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Fire, Orlando City have much in common during tough seasons

A look at the stats would suggest there’s not much difference between the Chicago Fire and Orlando City. The recent results, however, have been a different story as Orlando gets set to host Chicago on Saturday.

The Fire (4-8-6, 18 points) and Orlando (4-8-6, 18 points) own identical records. Chicago is 13th in the Eastern Conference table, one spot ahead of Orlando by the slimmest of margins in goal differential. The Fire have scored 21 goals and conceded 30, a difference of nine; the Lions have scored 19 and allowed 29, a difference of 10.

Yet Chicago has won two in a row and is unbeaten in its past four. Orlando is winless in its past five, going 0-3-2 during that stretch.

The Fire are coming off a 4-1 win over Toronto FC on Saturday for their first road win of the season. The club has outscored the opposition 8-4 during its current run.

Fabian Herbers collected two assists against Toronto and was named to MLS’s Team of the Matchday for his efforts. The forward, though, has been held to two goals — both scored within the season’s first three matches.

“He just does all the little things that sometimes go unnoticed but is very valuable to the team,” coach Frank Klopas said. “… His work rate is incredible, and he always finds ways to be positive and help the team.”

Orlando, meanwhile, is coming off a 2-2 draw against Charlotte FC on Wednesday. That marked the most goals the club has scored since a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Union back on May 11. The Lions, whose 19 tallies on the season are second-fewest in MLS, had scored three goals total in the six matches before Wednesday.

“We need to create more and especially we need to score more goals,” midfielder Nico Lodeiro said. “The team needs goals (to) win a game, not just play with possession or great chances because, in the end, you can create many chances but you need to score. We’re working on this.”

Facundo Torres had a goal and an assist in the draw and has two of his three goals on the season in the past four matches. His tallies are second on the team behind Duncan McGuire (six).

Orlando is 1-5-3 at home this season.

–Field Level Media

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