Fire Works to Come from Behind to Defeat Union


Chicago Fire 4-3 Philadelphia Union

CHICAGO, IL—This past weekend, the Rolling Stones were in town and had their concert at Soldier Field. On Wednesday, it appeared that the Fire were heading for the “19th Nervous Breakdown”, but instead found some “Satisfaction” late as they rallied from 3-1 down in the final ten minutes to win 4-3 in a match that saw more fireworks than perhaps the post-match fireworks for 4th of July.

Instead of a three-match losing streak, it is now three wins from their last five matches for the Fire and off the bottom of the Eastern Conference table. The Union, who had just seven bench players mostly due to international call-ups, fall below the Fire in the East to 14th and have lost their fifth straight, winless in their last eight, and won just once in their last 15 league matches (1-9-5).

Maren Haile-Selassie got the Fire on the board at the half hour mark following a counter attack led by Fabian Herbers who fed to Allan Arigoni. Arigoni sent a low cross in that went off a defender and to the feel of Haile-Selassie who scored in his fourth successive match. 

The lead would just last eight minutes, though, as Leon Flach’s shot was re-directed in by Chris Donovan to level the score. It appeared it would be level at halftime, but in first half stoppage time, Chris Brady was forced to drop a ball as he was almost outside his penalty area and held up Nathan Hariel in the process. VAR awarded a penalty to the Union for that and Daniel Gazdag converted the spot kick.

Four minutes into the second half, the Union went 3-1 up on a Jack McGlynn shot from outside the area that went off both posts and in. The Fire had though they pulled one back in the 54th minute, but VAR determined that Haile-Selassie was offside in the buildup negating the goal even though replays appeared to show that a Union defender had last touched the ball that went to Haile-Selassie in the buildup.

The Fire would get one back in the 82nd minute as off a corner kick, Chris Mueller set up a flick-on header to Hugo Cuypers who headed in from six yards out to make it 3-2. Seven minutes later, Gaston Gimenez would score one off the volley to level the score. 

There would be a minimum of seven minutes of stoppage time, but the Fire would only need one of them to go ahead for good as Haile-Selassie’s cross found Cuypers for a tap-in with Union defenders at sea. The Union had a couple last chances to pull level again, but it would be for naught as the Fire once again at Soldier Field pull off an extraordinary comeback like they did against CF Montreal back on March 16th. 

“It’s a great win for the team. And like I told the guys, I think it was important because I think, forget
what’s happened in the past,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas who was later sent off for entering the field of play. “I think with this game before the match, when they went out, I just said we can change everything one game at a time. And at some point, it looked bleak, but never give up on this team, the character is strong. And I believe in the group and the guys that came in really had a huge impact in the score being what it was in the end. And it’s all about the team. We’re going to reach our goal with the team, not as individuals.”

With 13 matches left and every point important in order to make the playoffs, the Fire need to keep the mentality that got them the three points even though it looked bleak as late as the 82nd minute down 3-1.

“Especially where we are right now, because we dropped a lot of points at home, there’s no sugarcoating
that,” said Klopas. “And we put ourselves in a really difficult spot. The reminder for me, it’s always like I told the guys, it’s like the one thing that they say in sports here, it’s ‘what have you done for me lately?’ And I kind of used
that; not to the players in any bad way, but to say that, everybody can forget what happened in the past.
It’s like, let’s freaking get the three points tonight. And that’s an important thing because right now, if you
go out there and ask the fans, they really don’t know where we are. But it was a great, great night of
soccer: excitement, goal scorers. And also, look, at the end of the day, it’s about entertainment and
people want to pay to come watch quality players and talented players. The game was open. I think both
teams pushed the game – at one point, it didn’t go our way. And in the end, we found a way to come
back. And I think it’s that kind of mentality that we talked about [on]day one, I said I accept mistakes, it’s
not an issue. But when you make a mistake, better make sure that you work and run hard for the team.
That’s the most important thing. You have to make mistakes, guys. And that’s the thing: it’s always about
the next play. My coach in 1994, Bora Milutinović, used to say all the time, ‘Klopy, it’s the next play. No
matter what you do, you do something good and the ball is always moving.’ So how can you stay

“And that’s the thing with us. I think that there are moments where we lose our focus and concentration
and then we get it back. And sometimes the starts, you know, we have slow starts. And we wait until we
give up one goal or two and then we react. We need to be more proactive. We need to start better. We
need to give up less goals because you’re not going to be able to score goals. That’s the honest truth.
Without the ball, we need to be a better team. But everything starts with the mentality. And I think it’s
about decision making, when guys deserve to be on the field based on how they’re playing, how they’re
training, you have to be fair. If you’re not then you have to keep players on edge also. Nothing’s given;
there’s no egos, put the egos on the side, it’s all about the team. And I told them, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team,’
there’s ‘I’ in ‘win,’ like we did tonight. But for me, it’s all about the team. And within the team and idea we
want to play, there’s opportunities to express yourself, there is not a problem. But as long as you can run
for the team when you make mistakes or when you lose the ball.”

The Fire will next play San Jose Earthquakes at PayPal Park for a Sunday match at 7:30pm CT on Apple TV as part of the MLS Season Pass. 

CHI-Maren Haile-Selassie (unassisted) 30
PHI-Chris Donovan (Flach) 38
PHI-Daniel Gazdag (penalty kick) 45+7
PHI-Jack McGlynn (Gazdag, Donovan) 49
CHI-Hugo Cuypers (Mueller, Haile-Selassie) 82
CHI-Gaston Gimenez (Czichos, Herbers) 89
CHI-Hugo Cuypers (Haile-Selassie, Gutierrez) 90+1

CHI-Wyatt Omsberg (caution, tactical foul) 4
PHI-Jacob Glesnes (caution, reckless tackle) 32
CHI-Chris Brady (caution, tactical foul) 45+7
PHI-Daniel Gazdag (caution, tactical foul) 54
CHI-Frank Klopas (sent off, entering the field) 90+6

CHICAGO FIRE (3-5-2):  #34-Chris Brady; #5-Rafael Czichos, #16-Wyatt Omsberg, #2-Arnaud Souquet; #24-Jonathan Dean (#8-Chris Mueller 46), #21-Fabian Herbers, #17-Brian Gutierrez (#22-Mauricio Pineda 90+4), #23-Kellyn Acosta (#12-Tom Barlow 77), #27-Allan Arigoni (#30-Gaston Gimenez 65); #7-Maren Haile-Selassie, #9-Hugo Cuypers (#19-Georgios Koutsias 90+4)

Subs not used:  #18-Spencer Richey, #37-Javier Casas, #48-David Poreba, #42-Diego Konincks

PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-2-1-2):  #1-Oliver Semmle; #27-Kai Wagner, #3-Jack Elliott, #5-Jacob Glesnes, #26-Nathan Hariel; #20-Jesus Bueno; #31-Leon Flach, #16-Jack McGlynn; #10-Daniel Gazdag; #25-Chris Donovan (#14-Jeremy Rafanello 76), #33-Quinn Sullivan

Subs not used:  #76-Andrew Rick, #15-Oliver Mbaizo, #56-Christopher Olney Jr., #41-David Vazquez, #29-Olwethu Makhanya, #35-Markus Anderson


Referee:  Abdou Ndiaye
Assistant Referees:  Chris Elliott, Jason White
4th Official:  Lukasz Sepal
VAR:  Yournes Marrakchi
AVAR:  Jeremy Kieso
Weather:  Sunny and 84º
Attendance:  19,453
Man of the Match:  Maren Haile-Selassie (CHI)


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