Wind of change: Fire fall to 12th in rankings
The Chicago Fire dropped three points to 12th place in this week's ESPNsoccernet.com MLS Power Rankings. The Fire are coming off one of their worst losses in recent history, a 4-1 road defeat against Toronto FC on Saturday.
The four goals represent the highest total the team has allowed in a regular-season match since 2008, and a surprising part about the match was that three of those goals allowed came in the second half when Chicago had the wind at its back.
Nobody should ever utilize the weather as a factor to prop them up, and for whatever reason the Fire went away from their game plan in the second half. On the flip side, Toronto treated the wind as a non-factor, continued attacking and broke through a poor defensive effort from Chicago.
The second-half turn of events were surprising because Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos has tried to engrain the whole possession game, utilizing swift movement with and without the ball, and not playing in the air constantly. Toronto instead took a page from that, countered well, and the Reds never really played as though they were pinned into their defensive third to preserve a win.
Toronto jumped up from 13th to ninth in the rankings. Chicago's next opponent, the Kansas City Wizards, dropped from seventh to 11th this week after allowing D.C. United's first win of the season. D.C. climbed out of the cellar to 15th, ahead of the expansion Philadelphia Union.