It wasn't the first game of the 2016 schedule, but it was the first to feature a goal – and Thomas McNamara's 10th-minute bending golazo was only the first in a seven-goal thriller at Toyota Park, in which Patrick Vieira's squad claimed a 4-3 victory in his MLS managerial debut.
The Fire managed to equalize momentarily through Razvan Cocis (off this beautiful chip) before NYCFC's young wingers – Tony Taylor and Khiry Shelton – reestablished the visitors' two-goal lead. Kennedy Igboananike scored early in the second half to bring the Fire within a goal, but a fourth NYCFC strike – a stunner from Mix Diskerud – was too much for Chicago to overcome, although a PK conversion by David Accam made for a tense final 20 minutes.
- 10' – NYC – Thomas McNamara (Khiry Shelton)
- 19' – CHI – Razvan Cocis (Arturo Alvarez)
- 29' – NYC – Tony Taylor
- 36' – NYC – Khiry Shelton (Mix Diskerud)
- 49' – CHI – Kennedy Igboananike (David Accam)
- 63' – NYC – Mix Diskerud (Thomas McNamara)
- 72' – CHI – David Accam (PK)
- Full box score
The Kids are All Right
The young attack of NYCFC drove the early action, building a 3-1 lead that Chicago chipped, but couldn't crack. The first goal was a one-man show by McNamara, but Taylor's developed out of a crafty give-and-go attempt with Andrea Pirlo (assisted by two Fire defenders colliding). Blending the high-upside youth along the high-profile international imports will be key to any extended Vieira success.
Diskerud in the Mix
After a middling opening season in New York, the US national team midfielder played a part in each of the latter two NYC goals, first setting up Shelton's goal with a leading ball over the top and then following with his run to the spot to pick McNamara's cross out of the air for the fourth goal. A more active Mix means a lot of offensive potential.
High Press, High Risk
The Fire pulled back a goal early in the second half when Accam pressed Frederic Brillant near the NYCFC box, stripping him and crossing to Igboananike for an easy score. But more often than not, NYCFC attackers ended up behind that backline, leaving Chicago 'keeper Matt Lampson on an island. The fresh faces need to get familiar for the Fire to progress.
They Said It
- CHI: Friday 3/11 at Orlando City SC (7 pm ET, UniMás, UDN)
- NYC: Sunday 3/13 vs. Toronto FC (5 pm ET, ESPN2)