Nemanja Nikolic scored his fourth goal of the Season in Saturdays match against the Columbus Crew. The goal was also his 28th overall in just 38 matches. He jumped on a poor clearance by Crew Goal Keeper Zach Steffen and finished in true Niko fashion. The goal later stood as the game winning goal, as the Fire picked their first three points of the Season against their longtime rivals. Nikolic later credited the win to “doing their homework.” As always Nikolic also credits his teammates. “I have a really good coaching staff, the goalkeeper coach Saric gave me good advice,” Nikolic said. “They analyze like always our opponents. We knew that Steffen likes to play out from the back, Artur and Trapp they like to come to receive the ball, they are not afraid to play behind and our pressing in the first 15 to 20 minutes with me, [Alan] Gordon and Diego [Campos] was quite ok,” In describing the win he said, Sometimes you need to win when you don’t play great, like today.”

The Crew outshot and out possessed the Fire and were unlucky not to score when two shots hit the woodwork. Goal Keeper Richard Sanchez made some key saves to earn his first clean sheet. He was later named Man of the Match. It is no wonder that Head coach Veljko Paunovic labeled this victory as “one we’re not going to remember”.

Fire star player Bastian Schweinsteiger  has been moved from the midfield into defense, after the Fire conceded six goals in their opening two games. Schweinsteiger has taken to his new role with aplomb. Paunovic had this to say after the match about the German star, “He can play in any position and always impacts the game in a positive way,” Paunovic said. “He can play as a [No.] 10, he can play as a 9, and he can even play as a goalkeeper. Bastian is exceptional, and I am very thankful to our owner and general manager for doing everything in their power to bring him here last season, because this way we can get the best results from our team.” Schweinsteiger made 11 defensive clearances during the game.  When asked about his new role always the professional Schweinsteiger had this to say, “I think it’s one way how we can play,” Schweinsteiger told “Obviously, everyone knows that I am a No. 6 or No. 8. But we need always to analyze the opponents, we need to see how can we maybe defend, and with our situation with a lot of injured players as well, what’s the best way to play, and our coach decides every time.” He had this to say about the win but what I like is the mentality of the team. Even if it’s hard, we never give up and we try to help each other and that, for me, is very important. That’s why I’m very happy that we won this game because it should give us confidence.” So, has the Fire turned a page on their season or were they just lucky? We will see when the LA Galaxy come to town this Saturday

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