Fire News/Notes Recap and Analysis

Chicago Fire Lose a Thriller to Sporting K.C. in the Season Opener

A late scoring surge for the Men in Red was just not enough for the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening as they dropped their season opener to Sporting K.C.

The Chicago Fire lost a close one to Sporting Kansas City 3-4. While the stadium today was not absolutely full, the crowd that did come was roaring in the frigid Chicago air. The chanting was as loud as usual, and Fire fans were ready for the 2017 season to begin. The fans who did brave the cold certainly got there money’s worth.

During the first half of action, I had a feeling like this could be the beginning of a long season.  We saw Kansas City strike first with a rebound goal off of goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. This goal was not Sanchez’s fault though as we saw Kapelhoff make a play at the ball that Zusi was bringing up, but did a poor job, leading to a great through ball to Johnny Russell, who got to shot to rebound off Sanchez, leading to an easy header by Gutierrez.

It was then quiet for the rest of the half, and it seemed as though everyone was content with going into the half with a 0-1 score. Sporting Kansas City had other plans, as Daniel Salloi sent a nice pass in from out wide to Johnny Russell, who went in between fire defenders and nailed it in to make it 2-0 going into the half.  The Fire went into the half with only one shot compared to Sporting Kansas City’s eight, and it was not feeling like a Fire comeback was coming.

The Chicago Fire didn’t come out strong in the second half, but an early event seemed to turn everything around. Bastian Schweinsteiger took a hard foul to the head early in the second half, and Kansas City learned the hard way to not mess with the German. In the 69th minute, we saw Schweinsteiger get his revenge, as he nutmegged the defender to get into the box, leading to a beautiful cross to new signing Aleksandar Katai, that led to Chicago’s first goal of the 2018 season.

It did not take long for Chicago to tie it up, as in the 73rd minute, Katai sent a corner into Dax McCarty, who headed the ball in, and goalkeeper Tim Melia poked it right to Nikolic, who knocked it in, and boy, it was quite the scene from my point of view.

The goal parade for Chicago did not stop there, as in the 83rd minute, we saw Niko punch is his second goal of the day off a gorgeous pass from Brandon Vincent that came from cross across the box by Polster, just before the ball went over the end line. It may have been the best goal of the day for Chicago, and with the momentum heavily in there favor, it looked like Chicago was going to get the victory. 

As Chicago Fan’s have gotten used to the past few seasons, the fire will find a way to get us excited but disappoint at the end. Just a minute after our goal to take the lead, Kansas City came back with a quick goal in the 84th minute by Medranda, and the game went back to level. 

As if it couldn’t get worse, the Fire gave up another goal two minutes later to Gutierrez, off of a beautiful nutmeg and pass to that led to a back heel to him. It was just an absolute nightmare finish for the Fire. 

Chicago could not get together another good possession, and I blame Paunovic for this one. He took off the best player on the field today in Katai, and when the Fire had to score again, the fluid play was dead. I get that you may think that bringing Ellis in may have brought something to the defense, but taking out your top player who was still contributing was definitely a head-scratcher. I think that the goalkeeping needs the improve, but the coaching today needed to be better as well. 


1 comment on “Chicago Fire Lose a Thriller to Sporting K.C. in the Season Opener

  1. Pingback: Fire Lose Again, 2-1 to Minnesota United - The Loop Sports

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