Chicago Fire: Optimal Evening on Every Level Showcases Club’s Progress


chicago fire

It was nationally televised on ESPN2. The weather could not have been any more perfect. Especially given the unseasonably cold weather as of late, the Chicago Fire really lucked out with a day and evening that provided absolutely the most ideal conditions for both soccer fans and the players to enjoy.

The Chicago Fire took on defending MLS Champions Seattle Sounders, and drew a sellout crowd of 20,153. It’s the first time they have filled the place since September 29, 2015, when Kaka and Orlando City visited. More importantly, the Fire won, and by a very lopsided margin, 4-1.

veljko paunovic

Nemanja Nikolic recorded two goals (he’s now tied for the MLS scoring lead, having scored eight in his last games) while Luis Solignac and David Accam accounted for the Fire’s other two goals. American superstar Clint Dempsey provided the lone score for Seattle.

Tonight is the perfect paradigm of what the Chicago Fire rebuilding project is all about. The acquisition of international superstar Bastian Schweinsteiger provides both sizzle and steak. Juninho and Dax McCarty combine with Schweinsteiger to give the club three solid new additions that look likely to vault the club from dead last to a playoff side.

They haven’t been just last in the Eastern Conference, but the whole league, the past two seasons.

However, they’re in the playoff mix now. Yes, it’s early, but the litmus test is always the champs, and the men in red just utterly routed them.

toyota park

You can see that Chicago Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez is really on to something now.

“We are very happy that we sold out today, we think that there is a line of progression on both sides so the team improved off the field, the club improved also,” said Chicago Fire Coach Veljko Paunovic.

“Obviously we have our challenges that we have to face every day that we are working with, and I think our front office is doing a great job to help the team and get everything that’s necessary and everything that we need, I do think Bastian did help on both sides of the game, the improvement of the team but we also do have to say that the whole team is working on that.”

Pauno continued:

“The front office, the team, the general manager Nelson Rodriguez, everyone is on the same page and that’s the key and having a guy like Bastian who helps on both sides and it’s a great value for the club.”

bastian schweinsteiger

“Thank you to our supporters, it was a great atmosphere today in the stadium. As you could see, it helped us; I hope for the next home match, it’s going to be the same,” Schweinsteiger said about playing in front of a sell out crowd. 

“It gives us confidence,” the German said of routing the champs.

“Seattle is a good team, they have very good players, they won last year. But we are more focused on our game plan, on our philosophy and what we have.”


After a disappointing road trip that followed a very impressive home stand, the Chicago Fire put up a statement game; which conveys a general upward trajectory. Coming into this blowout victory, the Chicago Fire were just 1-7-3 all-time in regular season matches against the Sounders, including a 1-3-2 record in matches played at home.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington TimesNBC and Chicago, currently contributes to WGN CLTV and KOZN

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