Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Chicago Fire v Philadelphia Union: Small margins costing visitors in big games, says Curtin

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jul 2024


Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin is looking to find solutions to the small-margin failures when they travel to Chicago Fire in MLS.

The Union have not won any of their last seven matches in the league and are hoping to snap a four-game losing streak.

Their recent poor run has seen them drop to 12th in the Eastern Conference, and they are four points off a playoff place, but Curtin admits they have not been doing the little things right in recent weeks.

“The small margins are real and when things aren’t going well you get exposed,” he said. “It’s a very fine line.

“The way things are going right now, it’s never enough. We haven’t been able to defend well as a team. Strange goals have gone in, and we’ve let ourselves down.

“It hurts. We have to find a way to turn things more in our favour. We’ve come up short in that area and, as coach, I take responsibility.”

Chicago have now slumped to two consecutive defeats after a four-match unbeaten run and sit bottom of the table.

A home win could move them back up the table, and head coach Frank Klopas is using his full squad as he aims to get back to winning ways.

“We have three games in one week, we have to rotate some of our guys,” Klopas said. “Those who missed out [against Seattle Sounders], there was nothing in there.

“We want to keep our players fresh so we can get the best results.”


Chicago Fire – Maren Haile-Selassie

Maren Haile-Selassie has scored in each of his last three matches. He is the second Fire player with such a streak this season (Hugo Cuypers – four straight).

Only Luka Stojanovic (three straight in 2021) had found the net in three straight games for the Fire over the previous three seasons (2021-23).

Philadelphia Union – Andrew Rick

Dominik Yankov scored CF Montreal’s winner in the 89th minute against the Union on Saturday, the fourth time this season the Union have allowed a match-winning goal at 89′ or later, tied with San Jose Earthquakes for the most such goals conceded this season.

Andrew Rick will be determined to avoid doing the same again in Chicago as Philadelphia aim to get back to winning ways.


Chicago have lost only two of their last 12 home matches against the Union (W6 D4) dating back to the start of the 2014 season. The Fire have more home wins over the Union (six) than they have against any other opponent since 2014.

The Fire conceded twice from the penalty spot in their loss to Seattle on Saturday, the fourth time since the start of last season that they have allowed two goals from the spot in a match. Chicago had conceded multiple penalty goals in a match three times in the club’s first 25 MLS seasons.

Meanwhile, the Union have equaled the longest single-season regular-season losing streak in club history at four (fourth time). Philadelphia have won one of their last 14 matches (D5 L8) dating back to mid-April.


Chicago Fire – 35.5%

Draw – 26%

Philadelphia Union – 38.5%



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