Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Fire and D.C. United will both be attempting to build on wins when the two sides square off at RFK Stadium on Wednesday.
Chicago snapped a four-game winless streak with a 3-0 triumph over the Montreal Impact on Saturday, while United secured a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union to bring a halt to a streak that saw Ben Olsen's team claim just one point from three games.
The Fire broke out of their slump in a big way and got the kind of performance from Designated Player Kennedy Igboananike that they had envisioned when they signed him in the offseason.
Igboananike arrived from Swedish side AIK Stockholm but has been slow to adjust to life in MLS.
However, that changed on against the Impact as the striker set up the opening goal for Harrison Shipp in the 13th minute before adding his first MLS goal in the second half.
"I haven't played my best game yet. My best is yet to come," Igboananike said following the match. "I've just started to get used to the players, getting used to everything around me, so I think I'm getting better and better every day. At least now I've broken the yoke, so more is going to come."
Chicago is still working in three new DP's, and head coach Frank Yallop feels as though Igboananike is starting to find his place in the side, especially based on Saturday's performance.
"I thought he played well in Columbus and played well tonight," Yallop said of Igboananike's outing. "I thought he could have had three. He had a couple of breaks where he didn't quite lift it over the 'keeper, and the 'keeper made good saves. But it's nice to see him score. He feels good about himself and I like his threat in behind. He makes some good runs, he kept the back four honest and I think he had a good game tonight."
Igboananike will likely need to continue his good form if he is going to help the Fire claim three points on Wednesday against a United side that is riding a 19-game home unbeaten streak in all competitions.
The latest triumph came over the weekend despite DCU going down to a goal from Sebastien Le Toux in the opening five minutes.
It marked the second time in as many games that United has given away an early goal. However, the club showed some fight as Chris Pontius scored the equalizer on the stroke of halftime before an 85th-minute penalty kick from Chris Rolfe handed them the victory.
"It was a poor start for us and a very good start for them," Olsen said of the Union match. "They were hungry and physical, and we weren't good enough with the ball to deal with their pressure. It cost us a goal, and then we woke up. We were able to get out of it tonight, but against some teams you're not going to be able to get out of it. I'm really happy that we were able to dig in and find a way to win after a poor start."
The win moved Olsen's side four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference, while the Fire resides in sixth place but has three games in hand on DCU.