Wed, 04 Oct 2023

Back in comfort zone at home, Toronto FC face Fire

Field Level Media
31 May 2023, 08:55 GMT+10

Not much has gone right for Toronto FC so far this season, with another chance to improve on their slow start when they play host to the Chicago Fire on Wednesday.

The comforts of home have been a silver lining for Toronto (3-5-7, 16 points), which is 3-1-4 on its home field in MLS play and have lost just three times in its past 15 overall games (5-3-7) as host going back to last season.

The Reds are coming off a 2-1 win at home against D.C. United on Saturday, snapping a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) in which they were shut out in each contest. The victory came after a tumultuous week, with star striker Federico Bernardeschi calling out the team's style of play after their loss to Austin FC on May 20.

Bernardeschi was benched against D.C. United but Bradley said the forward will play Wednesday.

"It's been a tough couple of months for us," Toronto FC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye said. "To be able to go out there and put out a performance that we're proud of, and also have three points to come back into the locker room to celebrate, feels really good. Hoping that this can give us the momentum we need for Wednesday."

Bernardeschi remains Toronto's leading goal scorer with three but hasn't scored since April 1. Kaye, forward Deandre Kerr and defender Richie Laryea follow with two goals each.

The season hasn't been much better for the Fire (3-4-7, 16 points), who have already made a coaching change. Chicago is 1-1-2 in MLS action and 3-1-2 across all competitions since interim coach Frank Klopas replaced Ezra Hendrickson on May 8.

The Fire are coming off a 3-3 draw at the New England Revolution on Saturday, a match in which they held a 2-0 lead early and a 3-2 lead in the 78th minute before settling for a point. It was the second straight game that finished in a 3-3 tie.

"Taking a point on the road against a team like this, normally you feel really good, and we still do but kind of feel like we left points here," Klopas said after the New England match. "But in the end, they also had chances. So fair result, but kind of bitter."

Kei Kamara leads the Fire with four goals, while forward Kacper Przybylko is tied for second on the team with three goals and has two goals and an assist in each of his past four games across all competitions.

--Field Level Media

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