Alvaro Medran and Ignacio Aliseda each scored a stylish first career MLS goal, Fabian Herbers added his first of the season and Chicago Fire FC marked its long-awaited return to Soldier Field with a comfortable 3-0 victory over FC Cincinnati on Tuesday night.
Aliseda also added an assist, as did Gaston Gimenez, Boris Sekulic and Elliot Collier as Chicago broke out of a three match losing and scoreless stretch in league play in their first MLS match at the historic downtown venue since the end of the 2005 season.
Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth needed only one save to keep his first clean sheet in the league since 2018, in the process keeping Cincinnati without a goal through two matches of Phase 1 of the revised MLS regular season schedule.
Chicago were in control by the 10th minute.
First, Herbers neatly finished Gimenez's diagonal ball with a first-time volley that was originally ruled offside, then allowed following a Video Review. Then came Medran's 30-yard, right-footed laser that never rose more than two feet off the ground as it barreled into the bottom left corner.
Midway through the second half, Aliseda capped the scoring following a rare promising break forward from Cincy, finishing off a slick combination sequence between he, Sekulic and Collier down the right.
- 2' - CHI - Fabian Herbers | WATCH
- 10' - CHI - Alvaro Medran | WATCH
- 67' - CHI - Ignacio Aliseda | WATCH
THE BIG PICTURE:
Before Tuesday, Chicago's last competitive game at Soldier Field came on Oct. 21 of 2005, a 0-0 draw in Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against D.C. United. Hebers' goal marked the first scored in MLS competition by any team in the 14 years, 10 months and 17 days since Eric Vasquez's matchwinner for Columbus in a 2-1 regular season victory. Jesse Marsch scored the most-recent previous Chicago goal at the stadium in the same match.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH:
While Hebers' opener — despite the awkward Video Review — has history on its side, Medran's effort from distance was an emphatic statement about the Fire's return downtown, and the first in MLS for the Spaniard.