New York City FC are in midweek action against Chicago Fire on Wednesday night.
For this edition of 'The Away End' presented by Berkeley College & Rennert International, we spoke to Nicole Hack, Co-Director of Comms for the Independent Supporters Council (ISC), and former Chair of Fire supporters' association, Section 8 Chicago.
Hi Nicole, thanks so much for speaking with us. How long have you been a Chicago Fire fan?
I’ve been a Fire supporter for 18 years.
What’s been your favorite moment supporting the team?
My favorite moment was when John Thorrington scored a goal against the LA Galaxy in 2007. The win secured the Fire a spot in the playoffs and stopped the Galaxy from making the playoffs.
The 2021 season has been a tough one for the Fire so far. What do you think the team needs to improve to reach the playoffs?
Is it possible for the Fire to still make the playoffs? (I kid.) If so, we need goals on goals and maybe a little luck.
From a tactical standpoint, what strengths should Ronny Deila and his team be wary of heading into the game?
I’ve been impressed with the Fire’s attack from the wings this season, especially the right. If they could capitalize on more of these opportunities, they would be a much more dangerous side.
Are there any weaknesses you think NYCFC can exploit?
The Fire cannot hold a lead or a tie into the final minutes of the game, so if NYCFC finds themselves down, keep pushing until the very end.
If you were to identify the Fire’s danger-man, who would that be?
Nacho [Ignacio Aliseda] has been on fire lately, no pun intended. I’m hoping he’ll be finding the back of the net more frequently the rest of the season.
And finally, for any fans thinking of making the trip to Chicago in the future, are there any particular attractions you’d suggest they check out?
Pequod’s Pizza has the best deep dish in the city. Any traveling fans can always contact me. I’m happy to share other tips and share a beer.