Orlando City-Fire Preview
Raphael Wicky admitted he had to have a frank discussion with Alvaro Medran as he aimed to help the Spaniard turn his form around.
Medran has failed to score yet this season, but registered his second and third assists of 2021 as he helped Chicago Fire to a 3-0 win over Atlanta United last time out.
The 27-year-old midfielder has played in all of Chicago's games this season, and Wicky explained after Saturday's win that he had not been happy with Madran's contribution.
"It's my job to have talks with the players. It's my job to tell them when I'm happy with things and when I'm not happy with things," Wicky said. "It's my job as well to try and make them better. With Alvaro, we have a good relationship and I sat down with him, I don't know, three or four weeks ago, and I told him these points that I'm not happy about and you have to do better there.
"I try to give the player something, and the player then has to react and work on that.
"He took that well and then I think these last two games especially, he was very good. He showed a lot of personality, he showed a lot of character defensively and with the ball, and that's what I want to see from him."
Orlando City are next up for Chicago. The Lions are second in the Eastern Conference, 10 places above the Fire, but lost to the New York Red Bulls last time out.
"It's a nice thing that we get the opportunity to bounce back so quickly," Orlando forward Tesho Akindele said.
"It's an away game but we have to be focused and ready to get out there and put our best foot forward."
Chicago Fire - Ignacio Aliseda
Ignacio Aliseda scored twice and set up the other goal in Chicago's win over Atlanta. He has now doubled his tally of goals from last season.
Orlando City - Chris Mueller
Chris Mueller has been involved in a goal in each of his last four appearances (2 goals, 2 assists), including scoring in each of the last two games. This is the first time in Mueller's career that he's been involved in a goal in four straight games.
- Aliseda became the first Fire player to be involved in three goals in a match in exactly two years, since fellow Argentinian Nicolas Gaitan (one goal, three assists on July 3, 2019) also did so against Atlanta United.
- Another assist for Mueller would see him overtake Kaka (22) as Orlando's leading ever assister.
- Orlando lost for just the second time this season in a 2-1 defeat to the Red Bulls on Saturday. Orlando hasn't lost consecutive regular season matches since August 2019.
- Orlando City ended an eight-match winless run (D4 L4) against the Fire with a 4-1 away win last September. It was the Lions' first MLS victory over the Fire since winning two of three games in their inaugural 2015 campaign (D1).
- The Fire have recorded back-to-back three-goal performances for the first time since scoring four in consecutive games in June-July 2017. The Fire had found the net just four times in their first nine games this season before scoring six in the last two.'
Updated July 6, 2021