The Fire have a two game winning streak and sit in third place in the standings. They are now 9 points above last two years home in the standings last place. Is this team the Phoenix rising from the ashes of the proverbial wooden spoon awarded to the last place team every year at the end of the season? The Fire have beat their two rivals the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution by a combined total of 4-0. The Revolution game was an exciting game from the start to finish. The Fire held most of the ball possession and played with a fiery passion that has been absent the past two seasons. Their excellent start to this season is like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The three new additions to the team, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Dax McCarty and Nemanja Nickolic have sparked the Fire attack. Second year player Luis Solignac had his best performance as a fire player, drawing two fouls that lead to the New England red card ejection.  he had two key passes that lead to two of the Fire Goals.  After the game Solignac had this to say, ” I think it is a dream game; those games sometimes you watch on TV and say when am I going to have a game like this? Dominating, having all the time the ball, possession. I feel really proud.”  The Fire have scored 9 goals in 6 games.

There is a new excitement at the Fire games, once again Section 8 and Sector Latino supporter groups are chanting and waving flags. There is once again a reason to cheer the players on the field. As a fan I expect each game, my heart beats faster as I take my seat and I cheer from first kick till the final whistle. There is an atmosphere of fun and pride at Toyota Park once again. The fans can once again say with pride “yeah I am a Fire Fan.”

The Fire are undefeated since the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger with a tie and two wins from three games. Head coach Veljko Paunovic said after the match, “It took some time, and it always takes time for everyone to adjust, but it’s every day work, every day communication, every day trying to be better. That’s our mentality now and that’s something we were looking for to build, and at this point I think the pieces are coming together, better and better, and they fit together.” There is still a lot of games left before the playoffs, but it seems one thing is perfectly clear, the Fire are not the same team they were last year.


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