Three observations from the Fire’s 4-0 loss to D.C. United originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Christian Benteke rolled back the years as the Chicago Fire lost 4-0 to Wayne Rooney’s D.C. United on Saturday.
Here are three observations from the loss
Christian Benteke caused the Fire defense all sorts of headaches
Benteke, to put it mildly, was in a bit of a slump for D.C. United. The Belgian striker hadn’t scored in 11 games. The last time he did score was back on June 3.
You wouldn’t know it if you saw his performance against the Fire.
Benteke continually beat Rafael Czichos with his touches and hold-up play. That certainly was the case for his goal where he switched the ball to his left foot inside the box before scoring D.C. United’s first.
Since coming back from the Leagues Cup break, the Fire have lost four games in a row. During that losing streak, the Fire have given up 11 goals.
In their previous six games, where they won five of those games, they gave up four. In fact, the Fire kept four clean sheets.
That defensive solidity has completely disappeared these last four games.
Kei Kamara’s search to catch Landon Donovan continues
Kei Kamara celebrated his birthday only a day ago. Tying Landon Donovan for second place in MLS’ all-time scoring record would have been a nice birthday present.
However, that wasn’t in the cards.
Kamara’s search for goal 145 continued as he once again was unable to get on the score sheet. Kamara did have a couple of opportunities in the first half.
In the 38th minute, Kamara got the ball near the penalty spot. With his back away from goal, he turned and got a shot off only to see it saved by the goalkeeper. Moments later, he headed a cross that just went wide.
The Fire crumble when they can least afford to
The Fire went on a good run prior to the start of the Leagues Cup where they won five of six and put themselves firmly in a playoff spot.
Coming out of the Leagues Cup, Frank Klopas talked about how important their remaining games were and how everyone in the locker room were aware of it.
The performances in these last four games certainly tell a different story.
The Fire simply haven’t shown up to play. Neither defensively or in attack.
Against D.C. United, it was an opportunity to stay in a playoff spot and put some distance between them and D.C. United. Instead, they were completely outplayed by them.
While the Fire are still in playoff contention despite the loss, they look like a lost team at the moment. They’re going to need to improve and improve quickly if they want to avoid another season missing the playoffs.