The Fire is unbeaten at Toyota Park in the last 10 games. The breakdown:
April 30 (MLS game) Tied D.C. United, 1-1
May 21 (MLS game) Beat Houston, 1-0
May 28 (MLS game) Tied Portland, 1-1
June 15 (Hunt Cup) Beat Indy Eleven, 2-1 (PK)
June 28 (Hunt Cup) Beat Columbus, 2-1
July 1 (MLS game) Beat San Jose, 1-0
July 13 (MLS game) Beat Sporting KC, 1-0
July 20 (Hunt Cup) Beat Ft. Lauderdale, 3-0
July 31 (MLS game) Tied NY Red Bulls, 2-2
Aug. 14 (MLS game) Tied Orlando City, 2-2
CHICAGO FIRE AT MONTREAL
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Saturday
WHERE: Stade Saputo, Montreal
FIRE RECORD: 4-11-7
MONTREAL’S RECORD: 8-6-9
LAST TIME: Montreal beat the Fire 2-1 on April 16 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Ignacio Piatti scored the winner in extra time for the Impact.
In what has turned out to be a long, frustrating season for the Chicago Fire, there is a sliver of a silver lining.
Fire fans who have shown up for games at Toyota Park in Bridgeview in recent months have not been subject to watching the team lose.
The Fire has gone two years without a win on the road but at home, the team has not lost in 10 matches in either seven Major League Soccer games or in three rounds of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The streak reached double digits with a 2-2 tie with Orlando City Sunday afternoon. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Orlando leads the MLS with 12 ties to go with five victories and six setbacks.
The Fire is 6-0-4 at home since losing to Montreal on April 16.
Razvan Cocis’s 78th-minute goal tied the game up. Although ties are not considered glamorous, his goal energized the announced crowd of 18,178, the biggest crowd of the season.
It energized the team, too.
“As you saw, after we scored the second goal, we could've scored the third one,’’ Cocis said. “We kept the pressure and kept believing in turning back this game. It didn't happen, but hopefully, we don't have to deal with this anymore. I want to see a team that can play without conceding a goal, because we can score. We showed that we can score every game, and it's very important not to concede."
John Goossens opened the scoring in the sixth minute for the Fire (4-11-7).
Fire sale?: Although Fire officials are not publicly saying the team is for sale, a speculative piece on the Fire Confidential website says three groups are interested in buying the team.
A group headed by Richard Levy, who is the CEO of a group that owns Giordano’s Pizza, another by real estate developer Majeed Ekbal and a Bridgeview group have expressed interest.
The article also said that this year that even though the Bridgeview facility is still known as Toyota Park, Toyota no longer owns the naming rights to the stadium.
Out of the Hunt
The Fire dropped a 3-1 road decision to New England Aug. 9 in the semfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament.
David Accam scored his fifth goal in the tournament in the 40th minute but that was all the scoring the Fire would muster. Kei Kamara, Je-Waughn Watson and Teal Bunbury scored for the Revolution. Accam was also ejected late in the game for rough play.
With the miseries suffered by the Fire in the MLS, the team was hoping to win the Hunt Cup. Had it won, it would have hosted the championship game at Toyota Park in September.
“The whole locker room feels very, very bad at this point,’’ Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said after the game. "I would like to add that we did our best. This is the best we can do at this point, but we will work hard and we will come back next year.
“After the second goal and the third goal, we pushed hard, we tried to do some adjustments, but the team, I'm really proud of our guys. I think our team did a huge effort and, as I said, this is the best we can do at this point and we learn from everything. It was a great experience for us and we just expect and we work on improving and not making the same mistakes in the future."
The Fire had five shots on target in the game.