The Chicago Fire are coming off their most notable win in years. Saturday’s 4-1 beating of the Seattle Sounders in front of a packed Toyota Park was the hottest performance in recent memory. Not much time has been allocated to the Fire to enjoy their win however. The last place Colorado Rapids come to town to play Wednesday night. Many questions will be asked of this Fire team during this rapid-fire period of matches, a stretch which features four games in 12 days. The following three questions frame up Wednesday’s tilt between the undefeated-at-home Fire and the winless-on-the-road Rapids.
Chicago Fire-Colorado Rapids Preview: Three Big Questions
Can the Fire Stay Hot?
Can the Fire maintain the wondrous form they showed during the second half Saturday? The Men In Red are in great form at home this year having played to four wins and a draw. The midweek encounter against Colorado has a banana peel feel to it ahead of the game at the weekend. The beating of the reigning champions at the weekend was significant but not without flaw. Some big decisions favored the home team in both boxes and on multiple occasions. Team defense was overall improved but Seattle created plenty of chances. The Fire defense looked vulnerable on crosses again and had some heavy touches that almost caught them out. The return of Matt Polster as the right back should be a big help to the backline and a much needed upgrade to the starting XI.
Will the Big Crowd Return on Wednesday?
Many of the Fire players gave glowing statements regarding the crowd and atmosphere at Saturdays game. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s quote regarding the big crowd sets up the next big question. “Thank you to our supporters” said the German midfielder. “It was a great atmosphere today in the stadium. As you could see it helped us; I hope for the next home match, it’s going to be the same.” Will fans turn out in droves to Toyota Park once again on Wednesday? Playing the champions on a Saturday on a national stage is an entirely different sell than a midweek game involving the Western Conference’s last place team. Plus, the ticket office had three weeks to concentrate on selling Saturday out when the Fire were on the road.
Can the Fire Rise Above the Cold Rapids?
Chicago is on Fire but can they rise above the cold Rapids? This game does look like a real trap game for the Fire. Losing to an underwhelming Colorado side would be a real display of MLS parity. The Rapids are in last place and winless on the road but are coming off of a resounding 3-0 home win against San Jose, their first since opening day. The Fire have a positive 18-13-9 all-time record against the Rapids and should add another win Wednesday night. Regardless of opponent, going unbeaten for a sixth straight home game would be another positive step for the new look Fire.