Nemanja Nikolic

Coming off a challenging three-game road stint spanning MLS and U.S. Open Cup play, the Fire returned to Toyota Park Saturday night and rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit to earn three key points against second-place New York City FC. There were plenty of notable contributions and outcomes on the evening:

  • Chicago extended its unbeaten streak to seven games across all competitions (MLS and U.S. Open Cup), finishing the month of June with an unblemished 2-0-3 mark in MLS action. The win lifted the Fire above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, where they currently sit sixth on 23 points (6-7-5). 
  • Most memorably, Aleksandar Katai turned the game on its head in a 5-minute second-half stretch, showing off his 1v1 and finishing abilities with two forays along the righthand side of the penalty area. Katai's first brace in a Fire shirt gave him his seventh and eighth goals in 17 MLS appearances this season.
  • In doing so, Katai set a Fire club record by extending his streak of consecutive games with a goal or an assist to eight straight, breaking the previous mark of seven set by Ante Razov in his 18-goal 2000 campaign (per Elias):
Scoring Streak (G or A)
<strong><a href="">Aleksandar Katai</a></strong>
<strong><a href="">Ante Razov</a></strong>
<strong><a href="">Nemanja Nikolic</a></strong>
<strong><a href="">Mike Magee</a></strong>
<strong><a href="">Chris Rolfe</a></strong>
  • Nemanja Nikolic bagged his seventh goal of 2018 and his 31st in 51 MLS regular season matches as a member of the Fire. He now has 34 in all competitions for the Men In Red.
  • Dax McCarty provided assists on Chicago's first and third goals, notching his first multi-assist game since October 1, 2016, as a member of the New York Red Bulls, and the fifth multi-assist performance of his career (317 MLS appearances).
  • Making his first start since May 12 -- stepping in for Luis Solignac, unavailable with a quad injury -- Elliot Collier recorded his first career MLS assist in setting up Aleksandar Katai's game-winning strike. 
  • The win for Chicago snapped NYCFC's six-game unbeaten streak in the series. The Fire are now 2-3-3 against the fourth-year MLS side, with their previous win coming in the inaugural series matchup on April 24, 2015.
  • The game was Chicago's first three-goal performance since the 2018 season-opener vs. Sporting KC. 
  • Chicago now has a full week to prepare for next weekend's trip to Vancouver, which marks the third Western Conference road trip for the Men In Red in a stretch of four MLS fixtures.