After losing in penalty kicks in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, the Chicago Fire came out and made a massive statement on Saturday as they made history against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Fire got two goals from MLS-leading scorer Nemanja Nikolic in the first 20 minutes of action, and they cruised from there to nail down a 4-0 victory in the match.
The victory not only extended the team’s unbeaten streak in MLS play, which now sits at 10 matches, but it also elevated them into the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Fire now have an 11-4-3 record so far this season, and they have the best record in all of Major League Soccer as a result of the win.
According to the Fire, this is the first time that the team has had the best record in the league after 18 or more matches since the 2005 season. They lead Toronto FC by two points in the standings thanks to the victory, and they are seven points ahead of Sporting KC, the top seed in the Western Conference.
2017 Chicago Sports Yearbook: History-Making Moments
The win was the Fire’s eighth straight triumph at Toyota Park this season, and that mark ties a team record for most conseccutive home victories. It matches the eight straight triumphs that the team racked up on their home pitch during a stretch in the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
Finally, Nikolic’s two goals put him at 16 tallies for the season. Not only is he still leading the league in that category, but he’s now on pace to score 30 goals this season for the Fire. If he were to hit that mark, he would set an all-time MLS record for goals in a season, eclisping the 27 goals that three different players have hit in single campaigns.
The Fire will next be on the field on Wednesday night when they travel to the Pacific Northwest to battle the Portland Timbers. After that match, they will be off for two weeks before heading to New York to take on New York FC at Yankee Stadium on July 22.
Their attempt to break the all-time record winning streak at home will come on Aug. 5 when they welcome the New England Revolution to Toyota Park.