Alan Gordon

News and Notes from Saturday’s road defeat in Minnesota

After a season-opener that saw the Fire and Sporting KC combine to score five goals in a 16-minute second-stretch, Chicago’s first road contest of 2018 also saw the decisive action come in a condensed time frame. Minnesota United FC sandwiched a pair of goals around rookie Elliot Collier’s first pro goal to send the hosts to a 2-1 victory at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday.

Below are some of the notable takeaways from the match as the Fire head into an idle weekend during the international FIFA window:

The Fire made a total of four changes from their opening day Starting XI a week prior.

  • The club was without Bastian Schweinsteiger, who remained in Chicago with he and wife Ana Ivanovic expecting a baby in the near future.
  • Fourth-year right back Matt Polster also did not travel to Minnesota after picking up a right knee sprain in training earlier in the week. Fire newcomer Rafael Ramos stepped in for his first start and appearance for Chicago.
  • Kevin Ellis, recently signed by the Fire after seven seasons spent with Sporting KC, rotated into the centerback role for Christian Dean. It was Ellis’ first start for the Fire after appearing as a substitute against his former club in Week 1.
  • Likewise, third-round SuperDraft selection Elliot Collier also made his first start and second appearance of the season. Collier was active in the Fire attack throughout the game and delivered his first pro regular season goal in the 60th minute, firing a rebound past Loons GK Matt Lampson from 12 yards out.

Collier's goal made him the seventh New Zealand-born player to register a goal in MLS. 

Veteran forward Alan Gordon, formally signed by the club on Friday after a month-long stint as a trialist, also made his Fire debut in Minnesota. Gordon came off the bench in the 80th minute to replace Luis Solignac.

Drew Conner and Daniel Johnson also made their first appearances of 2018 as reserves on Saturday.

Both teams were credited with 11 total shots and five shots on target. Minnesota held a 57-43 advantage in possession percentage. 

Minnesota is now 2-0-0 against the Fire since entering MLS last season, recording both wins by matching 2-1 scorelines.

The Fire face their third straight Western Conference opponent to open the season when the return to action on Saturday, March 31st, hosting the Portland Timbers at 5 PM (TICKETS). The game is part of a doubleheader at Toyota Park, with the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars featuring in their 2018 home-opener against the Portland Thorns shortly after the conclusion of the MLS match.