League home wins for the Chicago Fire during the past five seasons:
2006 – 8
2007 – 6
2008 – 7
2009 – 5
2010 – 4
So far in 2011 the Chicago Fire have only won two home matches at Toyota Park in MLS play, one of which came last Sunday against Toronto FC courtesy of goals from Dominic Oduro and Dan Gargan. The other? Well, that win came all the way back on March 26th in a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City. An incredible eight draws and two losses have occurred between both of the Fire’s home wins, a statistic few would have predicted prior to the start of the season.
But just how will that statistic look at the end of the year? Have the Fire finally turned the corner following Sunday’s win?
Yes. Call me bold, call me overly optimistic, or just call me crazy, but the win over Toronto FC was exactly what Chicago needed to regain their confidence and finish the season on a positive note – and improve their home form in the process. Fire supporters have seen it all at Toyota Park this season. There’s been games the Fire should’ve won yet somehow managed to throw away their lead late on in the match (Houston, DC United) and there’s been games the Fire didn’t deserve anything from (Portland, LA Galaxy). Sunday was a case of the Fire finally earning the three points they deserved.
So what will the story be in the club’s five remaining fixtures at Toyota Park this season? Although the Fire are very much unlikely to win all five of those matches, they could manage to go unbeaten in Bridgeview for the remainder of the season and potentially pick up at least nine out of fifteen points. Chivas USA, New England, and Columbus are all winnable games, despite the latter’s position at the top of the East. Colorado and FC Dallas present more of a difficult fixture, especially judging by their away form this season. Perhaps two wins and three draws would seem more realistic than three wins and two draws, however.
Three more home wins this season would see the Fire better their win tally from 2010 at Toyota Park under Carlos de los Cobos and would also provide a big boost for the team’s playoff chances, providing they can also pick up points on the road in their final four matches away from home. Here is the Fire’s remaining MLS fixtures this season:
August 27th: Chicago vs. Colorado | Toyota Park
September 10: San Jose vs. Chicago | Buck Shaw Stadium
September 17: Chicago vs. Chivas USA | Toyota Park
September 25: Chicago vs. New England | Toyota Park
September 28: RSL vs. Chicago | Rio Tinto Stadium
October 1: Houston vs. Chicago | Robertson Stadium
October 12: Chicago vs. FC Dallas | Toyota Park
October 15: DC United vs. Chicago | R.F.K. Stadium
October 22: Chicago vs. Columbus | Toyota Park