Chicago Fire FC Defeat D.C. United 2-1 at Soldier Field, Move Back into Playoff Position
CHICAGO - Chicago Fire FC (5-8-4, 19 points) defeated D.C. United (2-5-10, 11 points) 2-1 at Soldier Field on Sunday evening. After extending their home winning streak to three games, Chicago once again moves above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference.
In his return to the starting lineup, Fire forward CJ Sapong scored the opening goal in the third minute (WATCH). Midfielder Alvaro MedrÃ¡n sent a pinpoint free kick into the box that an outstretched Sapong managed to poke inside the near post for a 1-0 lead. Chicago has scored a league-leading eight goals in the first fifteen minutes of play this season.
One minute later, MedrÃ¡n nearly scored a highlight reel-worthy goal that would have doubled the Fire's early lead. After nutmegging his defender, MedrÃ¡n unleashed a shot from distance that rang off the left post (WATCH).
Fire defender Boris SekuliÄ eventually put Chicago up 2-0 in first half stoppage time (WATCH). MedrÃ¡n delivered his second assist of the night on a corner kick that found the head of the Serbian. SekuliÄ, who was backing up, directed the ball to the near post for his first career MLS goal.
D.C. United pulled within one in the 56th minute when a shot by defender Joseph Mora first deflected off Wyatt Omsberg and then off the foot of Jonathan Bornstein for an own goal (WATCH).
Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth recorded a season-high six saves in the match. In the 16th minute, Shuttleworth made a point-blank save on a header from striker Gelmin Rivas (WATCH). To secure the three points, the veteran goalkeeper made a diving save to his left on a blistering left-footed shot by Peruvian Designated Player Edison Flores in the 71st minute (WATCH).
Next on the schedule: Chicago Fire FC go on the road to Allianz Field for a match on Wednesday, Oct. 14 against Minnesota United FC. The match will begin at 7:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on WGN-TV and ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200AM. The pregame show, presented by CIBC, will begin at 6:45 p.m. CT.
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The Fire moved into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference (9th place, 19 points), leapfrogging Atlanta United FC (10th place, 18 points) and Nashville SC (11th place, 18 points).
The win marks the third straight home win for the Fire and makes it four games unbeaten at home. Chicago is now 4-1-1 since returning to the lakefront at historic Soldier Field.
CJ Sapong scored his second goal of the season and 71st of his MLS career, earning Heineken Man of the Match honors. The match marked his first full 90 minutes since Chicago's 2-1 win against Seattle on July 14, 2020 at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.
Chicago has scored a league-leading eight goals in the first fifteen minutes of play this season.
Boris SekuliÄ tallied his first career MLS goal.
Alvaro MedrÃ¡n notched two assists in the game. He leads the team with six assists on the season.
Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlworth recorded a season-high six saves. The veteran goalkeeper has now accumulated 596 MLS career saves in 196 regular season appearances.
Wyatt Omsberg earned his first start for the Fire and his fifth MLS start. The defender was acquired from Minnesota United on February 11, 2020.
Micheal Azira logged his first start (six appearances) of 2020, marking the 100th career start (130 appearances) for Azira in MLS.
Fire captain Francisco Calvo was unavailable for selection due to yellow card accumulation.
In Calvo's absence, Jonathan Bornstein donned the captain's armband for the Fire in the match tonight. The veteran defender made his 148th MLS appearance (136 starts).
C. United announced earlier this week that Ben Olsen had been let go of his duties as manager of the team. Assistant coach Chad Ashton has taken over on an interim basis for the remainder of the 2020 campaign. Olsen was the longest-tenured manager in MLS prior to being let go, as he was a fixture at the club for over two decades, first as a player and later as the team's manager.
GastÃ³n Giménez (Paraguay) and Miguel Navarro (Venezuela) were unavailable for selection as the pair have been called up to national team duty for a pair of CONMEBOL 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. The Fire teammates will face each other on Tuesday, Oct. 13, when Paraguay travels to face Venezuela at 5:00 p.m. CT at Metropolitano de Merida Stadium in Merida, Venezuela.
Game highlights can be viewed here (Imagen) and here (MLS Matchcenter).
Every Fire broadcast starts with an original feature, The Open. Tonight's version, "One of Ours," featured Chicago Fire FC Assistant Athletic Trainer Hillary Bell. You can watch it here.
CHI - CJ Sapong (MedrÃ¡n) 3' (WATCH)
CHI - Boris SekuliÄ (MedrÃ¡n) 45'+1' (WATCH)
DC - Jonathan Bornstein (OG) (WATCH)
Chicago Fire FC 2:1 D.C. United
CHI - Azira (Caution) 59'
CHI - Sapong (Caution) 89'
CHI - MedrÃ¡n (Caution) 90'
CHI - Shuttleworth (Caution) 90'+1'
Chicago Fire FC: GK Shuttleworth, D SekuliÄ, D Pineda, D Omsberg (D Reynolds II 75'), D Bornstein ©, M Azira, M Frankowski (M Aliseda 63'), M MedrÃ¡n, M Herbers (F Collier 75'), F Sapong, F BeriÄ
Subs not used: GK Sparrow, GK G. Slonina, D N. Slonina, D Kappelhof, M Casas Jr., M Gutiérrez
D.C. United: GK Hamid, D Odoi-Atsem (M Paredes 80'), D Brillant ©, D Pines, D Mora, M Gressel (F Yow 83'), M Canouse, M Moreno, M Asad, F Sorga (M Flores 59'), F Rivas (F Kamara 59')
Subs not used: GK Seitz, GK Edwards Jr., D Fisher, D Sjoberg
Stats Summary: CHI / DC
Shots: 7 / 14
Shots on Target: 3 / 6
Saves: 6 / 1
Corners: 6 / 5
Fouls: 13 / 9
Offsides: 1 / 3
Possession 47.8% / 52.2%
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
VAR: Malik Badawi
Images from this story
Chicago Fire FC forward CJ Sapong receives congratulations after his goal
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