Chicago Fire vs DC United
by Noah Danielle Liedtke and Gabriel Vara
On September 16, 2017, 15,643 people watched as Chicago Fire faced off against D.C United at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. Although United played hard, their efforts were in vain, as the Fire blew them out of the water with a 3-0 win.
United has not had the best season this year; they are currently at the bottom of the Major League Eastern Conference, compared to the Fire who are holding on to third place. Although United has been around for three more years than the Fire, the Fire are clearly proving that more established teams do not always have the advantage.
Both teams played hard right from the start. A few minutes in, United produced a fancy collection of passes that led to a shot on target by Lloyd Sam, which was saved by the Fire goalkeeper, Matt Lampson. A few minutes after that, the Fire attempted to score with a shot from the left; however, forward Luis Solignac missed the shot, and it ended up going past the goal on the same side.
With neither team making progress, the players were understandably frustrated, and around the 15 minute mark, the Fire’s Brandon Vincent received a yellow card for a foul against the other team. As tensions rose between the two teams, more shots were taken. There was a successful challenge by the Fire’s David Accam, which won him the ball as he took off down the left wing. Before reaching the left post, he passed off to Nemanja Nikolic whose shot was saved by United keeper Bill Hamid.
As the game went on, the Fire continued to penetrate United’s defense, leading to spectacular saves by Hamid. Around the 20 minute mark, a throw-in from Fire player Matt Polster was accidentally headed past Hamid by United player Ian Harks, leading to Chicago Fire securing the first goal. Fire players Accam, Polster, Vincent, McCarty, and Solignac made many more attempts to score, but were successful. As the first half came to a close, Hamid continued to save his team while the Fire’s high energy and raised spirits led to shot after shot.
After a quick break, the United players came back with attempts to tie the game. A few minutes in, Luciano Acosta of United took a shot, which was denied by a nice save from Lampson. United’s Deshorn Brown also took a shot from very close range, but missed the goal by a couple of inches. Shots continued to be fired off by both teams, but all were being intercepted by the keepers. About an hour into the game, a second goal was scored by Fire’s Brandon Vincent, who delivered the ball into United’s goal from the center of the box with a diving header off of Arturo Álvarez’s cross, making the score 2-0.
As the game was nearing its end, United committed a penalty in the 89th minute, giving the Fire a penalty kick which Lampson turned into a goal. After a few minutes of added time, the game concluded, leaving Fire victorious at their home stadium.