MLS

Chicago Fire v Orlando City: Lack of goals concerning for Pareja

By Sports Desk May 29, 2024

Oscar Pareja has admitted Orlando City's lack of goals in recent weeks is a cause for concern as they aim to change that against the Chicago Fire on Wednesday.

The Lions have won two of their last five matches but alternated between hitting the back of the net and failing to score during that run, getting shut out by Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Orlando are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference, two points off the playoffs, and Pareja hopes his side can add a more clinical edge against Chicago to close that gap.

"[Not scoring] is a concern, especially when you don't have the accuracy to cross or to find somebody in the box. Or if somebody is in the box but isn't precise to finish it off," Pareja said.

"The concern in the week is how can we polish them. But we have scored before, and we were collecting some games where the strikers start scoring. It's day by day, but today we need to be worried about it."

Chicago sit second from the bottom with just 11 points after only winning two games this season.

The Fire have failed to win any of their previous eight matches but snapped a four-game losing streak with their 1-1 draw against D.C. United at the weekend.

"It's about consistency now to keep going," Frank Klopas said. "We have the level, we've shown it.

"We've got to do it consistently, but [Saturday] was a step in the right direction with the attitude, the mentality, the fight with the group and playing really good football and creating good chances.

"[One] step at a time, we take it, we regroup, and now we need to come out with even more energy on Wednesday."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chicago Fire – Kellyn Acosta

Acosta scored his second goal for the Fire on Saturday, with both coming from outside the box. The American has scored eight goals from outside the box in his regular-season MLS career, with four coming from his right foot and four from his left.

Orlando City – Nicolas Lodeiro

Orlando have scored nine goals on the road this season, with Lodeiro recording assists on five of them. Lodeiro has 38 career regular-season assists on the road, the most among active MLS players and seventh-most in MLS history.

MATCH PREDICTION – ORLANDO CITY WIN

Orlando have won four of their last five meetings with the Fire (one draw), including the last three in a row. Prior to this run, Orlando had won just three of 14 matches against Chicago (five draws, six losses) in all competitions since joining MLS in 2015.

Orlando have also won three of their last four regular-season road games (one draw), including back-to-back wins over the Philadelphia Union and San Jose Earthquakes. This is the Lions' ninth set of consecutive away wins in MLS league play, though they've never won three in a row on the road before.

Meanwhile, Chicago ended a four-match losing streak with a 1-1 draw against D.C. United on Saturday. Still, the Fire have a club record-low 11 points after 15 matches, a total only one team since 2000 has overcome to reach the playoffs: Inter Miami in the extended playoffs of 2020.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Chicago Fire – 32.1%

Draw – 27.9%

Orlando City – 40%

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