By the numbers

It always seems a strange weekend when the Fire don’t have a match. Such was the case this past holiday weekend as the side, along with most other MLS teams sat idle during the FIFA international break.

After the high every supporter of the club got following last Tuesday’s 2-1 U.S. Open Cup semifinal win over Richmond, the respite gave yours truly a little extra time to come up with some facts and figures for this edition of By the Numbers, among them a goal milestone, a streak snapped and one ironic coincidence…

800 – Dominic Oduro’s curling 61st minute effort in last Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal vs. Richmond not only put the Fire up 2-0 but was also the 800th Fire goal across all competitions since 1998… See below the club’s other “Hundred” competitive goal milestones.

Number Player/Minute                   Date/Result/Opponent                   Competition
100 Josh Wolff (65’)                   7/2/99 2-1 W (SO) vs. DAL MLS
200 Josh Wolff (87’)                                     8/9/00 5-1 W vs. DAL                   USOC
300 DaMarcus Beasley (30’)                   10/17/01 2-1 L vs. LA MLS PO
400 Damani Ralph (63’)                   9/23/03 3-2 W vs. LA USOC
500 Gonzalo Segares (58’) 7/9/05 1-0 W vs. NE MLS
600 Chad Barrett (45’) 8/22/07 3-2 L @ KC MLS
700 Cuauhtemoc Blanco (63’) 7/15/09 2-1 W vs. NE                   SuperLiga
800 Dominic Oduro (61’) 8/30/11 2-1 W vs. RIC                   USOC

5 – In games following a match in which a Fire player has hit one of the milestones above, the team has five wins, going 5-1-1 all-time across all competitions. It’s interesting to note that the 700th Fire goal scored by Cuauhtemoc Blanco on July 15, 2009 was followed three days later by a 2-0 Fire win vs. Saturday’s opponents San Jose on July 18…

3 – Oduro’s 16th minute strike in the match was his third consecutive game winner, making him just the second Fire player all-time to achieve such a feat in three straight competitive matches.

The first? Andy Herron (pictured right) who did it in 2006. See below Herron’s three straight game-winning strikes. 

Date                     Score/Opponent Competition
9/17/06 1-0 W vs. DC (61’) MLS
9/23/06 2-1 W vs. LA (84’) MLS
9/27/06 3-1 W vs. LA (16’) USOC

6 – With last Tuesday’s win, the Fire qualified for the club’s MLS record sixth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. They’ll look to equal Maccabi Los Angeles and Bethlehem Steel tournament record of five championships in the October 4 final at Seattle.

13 – The Chicago Fire will look to continue their winning ways in San Jose as the Earthquakes ride a club 13-match league winless streak into Saturday night’s match at Buck Shaw Stadium.  

26 – While the Fire will hope to extend San Jose’s winless streak to 14 matches, a Fire streak will undoubtedly end Saturday night. The only player to start all 26 regular season matches this season, Fire defender Gonzalo Segares (pictured right)  is suspended for the match at San Jose after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 2-0 win over Colorado on August 27. Segares was two matches from tying his career best of 28 consecutive starts for the club, achieved from September 3, 2006-August 22, 2007.

1 – Before last Tuesday’s Open Cup win over Richmond, the Fire had only played the USL-Pro side one time previous. That match came in an August 4, 2004 Open Cup quarterfinal, a 1-0 Fire win at Richmond…

Question: Who’d they play in the next game?

Answer: A league match against Saturday night’s opponent San Jose.

Question: The score? 

Answer: 2-1 win as the Jamaican tandem of Andy Williams and Damani Ralph earned the Fire three points.

Question: Omen as the team looks to fight its way back into the MLS Cup playoff picture?

Answer: Lets hope so…


By The Numbers is an exclusive piece in the Chicago Fire Insider. For other exclusive content as well as deals for upcoming events, signup for the FREE newsletter by clicking here.

Jeff Crandall is the Team Writer for the Chicago Fire.