Winless on the road no more.
David Accam’s goal gave the Chicago Fire its first road win of the season in a 1-0 game at D.C. United on Saturday.
After a scoreless first half, Accam beat the offside trap to break free on a Luis Solignac long ball. Accam curled the shot past Bill Hamid in the 52nd minute for his sixth goal of the season. It was Accam’s sixth goal of the season.
The Fire (6-3-3, 21 points) won for the third straight game during the team’s crowded schedule of three matches in eight days. D.C. (3-6-2, 11 points) has been shutout and beaten in three straight home games.
Matt Lampson earned the shutout in goal without having to make a save in the first 80 minutes. He finished with two saves.
Lampson’s counterpart, Hamid, kept D.C. in the match with six saves. Hamid’s best was a diving save to deny Nemanja Nikolic in the final 10 minutes.
Bastian Schweinsteiger took a bit of a beating in the match and at one point in the first half went down holding his right shoulder, but finished the match. He was denied an eye-popping assist in added time when he weaved through a few D.C. defenders after stalling in the corner. Schweinsteiger got free and set up Nikolic in front, who skied the shot over the bar.
The win moved the Fire up to second place in the Eastern Conference after the game ended. The Fire went winless on the road in 2015, had one win on the road in 2016 and were winless through five road matches to start this season.
The three teams the Fire have beaten during the winning streak are the bottom team in the East (D.C.) and the bottom two teams in the West (Seattle and Colorado). The schedule will get tougher, starting Thursday with undefeated FC Dallas coming to Toyota Park.
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 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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