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Talking Chicago Fire with Hot Time in Old Town

We talked to Patrick McCraney with Hot Time in Old Town ahead of today’s Chicago v. Union game

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago’s had a rough season thus far, what have they lacked to get the points that they need?

The Chicago Fire need to finish chances, and limit dumb mistakes defensively. They’re creating plenty—Chicago now leads MLS in chances created. Here’s a perfect example of how the season is going: They had 31 shots last time out against Toronto and led the xG battle 3.7 to 0.9, and managed to lose the game 2-1. You can’t make this stuff up.

Despite giving up 27 goals so far, Chicago hasn’t had too many issues with finding the nets with their 17 goals scored, only three behind the Philadelphia Union. Is there someone or something to watch for in Chicago’s attack?

Alvaro Medran and Przemyslaw Frankowski are both playing well, and Ignacio Aliseda can be very dangerous. He had six shots last time out against Toronto, but hit a few straight at Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono. If Aliseda can finish his chances, the Fire will be in decent shape.

But, remember this: Chicago hasn’t won a road match since Bastian Schweinsteiger’s final game in October 2019. The attack seems to fizzle away from Soldier Field.

What’s Chicago’s greatest strength and where do you think they’ll show it against the Union?

Like I said earlier, the Fire’s greatest strength is creating scoring chances. There will be some, no doubt, Sunday night. Finishing those chances is a different story.

Three things to watch: After missing the last three matches because of a health emergency involving his dad in Switzerland, Raphael Wicky is back on the bench for the Fire tonight. Francisco Calvo is also back from the Gold Cup and is available—it will be interesting to see if he gets his job back on the left side of the back three, since Jonathan Bornstein has been playing so well there. And, the Fire will be without left wingback Miguel Navarro, who has been a strong contributor in the Fire’s attack.

What’s your score prediction?

As for a prediction? Cory Burke scores against the Fire every time these two teams play, so I’m expecting at least one from him. I say Philly wins this one 3-1.