BRIDGEVIEW, IL (May 13, 2017) – The Chicago Fire got a season defining win on Saturday night. In front of a sellout crowd at Toyota Park and on National TV, they defeated the Seattle Sounders 4-1. Nemanja Nikolić had a brace and David Accam had a goal and an assist.
Fire Head Coach Veljko Paunovic had his team in their usual 4-2-3-1. Matt Lampson was in goal. Joao Meira anchored the back line. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty played a holding role. Luis Solignac Michael De Leeuw, and David Accam were in the attacking midfield. The red hot Nemanja Nikolić started up top.
Sounder Manager Brian Schmetzer had his side in a 4-4-2. Chad Marshall led the defense in front of Goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Ozzie Alonso started in central midfield, with Clint Dempsey and Harrison Ship on the wings. Jordan Morris and Nicolás Lodeiro started up top. Cristian Roldan made a rare start at right back.
Chicago Fire Dismantle Seattle Sounders 4-1 In Front Of Sellout Crowd
Both teams came out swinging. Just three minutes in, the Sounders had a build up that led to a deflected shot off the bar. The Fire responded with several counter attacks through David Accam, who tested Stefan Frei early.
Chicago got on the scoreboard in the 25th minute. For the second week in a row, Nikolić won a PK, getting taken down in the box. Accam took the shot, but it was called back for encroachment. On replay, it appeared that goalkeeper Frei came off his line early on the attempt. At the time of this publication, the explanation given was that both teams had an encroaching player, so the PK was retaken. Nikolić took the redo, and wrong-footed the keeper to make it 1-1.
The Sounders responded almost immediately. Roldan found Dempsey at the top of the box. No Fire defender pressured Demspey, so he took a touch, and shot the ball into the upper right had corner past Lampson. It was 1-1 in the 28th minute.
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Both teams created chances, but neither could take the lead. The half ended 1-1 with Frei on a yellow card.
Chicago took the lead again just before the hour mark. Schweinsteiger found De Leeuw with a through pass in the box. De Leeuw delivered a perfect ball through traffic to Accam in front of goal. The striker took a touch to control it, then blasted it past Frei to make it 2-1.
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The Sounders responded with several good chances, mainly through Clint Dempsey. Chicago would get a third against the run of play in the 73rd minute. Brandon Vincent got up the field and sent a long ball towards Nikolić. The Hungarian had trouble controlling it, but the ball fell to Solignac, who scored.
Nikolić made it four three minutes later. The Fire got numbers behind Seattle’s midfield. Accam ran onto the ball in the box and passed it across the Nikolić who scores into a wide open net to make it 4-1.
The match ended 4-1 with Joevin Jones getting sent off at the death.
This was the signature win the Fire were looking for. They got a huge result in front of a sellout crowd. Every major star on the team showed up big time. Chicago has to be feeling good about their play and the invigoration they’ve brought to their supporters.
For Seattle, this is another tough result. They’ve lost two in a row. They’ve gotten a few draws at home that could have been wins. This was a disaster defensively. The team desperately needs Roman Torres at center back.