Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic joined the team as a Designated Player from Legia Warsaw in December, and took little time adapting to Major League Soccer, scoring a stunning 10 goals in 11 games to open the 2017 slate. While signing Nikolic, the Chicago Fire always knew they had a potential star.
Four days after scoring twice in a romp over the defending champion Sounders, Nikolic scored two more goals to spark the Fire to a 3-0 victory over the Rapids in Toyota Park, Bridgeview. The match was live televised on DSport.
Nikolic scored his first goal in the 15th minute and added his second in the 74th. In between, David Accam scored the Fire’s second goal off a loose ball near the net in the in the 57th minute. It was Accam’s fourth goal in five games. The Fire won their second straight game and extended their unbeaten streak to three games and their home unbeaten streak to six.
For head coach Veljko Paunovic, Nikolic’s impressive and immediate impact has not come as a surprise, and he insisted he knew exactly the caliber of player the club were getting from Polish giants Legia Warsaw.
Considering the Fire scored only 42 goals during a listless 2016 season, Nikolic’s scoring expertise has been a big part of their resurgence, which includes an undefeated home record (5-0-1).
- 15′ – CHI – Nemanja Nikolic
- 57′ – CHI – David Accam
- 74′ – CHI – Nemanja Nikolic
- Chicago Fire with 18 points is at 4th position in Eastern Conference
- Colorado rapids with 7 points is at the bottom (11th) of the Western Conference
- GOAL A GAME – ALMOST: Nemanja Nikolic has certainly hit the ground running in his first season in MLS, leading the league in goals with 10, in just 11 games. The Serbian target man has scored in four straight games, the first Fire player to do so since Mike Magee in 2013.
- KEEP ‘EM COMING: The Fire are in a stretch that sees them playing four games in a 12-day span. But guess what? They’ve won the first two, so they don’t seem daunted by the heavy concentration of games. Next up is a road trip to Philadelphia Saturday, then back home (where they are 5-0-1 this season) to close the stretch out against FC Dallas next Friday.
- I’VE GOT YOUR BACK: Matt Lampson had to work surprisingly hard in the second half to earn his clean sheet. The Fire goalkeeper made four saves – one with his face to prevent an own goal from teammate Brandon Vincent. Chicago possessed the ball 57 percent of the time and outshot Colorado 11-7. And while sometimes a goalie can get bored when all the action is at the other end of the pitch, Lampson was ready when he was called upon.
Watch the next MLS match New York Red Bulls v Toronto FC live on DSport this Saturday, at 5:00AM.