The Chicago Fire took a break from Major League Soccer play, but it couldn't stop the MLS calendar.
Saturday night's 2-0 loss to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur at Toyota Park gave the home team a much-needed break from league play after Wednesday's disheartening 5-1 loss at San Jose.
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"It was welcome, because it was a tough few days after the last result we had," said Fire coach/director of soccer Frank Yallop, adding he was just getting over Wednesday's loss. "It's always nice to get on the field. Although we lost, I thought we had a great account of ourselves tonight. It was good to see our guys respond and play better than they did, obviously, in the San Jose game."
Saturday's friendly meant little, but Fire fans are keeping an eye on transfer rumors as the MLS summer transfer window nears its closing date, Aug. 6. By then supporters will have learned a lot about their club.
If the eighth-place Fire (3-5-11, 20 points) -- one of only two teams in MLS, including 2015 expansion clubs Orlando City and NYCFC, without a designated player -- makes a bold move, it will signal management's intention to make a serious run at the playoffs and beyond.
Signing a lesser player, in the mold of recent midseason signings Sherjill MacDonald and Juan Luis Anangono, would be nothing more than an attempt to fool fans into having misplaced hope. In the long run signing nobody at all, other than last week's addition, Romanian midfielder Razvan Cocis, might be better than adding to the salary-cap burden without adding substance.
Yallop and technical director Brian Bliss will present the team's options, but ultimately it will be up to owner Andrew Hauptman to decide whether to give his team a chance.
Saturday's friendly showed again that the Fire needs help.
The Fire's defensive troubles were magnified in the fifth minute of Saturday's game when Lewis Holtby caught Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz napping, stole the ball and passed to a wide-open Harry Kane for the kind of goal that can only damage Major League Soccer's reputation overseas.
Larentowicz, normally a defensive midfielder, started the game at central defense ahead of regulars Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Bakary Soumare.
Cocis, one of 10 Fire substitutions at the start of the second half, looked solid in his 31-minute Fire debut, but not the type of player to carry a team.
"Tonight it was simple but good," Yallop said, adding Cocis still lacks game fitness.
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