The Chicago Fire snapped a three-game winless streak in an impressive 4-1 win over the New England Revolution. The win at Toyota Park keeps the Men In Red undefeated at home and completes the three-game season sweep over their Eastern Conference foes. Fire winger David Accam returned to the starting lineup after being placed on the bench for the two previous matches. Auxiliary scoring and sharp possession play were central components to Chicago’s ninth straight win at home. Saturday’s win also marks the Fire’s third straight home game in which they netted four times, a club record.
Chicago’s Squad Fires in Four, Again
Saturday’s game at Toyota Park was a highlight of an incredibly busy American soccer calendar. The result in Bridgeview made the Fire the current highest scoring team in MLS. Their three points earned Saturday took the Fire within reaching distance of Toronto FC in the Supporters Shield race and boosted their home record to an impressive 10-0-1. The win was the Men In Red’s ninth consecutive win at home, a feat which is unmatched in the league within a single season. Fill-in left back Patrick Doody had a career night as he matched a club record which hadn’t been done since 2008, recording three assists in a single game. Chicago midfielder Juninho also had a great night as he wore the captain’s armband and scored his first regular season goal in a Fire shirt. The 4-1 score line brought the Fire’s goal difference up to +19, matched only by league leading Toronto FC.
Nemanja Nikolic Quiet but the Squad Roars
Chicago’s main man up front Nemanja Nikolic has found himself in the midst of a small goal drought. The Hungarian International hasn’t found the net now in four games and was surpassed in the Golden Boot race Sunday afternoon as NYCFC’s David Villa notched a hat trick. Nikolic is still sitting on 16 goals scored while Villa’s three-goal outing moved him up to 17. Nikolic’s dry spell didn’t damper the Fire against the Revs however as the Men in Red found goals from alternative sources. Right back Matt Polster opened his season’s tally by scoring with an impressive right footed finish, which was followed by Juninho’s first, Michael De Leeuw’s second and Luis Solignac fifth of the season respectively.
The Fire now head into another stretch of games away from home. Chicago’s turnaround team will head off to Columbus next weekend before a midweek trip up to Montreal. The Fire’s next home game is one which holds Supporters’ Shield implications, as league leading Toronto FC will come to Toyota Park Saturday, August 19. The match against TFC may well be a battle for first place in MLS as the Fire sit only three points behind the leaders with a game in hand. Important questions will be answered by the time August 19 rolls around. Questions like, Can the Fire reverse their poor road form and keep pace with TFC? And will David Accam still be a member of the Chicago Fire? Only time will tell, but first the Fire must prepare for the game against struggling Columbus Crew SC.