MLS: Chicago, Orlando aim to end recent struggles


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Two sides struggling to score look to get going when Orlando City visits the Chicago Fire on Wednesday.

Orlando (4-6-4, 16 points) has scored 15 goals, fourth fewest in MLS this season and has been shut out three times in the past five matches, including the most recent outing, a 2-0 setback against the Columbus Crew.

They’ve managed to get into dangerous areas and create chances, but finishing those opportunities has been an issue.

“It’s on us to turn things around,” midfielder Dagur Thorhallsson said. “We need to step up a lot if we want to do something this year. … We just need to look inside of ourselves and see what’s the problem.”

Losing leading scorer Duncan McGuire to injury 16 minutes into their 1-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on May 18 hurts. The forward, who did not play against Columbus and whose status for Wednesday is unknown, leads Orlando with five goals. Forwards Jack Lynn and Luis Muriel are tied for second with a pair of tallies each. No other player has more than one.

While they’ve scored more than two goals in a match only twice this season, both times have come on the road where they have a 3-2-1 record. The Lions have won each of their past two road matches and are unbeaten in their past four, going 3-0-1 in that stretch.

Chicago (2-8-5, 11 points) has scored 14 goals, tied for third fewest in the league, and the Fire have just one goal in their past five home matches while conceding nine.

“Every loss, for me, hits more at home than anything else, and I care,” coach Frank Klopas said recently. “… Right now, we just haven’t found the right formula, and it’s a lot on my shoulders. It’s on my shoulders to find that.”

The Fire are winless in their past eight matches (0-5-3) following a 1-1 draw on the road against D.C. United on Saturday. The point they earned halted a four-game losing streak.

“It comes down to what we do on the field,” defender Andrew Gutman said. “The staff has given us good ideas, good game plans, and we have to do a better job executing it.”

Forward Hugo Cuypers leads Chicago with three tallies but has found the back of the net only once in his past 10 matches.

-Field Level Media


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