CHICAGO (March 19, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC (2-0-2, 8 points) defeated Sporting Kansas City (1-3-0, 3 points) 3-1 at Soldier Field on Saturday night. Forward Kacper Przybyłko scored a brace, while Designated Player Xherdan Shaqiri also tallied his first career goal and first two assists for the Club. With the win, the Fire moved into second place in the Eastern Conference, with the team picking up the most points (8) through the first four games of a season since 2009.
After a dominant start to the game, Chicago eventually took the lead in the 30th minute through Przybyłko’s first goal for the Club. The play started when Shaqiri found midfielder Fabian Herbers in the center of the field. Herbers raced toward goal and squared the ball across the top of the box for Przybyłko, who took a touch and hit a low shot into the bottom right corner to put Chicago ahead 1-0.
The Fire doubled its lead in the 50th minute after midfielder Mauricio Pineda drew a foul in the penalty area. Shaqiri converted from the spot to score his first goal for the Fire and double the team’s lead with 40 minutes remaining.
However, Kansas City was able to pull one back just six minutes later as captain Roger Espinoza finished off a cross from close range. Sporting’s Cam Duke slotted a ball into the box to Felipe Hernandez, who found a darting Espinoza for a tap-in finish.
With Kansas City pushing for an equalizer, Przybyłko sealed the game in the 82nd minute with his second goal of the night. Homegrown midfielder Brian Gutiérrez, a second-half substitute for the Fire, immediately went on the attack when he received the ball out wide. Driving in toward goal, Gutiérrez cut past his defender and found the feet of Przybyłko, who calmly placed the ball into the back of the net to secure the win for the Fire.
NEXT GAME: Following the FIFA international break next weekend, the Fire will return to league play on Saturday, April 2 when the team hosts FC Dallas at Soldier Field. Beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT, the match against Dallas will be nationally televised on Univision, TUDN and Twitter (English audio).
- The Fire have secured eight points through the first four games, marking the most points through the first four games of a season since 2009.
- Chicago remains unbeaten in the first four matches of the season as the team secured back-to-back wins with tonight’s result.
- The Fire are one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the Eastern Conference through the first four games of league play.
- The 3-1 win marked the Fire’s first win over Kansas City since July 2016, when Chicago defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at SeatGeek Stadium.
- The Fire outshot (10-7), out-possessed (54.5%-45.5%) and won more duels (57.7%-42.3%) than Sporting Kansas City.
- Przybyłko scored his first and second goals for the Chicago Fire in the 30th and 82nd minutes, respectively, marking his 36th and 37th career goals in Major League Soccer. The Polish international’s brace earned him Heineken Man of the Match honors.
- Przybyłko’s two-goal performance is his fifth multi-goal game and his first since Sept. 19, 2021.
- Shaqiri secured his first goal for the Club in the 50th minute off a penalty kick.
- 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.
- Homegrown forward Victor Bezerra was named to the gameday roster for the first time in his career tonight. Bezerra was signed by the Club as the 23rd Homegrown signing in team history on Dec. 22, 2021.
Chicago Fire FC 3:1 Sporting Kansas City
CHI - Przybyłko (1) (Herbers 1, Shaqiri 1) 30’
CHI - Shaqiri (1) 50’
SKC - Espinoza (1) (Hernandez 1, Duke 1) 56’
CHI - Przybyłko (2) (Gutiérrez 1, Shaqiri 2) 82’
SKC - Fontas (Yellow Card) 35’
CHI - Herbers (Yellow Card) 37’
SKC - Zusi (Yellow Card) 53’
CHI - Shaqiri (Yellow Card) 74’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Slonina, D Sekulić, D Czichos ©, D Omsberg, D M. Navarro, M Giménez, M Pineda (F. Navarro, 73’), M Herbers (Bornstein, 73’), M Shaqiri, M Ivanov (Gutiérrez, 63’), F Przybyłko
Subs not used: GK Richey, D Burks, D Espinoza, M Casas Jr., F Bezerra, F Offor
Sporting Kansas City: GK Melia, D Sweat (Ndenbe, 77’), D Fontas, D Isimat, D Ford, Espinoza © (Davis, 86’), M Hernandez, M Walter, F Zusi, F Vujnovic, F Duke (Tzionis, 62’)
Subs not used: GK Pulskamp, D Voloder, D Pierre, D Rad, F Cisneros
Stats Summary: CHI / SKC
Shots: 10 / 7
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Passing Accuracy: 77.6% / 74.2%
Saves: 1 / 0
Corners: 4 / 1
Fouls: 15 / 17
Offsides: 5 / 2
Possession: 54.5% / 45.5%
Referee: Tim Ford
Assistant Referees: Chris Elliot, Gjovalin Bori
Fourth Official: Calin Radosav
VAR: Carol Anne Chenard, Robert Schaap