CHICAGO (March 12, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC (1-0-2, 5 points) defeated D.C. United (2-1-0, 6 points) 2-0 at Audi Field on Saturday evening to extend its unbeaten run to three straight matches in the Club’s 25th MLS season. Additionally, the Fire have kept all of their opponents scoreless so far in 2022, marking the first time in Club history that the team has opened a season with three straight clean sheets.
After an evenly contested start to the first half, the Fire took the lead in the 32nd minute when midfielder Stanislav Ivanov scored his first career goal for the Club. Fabian Herbers started a beautiful sequence for the Fire, as the midfielder passed it first time to Xherdan Shaqiri on the break. The Designated Player’s final pass deflected off defender Brad Smith and landed perfectly for Ivanov, who calmly slotted it over goalkeeper Bill Hamid from inside the area.
Chicago doubled its lead in the 80th minute when second-half substitute Jonathan Bornstein connected on his first goal of the season. Defender Boris Sekulić delivered a cross that was flicked to the far post by midfielder Gastón Giménez. The ball skipped across the box and fell to Bornstein who hit a first-time half volley past a diving Hamid.
Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina made four saves on the night to secure the win for the Fire on the road. The 17-year-old Addison, Ill., native tallied his seventh shutout in his 14th professional start.
NEXT GAME: The Fire will return to Soldier Field to take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 19 in the Club’s second home match of the season. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. CT, the match will be broadcast live on WGN-TV and CF97 Live and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.
- Chicago’s 2-0 win marks the first career victory for Ezra Hendrickson as head coach for the Fire.
- The Fire have yet to concede a goal, becoming the eighth team in MLS history to notch shutouts in each of its first three games of a season.
- Goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina is only the sixth goalkeeper in MLS history to record three straight clean sheets to start a season.
- Chicago remains the only team in MLS yet to allow a goal this season.
- Venezuelan international Miguel Navarro tallied his 50th appearance for the Club tonight. The defender has made 17 consecutive starts for the Fire dating back to Aug. 21, 2021.
- Midfielder Stanislav Ivanov, who was named Heineken Man of the Match, tallied his first goal of his MLS career and the first of the season for the Fire.
- Second-half substitute Jonathan Bornstein scored his first goal of the season and his 11th MLS career goal.
- Boris Sekulić and Gastón Giménez both tallied their first assist of the season off Bornstein’s goal in the 80th minute.
- Tonight’s match was the Fire’s second away game in three matches played this season. The Club will next play two straight matches at home - facing Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 19 before hosting FC Dallas on Saturday, April 2.
- The win marked the Fire’s first win against D.C. since Oct. 11, 2020 and earned the Club’s first victory at Audi Field.
- Ten players on the Fire’s matchday roster were aged 23 or younger. Three of those players were named to Hendrickson’s starting lineup, including 17-year old goalkeeper Gaga Slonina, 23-year-old defender Miguel Navarro and 22-year-old winger Stanislav Ivanov.
D.C. United 0:2 Chicago Fire FC
CHI - Ivanov (1) 32’
CHI - Bornstein (1) (Giménez 1, Sekulić 1) 81’
DC - Najar (Yellow Card) 21’
DC - Skundrich (Yellow Card) 45’
CHI - Giménez (Yellow Card) 45’
CHI - Sekulić (Yellow Card) 48’
DC - Hines-Ike (Yellow Card) 65’
CHI - F. Navarro (Yellow Card) 87’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Slonina, D Sekulić, D Czichos ©, D Omsberg, D M. Navarro, M Gimenez, M Pineda (F. Navarro 71’), M Herbers (Gutiérrez 63’), M Shaqiri, M Ivanov (Bornstein 71’), F Przybyłko
Subs not used: GK Richey, D Burks, D Espinoza, M Casas Jr., F Durán, F Offor
D.C. United: GK Hamid, D Hines-Ike, D Smith (Samake 75’), D Najar, D Birnbaum ©, M Flores (Estrada 67’), M Skundrich, M Djeffal, M Gressel, F Kamara, F Perez (Robertha 74’)
Subs not used: GK Kempin, D Odoi-Atsem, D Pines, D Alfaro, F Yow
Stats Summary: DC / CHI
Shots: 15 / 13
Shots on Goal: 5 / 8
Passing Accuracy: 76.4% / 69.9%
Saves: 5 / 4
Corners: 8 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 15
Offsides: 1 / 2
Possession: 55.8% / 44.2%
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Kevin Klinger
Fourth Official: Luis Arroyo
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr., Diego Blas