The Blackhawks are busy showing off the Stanley Cup, the Cubs and White Sox already are looking to next year, the Bulls are on summer vacation, and the Bears still are three weeks from the start of training camp.
All that just means there's a void in the Chicago sports scene for the Fire to fill, and the club did its best with Wednesday night's 3-2 victory over San Jose at Toyota Park.
The win bumped the Fire's undefeated streak nine games, including U.S. Open Cup matches. After the worst season start in club history, the Fire (6-7-3, 21 points) jumped two spots to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings, just 2 points behind fifth-place Houston for the final playoff spot with a game in hand.
"We kind of feel like we're playing like we should," Fire midfielder Dilly Duka said. "We definitely know there's more room for improve."
"If we get a good result we're right back in it. We started (the season) very poorly. … I think it's going to be a challenge to keep it going, but we're focused enough to keep it going."
The club has a chance to help itself when the secondary transfer window opens Tuesday, if it spends the money to sign a player who can make the product better on the field and help attract fans to Bridgeview.
The Fire drew 14,815 on Wednesday, above its season average of 12,723 but still below its 2012 average.
The Fire continues to make the games a little extra interesting, giving up the first goal to set up a comeback victory for the third straight MLS match. San Jose drew first blood in the 14th minute when Alan Gordon followed his own rebound off the crossbar.
"We're trying to make the fans happy, get more fans out to the game," Duka said, tongue in cheek. "We feel this is the way to do it."
"It makes for an exciting game for the fans, but we have to overexert ourselves," said Nyarko, getting the question he expected about the Fire's comeback victories.
Duka continued his improved play by tying the game in the 36th minute with a side volley that bounced into the net from 14 yards out. Nyarko added his second goal of the season just after halftime to give the Fire a 2-1 lead.
San Jose tied the game at 2-2 on Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere's own goal in the 72nd minute, but the Fire rescued 3 points in the standings on Chris Rolfe's game-winning goal in the 84th minute.
New forward Mike Magee didn't score for the first time in a Fire uniform, ending his streak at seven games.
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