BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Nemanja Nikolic scored two early goals, pushing his MLS-leading total to 16, and the Chicago Fire beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 on Saturday night to take the Eastern Conference lead.
The Fire (11-3-4) have won four straight and are 8-0-2 in their last 10.
Arturo Alvarez added an impressive goal early on Matt Polster’s second assist, and Michael de Leeuw had an assist and his first goal for Chicago, which tied the club record of eight-straight home wins. The last time Chicago won eight straight at home it spanned two seasons.
Nikolic set the tone early with strong finishes in the 14th and 18th minutes, one of them a scorching one-timer, but Alvarez’s finish in the 25th minute was even more impressive. Polster sent a cross that Alvarez volleyed out of the air with his left foot for his second goal of the season.
Matt Lampson made three saves for his sixth shutout, improving to 8-0-2 this season.
Vancouver (6-7-3) had its three-game unbeaten streak snapped.