CHICAGO – Last year, it was a player on loan from an international team that led the Fire and the entire league in scoring.
Nemanja Nikolic has kept that up in 2018 – leading the team in scoring with six goals – but there is another player who’s also come across the Atlantic to air the Fire’s attack this season.
Aleksander Katai – who joined the Fire this winter on loan from Deportivo Alaves in Spain – has found his touch over the past month for the team, finding the net with more frequency as the season moves into the summer months.
On Saturday, Katai netted his sixth goal of the season against the Sounder in Seattle. It as the only goal for the Fire in a 1-1 draw at Centurylink Field and was the second-straight game that Katai netted a score, doing so at Colorado in another tie.
The last two Fire wins in the MLS, in fact, came in games which the first year player found the back of the net in a contest. Katai’s goal in the 49th minute was the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over San Jose at Toyota Park on June 2nd. On May 26th, he opened up the scoring in a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC.
Even with a good part of the season remaining, the 2018 campaign with the Fire is Katai’s second most productive season in his professional career. He has 21 goals with Red Star Belgrade in Super Liga in 2015-2016, but after that had just five combined scores with that team and then Alaves in 2017-2018.
Now it appears he’s found the scoring touch again, and it comes at a good time for the Fire, who continue to work their way back into the playoff standing in the MLS and chase a 5th U.S. Open Cup title