Road performance one topic of interest for Fire
After their game Sunday against the Crew, the Fire will wrap up the season with 11 of their last 15 games away from Soldier Field. That could be a problem: They haven’t won as visitors since 2019.
If the Fire are going to make anything of their season, they’ll have to be considerably better on the road.
After their game Sunday against the Crew, the Fire (4-9-5, 17 points) will wrap up their season with 11 of their last 15 matches away from Soldier Field. The Fire have earned only one road point all season and haven’t won a true away game since the 2019 finale against Orlando City.
That’s one of the reasons the Fire should regret their performances at home, as they enter the most daunting part of their schedule with no margin for error.
‘‘To be able to make the playoffs, we have to push on the road, as well,’’ midfielder Fabian Herbers said. ‘‘We have to get points on the road. We have to mature on the road. We have to play dirty and keep points there, as well.”
How the Fire do on the road is one of the points of interest as their season wears on. But it’s not the only one.
What’s up with striker Robert Beric?
The Fire had reason to be confident in Beric, their highest-paid player, after he scored 12 goals in 23 games last season. But Beric has scored once since opening night and has found himself coming off the bench for the last three games, though coach Raphael Wicky said it’s because of a broken nose and mask that make him hesitant to go for long balls and duels.
Beric’s status will be something to watch because he’s a designated player with a team option for 2022. Not only that, but the Fire have exciting prospect Jhon Jader Duran joining them next season, plus the expected return of Chinonso Offor, who has started those three games with Beric as a substitute.
Wicky said Beric has created his chances but has been a bit unlucky.
‘‘I believe that he will always have chances and always score goals,’’ Wicky said. ‘‘He will get his minutes in those upcoming weeks and months, for sure, because of so many games.’’
Missing Przemyslaw Frankowski
Everybody should be happy with the transaction that sent Frankowski to French side RC Lens. Frankowski gets to play in a big European league (now featuring Lionel Messi), and the Fire got around $3 million and the ability to say they developed a player who moved on to one of the best circuits in the world.
But Frankowski’s game-breaking speed will be missed.
‘‘He’s a player that’s really fast and shifty and, really, that quickness you can’t teach,’’ Herbers said. ‘‘He has a talent born to him. I thought he had almost three great years here in Chicago. Obviously sad that he’s left, but we have to keep moving on as a team.’’
The Fire will be helped by the eventual arrival of defensive midfielder Federico Navarro, but it’s unclear when he’ll make his debut with the team.