CHICAGO – It’s been nearly two months since they won, and they’ve struggled to find the back of the net in most of the games since. Six matches went by, and while the Chicago Fire didn’t lose them all, they missed out on the full complement of points for nearly seven weeks.
That ended in a hurry on Wednesday night, as the Fire’s offense brought some early Fourth of July fireworks to those at SeatGeek Stadium against the reigning Major League Soccer champions.
They scored an MLS franchise-record five first half goals – with three coming in the span of nine minutes – and ran away to a 5-1 win over Atlanta United to finally get back in the win column. By doing so, they picked up the full three points in the standings while improving their record to 5-7-7 on the season.
In keeping with their trend in 2019, the Fire continue to play their best at home, improving to 5-1-4 on the season. They are one of two teams in the Eastern Conference with one or zero losses on the home pitch, and the Fire haven’t lost at home since March 30th.
Francisco Calvo kicked off the scoring in the fourth minute and CJ Sapong added another in the seventh to make it 2-0. Atlanta’s Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was red carded and ejected soon after denying a goal scoring opportunity from Aleksandar Katai with a handball, and Nicolas Gaitan put the penalty kick in the back of the net to make it 3-0.
With Atlanta playing with ten men after that ejection, the Fire would add two more goals before halftime. Sapong’s score in the 37th minute was his second of the game and eighth of the season, and Fabian Herbers finished off the scoring with a tally in the 44th minute.
It was a welcome explosion by the Fire offense before the holiday, one that finally gets the team in the win column this summer.