Chicago Fire 4, Seattle Sounders 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap

After a contentious first half, the Chicago Fire pulled away in the second half to defeat the Seattle Sounders 4-1 at a sold-out Toyota Park on Saturday night.

The Fire got on the board in the 25th minute via a penalty kick earned and converted by Nemanja Nikolic during a wild sequence (see below), but Seattle's Clint Dempsey tied up the score just three minutes later. Chicago re-took the lead at the hour mark through David Accam and Luis Solignac added an insurance tally for the hosts before Nikolic got his second of the night to seal the win and move to the top of the MLS scoring chart.

Sounders defender Joevin Jones picked up two yellow cards late in the game to reduce the visitors to 10 men, adding to their woes on the night.

Goals

  • 25' – CHI – Nemanja Nikolic (PK) Watch
  • 28' – SEA – Clint Dempsey Watch
  • 60' – CHI – David Accam Watch
  • 73' – CHI – Luis Solignac Watch
  • 76' – CHI – Nemanja Nikolic Watch

Three Things

  1. STATEMENT WIN? This match had the air of a special occasion for the Fire, as the crowds turned out for the primetime national television game, and the home side did not disappoint. It was only the second win all-time for Chicago over Seattle in MLS play, the only other victory coming in July 2015. And with the mix of holdovers from last year and before to go with the newcomers on this season's squad, the victory could put the rest of MLS on notice that this Chicago Fire team is finally for real.
  2. FIRST HALF CONTROVERSY: While the Fire thoroughly won the second half, the Sounders can make a good case for some calls going against them in the first half. While the penalty call itself will likely fall along partisan lines, the encroachment call on the first penalty take, when Stefan Frei saved Accam's tame penalty effort, looked to be dubious with the benefit of replays and freeze-frame photos. Add to that two shouts the Sounders had for penalties that went begging, against Jordan Morris in the first half and Dempsey in the second, and it's not a stretch to say that the first half, and subsequent game, could have gone very, very different for Seattle.
  3. SCORING FREELY: Arguably one of the hardest roles to fill on any soccer team is finding a consistent scorer. The Fire seem to have one in Nikolic. The Hungarian international is tied atop the MLS Golden Boot chart with Houston's Erick "Cubo" Torres with eight goals, and is on a run of four goals in his last three games. And with Accam continuing to contribute and Solignac -- not known as a prolific scorer in the past -- tallying as well, the Fire may have the makings of a consistently potent attack.

Next Up

  • CHI: Wednesday, May 17 – vs. Colorado (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE)
  • SEA: Wednesday, May 17 – at Kansas City (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE)

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