July 12, 2014. Just another Saturday, right? Well, not quite. That date, more than 760 days ago, was the last time the Chicago Fire won a road match in MLS competition. (In fact, the Fire have earned just nine points on the road IN TOTAL since then.) They’re currently riding a 35 game road winless streak, with their most recent road loss a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake.
So what’s been going on in the world since the Fire’s last road win? Let’s take a look…
Chivas USA won a road MLS match.
That’s right. The now defunct MLS team won a road match more recently than the Chicago Fire. Well, technically Chivas’ last road win was also on July 12, 2014, when they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 3 – 1 at BC Place, but that match kicked off few hours after the Fire lost.
45 designated players have been signed.
That’s a lot of designated players, and they include some of the biggest names in the game: Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Sebastian Giovinco, Gio Dos Santos, Tim Howard and Didier Drogba just to name a few.
Germany Won the World Cup and Messi Quit Argentina.
The day after the last Fire road win, Germany defeated Leo Messi and Argentina 1 – 0 in an extra time thriller. Since then, Messi led his nation to two Copa America finals, but fell just short on penalties to Chile both times, leading Messi to quit international football. The question now is, what comes first: Messi’s return to international football or the next Fire road win?
The Olympics… two years later.
Think about that for a second. The Winter Olympics had finished just a few months prior to the last Fire win. Do you know how long it feels like it is between Olympics? Now imagine being a Fire fan and waiting that long for a road win. Not fun.
Scientists discovered a new type of fire.
Yes, you read that right. SCIENTISTS LITERALLY FOUND A NEW TYPE OF FIRE. And it’s awesome. They call it the “blue whirl” because, well, it’s blue and whirly. Yay, science! (Maybe the Chicago Blue Whirl would have better luck on the road?)
All of “Deflategate.”
You know, that NFL controversy about Tom Brady’s underinflated footballs that seemed like it just wouldn’t go away? The game that started it all happened on January 18, 2015. Then, Brady was suspended, then un-suspended, then un-un-suspended. (Still with me?) Well, it looks like Deflategate has finally come to an end, unlike the Fire’s road winless streak.
Cleveland’s championship drought ended.
Coincidentally, July 12, 2014, was also the day LeBron announced his return to Cleveland. Things have gone a little better for King James than the Fire since then. The Cavs won Cleveland’s first major sports championship in 52 years when they beat the Warriors this past June. Maybe Cleveland’s curse transferred to the Fire? (As if that city needs another sports curse. Sorry Cubs fans.)
Donald Trump Became a Real Life Presidential Nominee.
Regardless of your political beliefs, I’m not sure ANYONE really thought back in July 2014 we’d be where we are today with Donald Trump having any legitimate shot at becoming President of the United States. Well, it happened. If Trump doesn’t win, maybe he could help Chicago find their winning ways? Make the Fire Great Again!
Captain America Turned Evil.
Who could’ve imagined? America’s favorite super hero, the man who once punched Hitler in the face, revealed he was hailing HYDRA the whole time as a double agent! Unthinkable. Well, it didn’t last long for the world to right itself as Cap came back to the light side just a few weeks later. No such luck for the Fire’s road record.
Yes, the phenom that is Cyle Larin of Orlando City SC, better known as Canadian Messi (at least by those of us at Total MLS). Larin became the first Canadian to be selected with the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft on January 15, 2015, and he’s taken MLS by storm ever since. Larin made his MLS debut on March 21, 2015 as a sub against the Whitecaps. Since then, he’s become an All-Star forward who’s found the back of the net 28 times in 48 appearances.
Look, I’m not trying to kick the Fire while they’re down. (Okay, maybe just a little bit.) But this is truly a remarkable streak they’ve found themselves in.
The Fire currently sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with an MLS low 18 points and have six remaining road games this season, including a trips to Eastern Conference leaders NYCFC and 2nd place Toronto FC.
Just in case you were wondering (because I know some of you are), April 6, 2017 would mark the 1,000th day between road victories for the Fire.
The Fire’s next road match kicks off at 6:30pm CT on Saturday August 20th in Stade Saputo against Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact.