The Fire fail to reach the MLS playoffs following a 1-0 loss to NYCFC originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Fire’s 2023 season came to an end as they were unable to get the win they desperately needed and lost 1-0 to NYCFC.
The Fire came into the match needing a win and other results to go their way if they wanted to reach the MLS playoffs.
In a must-win game, it was NYCFC, who were also fighting for a playoff spot, who came out with a sense of urgency. But the Fire had the first chance of the game when Fabian Herbers powered a shot that was saved by Matt Freese in the 16th minute.
NYCFC responded in the 25th minute when Julian Fernandez easily beat Alonso Aceves for pace and sent in a low cross that was just out of the reach of Santiago Rodriguez.
The next best opportunity was Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick in the 30th minute. The Swiss forward tried to surprise the keeper by shooting at his near post. But Freeze reacted quick enough to stop it.
The two sides went into halftime scoreless.
In contrast to the first half, it was the Fire who looked better in the opening minutes of the second half. But NYCFC would open the score thanks to a screamer from Julian Fernandez.
It looked difficult to see the Fire score one goal, let alone two.
Knowing their season was on the line, head coach Frank Klopas brought on Kacper Przybyłko and Kei Kamara to try to at least get one back.
Despite bringing on two strikers, the Fire struggled creating any real danger. Brian Gutierrez had a header saved in the 76th minute and Kei Kamara would fluff his header in the 87th minute.
In the end, there would be no miracle as the Fire lost 1-0, culminating another disappointing season, missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
While it won’t be any consolation, the New York Red Bulls won their match. One of the results Chicago needed to go their way was a Red Bulls loss.
In the press conference prior to the game, Klopas wouldn’t go as far to call the season a failure if the team didn’t make the playoffs.
There isn’t anything else you can call this for a team who ultimately finished in 13th place out of 15 teams while having the fifth-highest payroll in the league.