Fire

Luis Solignac scores goal of the year in Fire's Open Cup win

Luis Solignac scores goal of the year in Fire's Open Cup win

The Chicago Fire opened the U.S. Open Cup with a win on Wednesday, but one play from Luis Solignac stole the show.

Brandon Vincent crossed from the left and Solignac did a crazy karate kick backheel flick (or something like that) and it floated over Saint Louis FC goalkeeper Adam Grinwis. Just watch in the video above.

"I made the run and the ball came to my foot and I tried to do something and I scored, it was a beautiful goal," Solignac said after the match via Fire communications. "It's instinct but it's watching a lot of football, a lot of finishing, when you get the chance to do it and hopefully get it in, it's important."

That is probably the goal of the Fire's season. As much fun as the Open Cup can be, it's a shame that goal wasn't in an MLS match so a wider audience would see and appreciate it (and also better camera angles).

Solignac's goal came in the 27th minute and it was always going to be downhill from there. There was no more scoring and only a couple chances either way for both teams.

The Fire held on for the 1-0 win against their USL opponents on Wednesday in Fenton, Mo.

Christian Volesky rifled a shot off the bar in the 67th minute for St. Louis' best chance of the match. The hosts pressed for the equalizing goal, but Matt Lampson's only tough save was a diving effort to stop a header following a free kick in the 79th minute.

From a lineup perspective, coach Veljko Paunovic left four key players completely out of the team sheet. Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Accam, Nemanja Nikolic and Joao Meira all didn't travel to Missouri.

Daniel Johnson made his first professional start and Arturo Alvarez got the start on the right wing with Solignac playing as the forward with Nikolic resting. Dax McCarty got back on the field after being in camp with the U.S. national team for a pair of World Cup qualifiers. McCarty played 57 minutes before being replaced by Matt Polster.

Jonathan Campbell and Drew Conner got starts in the back line.

Teenage homegrown product Djordje Mihailovic came off the bench and was active in his half hour on the field. Another rookie, Matej Dekovic, made his Fire debut as the final sub of the match.

The Fire will learn their draw for the next round, set to take place on June 28, on Thursday morning. Three MLS teams, Columbus (which lost to Cincinnati), Orlando (which lost to Miami) and Real Salt Lake (which lost to Sacramento), were upset by minor league teams. After all fourth round matches completed on Wednesday, the Fire were group into the so-called south region with Cincinnati, Miami and Atlanta, which means they will play one of those three teams in the next round.

Chicago Fire's 'MLS is Back' opening match postponed due to COVID-19

Chicago Fire's 'MLS is Back' opening match postponed due to COVID-19

MLS announced on Tuesday that the Chicago Fire’s first game back after the season was suspended due to COVID-19 has been postponed.

The Fire were supposed to play Nashville SC on Wednesday in their opening Group A match of the MLS is Back tournament. But since arriving in Orlando for the tournament, five Nashville players tested positive for COVID-19 and four others received inclusive results, requiring more testing. As a result, MLS is now evaluating Nashville’s participation in the tournament.

The Fire will now return to play on July 14 against Inter Miami CF.

The Fire also announced that the Drive-In Matchday event that was scheduled for Wednesday’s game has been rescheduled for their July 19 game against New York City FC. Fans who registered for that event will have the opportunity to sign-up again for the new date.

This is the second Chicago pro sports match altered as leagues try to return to play. The Chicago Red Stars also had a game cancelled in late June due to Orlando Pride players testing positive for COVID-19.

As MLB, the NHL and the NBA gear up to return it remains to be seen how they will react in a similar situation.

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MLS announces return to play plan for tournament at Disney World

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USA Today

MLS announces return to play plan for tournament at Disney World

MLS soccer is coming back this summer.

The league announced a plan to have all 26 MLS clubs resume play on July 8 with a league-wide “MLS is Back Tournament.”

The games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World, without fans in the stands.

Here’s how it will work:

Clubs can arrive in Orlando to begin training on June 24. Then a group stage will begin July 8 followed by a knockout stage, starting July 25.

There will be six groups, three for each the Western and Eastern Conferences. The group stage draw will occur on June 11 at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Each team will play three group stage matches, and the results from those games will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings.

Then the top two teams from each group, plus the four best third-place finishers will advance to the knockout stage. That stage starts with a round-of-16, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and then the championship game. The championship game will be played on August 11.

In case of a tie at the end of regulation in the knockout stage, games will proceed directly to a penalty kick shootout.

The winner of the tournament will earn a berth in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.

At the conclusion of the tournament, MLS will resume its regular season followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup.

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