MLS Eastern Conference Preview, Predictions

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Chicago Fire

Last year’s results: 6-10-18, missed the playoffs

Head coach: Frank Yallop, in charge for a second season

Big offseason additions: Kennedy Igboananike and David Accam, from the Allsvenkan

The Fire set an ignominious record last year, drawing 18 of their 34 games. More troublingly, they won just six of the others. Supporters will be left wondering what might have been if Jermaine Jones went to Chicago in the blind draw instead of New England.

In the offseason, Chicago brought in a duo of African strikers from Sweden. Nigerian Kennedy Igboananike has 22 goals over the last two seasons across all competitions, including one in the Europa League, and brings blazing speed to the side. At 24, David Accam is the more promising talent, having made a couple appearances for the Ghanaian national team. The Fire added a third DP in Shaun Maloney, a Scottish winger with Premier League experience. Along with Harrison Shipp, Chicago should score goals this year.

Glass half full: This is MLS, land of parity, and six out of 10 teams from a weak Eastern Conference will make the playoffs. Chicago won’t be a favorite to make the playoffs, but if their new signings perform well, that attack should be able to turn draws into wins in 2015. Fifth or sixth place and a spot in the playoffs is within reach.

Glass half empty: The Fire did a lot this offseason to repair an anemic attack, which scored just 41 goals in 2014. But they didn’t do a lot to cure a defense that was at best mediocre. If draws become losses in 2015, it’ll be another long season in the Windy City.

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  • Anonymous

    Six teams make the Eastern Conference playoffs this year. As ridiculous as that may sound, even worse is that NYRB will not be one of them. NYCFC has a better chance.

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