The wins keep coming for the streaking Chicago Fire, the latest a 2-1 scoreline on the road to the New England Revolution. The game showcased the Fire's best work in possession early on and ended with Chicago's ability to be stout in defense to protect a lead. Check out a few of the facts, figures and trends stemming from the win:
- As is habit when the wins are coming fast and furious, the first order of business is a check of the table. The three points earned temporarily moved Chicago into sole possession of first place in the MLS Supporters' Shield standings, with their 31 points the most in the league -- most, that is, until Toronto FC closed out a 1-0 win over D.C. United 30 minutes later. TFC will hold the top spot with 32 points for another week, but the Fire remain four points clear of the next-best club in either league (27, NYCFC and Sporting KC).
- The Fire are now unbeaten in their last eight MLS matches (6-0-2) and nine including the U.S. Open Cup. Only in the first game of that eight-match stretch have the Fire conceded more than one goal in a game.
- With 18 games still remaining, the Fire have claim nine wins in 2017 -- the highest single-season win total for the club since 2013 (14). The 31 points earned to date this year match the year-end total for 2016 and surpass the 30 posted in 2015.
- The Fire improved to 2-3-3 away from home in 2017, giving them multiple road wins in a year for the first time since 2014.
- Chicago now has three straight wins in its series against the New England Revolution dating to last season. It's the first time the Fire have won three in a row against the Revs since winning four straight across the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
- New England's loss snapped an 11-game home unbeaten streak at Gillette Stadium.
- The Revs held sizable advantages in several statistical categories for the match, including shots (24-8) and corners (8-0), though the hosts put only one more shot on target for the night (5-4). Possession was split nearly even (50.7-49.3) with both teams completing 488 passes. Chicago was credited with nine blocked shots -- including three by Nemanja Nikolic.
- Chicago leads the all-time regular-season series with New England 25-21 (11 draws) and holds a slim 78-76 lead in goals scored.
- Striker Nemanja Nikolic bagged his league-leading 13th goal of 2017 (16 games), giving him a three-goal cushion in the MLS Golden Boot race at day's end.
- Nikolic's next MLS goal will put him on level standing with three of the top goal-scoring seasons in club history, all of which were turned in by Ring of Fire member Ante Razov. As a reminder, below is a look at the highest single-season goal totals in Fire history:
|YEAR||PLAYER||GOALS (GAMES PLAYED)|
|2000||Ante Razov||18 (24 games)|
|2013||Mike Magee||15 (22 games)|
|1999||Ante Razov||14 (30 games)|
|2002||Ante Razov||14 (25 games)|
|2003||Ante Razov||14 (26 games)|
|2017||Nemanja Nikolic||13 (16 games)|
- Nikolic also picked up an assist on Chicago's second goal, his second helper of the year.
- Forward Luis Solignac netted the game-winning goal and his fourth of the year. Including U.S. Open Cup, Solignac has scored in his last three matches -- all three of which have stood up as the game-winning tally.
- Michael de Leeuw also provided an assist on Solignac's goals, his fourth assist of the year (15 games played). That total bests his 2016 total of three assists in 18 games.
- Both Brandon Vincent and Joao Meira remain the only Fire players to play every regular-season minute through 16 matches this season.