CHICAGO – For a few weeks now, members of the team and coaching staff of Chicago Fire FC have talked about putting forth good efforts in matches, yet it hasn’t produced results.
When the team has captured a victory this season, they were never able to follow it up with another, which has kept Raphael Wicky’s team from gaining some momentum during this unusual MLS season.
But as the second phase of the return to play for the MLS turns over to the third – which will feature a nine-game stretch to end the season – the Fire were able to pull off something that had eluded in 2020: A winning streak.
On Sunday, they finally got that.
Just like they did against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, Chicago Fire FC struck early and didn’t look back, getting strong defense along with goalkeeping to get a 2-0 win over Atlanta United FC Sunday night at Soldier Field.
It marks the first time the club has won back-to-back games in 2020 and it vaults them over Atlanta in the Eastern Conference standings. With six points this week, the Fire now has 15 on the year, one ahead of the United for the tenth and final playoff spot in the conference.
“It always gives you confidence, right? We spoke from the beginning that, obviously, it’s not always black and white: when you lose, you’re bad and when you win, you’re good. Still, wins always give your team confidence. And then, when you win in a good manner, that we play well, we create a lot, that obviously just gives the team even more confidence to move on.”
The Fire got on the board in the seventh minute when, after a turnover, Gaston Gimenez drove down the field and passed to Fabian Herbers, who used his right foot put it in the net for a 1-0 lead. That’s his fourth goal of the 2020 season, with all of the scores coming at Soldier Field.
Speaking of four, that’s now Robert Beric’s scoring streak in Chicago Fire FC games as he put in the second goal of the night in the 39th minute. Meanwhile, Bobby Shuttleworth made five saves and had a second-straight clean sheet in the victory.
“We’ve been able to score early. Defensively, we’ve been able to not give up easy goals again, you know that’s something that was plaguing us,” said defender Jonathan Bornstein. “And so the last two games especially, two clean sheets and six goals to our favor, which is always good. And we got to keep building on that.”
At least they got one subtle achievement out of the way for 2020, with the hopes of more victories to come in the charge for a playoff spot.