After all the talk of Dax McCarty's return to Red Bull Arena, he delivered in the match on Saturday, but it wasn't enough for the Chicago Fire.
McCarty had an assist against his former team that tied things up in the second half, but the New York Red Bulls got a game-winner from Kemar Lawrence in the 71st minute in a 2-1 victory against the Fire.
After Bradley Wright Phillips gave the Red Bulls (5-3-1, 16 points) the lead in the first half, the Fire (3-3-2, 11 points) went into the locker room trailing despite having some quality chances to score. Nemanja Nikolic had a pair of open shots in the first half, but couldn't beat goalkeeper Luis Robles either time. Luis Solignac scuffed an open shot from close range as well.
In the second half, the match become wide open with both teams having plenty of shots. McCarty keyed the Fire's breakthrough by drawing defenders in the box and weaving free to set up Nikolic, who this time finished with a first-touch shot.
The Red Bulls didn't take long to respond though. Just 12 minutes after Nikolic's goal Kemar Lawrence scored down the left wing with a tight-angle shot that found the side netting and put the Red Bulls back on top.
The Fire could not find another equalizer and suffered a second straight loss. The Fire finished with the edge in possession (51 percent), shots (14 to 10) and shots on target (5 to 3).
David Accam returned to the starting lineup on the left wing in place of Michael de Leeuw. De Leeuw subbed into the match after the Red Bulls went up 2-1 and the Fire switched to a 4-4-2 formation.
The Fire fell outside the playoff spots in the Eastern Conference with the loss. Next Saturday the Fire visit the LA Galaxy.