Sunday's 4-1 loss to Chivas USA left Chicago Fire players and coaches struggling to explain the worst start in the club's 16-year history.
"It's embarrassing what happened today," said veteran defender Gonzalo Segares. "I've got no words to explain how things were so bad. We had a pretty strong first half. We just couldn't put goals away, and not putting away easy goals is definitely a bad recipe."
After a good first half, the last-place Fire (0-3-1, 1 point) fell behind on a goal by Chivas' Edgar Mejia in the 57th minute.
Seven minutes later, Patrick Nyarko scored the Fire's first goal of the season, slipping a shot under sliding goalkeeper Dan Kennedy after forward Sherjill MacDonald held off the Chivas defense to muscle a pass to Nyarko.
"I'm just not thinking about that right now," Nyarko said of ending a 333-minute team drought. "It's pretty hard. I feel like we have a much better team than we've shown early on in the season and I'm just trying to figure out ways to get the guys going and get out of this slump because I believe we're a better team and we can get out of this."
"We should have had at least 2 or 3 (goals)," Segares said. "We're just not putting them away.
"It's frustrating. It's even more frustrating giving up a goal and having to come back from 1-0 when we could've been up 2 or 3 . Things are just not working. We've got to bounce back from this. It's just really frustrating."
Chivas didn't settle for a draw on the road, however. Joaquin Velazquez scored off a set piece in the 73rd minute, and Juan Agudelo followed with a goal in the 75th after he won a 50-50 ball from Jeff Larentowicz. A Jalil Anibaba own goal in the 89th minute finished a 4-goal second half for Chivas (2-1-1, 7 points).
"You have to look at everything," Fire coach Frank Klopas said. "Right now it just seems like we're not getting things done. So we have to evaluate and make some decisions and do what's best for the team."
Part of the problem was several Fire players were out due to injuries and national-team commitments, including captain Logan Pause, goalkeeper Sean Johnson, midfielders Dilly Duka and Joel Lindpere and defender Arne Friedrich.
"I don't use that as an excuse," Klopas said. "I thought we prepared well for the game. We were ready. If you look at the game, we dominated the first half."
Follow Orrin on Twitter @Orrin_SchwarzCopyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.