A Tough Start
Errant passing. Sloppy defending. A nonexistent finishing touch. The list of ailments and issues that felled the Chicago Fire in Sunday's 4-0 loss to the LA Galaxy goes on and on.
Yes, the Fire were working in three new midfielders in their season opener, but the problems were just too numerous for Jeff Larentowicz to blame on a lack of cohesion.
“We worked with each other in preseason and got to know each other's tendencies, playing how the coach wants us to play,” the midfielder told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “Attacking-wise, we never really got into much of a flow in the first half, creating good possession, good possession to go forward. In the second half, they had opportunities, they took them and they put the game out of reach.”
The Fire simply couldn't stop a Galaxy team has undergone plenty of change in its own right. In the first half, Mike Magee finished a sloppy clearance from defender Steve Kinney that bounced off of Todd Dunivant and straight to the forward's feet. The Chicago native broke through the Fire defense twice more in the second half, and the Fire simply had no answer.
“They're the defending champs, that's a good team, that's an unchanged team. They showed that today,” Larentowicz said. “They're the two-time defending champs, and they looked pretty good today. There's 34 weeks in the season, I'm not going to pick a champion just yet. They looked pretty good today.”
The Fire will head home this week, where they'll have their first consecutive practices at Toyota Park of 2013 before they face New England at home next Saturday.
Larentowicz hopes sleeping in their own beds, practicing on their own fields, and playing in their own stadium will help cure what ailed the Fire on Sunday.
“Coming in here today was a tough task, a tough team, and a tough place to play,” Larentowicz said. “Next week we'll be at home. … Whenever we're at home, we want to control the game, create more possession, create certain patterns so that we can be dangerous.”