Last Thursday the Chicago Fire drew the Columbus Crew for the fourth round of the U.S Open Cup set to be played on the 6th of next month. Despite the Fire being hot garbage in the league right now (Saturday’s win in Orlando notwithstanding), the US Open Cup could prove to be a boost of momentum for the club as it always had in the past.
I’ve said in the roundtables here at Hot Time that I’d like to see the Fire shift their focus on the US Open Cup – I’ve always felt like this was the club’s competition. I mean with four trophies and an overall record of 42-14-6, it kind of is.
With the prerequisite intro out of the way, I’d like to do a throwback moment to the last time the Fire was dominant in a U.S. Open Cup game. It was quarter-finals against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers back in 2016 where the Fire won 3-0.
With a roaring crowd of 3,666 that includes the likes of yours truly, the Fire was up against a team who was having their Cinderella moment. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers beat the likes of Richmond Kickers, Orlando City (pre-MLS), and D.C. United to make it to the quarter-finals. They were the only non-MLS team left.
The Fire on the other hand barely scraped through Indy Eleven and Columbus Crew. So, no one would of have been surprised if the Fire would of have been knocked out by some team from Florida. Disappointed, but not surprised.
But the magic of the cup was in the air that night, and it must of have gotten into the nostrils of all the players as the Fire had a 2-0 lead by halftime courtesy of David Accam.
On the 5th minute, Accam gave the Fire a 1-0 lead via a penalty kick. Thirty minutes later he set up Michael de Leeuw for his first goal for the club.
Shortly after the start of the second-half, Khaly Thiam (remember him?) somehow found the loose ball and coolly slotted it in the back of the net giving the Fire the 3-0 lead.
The Fire was quick to dismantle the Strikers but found themselves on the wrong end of the stick later in the semi-finals where they fell to the New England Revolution 3-1 ending the hopes and dreams of a fifth title.
Do you think the Fire will bring the US Open Cup back home this year? Let us know in the comments below.