Chicago Fire "difference-maker": Brian Gutiérrez scores must-see golazo


CHESTER, Penn. – Thirty-nine minutes into a cold and tense MLS is Back battle at a packed Subaru Park, one magical moment silenced the vibrant and rapturous crowd.

Brian Gutiérrez, upon seeing an inch of space at the edge of the Philadelphia Union’s penalty box, took a chance with a powerful blast that soared past goalkeeper Oliver Semmle, giving Chicago Fire FC an unlikely 1-0 lead on the road.

For a talented 20-year-old homegrown who’s eligible for the United States and Mexico, the goal is an early-career highlight, helping propel his boyhood team to a point in Chester, where they have traditionally had a rough go of things.

“It’s something that we’ve talked to him about,” Fire head coach Frank Klopas said after the 2-2 draw. “That [Gutiérrez] needs to have a bigger impact within the final third with his ability and quality, and it’s great to see him with that initiative taking shots from the outside and finishing plays.”

Gutiérrez’s golazo sent shockwaves around the league, and postgame, the young playmaker expressed his desire to get a call from USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter. Moments like his screamer on the Delaware River certainly won’t hurt his cause, potentially for this summer’s Olympics in Paris.

He drew plaudits from teammates, too.

“Guti can be a difference-maker for this team,” said Fabian Herbers, who scored in the 82nd minute “He’s a young guy, he has a lot of talent and he's super confident and quick on the ball.

“ … He has the ability to make the final pass but also to shoot, so it’s nice to see him getting on the scoresheet. Hopefully he can do that many more times”

Nonetheless, Chicago couldn’t hold on for an Eastern Conference victory as Mikael Uhre and Dániel Gazdag both equalized to salvage a point for the hosts. But for Chicago, a draw is a step in the right direction and represents the culmination of an impressive offseason.

Gutiérrez, for one, spoke to a renewed energy and mentality as Chicago look to break their now six-season Audi MLS Cup Playoffs drought.

“We’re more of a unit, more united,” Gutiérrez said. “You’re going to see a lot of excitement towards the season, towards the home opener, every home game, every away game. We’re always going to fight for the three points, and that’s the mentality of the team.”