After a season and a half without seeing the field for the Chicago Fire, nobody expected Patrick Doody to have a night like he had Saturday.
The Naperville native contributed 3 assists as the Fire ended a two-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory against the New England Revolution in front of a capacity crowd of 20,214 at Toyota Park. Doody has 4 assists in just two games this season, including last week's start at Sporting Kansas City.
"Obviously, being a homegrown it means a lot to me being on this team," Doody said. "I knew this year was going to have to be a big one, especially after last year didn't necessarily go my way. So I'm really grateful for the opportunity. I have a lot that I want to get better at.
"But tonight was a special night."
Doody assisted on the Fire's final three goals of the night, by Juninho, Michael de Leeuw and Luis Solignac.
"He still has a lot of things to improve, keep working, stay on the ground, but he did well," Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said. "I'm really happy with his performance. ... He's giving the team what the team needs. It's solidness in defense and in attack he's determined and has that great curveball and great crosses like the one that he served when Michael de Leeuw scored. So that's what we expect from him and he's delivering that, so that's perfect."
"Doody played amazing," added right back Matt Polster, who opened the scoring with an eighth-minute goal assisted by central defender Joao Meira.
With the win the second-place Fire (12-5-5, 41 points) remained undefeated at home this season.
With regular left back Brandon Vincent sidelined by a quad strain, has jumped into lineup like he's trying to turn Vincent into soccer's version of Wally Pipp. Vincent has a goal and 3 assists in 19 games this year.
"It's all about being ready," Doody said. "Brandon's had a great year, an outstanding year. It's unfortunate what happened to him. To be honest through this whole time I've just been trying to be ready."
At 25 years old this figures to be a key season for Doody because of MLS rules that favor young players.
"Knowing that the guys in the locker room trust me and have confidence in me, that goes a long way," Doody said. "It's a really good locker room, and I'm lucky to have these guys with me."
A homegrown player who came up through the Fire academy and at Indiana University, the Neuqua Valley High School graduate signed with the Fire in December 2014. He didn't play at all in 2016 after playing in seven games in 2015.
Doody wasn't the only homegrown player to contribute for the Fire. Cary's Drew Conner entered the game as a 71st-minute substitute for Dax McCarty at central midfield.