Sunday, 14 Apr 2024

The Chicago Fire: Analyzing the 2022 Season

chicago fire best players

The Chicago Fire’s 2022 season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Despite a strong start, the team suffered a 10-game winless streak and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the ninth time in ten seasons. Let’s take a closer look at the individual performances of the players and evaluate who had the best and worst seasons.

The Top 3

Only three players managed to consistently perform above average throughout the season. Despite their absence for a significant portion of the year, these players stood out:

  • Wyatt Omsberg (7.04): Stepping up as a starter in the absence of Carlos Terán, Omsberg’s surprise run of form ended with a foot injury that kept him out for the second half of the year. It will be interesting to see if he can reclaim his starting position in the upcoming season.
    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

  • Gastón Giménez (7.02): Despite not having many standout performances, Giménez consistently performed above average and proved to be a reliable asset. If he returns from injury in the same form, he can continue to contribute to the team as a valuable TAM player.
    ![Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports](https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/yTJQPiwEtTz3AA9RwnhvCoupHqA=/0x0:4200×3161/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:4200×3161):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/24111079/usa_today_19041484.jpg)

  • Chris Mueller (7.00): Mueller was a key addition to the team, making a significant impact on the attack. Although his form dipped towards the end of the season, he remains an influential player and a cornerstone for the team in the future.
    Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The other standouts

Several other players had commendable performances, although they didn’t quite breach the 7.0 mark:

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Just… average

These players didn’t stand out but have a role to play in future seasons:

Room for improvement

These players have potential but didn’t make a significant impact in the 2022 season:

  • Javi Casas Jr. (6.40): Limited playing time in MLS this season hindered Casas Jr.’s progress. While he had a decent season for Fire II, he still has a long way to go before becoming a significant contributor in MLS.
    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

  • Fabian Herbers (6.35): Herbers had some standout moments, but overall, his performances were average or slightly below average. Despite his value as a depth player, he doesn’t possess the ability to change a game or make a significant impact.
    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

  • Kendall Burks (6.33): Burks showed promise in his limited minutes and had a good season in MLS Next Pro. With more opportunities, he can potentially play a more significant role in the upcoming season.
    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

  • Andre Reynolds II (6.25): Reynolds played a more prominent role this year, showing potential in his performances. With steady progress, he can further solidify his position in the team.
    ![Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports](https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/85qi7w_DyxwSctolIWip6itd-Rc=/0x0:3879×2586/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:3879×2586):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/23896106/usa_today_18739129.jpg)

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Worrying signs

Some players fell short of expectations and had poor seasons:

  • Stanislav Ivanov (6.13): Ivanov had a forgettable season, with his only notable moment being a game-winning goal. It’s likely that the Fire will seek to trade him in the offseason.
    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

  • Jairo Torres (6.11): Torres struggled with injuries throughout the season, resulting in a lack of end product and limited playing time. Although he has potential, he needs to overcome his injury struggles.
    Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

  • *Chinonso Offor (5.90):** Offor no longer plays for the Fire and currently competes in the Belgian top flight. He struggled to make an impact in Chicago and couldn’t recoup the transfer fee paid for him.
    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

  • Kacper Przybyłko (5.82): Przybyłko, signed as a proven goalscorer, failed to meet expectations and lost his starting position to an 18-year-old. His chronic back issues hindered his performance.
    ![Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports](https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/g-_lz8cg85ZFpxwXwM9TQnupFMM=/0x0:3702×2392/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:3702×2392):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/24073002/usa_today_19159822.jpg)

  • Jhon Espinoza (5.73): Espinoza’s poor performances showed that he is not yet at the level to play in MLS. With the potential departure of Boris Sekulić, the Fire will need to find a replacement for the right-back position.
    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Sample size too small

These players had limited opportunities in the first team but showed promise in their performances for Fire II:

  • Victor Bezerra (5.75): Bezerra’s limited appearances didn’t allow him to make a significant impact, but he showcased potential for a larger role in the upcoming season after finishing as Fire II’s top goalscorer.
    Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

  • Spencer Richey (6.00): Signed as a backup goalkeeper, Richey performed well in his only MLS appearance, contributing to a crucial win for the team.
    Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

  • Missael Rodríguez (6.00): Rodríguez had a decent season with Fire II, showcasing his abilities with seven goals. His first-team appearance during the Open Cup provided limited assessment opportunities.
    Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

  • Sergio Oregel Jr (7.00): Oregel consistently performed well for Fire II and made his MLS debut on the last day of the season. He is expected to play a more prominent role in the upcoming season.
    Joe Pearson-Chicago Fire FC

  • Chris Brady (7.50): Despite making his MLS debut on Decision Day, Brady had an impressive year as the best goalkeeper in MLS Next Pro. He should be given the opportunity to be the team’s number one goalkeeper in the future.
    Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

  • Alex Monis (10.00): Monis made the most of his limited opportunity, scoring a game-tying goal with his only touch of the season. His role in the upcoming season remains to be seen.
    Chicago Fire FC

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Didn’t play at all

Only one player didn’t make an appearance in the 2022 season:

  • Allan Rodríguez (NR): Allan Rodríguez remained on the roster but didn’t make a single appearance in the first team. His future with the team is uncertain, as he wasn’t even training with the first team.
    Christian Hansen-Chicago Fire FC

The coach…

Ezra Hendrickson, in his first season as a head coach in MLS, showed growth but fell short of making the playoffs. The team struggled to close out games, resulting in dropped points. Hendrickson has the potential to be a great coach but acknowledges the need for improvement.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The final team average

The Chicago Fire’s team average rating for the 2022 season is 6.61. Although the team had the fifth-highest payroll in the league, finishing below the playoff line is considered a failure to meet expectations.
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

This concludes our analysis of the Chicago Fire’s 2022 season. Stay tuned for more updates and insights.