The Chicago Fire were back at SeatGeek Stadium on Wednesday, training for the first time since exiting the MLS is Back Tournament last Thursday.
After receiving clearance to return to the field following a round of team-wide COVID-19 testing, head coach Raphael Wicky’s men got back to work and officially turned the page toward the next challenge.
“We have some time now to reorganize, to feel each other a little bit more on the pitch, to get to know each other,” forward Robert Berić said following the session.
Major League Soccer has yet to announce details regarding the resumption of the 2020 regular season following the MLS is Back Tournament, but Berić and his teammates will use this in-between time to continue to gel both on and off the field.
“The most important thing is we still don’t feel each other, like in a soccer meaning. Hopefully in these two or three weeks - I don’t know when is going to be the next game - we are going to get to know each other a little bit more than we are now. We are still pretty much a new team.”
The group isn’t shying away from their premature exit from the MLS is Back Tournament. After a 2-1 win against the Seattle Sounders that opened Group B play, the Fire were subsequently defeated by the San Jose Earthquakes and the Vancouver Whitecaps in their remaining two matches.
“We know that short tournaments are ones in which you have to pay attention to everything, every detail,” defender Miguel Ángel Navarro said. “We know that this has to stay with us as a lesson for the upcoming (resumption of play).”
“We have to analyze these two games,” Berić added. “We have to learn from our mistakes and try to be better in the next games.”
Wicky’s brand new Fire side has played just five official matches together in the last six months as a result of the league’s COVID-19 suspension, and is using the tournament experience as an opportunity to continue evolving together.
“We need to stay together in the way that we had been working, growing together as a group,” Navarro said. “We know that it’s a new group but day-by-day we continue to be more united so that we can make the group stronger.”
Back home, back to work. pic.twitter.com/QnrisM3HHL— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) July 30, 2020