CHICAGO – It had been over a calendar year since he found the back of the net in a Major League Soccer game, and in some ways, it wasn’t a surprise.
Bastian Schweinsteiger had made the move to a more defensive position for the 2019 season to aid the Chicago Fire in that area. He’s made his big contributions there and was named an MLS All-Star, but until Saturday had yet to score a goal.
Finally, the international legend did so at SeatGeek Stadium against Montreal – and was it in the nick of time.
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) August 11, 2019
After dropping an early 2-0 lead to the Impact, Schweinsteiger found the back of the net in the 88th minute off a corner kick from Djordje Mihailović to give the Fire a 3-2 victory.
It was his first goal since August 4, 2018, when he scored against Real Salt Lake in a 2-1 loss on the road. Ironically it came during the same game that midfielder Dax McCarty scored his first regular season score with the Fire since joining the team in 2017 in a first half in which the Fire grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. Yet goals in the 34th and 76th minute by Montreal brought the game to even, and it looked as if another shot for three points had disappeared.
But Schweinsteiger had the answer, knocking in the corner kick for a first goal of 2019 and gave the Fire the full allotment of points to aid their team’s push for the playoffs.
Coupled with the win over Houston last week, which was their first on the road in 2019, the Fire have won back-to-back games for just the second time this season. They sit three points in back of Montreal for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, which the Impact currently own thanks to a tiebreaker against Toronto FC.
With eight games remaining, Veljko Paunovic’s team sits in the thick of what looked like an interesting race for the Eastern Conference playoffs over the next two months. Bastian’s first goal of 2019 certainly helped make that a possibility.