Fire

Three in a row: Fire top D.C. on the road to extend winning streak

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USA TODAY

Three in a row: Fire top D.C. on the road to extend winning streak

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.

Chicago isn't hosting the 2026 World Cup, but fans should still be excited

Chicago isn't hosting the 2026 World Cup, but fans should still be excited

After failing to qualify to play in this summer’s World Cup, the United States’ pain was alleviated on Wednesday morning after earning a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

But why is this bittersweet for Chicagoans?

Even though the World Cup will be hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada in eight years, matches will not be played in Chicago.

The city chose not to be one of the potential hosts of the world’s largest sporting event, despite using Soldier Field as a venue for the 1994 World Cup.

One of the reasons could be the low seating capacity of Chicago’s historic stadium. Soldier Field would be the second smallest spot out of any World Cup host option, seating only 61,500. The massive competition also draws enormous crowds, possibly causing logistical concerns for a highly-populated place like Chicago.

Ten out of 17 different cities in the United States will be gifted the opportunity to host 2026 World Cup games. The list includes Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium) and Nashville (Nissan Stadium), which are the closest domestic locations to Chicago.

The bright side is that fans from the Midwest won’t have to travel very far to see a match. For bigtime soccer fans in the Chicago area, having the chance to attend world-class matches in United States could be exciting enough.

Out of the 80 games taking place in 2026, 60 of them will be located in the United States.

Can this bid with Mexico and Canada at least help the relevancy of U.S. Soccer in the Chicago area?

The U.S. men’s national team missed this year’s World Cup at a very unideal time, just when it seemed like the sport of soccer was gaining more and more popularity in the United States.

Plus, the United States might not even get an automatic bid to play in their own World Cup as hosts.

But becoming a member of the first trio in FIFA history to host the World Cup, coupled with the expanded 48-team field in 2026, could help the United States retain the fans they have across the nation and around Chicago.

The World Cup might not be coming to the Windy City, but Chicagoans will still have something to be excited about in 2026 with games being played right around the corner. If the U.S. can qualify for the upcoming World Cups, having the tournament in North America will be much sweeter.

Until then, the 2018 World Cup kicks off this Thursday night in Russia.

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.