One goal could change everything for Fire striker Robert Beric

Beric, a designated player whose $2.7 million in guaranteed compensation is the highest on the team, hasn’t scored since the fifth minute of the season-opening draw with the New England Revolution on April 17.

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Fire striker Robert Beric hasn’t scored since the first five minutes of the season.

AP Photos

Even if it’s from a tap-in into an empty goal, Fire striker Robert Beric just needs to see the ball cross the goal line.

“With one goal,” Beric told the Sun-Times, “everything can change.”

Beric, a designated player whose $2.7 million in guaranteed compensation is the highest on the team, hasn’t scored since the fifth minute of the season-opening draw with the New England Revolution on April 17. -After enduring a seven-game dry spell last year, Beric now hasn’t scored in nine straight as the last-place Fire enter the match Saturday against Atlanta United (2-2-6, 12 points) at Soldier Field.

The Fire (1-7-2, five points) hope that Beric recovers from this barren period like he did in 2020, when he ended up with 12 goals during the abbreviated 23-game season to finish in a tie for second in the league. But before that happens, Beric needs to regain his confidence, which he admitted is “not the best” because of his drought and where the Fire are in the standings.

Unfortunately for the Fire, Beric isn’t the only player dealing with that issue.

“You can tell [with] the whole team that we are lacking [in] confidence,” Beric said. “We are altogether not on our best levels. That’s going to change with every game, with every point, with every win, with every three points. We have to build that from scratch again. That’s the game.”

Though he hasn’t scored since the opening moments of the season, Beric still is working on his craft. He’s evaluating the best places on the field for chances and honing his shooting. Knocking in goals, of course, isn’t the only task the Fire ask of Beric, and he must be responsible defensively and hold up play to allow his teammates to join the attack.

That said, Beric knows the rubric on which he’ll be judged.

“I’m a striker,” Beric said. “I can do however I can [on] the pitch. I can be the best on the pitch, but if I’m not scoring, nobody will be satisfied. I know how it is. Scoring is my job and I would feel better for sure, but my main goal is not just scoring.”

That might be true, but when Beric isn’t scoring, the Fire aren’t winning.

During Beric’s scoreless run in 2020, the Fire went 1-5-1 and were blanked four times. In his nine-game dry spell this year, the Fire have been shut out six times and have scored multiple goals once as the secondary offense the team hoped for hasn’t materialized.

Beric wants more victories, regardless of whether he scores. And that might bring other benefits.

“My main goal is that we start winning because in the end this is a team sport,” Beric said. “Believe me, if your team is winning, even then it is easier for me as a player, for every player on the team. The team is playing better, you have more chances during the game. Everything is better. It’s easier to score goals.”

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