Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Orlando City v Chicago Fire: Klopas ready to put attacking unit to the test in Florida heat

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Jun 2024

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Chicago Fire Frank Klopas is pleased with the impact his attacking players have been working together this season and is looking forward to seeing how they fare against Orlando City.

The Fire are level on points with their hosts heading into the game on Saturday but sit above them due to their superior goal difference.

Chicago are currently on a four-match unbeaten streak, winning each of their last two matches, with Klopas praising his players for finding their attacking groove in recent weeks.

“Going to Orlando, especially in this heat, we have to be good on the ball, it’s so important, and we’ve worked hard on that,” Klopas said. “The team is in a good moment, and they’re also working extremely hard and that’s very important to me.

“We’ve been dangerous in games when we work as a unit and quickly transition.

“It’s been a big focus of ours from the beginning of the season to get more opportunities, and we’ve done a much better job with that, and we’re showing our ability to finish chances.”

Orlando are in 14th but will leapfrog their opponents with a win. However, they will need to snap a five-match winless streak in order to do that.

Head coach Oscar Pareja was once again left to lament late lapses of concentration in their 2-2 draw with Charlotte FC and is hoping to improve that against the Fire.

“It has happened in recent games where we dominate possession that we concede late goals,” the head coach said.

“I think our vigilance is getting better, but [against Charlotte] we lost two duels, and they found a way to hurt us. We need to get better about controlling possession.”

PLAYER TO WATCH

Orlando City – Facundo Torres

Torres, who scored Orlando’s equalizer on Wednesday against Charlotte, has scored four goals in five career MLS matches against the Fire, tied for his most against any opponent (also four vs the New York Red Bulls).

Chicago Fire – Hugo Cuypers

Cuypers has recorded a goal contribution in each of his last four appearances for the Fire, the first player to do so for the club since Robert Beric in 2020 (five straight).

Chicago has posted a record of W3 D3 L1 in matches in which Cuypers has been involved in a goal this season and W1 D3 L7 when he has not.

MATCH PREDICTION: ORLANDO CITY WIN

Orlando are unbeaten in six straight matches against the Fire (W4 D2), though Chicago did manage a home draw when the sides met on May 29. The Lions have just one longer regular-season unbeaten run against a single opponent, going eight straight without defeat vs. Toronto FC from 2019-23.

However, Orlando have lost four of their last five home matches, including each of the last two. They had suffered just one defeat in their previous 16 regular-season home matches (W9 D6) before this run.

Meanwhile, Chicago have recorded back-to-back wins after winning just two of their first 16 matches this season (D6 L8). The Fire have netted six times over the two wins after scoring six total goals in their previous 11 games.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Orlando City – 54%

Draw – 23.6%

Chicago Fire – 22.4%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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