HARRISON, NJ. – Chicago Fire forward Sherjill MacDonald was still looking back on Saturday after the Fire took control of second place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 win in New York.
The Fire were jubilant after one of their biggest wins of the season, but Chicago’s 3-1 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday still loomed in back of the striker’s head.
“Today I have mixed feelings,” MacDonald told MLSsoccer.com, “because you see the last game against Philadelphia and you see the way we played today, I think we should have played the same was as today against Philadelphia, and we would have won easily.”
MacDonald was certainly content with his two-goal performance, but the Fire would like to make games like Saturday’s pivotal win the standard rather than an outlier.
Make no mistake, the victory was certainly a deviation from the norm for Chicago. It was their first road win against a team currently in playoff position since a June 29 victory over Sporting Kansas City, their first shutout in 13 games and their first win in their last three.
“We’ve got to work on the defensive shape of the team, and we did that very good today,” MacDonald said. “I think because we kept them, for a long time, at 0-0, it opened up space for us at the end of the game for the attackers.”
MacDonald’s two goals came on breakaways after picture-perfect through balls from Chris Rolfe and Daniel Paladini sprung him for breakaways. The Dutch forward’s speed allowed him to break free each time, and he poked shots just past New York goalkeeper Luis Robles in the 65th and 78th minutes.
“I just think today, we had a better team performance, and that made it better for everybody,” MacDonald said. “We’re very happy, but at the same time we’re very focused, because we know there are other games where we’ll have to come out the same way.”