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Chicago looks to iron out issues, return to winning ways under Klopas’ guidance

Pause (Getty Images)

By ANTHONY ZILIS

One thing is clear to captain Logan Pause and his Chicago Fire teammates throughout their nine-game winless streak – the Fire hasn't been outplayed by a wide margin.

"If you're getting broken down by another team who's playing great soccer, you can kind of hold your head up. But we feel like a lot of the goals we've given up this year have been on us," Pause said.

"Right now, some of the details or the lack of attention to details have been what have hurt."

And that's what interim head coach Frank Klopas said he’d fix after taking over for Carlos de los Cobos earlier this week.

If he the team needed an overhaul, Klopas and the Fire front office may have made a more drastic change, but tweaks, he said, are what this team needs.

There have been differences in training this week though. The team has gone over more in-game situations this week, goalkeeper Sean Johnson said.

One off the bigger points of emphasis has been on defending set pieces, a consistent problem for the Fire this season.

The team has used zone coverage on set pieces this season, something that has given them trouble. Johnson said there may be a change back to man coverage at some point.

"(Zone coverage) is one of those things that can be really effective if everyone's on the same page and if everyone knows their roles and responsibilities," Pause said. "But as we've seen with the number of goals we've given up, it hasn't worked as well as we would've hoped. That's definitely something as a team we're looking to correct."

The Fire will have a new hurdle starting this week, because Marco Pappa will miss at least three games while playing for Guatemala in the Gold Cup.

Corben Bone will likely take Pappa's place on Saturday, when the Fire host the Seattle Sounders.

"I see it as a chance for myself to get in some different positions out on the wing," Bone said. "I think I'm probably going to take on that role. Personally, I feel a little more comfortable in the middle, but it's not a drastic change to play out on the wing. I played there in college so I know how to do it."

Speedy attacker Patrick Nyarko also may play on Saturday if he is feeling better after suffering his second concussion in less than a year.

Klopas, meanwhile, who will likely remain interim head coach until the end of the season, emphasized that the transition with a new coach at the helm has been seamless.

"The players are professionals," he said. "We put that behind us the first day we got together, and we’ve been focusing on the task that's in hand in front of us."

Comments

  1. It’s ironic, because last year the fire changed from man-to-man to zone coverage, because they were giving up so many goals on set pieces. The problem isn’t zone or mtm, it is EXECUTION!

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  2. According to the injury reports, he’s been out due to the concussion symptoms in the last several games. De los Cobos wasn’t consistently starting him before that, though. With Pappa out for a few games due to the Gold Cup, it’d be nice to have Nyarko back.

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  3. Are the concussions the reason Nyarko hasn’t been playing recently? I hope he is back soon – he and Odorno make a nice combination up the wing.

    Reply

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