Chicago Fire FC boss Raphael Wicky says his side will “start from zero” when they take on D.C. United at Audi Field on Wednesday.
The Fire were unable to follow up their recent 1-0 win over New York Red Bulls with another victory as they fell 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City last time out.
Wicky’s men have struggled for consistency all season and their hopes of reaching the MLS Cup Playoffs are fast dwindling once again.
But the Swiss coach has told his players to put that loss to Sporting Kansas City behind them in time for their midweek trip to D.C. United.
“We’ll talk about the last game and then regroup,” Wicky said. “We are going to get fresh again and then we go to D.C. and we start from zero.
“It’s a game where we go with the mentality of winning. We played them there already and lost 1-0. We know what will come to us.
“We played them at home, we were 2-0 up, minute 80. So, that’s it, that’s the game. It’s going to be a tough game again.”
United have regained some form with four points from their last two games – a win over Philadelphia Union and draw against the Red Bulls – following a run of three straight defeats.
The Black and Red are well positioned to reach the playoffs, leaving head coach Hernan Losada excited about what the future holds.
“I’m super positive and very enthusiastic for everything that’s coming up,” he said. “The last game was very ugly, but it is a good point moving forward.
“It’s not easy coming back into games, but that is what we did against New York.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
D.C. United – Ola Kamara
Norwegian striker Kamara converted from the penalty spot to earn United a point away at the Red Bulls, taking his season tally to 13 goals in 17 appearances. Only Seattle Sounders star Raul Ruidiaz (14) has scored more times in MLS this term, and all the more impressive is that Kamara has played five games fewer.
Chicago Fire FC – Federico Navarro
After being brought in from South American side Talleres last month, Navarro made his debut for the Fire as a half-time substitute in the loss to Sporting Kansas City. Navarro had an impressive cameo that saw him attempt double the number of tackles (six) than any of his team-mates, despite only playing 45 minutes.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– D.C. United has lost only three of its last 18 matches against the Fire (W7 D8) dating back to the start of the 2014 season, including collecting four points against the Fire in two games this season. D.C. has won six of nine home games against the Fire in that time (D2 L1), including a 1-0 victory in May.
– D.C. United has won five of its last six home matches (L1) dating back to the beginning of June. United recorded just four wins in 15 home matches (D3 L8) from the start of the 2020 season until this run began.
– The Fire lost for the eighth time on the road this season, 2-0, at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. Chicago’s four points (W1 D1 L8) away from home are the fewest in MLS.
– Ola Kamara scored from the penalty spot for his 13th goal of the season in D.C.’s draw with the Red Bulls. It was Kamara’s league-leading fifth penalty goal this season, only Jaime Moreno (9 in 2005, 6 in 2009) has scored more goals from the spot in a single season for D.C. in club history.
– Chicago was 2-0 down inside of six minutes against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, the fastest a team has scored two goals in MLS this season, surpassing the mark held by the Fire, who scored twice in the first eight minutes against the Red Bulls on August 8.