Fire

Dax McCarty tallies assist against former team, but Fire still lose to Red Bulls

Dax McCarty tallies assist against former team, but Fire still lose to Red Bulls

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.

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

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@JTHAZZARD

Ever wonder what a Portillo's soccer jersey would look like?

Portillo's has become a staple in the Chicagoland area due to its popular hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now, its soccer jerseys.

OK, maybe one of these does not belong with the others. Regardless, Twitter user @JTHazzard created mock-up soccer jerseys mashing MLS teams and restaurants based in that team's city, and the Portillo's jersey is sweet. 

From the Portillo's logo taking center-stage to the picnic blanket pattern to the discrete Chicago Fire logo, this jersey is absolutely brilliant. The only change this writer would make is including the logo below instead.

Valspar is the current sponsor featured on the Fire's uniforms. If the team ever needs a new sponsor, though, Portillo's would be an excellent replacement.

Fire sign veteran MLS forward Alan Gordon

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USA TODAY

Fire sign veteran MLS forward Alan Gordon

As far as notorious players in MLS with a history of scoring big goals, Alan Gordon is one of the first names on that list.

The Fire signed the 36-year-old forward on Friday, continuing to add depth to a roster that appeared paper thin throughout the preseason. Gordon, who had been on trial with the Fire for part of the preseason and even after the season opener, signed a one-year deal.

Gordon adds plenty of experience from being in the league since 2004 and having scored 55 goals with five different teams. For the past few years he has been used primarily as a substitute, but has still maintained his reputation for scoring goals late in games.

At 6-foot-3 he brings plenty of size and strength to the team and is one of the best players on headers in the league. Last season the Fire failed to score directly off a set piece, which was both due to consistently poor service from corner kicks and a lack of players adept at finishing them off. Gordon should give the Fire a late-game option in that area.

Elliot Collier had impressed the Fire enough to earn a contract as a third-round pick and an international player and even came off the bench in the opening loss to Sporting Kansas City, but it appears the team wanted more experience at forward with Gordon.