Chicago Fire full-back Andre Reynolds II is refusing to give up hope of gate-crashing the playoffs despite their poor position in the Eastern Conference, but admits they will need maximum points.
After a 3-2 reverse at high-flying CF Montreal, the Fire are six points adrift of a post-season place and need several results to go their way across the final three matchdays.
Speaking after the defeat in Quebec, Reynolds said: “Obviously we knew our situation coming into this game. We would have liked to win out the rest of our games, but obviously things happen.
“But we are going to keep fighting. We are not going to give up because we are still in the hunt and we still believe in ourselves as a team.
“So yeah, we are going to go back into the week, prepare for this next game and try to get nine points out of these next three.”
Charlotte FC are level on points with their upcoming hosts with a game in hand, and though their chances of a playoff bid look more realistic, interim head coach Christian Lattanzio says that is not the only way they will define success.
After the team clinched a 1-0 win over New York City despite Christian Fuchs’ red card, Lattanzio discussed his intention to build an identity in North Carolina.
“Yeah, it’s very important that the team believes that they can get results in different ways,” said Lattanzio.
“We, as an identity, I said many times, we want to be the team that tries to play as high as possible on the pitch but sometimes that’s not possible for the quality of the opposition or we might go down to 10 men.
“If you want to have your own identity, if you want to really have sustainability, to your success, or to your team, you need to have a clear way of doing things.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chicago Fire – Xherdan Shaqiri
Shaqiri scored both of Chicago’s goals from the penalty spot against Montreal on Tuesday. Shaqiri is the fourth Fire player to score multiple penalties in a match, joining Mike Magee (2014), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (2009) and Ante Razov (2003). Can he guide them to success on home soil?
Charlotte FC – Yordy Reyna
Reyna has scored three career goals against the Fire, including a first-minute goal in the first meeting with Chicago this season. Reyna’s three goals against the Fire equals his most against any opponent in his MLS career (also 3 vs. Colorado and San Jose), and he will be keen to boost that record.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Despite conceding after just 25 seconds, the Fire came back to beat Charlotte 3-2 on August 6.
– The Fire haven’t defeated an expansion team twice in a single season since recording two wins against both Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA in 2005.
– The Fire’s loss to Montreal on Tuesday was their 14th defeat of the season. Chicago have lost at least 15 times in four of the seven seasons between 2015 and 2021, after not doing so in their first 17 seasons in the league.
– Charlotte FC’s victory over New York City on Saturday was their 11th win of the season.
– Only six expansion teams in MLS history have won more than 11 times in their first season in the league, most recently Los Angeles FC in 2018.