Unfortunately I know the homer says otherwise but Chicago is not a good soccer city. It's gotten to the point where the organization behind the Chicago Fire is going through a very large rebranding of the franchise due to the dismal attendance records which includes moving the team back to Soldier Field with hopes of building a new soccer specific stadium in Chicago city. I suspect the successful fanbase/culture of newly downtown located clubs like LAFC and Atlanta United FC have something to do with the desire to have the team play in the city itself. The city provides more accessibility for fans to attend games and the club is treated as part of Chicago rather than some suburban team. Whether this works well or not will be left up to the Chicago Fire fans ultimately and hopefully new fans. As far as the NWSL goes, any city that has a problem with their MLS club will have attendance problems with their NWSL club as well. You want successful attendance for NWSL clubs? Go to where there's already a beautiful fan culture for their MLS clubs. That's why LAFC one of a few organizations that is very high on my list for organizing a successful NWSL side, similar to Portland Timbers/Thorns fanbase/culture.