Fire

Fire get first road win since 2014 in rout of Montreal

Fire get first road win since 2014 in rout of Montreal

The Chicago Fire’s road winless streak is finally a thing of the past.

The Fire beat the Montreal Impact 3-0 on Saturday at Stade Saputo to end the club’s MLS-record 36-match road winless streak.

Luis Solignac scored his first goal since joining the Fire and David Accam had a goal and an assist in the win.

The Fire (5-11-7, 22 points) last won on the road on July 12, 2014. That was a 1-0 win in New England.

Saturday’s win in Quebec featured a lot of firsts for the Fire. The Fire had not led going into halftime on the road in 2016. It was the first time the Fire led by two goals in an MLS match, home or away, all season.

Solignac sparked the big victory by scoring on a counterattack in the 15th minute. Following a Montreal corner, Michael de Leeuw made a short pass from just outside the Fire’s box to David Accam. Accam went full speed to create a counter by himself before laying it off to Solignac on his left. Solignac cut inside on two defenders and curled the shot past Evan Bush.

It was one of the prettier Fire goals of the season and gave the Fire a lead on the road for just the second time this season.

“We tried to isolate them 1v1 and for me I think if I get 1v1 against anyone in this league I’m having a lot of joy,” Accam said during the halftime interview on CSN+.

The Fire got an insurance goal in the 73rd minute via Accam. De Leeuw slid a centering ball to Arturo Alvarez, who had just subbed into the match a minute before. Alvarez’s shot deflected in off Accam, slowly crawling over the line after the deflection wrong-footed Bush.

[SHOP: Need a Fire home jersey? Get it here]

Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson emphasized the importance of getting that second goal instead of simply defending a 1-0 lead.

“I think so often we get up a goal and then we tuck in and we sit back,” Johnson said on CSN+ broadcast. “The message was we’re in a good spot, we’ve played well, we’ve been in this position before. We have to learn how go on and score again and again and close out games… We did that tonight.”

With Montreal (8-7-9, 33 points) still pushing numbers forward to get back into the match, the Fire had even more opportunities on the counter. Matt Polster put the finishing touches by scoring one of those counters in the 89th minute.

When the match ended, the Fire moved within five points of the playoffs, but remained last in the league due to Houston and Columbus also winning this weekend. The win should be a confidence booster, but if nothing else it is a relief to not have a negative record hanging over the players’ heads.

“This is massive,” Johnson said. “I think for everybody in the locker room it’s a weight off the shoulders.”

The Fire next have a midweek game at home on Wednesday against 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.