This one was just for fun.
The Chicago Fire treated D.C. United like the last-place team it is, beating up on the Major League Soccer doormat 4-1 before 17,190 on Saturday night at Toyota Park.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the seventh-place Fire (7-9-3, 24 points), which is 5 points behind Houston for the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
"Especially doing it here at home against a team that we have a heated past with and a team that we're going to face off against in the final four of the Open Cup," said forward Chris Rolfe, who scored his third and fourth goals of the season. "Yeah, this one felt good."
The Fire had to have its fun Saturday because the schedule turns much tougher through August, starting with next week's match at Houston.
"This is a crucial part for us in the season," coach Frank Klopas said.
The Fire hasn't had many good starts to games this season, but it had a great start Saturday. Rolfe scored in the second minute off a Joel Lindpere assist, and Lindpere made it 2-0 in the 11th minute off a Jeff Larentowicz assist.
Rolfe and Lindpere paired up again in first-half extra time to make the score 3-0.
"Both goals were great finishes," Klopas said of Rolfe's goals. " … Chris has that kind of quality."
Mike Magee scored the Fire's fourth goal in the 56th minute on a penalty kick earned by second-half substitute Quincy Amarikwa. D.C. United scored its goal in the 58th minute on a Luis Silva strike.
The big night was good timing for Rolfe. The Fire is expected to announce in the next few days the signing of a forward, believed to be 24-year-old Ecuadorean Juan Luis Anangono, who would compete for Rolfe's starting spot.
"We're very, very close to signing a forward," said Fire president of soccer operations Javier Leon at halftime. "We looked at a lot of players throughout the world and really focused in terms of what we needed."
Anangono would be a designated player because a transfer fee is involved, not because of his salary. That would give the Fire two designated players, although Leon admitted the team is trying to move little-used forward Sherjill MacDonald, the other DP.
"If anything, it's exciting," Rolfe said about the expected competition. "Hopefully we do bring in another guy that's going to help the team win."
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