Any optimism the Chicago Fire may have had entering Saturday's match in Toronto was quickly wiped away.
The hosts dominated the first 15 minutes of the match, pressing hard and creating plenty of chances. When Justin Morrow scored in the ninth minute, it was a familiar feeling on the road for the Fire.
The Fire could not recover from the early deficit and lost 1-0. It marked the sixth straight road loss and a 33rd straight match without a win for the Fire.
Before the match, there was genuine reason to think the Fire (3-8-5, 14 points) could get a result. Toronto (6-6-5, 23 points) was riddled with injuries to key players while the Fire are as healthy as they've been all season and had won their previous two matches. However, both of those wins came at Toyota Park.
Whatever the reason, the Fire can't shake this road skid. Major League Soccer is a tough league to play in on the road. The Fire are one of five teams winless on the road this season and another six teams have just one road win in 2016.
Toronto outshot the Fire 25-11 (6-2 on target), which was a fair indication of how one-sided the match was. The Fire had stretches of possession towards the end of the first half, but rarely broke down Toronto's defense.
In the second half, Michael de Leeuw replaced Michael Stephens to make his Fire debut. The Dutch forward was up top in a 4-2-3-1 formation with David Accam, Kennedy Igboananike and John Goossens (later replaced by Arturo Alvarez) sitting just underneath him. De Leeuw was not able to make a big impact in the match.
Igboananike had the Fire's best chance of the match. In the 64th minute, he chased down a long ball in the left corner, cut inside onto his right foot and rifled a shot off the crossbar.
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Coach Veljko Paunovic went with the same starting lineup as he did in the 1-0 win against San Jose last weekend. Alvarez and de Leeuw were additions on the bench and both came on as substitutes.
Matt Polster, who is still on his way back from a concussion, was not on the bench. Paunovic and the Fire are giving Polster more time to recover his health and fitness. He had been a regular participant in training this week.
The Fire return home to face Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.