Eastern Conference Final Position: 9th
Chicago Fire had a difficult start to the season, having to wait until their ninth game for a win. Their tough opening was unfortunate and indicated what was to come for the rest of the regular season. The Fire only managed back-to-back wins on one occasion and narrowly escaped finishing at the foot of the table.
Doing the double over New York Red Bulls – one of which was a nine-goal thriller, ending 5-4. After leading the game early on, they then fell 2-1 behind. They showed resilience and power to score four without reply to lead 5-2. There was late drama from the record leveller, Bradley Wright Phillips, making the score 5-4. The Fire managed a last ten minute shut out in one of the most exhilarating games of the season.
Their eight-game winless run at the beginning almost determined their fate and made it extremely difficult to push on for the rest of the season.
Player of the Year
Jeff Larentowicz. The midfielder is someone Fire need to build around as he was one of a few solid players and the joint top appearance maker. Larentowicz was also joint second top goalscorer.
New York Red Bulls 4-5 Chicago Fire (May 11 2014).
All six of Fire’s wins were only by the single goal. With that in mind, it’s worth assessing the biggest win in terms of the performance.
San Jose Earthquakes 5-1 Chicago Fire (July 24 2014)
What to improve for the 2015 season…
Turning draws into wins is a must for Chicago. Their inability to win games evidently cost them any chance of pushing for the playoffs. Their staggering 18 draws was the highest out of both conferences, but Fire must take a positive that they managed to avoid defeat in 24 of their 34 games. In comparison, Seattle Sounders were another side who lost ten games, proving the difference and importance of winning. They have to build on some solid performances in the season and beating a handful of the top five.