Chicago Fire FC, Red Stars get weekend wins


CHICAGO – It was a victorious weekend for the two major professional soccer clubs in Chicago, and both victories have aided each team’s rise in their respective standings.

In continuing their incredible turnaround, Chicago Fire FC picked up a 3-2 victory over Charlotte FC on the road on Saturday to get somewhere few thought they could a month ago: Over the playoff line.

Kacper Przybylko’s two goals, including the go-ahead score in the 52nd minute, put the Fire ahead to stay to bring them to 30 points on the season. That puts them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, which is the last playoff spot, as they currently sit tied for that spot Inter Miami CF, Orlando City SC, and New England.

The club is now unbeaten in five-straight matches, climbing from last place to above the playoff line during that stretch thanks to four victories. They’ll have a major test to keep that streak going this Saturday when they face Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia on the road Saturday.

“I think the biggest thing you’re seeing is just consistency within the group. Not just consistency for 45 minutes or a good half, a good game but we are being able to string a run of games together and get ourselves back in where we actually want to be, which was above the playoff line,” said defender Jonathan Bornstein , who played in his 200th MLS match on Saturday. “Now that we have kind of gotten ourselves there, we got to continue to have that consistency and so I think we can’t think we’ve done anything because this league is very hard in that regard; that you can win a few games, and then teams will come after you

“So we’ve got to find a way to continue to do what we’re doing, which is in training, training extremely hard, training well and preparing ourselves for the games that are ahead of us.”

As for the Red Stars, they snapped out of a two-game funk at home on Sunday afternoon with a strong performance against New Jersey/New York Gotham FC.

After losing to Houston on the road and then San Diego Wave FC last Saturday at Soldier Field, the club picked up a 2-0 victory at SeatGeek Stadium. That brings them up to 23 points on the season, which is currently fourth in a bunched-up top of the NWSL standings.

At the moment, the Red Stars currently sit a point behind the Dash for fourth and two points behind Portland and San Diego, who are tied at the top with 25 points.

Tatumn Milazzo got the Red Stars on the board with a late stoppage goal in the first half and then Ava Cook added insurance with a score in the 66th minute. Alyssa Naeher got the clean sheet as Gotham FC was held down most of the night by her defense as the club’s record improves to 6-3-5 on the season.

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