Nico Gaitan and the Chicago Fire offense shine in their rout of Colorado Rapids

Nicolas Gaitan and the Chicago Fire defeated the Colorado Rapids, 4-1, on Saturday, April 20 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill. (Chicago Fire Soccer Club)

By Ernesto Hernandez

 

The Chicago Fire returned to winning ways beating the Colorado Rapids 4-1 at SeatGeek Stadium. The story of the game had to do with this being Nico Gaitán’s best game since joining the team.

The Argentine provided two assists and demonstrated why the Fire brought him in among such hype. His first assist was to Nemanja Nikolic which opened up the score and the second was a selfless pass to Djordje Mihailovic.

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It appears that the Argentine is starting to acclimate to his teammates and vice-versa. Gaitán said as much in his post-game interview.

“I’m getting to know them and them me and that makes things much easier,” said Gaitan.

“It was necessary to win today this game that we were playing at home and it was important to get the three points.”

He was involved in three of the four goals as he fought and won the ball back in the lead-up to CJ Sapong’s goal. It was as close to an all-around game from Gaitán and undoubtedly his best as a Fire player. He’s not resting on his laurels, however, because despite playing a good game, he mentioned that there’s always room for improvement.

“You can always improve. I think a soccer player always has to aspire for more,” said Gaitan.

“Today was a good game from the entire team and that also made my game better than in the previous games we played. The adaptation is a game-by-game process and I’m happy with today’s game and the win.”

But Gaitán wasn’t the only one firing on all cylinders. Sapong scored the goal that regained the lead for the Fire and, early on, he’s looking like one of the best signings this season where he’s either scored or been heavily involved in games where the team has gotten a result.

While not as heavily involved as his peers, the best goal of the game has to go to Aleksandar Katai. He added the exclamation point at the end with a wonderful curler from outside the box. A shot that he’s been trying for a while and it finally went in his favor.

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Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic mentioned after the Vancouver game that the team was due for an offensive outburst. Perhaps we should have seen this coming considering Colorado’s defensive deficiencies. Regardless, the Fire needed a game like this where their offense finally broke out and, with a comfortable lead, could play the way Paunovic envisioned.

The lead allowed the team to express themselves on the pitch and demonstrate what they can really do, as Sapong explained after the game.

“We had a lot of players that got to showcase their creativity and it’s one thing when you see these… like I know my teammates can do this because I see them training day in, day out,” said Sapong.

The Fire now have a stretch of road games with their first coming on Wednesday when they take on New York City FC. The talk prior to the win against Colorado was of a winning streak. With the win under their belt, they’ll look to carry that momentum forward.

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