An offensive outburst put Chicago Fire FC back in the win column as another phase of the MLS schedule nears an end

Chicago Fire FC

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 23: C.J. Sapong #9 of Chicago Fire FC scores a goal against Marko Maric #1 of Houston Dynamo
on a penalty kick at Soldier Field on September 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The Fire FC defeated the Dynamo 4-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – When the goals have come at Soldier Field in 2020, they’ve tended to come in bunches.

They got two quickly in a win over FC Cincinnati on August 25th in their first home game of the year, then got two more in the first 20 minutes against the Columbus Crew on September 12th.

Once again, the Fire got a pair of quick goals on Wednesday night, scoring two in the first 23 minutes from Robert Beric and Fabian Herbers. But this time, they kept it going.

Chicago Fire FC added another score from Alvaro Medran before halftime then got another in the 89th minute by CJ Sapong to beat the Houston Dynamo 4-0 at Soldier Field. It’s the first win for the club since the Cincinnati victory back in August, coming after the team went 0-3-2 in their next five games.

“I was very, very happy about the way we played and obviously the result following it, finally,” said Wicky, who has seen the team put a number of shots on goal over the past few weeks without any luck. “Results always give confidence to players; at the end of today, you get confidence. But I also liked that the team actually didn’t lose confidence from the last result, which didn’t go our way, so that was very positive.”

That’s two painful results that preceded this victory, including the game against the Crew on September 12th. The 2-0 lead that the Fire had against the MLS’ best team disappeared in the second half, with a goal in the final ten minutes denying the team five points in a draw.

Last Saturday against Orlando, the Fire had a tying goal waved off in the second half, then watch their opponent get two more goals after that to pull away for a three-goal victory.

“I think it’s credit to the team that after those tough results in the past, we come back strong like this and then we actually show what we’re capable of, you know, when we play well,” said Fabian Herbers. “When we finish our chances offensively and when we stay compact and don’t give up easy chances defensively. And I like this place.

“Scored again, happy about that, but more happy about the three points and we just got to keep it going now in the next game against Atlanta as well.”

That will be a contest against the team that’s currently holding the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ve got 14 points at the moment, two ahead of the Fire who currently sit 12th in the conference, just ahead of Inter Miami CF and DC United, and a point behind FC Cincinnati.

It’s all part of a tight lower part of the East, where four points separate the fifth-seeded team from the tenth. It’s all part of the expanded MLS Playoffs, which give teams like the Fire that have struggled at times this year the chance to squeeze into the playoffs with a strong finish.

Ten games remain for the club to try and do that, with the final nine being revealed this week. It’s not exactly on the team’s mind quite yet, since there is still a lot of soccer to be played between now and the league’s “Decision Day” finale on November 8th.

“We just know what we do. We always try to perform well, we always try to get the win,” said defender Francisco Calvo. “Sometimes it doesn’t go our way.  Now we have to enjoy the moment, we’re happy to win. Enjoy tonight. And then set our minds on Sunday again.”

For the Chicago Fire FC TV schedule, click here.


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