dream start to the season, mustering up 5 points in 5 games, they were at least competitive in every game and made sure the matches were close and exciting.
That definitely wasn’t the case in this matchup, though, as Chicago showed an uninspiring performance, which the 3-0 score accurately reflected. 

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What Went Wrong?

The offense was stale and predictable from start to finish. Only 3 shots on goal were recorded, none of them being incredibly dangerous, and the Fire were outscored in total shots 21-11. The Fire had 0.68 XG (Expected Goals) and only created one big chance, according to Fotmob. Hugo Cuypers had scored in his previous two matches, once against Montreal, and also scored the lone goal in last week’s tie to New England. Against Atlanta, though, it seems like the team wasn’t able to get the ball to his feet in any sort of dangerous goal-scoring position.

Shaqiri was plugged into the game for some offensive relief, which he did not end up providing. Some say this might not all be on the players, though, suggesting that HC Frank Klopas is slowing down the team’s playoff hunt with his tactics.

The defense wasn’t a strong point in this game, either. The three Atlanta goals tie the season-high for most goals allowed in a match for the Fire. Czichos continued his shaky form, and Carlos Teran earned himself a dumb red card in the 83rd minute on a reckless foul. Atlanta’s first goal scored by Giakoumakis was a blunder by Chicago’s defense, who just let the ball easily glide to his feet for the tap-in, and Atlanta’s Jamal Thiaré put the Fire to bed, closing out the game with two goals in a half-hour span.

Chris Brady is usually a bright spot no matter the result, but he didn’t have the best showing on Sunday, as he saved only one more shot than goals allowed in and didn’t really have a spectacular save that prevented a goal at any point. The Fire have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

Is Klopas on the Hot Seat?

With the disappointing start to the season and predictable, bland tactics on display, some fans haven’t held back, determining sticking with Klopas was the wrong decision. You can cut Klopas some slack and say it’s still early in the season, but it’s not unreasonable to be #KlopasOut already.

After all, this isn’t his first time as head coach; he ended last season as the interim head coach as well. Overall, Klopas has a lower PPG (Points per Game) than the previously fired Ezra Hendrickson.

Going off the PPG stat, one could say the Fire only went backward in going forward with Klopas.
It’s not very often you see an HC on the “Hot Seat” by the end of March, but if the Fire’s struggling form continues, this could change by the end of this month.

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