Welcome to Fire20, our weekly series celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club by making deep dives into the team’s history. This week we take out the magnifying glass for a close reading of a spectacular goal from beloved former Fire captain Logan Pause.
The Fire turn their attention to the great white north this weekend as they travel to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field. And so, Fire20 will also turn its attention to the 6ix. Today, we will be looking at one of the more memorable Chicago Fire goals scored in the Queen City.
This goal, one of legend, came in the 51st minute of a 4-1 loss to Toronto on May 8, 2010, scored by none other than Logan Pause. You may be wondering, “what about this goal is so special?” I’ll get to that in a second. For now, see it yourself:
Everything about this goal was perfect. The load, the strike, even the weather. Everything in the 10 second sequence leading up to this screamer was perfect. So, let’s take a look at this goal, piece by piece, and breakdown how the stars aligned for Pause.
First, a little context about this play. The ball had just been cleared out by TFC, and they were slow to step up. As a result, the ball was tapped into Pause, who had an immense amount of space in front of him. This was important because it allowed him to let the ball roll past him—not having to kill the ball at his feet allowed him to take full advantage of the momentum the ball already had.
Letting the ball roll past made all the difference in this strike. It allowed Pause to turn his body, perfectly square up on the ball and get his plant foot in the right place. He’s leaning slightly backwards, but his plant foot is directly aligned with the corner of the goal. Fundamentally, this strike is nearly flawless. It showed in the end product.
The strike itself was ideal for the circumstances. The Fire midfielder was leaning back slightly, allowing him to strike across the ball and get the insane amount of swerve we see on the ball. If he was any closer to goal, the ball would have flown into the stands. But he had the shot measured perfectly, and the way he struck the ball allowed for it to get up and down with a lethal amount of dip.
The weather was also perfect for Pause. As iconic voice of the Fire Dan Kelly describes it, the Fire legend “scored a goal in Toronto, in 70 mile per hour winds, from distance.”
Did you catch that? 70 mile per hour winds. Everything that Pause did for this strike was spot on, but the wind gave him the edge that made it unsavable. It carried the Adidas Speedcell, a relative of the 2010 World Cup’s Jubulani, with a great amount of pace on goal, and also contributed to the swerving effect we saw all throughout the World Cup and MLS season that year.
To put in layman terms, Mother Nature had Pause’s back on this one.
So, there you have it. A textbook breakdown of the Fire great’s thunderbolt in the great white north. Pause’s service to the club was immense, from a player’s, coach’s and eventually front office’s perspective. He didn’t score the most beautiful of goals during his time in a Fire kit, but this one is up there with the best goals in club history.
Here’s hoping we get something like this on Friday.