On Wednesday May 17th the Chicago Fire celebrated Pride night with a match against the Colorado Rapids. Pride Night honors the LGBTQ community. Major League Soccer has a campaign called “Don’t Cross the Line” asking fans to take a pledge not to cross the line, no discrimination, no racism, no sexism, no homophobia, no bullying, and fair play.” So Pride night is an extension of the pledge. The Fire also celebrated a big win over the Colorado Rapids 3-0. They had two goals from League leader Nemanja Nikolic who now has 10 goals and David Accam. This victory follows the previous win over Seattle. The Fire now have 5 wins, only 3 losses and three draws. The fastest they have reached the mark in the past 5 years. Fire fans are beginning to smile again and have pride in their “Men in Red.” There is laughter in the player locker room and passion on the field, with the Fire dominating possession and play on the pitch.
The Fire are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference standings and 8th overall with 18 points. The Fire had 57 percent possession compared to 43 percent of the Colorado Rapids in the match. The Fire had 4 shots on goal compared Colorado’s 1. Fire goal keeper Matt Lampson made only one save compared to Tim Howard’s 3. The Fire had 85% overall passing accuracy. They were passing the ball well, stringing together numerous passes to move the ball forward. Their play was fluid they looked like a well-oiled soccer machine. A far cry from the teams of the past two years.
Head coach Veljko Paunovic had this to say about the fire home unbeaten record, “Undefeated and I think playing and developing good soccer here at home and I think the mentality is great. Huge effort, huge job by the team and congrats to our guys. I love the attitude in our locker room.” David Accam in speaking of the difference between this season and last season said, “Now we have a lot of fans getting involved because we’re winning games, and obviously that’s going to happen when you play well and you’re winning games, it’s good to have the fans coming to the game and supporting us.” Just as the famous movie line “I’ll be back” the Fire have come back from the very bottom, it is a long season, but all signs seem to point a return to the glory days of 20 years ago.