Loss leaves Chicago Fire's future uncertain

The Chicago Fire's metamorphosis is still a work in progress.

Despite a good start to the MLS is Back tournament, the Fire failed to advance to the knockout round.

The Vancouver Whitecaps eliminated the Fire 2-0 Thursday morning in a game interrupted by a lengthy weather delay in Orlando.

The Fire -- which has changed ownership, front-office leadership, the technical staff and most of the roster in the past 10 months -- finished last in Group B.

The Fire, now 1-3-1 in 2020 between the three tournament games and two regular-season games in March, must hope the regular season can resume after the tournament's scheduled end Aug. 11. For now the club's 2020 future is unknown.

“I haven't really thought about it much,” Fire midfielder Alvaro Medran said through a team translator. “I mean, we just lost. But now we are just going to go home and the coaching staff is going to tell us what to do next, what the next steps are.

“We might play against some of the teams that have already been eliminated. We might keep training the same way that we have been. They are going to put a plan together and let us know what the next steps are. We just going to keep going forward and keep preparing.”

A lightning delay in the 63rd minute led to a 93-minute wait. When the teams came back, the Whitecaps scored quickly, taking a 1-0 lead on Yordy Reyna's goal in the 65th minute.

Fire coach Raphael Wicky refused to use the delay and the tournament scheduling changes as an excuse.

“No, I'm not frustrated about that,” Wicky said. “I'm frustrated about the way we came back after the break, and the break was for both teams. The break was long. It was unusual. We never really faced that. But it was for both teams, and I'm very frustrated and disappointed about the way we came back, very sleepy, not ready, and that is what frustrates me.

Cristian Dajome made the score 2-0 when he beat Fire goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm in the 71st minute. Kronholm did not make a save in the game.

Fire forward C.J. Sapong appeared to score in the 84th minute, but the goal was disallowed on review for a hand ball.

The Fire lost despite a decided advantage statistically. It outshot Vancouver 25-4 but could manage only 5 shots on frame. The Fire had 61% possession for the game.

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