Struggling Fire enter MLS All-Star week on a five-game losing streak

TORONTO – In a bit of a topsy-turvy year for the team, it appeared they had things turned around early in the summer.

After a 3-2 win over New York City FC at Toyota Park on June 30th, the Chicago Fire found themselves inside the top six of the MLS Eastern Conference Standings. It was a small achievement for the team considering they’d been on the outside looking in since the beginning of the season after a slow start.

A month later, things have flipped for the negative.

For a second-straight week, the Fire had no answer for Toronto FC, who beat them 3-0 Saturday night at BMO Field. All of their opponent goals came in the second half and sent the Fire to a fifth-consecutive loss in the MLS.

Instead of holding onto a sixth and final playoff spot in the East, the Fire now have some climbing to do. Veljko Paunovic’s team is now five points behind the New England Revolution for that last playoff spot as they sit in eighth place, four points behind the Philadelphia Union.

The rough stretch has featured a number of different scenarios in which the Fire haven’t been able to get over the hump. They’ve yet to lead at any point in the five losses and twice have fallen behind by three goals in a contest as the stronger play in June has disappeared in July heading into August.

At least the team gets a full week off since none of the players were selected for the MLS All-Star Game this Wednesday in Atlanta. It’s much different from a year ago when four members of the team were on the roster with Paunovic leading the group onto Soldier Field against Real Madrid.

The season is the same way for the Fire in 2018, as the ups and downs continue from the start to the middle of the campaign.