The Chicago Fire deserved to lose this game.

Sure, Saturday night’s matchup between themselves and the Philadelphia Union at Soldier Field ended in a 2-2 draw, but the hosts should have lost this one. It’s almost a matter of principle at this point.

Both teams had chances after the game was tied up, and they each hit the woodwork. That’s not what matters, though. The important thing is that we’ve seen this from Chicago time and time and time again.

This is who they are at this stage. They try to be better, but they can’t be.

Quick recap

Arnaud Souquet nearly scored the goal of the season early on. He blasted a loose ball in midfield away, and he happened to blast it towards goal. The effort took Andre Blake by surprise, and he was too late to get back to his box. Fortunately for him the ball flew just over the crossbar.

Chicago did jump in front midway through the half. It came via a well-worked move that saw almost everyone get involved, and it ended when Maren Haile-Selassie got on the end of a cross to convert a simple tap-in, even if he needed two bites at it.

The Fire doubled their advantage moments after the half-time break, although they weren’t technically the ones who scored. Philadelphia managed to pull off one of the wackiest own goals I’ve seen in some time, with one defender accidentally clearing the ball off another defender over goalkeeper Andre Blake and into the back of the net.

They had a few chances to seal the contest soon after, but they couldn’t convert any of the chances they had created. The Union made them pay, pulling one back from the penalty spot at the hour mark. 

Philadelphia completed the comeback moments later in a shocking turn of events. An excellent cross towards the back post was headed back across goal by Dániel Gazdag to Julián Carranza, and he poked home from close range to tie things up.

The contest descended into chaos for the final half-hour, but despite all the opportunities neither side could find a winning goal. That was probably for the best.

Thoughts and observations and whatnot

I give the Fire a hard time for choosing to play at Soldier Field, but even I have to admit that the drive to the stadium is a lovely one when there’s not too much traffic.

Speaking of Soldier, there was a good crowd. That made sense, as the team has been doing well on the field, and the weather was also better than in previous weeks. I can't blame anyone who decides to not come back, though.

Souquet didn’t mean it, by the way.

Chris Mueller is Chicago’s most important attacking player. The likes of Brian Gutiérrez and Maren Haile-Selassie are both quite good, of course, but Mueller is a real difference maker. He can beat his marker off the dribble, and that opens up loads of space for himself and his teammates. 

Then again Brian Gutiérrez is a special talent. He’s blossomed this season in the number 10 role, and tonight was just another example of how influence he can be. He kept finding dangerous positions in the final third, and he knew when to drive forward on the ball or when to slow down the pace of play. The youngster has to stay central for the foreseeable future.

That own goal is simply a perfect showcase of how this season has gone for the Union in MLS.

You know how funny it’d be if the Fire brought back the crown logo for like a game? 

It’s clear that I am not the biggest fan of Miguel Navarro, but I was finally going to praise him for his assist on the opener. Then he took out a Union player in the box to give away a penalty, and I remembered that he’s just not good enough to be trusted at this level.

Why in the world did Kendall Burks come in instead of Wyatt Omsberg? The latter is the better option right now, and he would’ve dealt with the situation better than the former did. It’s not even Burks’ fault, it’s on Hendrickson for putting him out there instead of the more experienced Omsberg.

It was disappointing to see Gutiérrez come off the field, but Xherdan Shaqiri did have a promising cameo in his place. He was tidy on the ball, and he had a few really nice passes. The energy just wasn’t the same, though.

Another substitute who looked good was Georgios Koutsias. The Greek youngster was quality in his movement, and he brought a new dynamic to the attack. He was unlucky not to score on the night. Whether he’s able to snatch the starting spot from Kei Kamara remains to be seen, but I’d like to see him get a chance.

The Union deserves a ton of praise for their comeback. They easily could have written this contest off after going down 2-0, but they knew they were better than that. They dug deep, changed a few things up, and ultimately could have secured all three points if things had gone a little differently.

Chicago, on the other hand, really deserves to be laughed at. Blowing another lead like this at home is embarrassing. Why should anyone support this team when they keep doing this to them?