CHICAGO (Sept. 27, 2020) - Chicago Fire FC (4-7-3, 15 points) defeated Atlanta United FC (4-8-2, 14 points) 2-0 at Soldier Field on Sunday evening. After back-to-back wins, Chicago moves above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference.
Chicago jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the seventh minute when midfielder Gaston Giménez stole the ball in the center circle and immediately ran into the attack. Giménez would find Fabian Herbers on the right side of the pitch as the German took a touch and slotted home a right-footed shot on the half-volley.
Fire forward Robert Berić doubled Chicago’s lead in the 39th minute when midfielder Djordje Mihailović played a clever ball between two Atlanta defenders to Berić at the top of the box. Berić confidently placed a right-footed shot past Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan to score his sixth goal of the season and his fourth goal in as many games. Chicago outshot Atlanta 15-10.
Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who recorded his fourth shutout of the season and the 45th of his career, made a season-high five saves. In the 19th minute, Shuttleworth made a diving save to his right off a left-footed shot from forward Adam Jahn. To maintain the clean sheet, the veteran goalkeeper would need to come up big in the 58th minute as Jahn was once again trying to get Atlanta on the board. The tall striker connected on a diving header, but Shuttleworth was able to get a hand on the ball to push it off the post, denying the opportunity.
Both teams that call Soldier Field home, the Fire and the Chicago Bears, defeated teams from Atlanta today. The Bears beat the Falcons 30-26 on the road. Atlanta United and the Falcons also share a home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Next on the schedule: Chicago Fire FC will travel to Harrison, N.J. to face the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, Oct. 3. The match is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on WGN-TV and ESPN+ and transmitted locally in Spanish on 105.1 WOJO-HD2. The pregame show, presented by CIBC, will begin at 6:15 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
The three Canadian clubs - Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC - will continue their seasons in accordance with travel protocols. Home games are slated for the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.), Toronto FC at Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.), and Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Providence Park (Portland, Ore).
- The Fire moved into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference (10th place, 15 points), leapfrogging Atlanta (11th place, 14 points) and Cincinnati (12th place, 13 points). Montreal and Nashville are in 8th and 9th place, respectively, both on 16 points.
- The Fire have scored first in three consecutive home matches (ATL, HOU, CLB).
- Herbers scored his fourth goal of the season, all at home at Soldier Field. He is tied for the second-most goals scored at home in MLS (4). The midfielder earned Heineken Man of the Match honors after scoring once, creating seven chances (second-most in a single game for the Fire since Opta tracking began in 2009-10) and leading the team tonight with 15 defensive actions.
- Berić has scored a goal in the Fire’s last four matches and leads the team with six goals on the season. The four game goal streak is tied for the second-longest in Club history.
- With the win, the Fire are tied for the third-most clean sheets (3) at home in MLS this season. Chicago entered tonight’s match coming off a dominant 4-0 win over Houston Dynamo at Soldier Field on Sept. 23.
- With six goals scored in their last two matches, the Fire are now tied with Columbus Crew SC for the fourth-most goals scored (12) at home this season.
- The Fire are now 3-1-0 at home against Atlanta United in regular season play. In its last two home matches, the Fire have outscored Atlanta 7-1.
- Chicago Fire Homegrown Andre Reynolds II earned his MLS debut. The Homegrown made his professional debut on July 23, 2019, when he played 58 minutes against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.
- Mo Adams made his return to Chicago after being traded from the Fire to Atlanta United in July 2019. The Fire selected Adams 10th overall in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. He appeared in 25 matches (15 starts) during his time in Chicago. Adams received the only disciplinary action on the night, a yellow card in the 85th minute.
- Atlanta has struggled on the road this year. Their last win away from home was the season opener against Nashville SC back on February 29.
- 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.
- In honor of MLS Kick Childhood Cancer Month, the Fire recently partnered with Continental Tire to recognize some amazing children and raise awareness for pediatric cancer research. To watch a feature on the partnership, click here.
- Every Fire broadcast starts with an original video, The Open. Tonight’s version, “It's Not The Same Without You,” featured Chicago Fire FC public address announcer Tim Sinclair. You can watch it here.
- CHI - Fabian Herbers 7th minute
- CHI - Robert Berić 39th minute
Chicago Fire FC 2:0 Atlanta United FC
- CHI - Herbers (4) (Giménez 3) 7’
- CHI - Berić (6) (Mihailović 3) 39’
- ATL - Adams (Caution) 85’
Chicago Fire FC: GK Shuttleworth, D Sekulić, D Pineda, D Calvo ©, D Bornstein (D Reynolds II 90+1’), M Mihailović (F Collier 79’), M Giménez, M Medrán, M Aliseda (D Navarro 79’), M Herbers (D Bronico 90+1’), F Berić (F Sapong 67’)
Subs not used: GK Slonina, M Azira, M Gutiérrez, D Omsberg
Atlanta United FC: GK Guzan, D Escobar, D Meza, D Lennon, D Bello, M Remedi, M Larentowicz © (M Adams 73’), M Hyndman, M Mulraney (M Castro 82’), F Jahn (F Wolff 65’), F Gallagher
Subs not used: GK Kann, D Walkes, D Castillo, M Wyke, D Campbell
Stats Summary: CHI / ATL
Shots: 15 / 10
Shots on Target: 6 / 5
Saves: 5 / 4
Corners: 3 / 4
Fouls: 14 / 9
Offsides: 5 / 3
Possession 48.6% / 51.4%
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Chico Grajeda