Three straight victories, a pair of clean sheets and a first road win opened up plenty of space for the Fire on Week 12's MLS Team of the Week -- including on the sidelines.
Veljko Paunovic received the league's top weekly coaching honor as announced by MLS Monday, recognizing the Fire boss for his side's 3-0 midweek home win over the Colorado Rapids and an ensuing 1-0 road victory at D.C. United.
Two of Paunovic's key contributors were named to the Team of the Week's first XI, beginning with MLS Golden Boot leader Nemanja Nikolic. Nikolic scored the Fire's first and third goal against the Rapids, his second straight brace, to raise his goal count to 10 in his first 11 games -- tied for the second-fastest sprint to double digit goals by any player in his first MLS season.
Second-year defender Brandon Vincent also landed on the Team of the Week's back line after providing the service on Nikolic's opening strike against Colorado. Vincent, who was a reserve on last week's MLS honor roll, has played every minute in 2017 and has settled into his role on a Fire back line that currently boasts a 242-minute shutout streak.
David Accam features on the bench this week after providing Chicago's game-winning goal at D.C. on Saturday, extending his active goal-scoring streak to four games in the process.
MLS Team of the Week — Week 12
GK: Tim Melia (SKC)
D: Tim Parker (VAN), Victor Bernardez (SJ), Brandon Vincent (CHI)
M: Gerso (SKC), Haris Medunjanin (PHI), Miguel Almiron (ATL), Ignacio Piatti (MTL), Diego Fagundez (NE)
F: Nemanja Nikolic (CHI), David Villa (NYC)
Bench: Bill Hamid (DC), Raymon Gaddis (PHI), Albert Rusnak (RSL), Christian Bolaños (VAN), David Accam (CHI), Giovani dos Santos (LA), C.J. Sapong (PHI)
Coach: Veljko Paunovic (CHI)