The "it's early" mantra starts to become more wearisome with each passing week. Six rounds into the 2014 campaign, the Fire have yet to record a victory and this Saturday's match against the New England Revolution may be the best chance to to collect all three points for a while. This next home match is followed by an off week and no team wants to sit on an extra seven days wait before the next game when they haven't tasted victory in two months. The list of games coming up immediately after the bye in round 8 won't make it an easier on the Fire if they fail to win on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake, the only remaining undefeated club in MLS, comes to Toyota Park on May 3. The Fire then travel to New York to face the also winless Red Bulls on May 10. Sporting Kansas City comes to Bridgeview on May 18 followed by a trip to Columbus six days later. June features match-ups with the Galaxy and Sounders with a road match in Colorado sandwiched in between before the World Cup break. There are no easy games in the lot.
Of course, the parity driven structure of MLS suggests that no team is ever too far out of the picture even if you fail to win one match in two months to start the season. As frustrating as the Fire's start has been, they're only one victory and some favorable results away from leap frogging into the third, fourth, or fifth spot in the East. That sounds favorable but reality would also suggest that every result likely won't go their way. This was the problem the team faced during the last weekend of play in 2013. A victory and combination of other results would have catapulted them into a playoff spot after a dreadful start.
The fate of the 2013 season doesn't need to be repeated here since we're all familiar with the happenings in that second half debacle in New York. Winning a home game here or there would have avoided that massive disappointment.
Even an early one in April would have done the trick.