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Ezra Hendrickson: Goals Will Come for Fire

Despite two clean sheets to begin the 2022 season, the Chicago Fire have yet to score a goal. Head coach Hendrickson, however, is not concerned.

Chicago Fire FC
Featured Photo: Chicago Fire FC

It was an unseasonable 65 degrees at kickoff for the Chicago Fire’s home opener yesterday. The weather, combined with the home debuts of Kacper Przybylko, Rafael Czichos, and Xherdan Shaqiri, created a buzz surrounding the club not seen for quite some time.

The ninety minutes, however, came and went without much fanfare even though there were 25,477 fans in attendance, the second largest ever crowd for a Fire home opener.

For the second straight match, the Fire kept a clean sheet. It took last year’s team 11 matches to earn their second clean sheet of the season, one which saw the Fire collect just six clean sheets in total.

While a solid defensive foundation is imperative to any rebuilding team, many are concerned with the lack of goals. The Fire have accumulated 2.1 expected goals from the club’s opening two fixtures, but have come up empty with the stat that really matters: zero actual goals.

Head coach Ezra Hendrickson is not pressing the panic button just yet. “I think the goals will come”, Hendrickson said. “It’s not too concerning because I think we have enough quality to get some goals.”

The Fire certainly do have that quality, more so than last season. Przybylko led the Philadelphia Union in goals over the past three seasons. Shaqiri has made a very good living putting soccer balls into nets over in Europe’s largest leagues.

However, much of this Fire team still needs time to gel after never playing with each other before. “Right now, just a couple of games into the season, guys are still learning from each other,” Hendrickson said.

While Hendrickson is not pressing that panic button, he certainly is not content. “[Is the lack of goals] a major concern? No. But, you know, I like to see goals and goals win games. Now, if we could continue to keep the zero and add the attacking part to it, then you know, I’ll be much happier, to be honest.”

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