Poor Starts to Blame for Chicago Fire's Offensive Struggles

Ernest Shepard@@ernestshepardAnalyst IIIMay 28, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - MAY 26:  Emilio Renteria #20 of the Columbus Crew is held back by Austin Berry #22 of the Chicago Fire as he controls the ball and Gonzalo Segares #13 of the Chicago Fire moves in to help defend on May 26, 2012 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus defeated Chicago 2-1.   (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

After a 2-1 loss this past Saturday to the Columbus Crew, Austin Berry (second career goal) and the Chicago Fire have to be licking their wounds.

The biggest problem the Fire has is getting off to better offensive starts. Going down 2-0 in Columbus marked the ninth time during the season that the Fire have been forced to fight back from a deficit.

No one will question the Fire’s resiliency and toughness. There are no issues with the talent. The team has talent ranging from the aforementioned Austin Berry to Mexican superstar Pavel Pardo.

Adjustments have been made with Rafael Robayo being added to the starting 11. Before the FC Dallas game, Robayo would be a late game substitution to provide a spark on the offensive end. The thought process behind including Robayo with the starters was: passing would be crisper, shot opportunities would increase, and there would be more spacing on the field.

As a result, teams have stacked their defenders around midfield in an attempt to interrupt the Fire’s offensive flow.

The Fire must come out with a purpose at the opening kick. They must find Dominic Oduro as well. He has been missing in action ever since suffering from minor leg injuries.

Watching the games, I cannot help but wonder if Oduro has lost some of his confidence.

Playing against the Michigan Bucks in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Cup tomorrow could help Oduro and the Fire gain some confidence before heading out to Gillette Stadium on Saturday to face the New England Revolution.

With the Fire headed into the midway point of the schedule, the time is now to gain some momentum.

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