At the numerical half-way point of the season, the Fire sit one point away from Toronto FC on top of the league table and have extended their win streak at home to seven games, the second longest streak in club history. They’re also unbeaten in their last nine matches.
This contest, against an Orlando side that sits fourth in the East, was simply dominant. The 4-0 scoreline wasn’t that close and Chicago looked as impressive as they have in years in front of a sold-out crowd at Toyota Park. Orlando City was playing without star forward Cyle Larin, and are coming off a cross country mid-week draw in Seattle but the Fire didn’t give them a chance to win this one from the start. David Accam’s 3rd minute goal, followed by another Accam strike five minutes later put it away early.
The Fire continued to apply pressure and could have scored a few more. It wouldn’t have made much difference. They were fully in control from start to finish.
Seventeen games in, at 10-3-4 and 34 points is an impressive mid-way haul for a team that finished bottom over the last two consecutive seasons. Those days seem far away at the moment.
GK Matt Lampson (5.5) – Recorded another clean sheet with very little to do. Lucky to have escaped without a yellow and possibly even a red after stomping Rivas on the foot in the 75th to deny the attacker from getting around him. Orlando failed to record a shot on target in three paltry attempts.
D Brandon Vincent (7) – Fire passing numbers are gaudy across the board. Vincent completed 95% of his 37 attempts and was involved in a couple of good scoring chances in the first half. Orlando got very little from the outside.
D Johan Kappelhof (7.5) – Outstanding for a second consecutive match. Broke up a handful of Orlando rushes and was instrumental in the first goal with a long ball over the top of the visitors midfield to set Solignac free toward goal.
D Joao Meira (7) – Keeping the opposition from clear looks at home has been key the Fire’s dominance at Toyota Park this season, where they’ve only allowed four goals. Did well to deny Kaka on more than one occasion. Involved in the combination for the third goal.
D Matt Polster (7) – Made the final pass to Accam for the assist on the first goal. A cleaner touch or look could have led to more but he was active and involved on both ends. A sheer hustle play to recover a turnover in midfield in the 52nd, enabling Meira to get the ball to Accam resulted in the third goal.
M Dax McCarty (7.5) – Led the team with 116 touches and completed 92% of his 108 pass attempts. He and Schweinsteiger set up the play in midfield to free Accam behind the defense for the second goal in the 8th minute. The Fire completed an impressive 90% of their passes while controlling the ball for 60% of the match. McCarty is a huge part of those numbers.
M Bastian Schweinsteiger (7.5) – Almost always makes the correct pass and the right decision while making it look effortless. Set Polster up to find Accam in the 3rd minute for the first goal. Found Accam in the 8th for the second score. Shadowed Kaka when he got anywhere near the center of the pitch. If McCarty is the engine, Schweinsteiger is the conductor.
M David Accam (8.5) – Looked to be able to do just about anything he wanted to do against a tired looking Orlando side. Capped an impressive 17 pass sequence with a snazzy back heel for the game’s first goal to set the tone. Put away the second goal after getting behind the defense and rounding the keeper in the 8th. Assisted on the third goal, setting up Nikolic nicely. Drew a penalty kick i the 62nd and put away the spot kick for his hat trick. A dominant performance.
M Michael de Leeuw (7) – Continues to put in massive effort on both ends with little compensation on the score sheet so far but his influence can’t be denied. His work off the ball continues to play a big part in freeing up Accam and Nikolic for the chances to score. His help on the defensive end is also indispensable to the current style of play. Came close on a header in the 34th.
M Luis Solignac (7) – Good complimentary game to what Accam and Nikolic provide on the offensive end. Also put in work on the other side of the ball. His run up the right side set up the play which led to the penalty kick.
F Nemanja Nikolic (6.5) – Put away a chance in the 52nd for the third goal but he had several opportunities for more. Got the ball forward to Solignac to start the sequence leading to the third goal. Somehow missed a wide open net in the 68th and was shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away in frustration. The Fire were up 4-0 at the time.
M Juninho (6) – Came on for de Leeuw in the 59th. Involved in one combination play in the 74th leading to a chance.
M Djordje Mihailovic (6) – Replaced Schweinsteiger in the 72nd. Did well to help wind the clock down in possession towards the end of the match.
M Arturo Alvarez (5.5) – Subbed on for Accam in the 80th. There were a couple of giveaways and two shots well off target but the game was in hand by then.