Chicago Fire Decimated by Atlanta United
Atlanta got the scoring started almost immediately. In the fourth minute, the ball deflected off Brandon Vincent’s foot and deflected into the goal. Not long after the goal, the Fire went down a man after Fire defender Johan Kappelhof pulled down Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez. Unfortunately, the Fire had to play the remaining 79 minutes down a man. Luckily, for the rest of the first half at least, Atlanta only dominated possession. Fortunately Chicago was able to hold off any further scoring in the first half.
Upon the teams returns from their locker rooms, you could tell the scoring wasn’t completely done, yet. Once the second half started, Atlanta began dominating possession, again. It took until the 60th minute for Atlanta United to double their lead. Atlanta striker Josef Martinez slipped between two defenders just as a pass was delivered. He wasn’t offside and all he had to do was touch the ball around a rushing goalkeeper before tapping the ball into the back of the net.
Atlanta’s third goal came in the 67th minute. After a ball got loose in Chicago’s 18 yard box, Atlanta was able to rush the ball, get a boot on it, and put it in the back of the net. The fourth, and last goal, came in the 82nd minute when Josef Martinez slipped through the defense again, received a pass, and skillfully put the ball in the net.
Because of this game, Chicago fell to 1-1-1 while Atlanta improved to 2-1-0. Atlanta has impressed a lot of people so far this season. There are many people who are already predicting them to make the playoffs. Those predictors see Atlanta’s skill, speed, aggressiveness, chemistry, and deceptiveness and include them in their playoff picks.
The last time a team made the playoffs, let alone won the MLS Cup, in their first year was 2006 Real Salt Lake. All of the expansion teams that have come into the league since 2006 have missed the playoffs in their first year.
Here’s a video highlight reel of the match. Enjoy!