Pat Nyarko

Nearing season’s end, playoff-less Chicago Fire remain upbeat

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About to miss the MLS playoffs for a second-straight year, the Chicago Fire want to wind down 2014 on the most hopeful note possible.

After a 2-1 defeat to the top-seeded D.C. United earlier today, Chicago saw their winless streak increased to eight games, a harsh reminder that their form hasn’t aided their postseason intentions.

Nonetheless, the Fire, who sit at ninth place in the Eastern Conference, are staying calm and reflecting on their season in a positive manner.

Young midfielder Harry Shipp has relished a career-best year, and he was able to echo the thoughts of most Fire players following their second-to-last regular season contest.

“It’s the good thing about this group, individually each game or collectively over the season we haven’t given up despite being out of the playoffs,” Shipp said, per MLSsoccer.com. “Everyone gave 110 percent tonight, even the guys that subbed in, Pat Nyarko on the goal played a great ball, so I think it was a good collective effort and you can’t fault anyone for giving up or not trying.”

MLS veteran manager Frank Yallop, whose job in Bridgeview is certainly on the hot seat, spoke along the same lines.

“To be honest, it’s been good working with this group,” Yallop said.

“We’ve struggled to win games, but we’ve not lost many. That was our 10th loss of the season, it’s not great, but it’s not terrible. The group itself has not given up, each player individually and collectively have been in every game. We’ve competed; the coaching staff have set them up to do their thing and they’ve executed, other than giving goals up at the wrong times, giving goals to the opposition and not finishing our chances. But that’s football.”