Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - After a lengthy layoff, the Chicago Fire return to action on Saturday with a vital home tilt against the Philadelphia Union.
Chicago has not played a competitive match since falling to the Montreal Impact at the Stade Saputo on April 27.
It was the fourth match this season in which the Fire could not conjure a goal as well as the fourth time this term that the club has conceded more than one goal in a match. The latter was an unfortunate product of reshuffling the defensive unit to accommodate Wells Thompson's suspension, which forced Logan Pause into a right-back position.
"I think, individually being involved in both goals, I feel like I could have done better," Pause said. "It was not good enough defending for me and I felt like I let the team down a little."
Fortunately for the Fire, Pause is likely to return to his natural position in the center of midfield to try and create scoring opportunities against a Union side that has conceded two goals in three straight league contests.
"We've limited the shots on goal to about less than three a game, but the chances that we're giving up are clear chances, and the other teams have been doing a good job of capitalizing on them," said Amobi Okugo. "We've got to go back to the drawing board."
Philadelphia, 1-1-1 in its last three matches, is coming off of a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at PPL Park last weekend.
While Union midfielder Brian Carroll laments his side's defensive woes, he was quick to praise the effort put forth by his teammates.
"We're doing our absolute best to limit the chances that the other team gets," said Carroll. "Maybe we just need to do an even better job to not let them get anything. Credit to all the guys and the work that they put in to get back in the game.
"You're never satisfied with a home draw, but everyone put in a great work rate, intensity, and there's nobody that you can really point to or anything negatively at all."
Philadelphia's trip to Toyota Park may be just what the club needs to cure its leaky backline as Chicago has managed just six goals in eight games, three of which came in one match.