The Chicago Fire (1-1-6) traveled to Columbus to square off against the Crew (4-2-2) in what was to be the final game in Historic Crew Stadium. Chicago entered the match with just one win and four goals scored on the year. They were without two of their regular starters, Gastón Giménez and Przemyslaw Frankowski, who were away on international duty.
The Fire were greeted by a raucous capacity crowd, creating an electric atmosphere filled with an abundance of adrenaline. Columbus came out guns blazing, completely controlling the flow of play with relentless pace and dominance by their midfield. As the half progressed, the Crew continued to be the more aggressive side, consistently finding holes in Chicago’s backline, which created multiple scoring opportunities.
In the 17th minute, they were rewarded for their efforts when Gyasi Zardes found the back of the net to give Columbus a 1-0 advantage. Shortly before half, Zardes secured the brace with an easy tap-in, assisted by Derrick Etienne. A few minutes later, Zardes nearly had a hat trick as it became quite apparent the Fire were way in over their heads. Despite being down 2-0 on the scoreboard, Chicago was lucky it wasn’t much worse.
It was more of the same in the beginning of the second half with Columbus having the better of the possession. The Crew kept their foot on the gas, attempting to deliver the knockout blow and were nearly successful on multiple occasions. With 30 minutes remaining, Chicago finally found their footing as they generated offense by moving the ball out wide and attacking from the wings.
While the Fire’s shift in philosophy never produced a legitimate threat to Columbus, the visitors were able to at least save face and avoid embarrassment en route to a 2-0 defeat.
Man of the Match
Zardes gets the award as he accounted for both goals.
What’s On Tap Next
The Fire (1-1-6) welcome FC Cincinnati (1-1-5) to Soldier Field on June 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM CT on WGN-TV, CFFC Live, and ESPN+ for out-of-market streaming. As always, you can check out the latest Fire content, articles, and more at Second City On Tap.