Scoreless Fire still figuring things out
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media March 15, 2013 11:38PM
Updated: April 17, 2013 6:15AM
Despite its obvious struggles to score, the Fire doesn’t appear to be panicking.
But that doesn’t mean the team isn’t considering immediate change.
Coach Frank Klopas likes to play a compact style, which dictates that the team score most of its goals using counterattacks and combination plays. But without a goal through two games, some have considered making a tactical change in advance of the game Saturday at Sporting Kansas City.
“Honestly, we need to figure out what kind of style we want to play as a team,” forward Chris Rolfe said.
“We just need to get everybody on the same page. If that’s [compact style] going to be our style, we need to concentrate on it and focus on it and get better at.”
Klopas scoffs at the idea of his team being characterized one way tactically, and the second-year coach has proved to be able to make in-game changes, as evidenced by the number of comeback victories last season.
When pushing the game, Klopas has gone to 4-3-3 formations, and the team proved fluid when playing a more direct game. Most important to Klopas, though, is that his team be able to adjust to an opponent.
“You always have to see what kind of personnel you have to play a certain way,” Klopas said. “I think the game dictates a lot of that. I think we have players with pace, and I think we have to make the right decisions based on what the game is giving us.”
The Fire has struggled this season to make those adjustments because it appears largely out of sync.
Offseason signee and attacking midfielder Joel Lindpere has struggled to connect with Rolfe and fellow forward Sherjill MacDonald. Lindpere was touted as the Fire’s biggest offensive upgrade.
“Maybe it seems for everybody that it’s not 100 percent clear how everybody communicates with all the players together on the field,” Lindpere said. “But we will get better when the team trains every day together.”