CHICAGO (Sept. 23, 2020) - In a dominant performance, Chicago Fire FC (3-7-3, 12 points) defeated Houston Dynamo (3-4-6, 15 points) 4-0 at Soldier Field on Wednesday evening.
4-3-3 isn’t just a football formation: Goals from four different offensive players -- Designated Player Robert Berić, Fabian Herbers, Alvaro Medrán and CJ Sapong -- and the third clean sheet of the season for Bobby Shuttleworth secured three points for the Fire at home.
Chicago broke through in the 15th minute, as veteran defender Jonathan Bornstein served up a perfect cross to a streaking Berić. The Slovenian split the Dynamo center backs, redirecting the ball into the back of the net, earning his third goal in as many games.
Eight minutes later, the Fire, who won the possession battle tonight 54-46, would capitalize again when Ignacio Aliseda played a sublime through ball to a hard-charging Herbers. The German slid and buried a right-footed shot past Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Maric to put the home side up 2-0.
In the 28th minute, the Dynamo were called for a penalty for a hand ball in the box by defender Maynor Figueroa. After checking the call with VAR, the penalty was overturned.
The third goal of the half would come from an incredible individual effort from Medrán. The Spaniard secured a turnover behind the midfield line and, with two defenders daped on his back, dribbled his way towards the Houston goal. He drilled a shot to the far post for his second goal of the season.
Two minutes after Medran scored, midfielder Djordje Mihailovic’s powerful right-footed shot from distance beat Maric but the goal was called back for offside.
The final goal of the match would come in the 89th minute when CJ Sapong converted from the penalty spot after the forward was pulled down in the box. The Fire were awarded a second penalty kick after Maric saved the first attempt by illegally coming off his line early.
Next on the schedule: Chicago Fire FC will return to Soldier Field on Sunday, Sept. 27 when the Club hosts Atlanta United FC. On Wednesday night, a penalty kick from former Fire player Jeff Larentowicz proved decisive as Atlanta snapped a six-game winless skid, edging out FC Dallas 1-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Sunday’s match will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on WGN-TV and ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200AM. The pregame show, presented by CIBC, will begin at 6:15 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
- The four goal victory marks the Fire’s largest margin of victory in 2020.
- Berić scored for the third straight game. He leads the team in goals (5).
- Herbers notched his third goal of the season. All three goals have come on the lakefront at Soldier Field.
- Sapong scored his first goal of 2020 after finishing the penalty kick he earned after getting fouled in the box. The goal was Sapong’s 70th in his 10-year career (four years with Sporting KC, four years with Philadelphia Union, second year with the Fire). Sapong’s goal celebration was a nod to his newborn daughter.
- Bornstein, who made his first start since July 23, earned his first assist of 2020 on Beric’s goal.
- Medrán earned Heineken Man of the Match honors. The midfielder scored a sensational goal on a solo effort from behind the midfield line to earn his second goal of the season.
- For the first time in MLS history, 13 midweek games are being played on the same night. All 26 teams are in action.
- Shuttleworth secured the 44th clean sheet of his MLS career.
- Chicago Fire FC has teamed up with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Ronald McDonald House Charities during the month of September to bring awareness to Kick Childhood Cancer. Player jerseys featured a yellow ribbon patch that represents Kick Childhood Cancer.
- Every Fire broadcast starts with an original video, The Open. Tonight’s version, “A Family Affair,” featured long-time Fire supporter Don Crafts. You can watch it here.
- CHI - Robert Berić 15th minute
- CHI - Fabian Herbers 23rd minute
- CHI - Alvaro Medrán 40th minute
- CHI - CJ Sapong 89th minute
Chicago Fire FC 4:0 Houston Dynamo
- CHI - Berić (5) (Bornstein 1) 15’
- CHI - Herbers (3) (Aliseda 2) 23’
- CHI - Medrán (2) 40’
- CHI - Sapong (1) (PK) 89’
- CHI - Pineda (Caution) 63’
- CHI - Shuttleworth (Caution) 70’
- HOU - Lassiter (Caution) 83’
- HOU - Struna (Caution) 87’
- HOU - Maric (Caution) 89’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Shuttleworth, D Sekulić, D Pineda, D Calvo ©, D Bornstein (D Navarro 74’), M Mihailović (M Collier 63’), M Giménez, M Medrán (D Bronico 74’), M Aliseda, M Herbers (M Azira 87’), F Berić (F Sapong 74’)
Subs not used: GK Slonina, M Gutiérrez, D Omsberg, D Reynolds II
Houston Dynamo: GK Maric, D Lundkvist, D Struna, D Figueroa, D Bizama, M Rodriguez (F Lemoine HT), M Hansen (F Lassiter HT), M Vera © (M Garcia HT), M Ceren (M Martinez 78’), F Ramirez, F Quintero (F Manotas 64’)
Subs not used: GK Cropper, D Fuenmayor, D Valentin, D Cabrera
Stats Summary: CHI / HOU
Shots: 16 / 7
Shots on Target: 9 / 1
Saves: 1 / 5
Corners: 2 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 15
Offsides: 1 / 3
Possession: 54% / 46%
Referee: Marcos de Oliveira
Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Peter Manikowski
Fourth Official: Ismir Pekmic
VAR: David Gantar