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Edison Flores nets 1st for D.C. United in win over Fire

May 13, 2021; Washington, DC, Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Fire defender Boris Sekulic (2) leaps over D.C. United defender Tony Alfaro (93) during the first half at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Edison Flores scored his first goal for D.C. United, more than a season after he was signed for a club-record transfer fee, and that was all the hosts needed in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Thursday night.

The goal came in Flores’ 18th match for D.C. (2-3-0, 6 points), including 13 games during an abbreviated 2020 debut campaign.

Adrien Perez added his first career MLS assist in his third MLS season. Jon Kempin made three saves to preserve his first MLS shutout since 2017, in his first MLS start since 2019.

United States international Paul Arriola also made his season debut as a substitute for D.C. after rehabbing from a quadriceps injury he suffered while on loan at Swansea City.

Chicago (0-4-1, 1 point) was held scoreless for a third consecutive match, now having gone 314 total minutes without scoring. The Fire outshot D.C. 15-12 but trailed 4-3 in attempts on goal.

Midfielder Fabian Herbers made his return for the Fire after working back from a knee injury and struck the crossbar on a late chance to level the match.

In a rare start at striker rather than attacking midfield, Flores put D.C. in front after only seven minutes.

Andy Najar and Moses Nyeman connected on a slick attack down the right before giving the ball to Perez inside the 18-yard-box. Perez crossed the ball back toward the 6-yard box, where Flores guided in a first-time header past Bobby Shuttleworth (three saves).

Julian Gressel struck the goal frame on an attempt that would’ve doubled D.C.’s lead in the 21st minute on a first-time effort from just inside the 18-yard area.

On the other end, Brian Gutierrez had the best chances of the first half, forcing Kempin into a reaction save from a first-time volley before later striking the woodwork himself in the 37th minute.

Hebers again hit the crossbar in the 92nd minute on a header while under defensive pressure from Frederic Brillant. But between those moments there was little in clear chances for the Fire.

–Field Level Media