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Oppo Research: 5 Things about the Chicago Fire

We learn about the apprehensive but hopeful mood in Chicago, and why New York City need to watch out for Brian Gutierrez.

Chicago Fire's Kei Kamara and Brian Gutierrez have moves | Courtesy Ken Tamara

In this edition of Oppo Research, Hudson River Blue spoke with Ruben Tisch of The Lantern: A Chicago Fire Newsletter to learn more about Chicago Fire, New York City FC’s opponent on Decision Day tomorrow when they face off at Citi Field in the beautiful borough of Queens: Here is your NYCFC vs Chicago Fire preview.

1. It’s been rough going in Chicago 

Hudson River Blue: Chicago Fire have won two of their last five matches and are coming off a 2-0 home loss to Charlotte FC. Chicago currently sit in 11th place right outside of a playoff spot because of goal difference. What’s the vibe in Chi-town these days?

Ruben Tisch: The vibe is a mixed bag.

Most of the vocal fanbase has written this season off a long time ago and while there’s still game-to-game support, there’s no real enthusiasm for anything. In fact, you could say that they’re apprehensive about making the playoffs because they’re concerned that the current front office will be retained (not an unfounded concern, especially after Tom Bogert’s reporting in The Athletic from a week ago). Georg Heitz and Sebastian Peltzer have failed to build a complete roster for the entire time they’ve been here and the fanbase wants them gone, especially now that there will be a new head coach coming into the club for next season. 

However, the fanbase is also starved for postseason football. The last time the club made the playoffs it was because the stars aligned for David Accam and Nemanja Nikolic in 2017, and since then it’s been a lot of mediocre to bad seasons hanging around in the mid-bottom of the table. 

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