The Fire have been creating some really good goals and chances from their press as of late, and I thought it might be a fun idea to break down exactly what is going on and why the Fire have been able to find some form and make life difficult for the opposition.
Let’s take a look at Fabian Herbers’ goal in the seventh minute of Sunday’s 2-0 win against Atlanta United:
The Fire had just won the ball back after an errant pass from Atlanta’s George Bello.
Gastón Giménez tries to play a ball into the feet of Robert Berić, but the two get their wires crossed. No problem.
Boris Sekulić (2) was already in an all-out sprint getting forward on an underlapping run as Djordje Mihailović (14) took the space out wide.
Sekulić continues his sprint to put immediate pressure on the ball, which is, in this case, Atlanta centerback Fernando Meza. Meza then plays the ball to midfielder Eric Remedi. Chicago, at this point, have locked on to the immediate options in close proximity. Herbers (21), Gimenez (30), Sekulić, and Berić (27) are all close enough to an Atlanta player to get instant pressure on the opposition.
Remedi tries to take a touch away from Giménez. Gastón, however, is well aware of what his countryman is trying to pull, and simply bodies him off the ball in the middle of the field. Even if Remedi did turn, Álvaro Medrán (10) is directly behind the play waiting for Remedi. Chicago now have four players, not including Giménez, ready to pounce on a counter-attacking opportunity.
It started as a five-man break, but Sekulić retreats for defensive balance. Now, they’re off to the races. Giménez leads the charge with several big touches into space. Herbers is in an all-out sprint to occupy the space out on the right-hand side, while Berić and Ignacio Aliseda (top) both occupy defender Franco Escobar. It's actually a 4-v-2 until Jeff Larentowicz gets back to make one last effort to catch up to Giménez.
By then, Escobar and Meza have to pick their poison. Meza is forced to take one step towards the ball while Berić and Aliseda overload the left side and take Escobar out of the picture. Larentowicz is late, Meza takes that one step, and that leaves Herbers all by his lonesome to make Atlanta pay and capitalize on a near flawless counter-attack.