Wed, 08 Dec 2021

FC Cincinnati, Fire try to right ship as season winds down

Field Level Media
20 Oct 2021, 06:19 GMT+10

With the playoffs out of the picture, both the Chicago Fire and FC Cincinnati simply want to finish the season as strong as possible.

The visiting Fire aim to extend Cincinnati's franchise-record losing streak to eight games on Wednesday night.

Five teams officially have been eliminated from postseason contention, and Chicago (7-16-7, 28 points) and Cincinnati (4-17-8, 20 points) are two of them. These clubs hold two of the bottom three spots in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Fire have just one win in their last eight matches (1-5-2), but are coming off a 2-2 road draw at MLS-leading New England last weekend. Alvaro Medran leveled the contest in the 49th minute and Ignacio Aliseda came through with another tying score in the 88th for Chicago, which is 1-11-2 on the road this season.

Aliseda has posted a career-high four goals in 2021.

"You see his quality," interim Fire coach Frank Klopas said. "He's a guy that's very explosive. He's one guy in the final third that can take guys on and he can create, and he can score."

Now, Chicago will try to avenge a 1-0 home defeat to FC Cincinnati from June 23. Alvaro Barreal's 50th-minute goal was all the visitors needed to pull out the win. Cincinnati beat Toronto in its next match, but is 1-12-7 since then.

FCC has been outscored 17-6 during a slide that reached seven consecutive matches following last weekend's 1-0 home loss to Orlando City SC. Cincinnati has managed just two goals while losing its last four at home.

"They're trying to keep improving," interim FCC coach Tyrone Marshall said. "We just need to be more clinical in the final third.

"We keep moving, and we'll look to Chicago on Wednesday."

Barreal has three goals on the season for Cincinnati, but none over his last 18 league matches.

--Field Level Media

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