Nemanja Nikolić recorded two goals and an assist in the Chicago Fire’s 4-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
NEW YORK – Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolić Monday was voted Major League Soccer player of the week by the North American Soccer Reporters.
Nikolić helped extend Chicago’s unbeaten streak to 10 matches, including wins in four successive game, with two goals and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Toyota Park.
The Serbian-born Designated Player has a league-best 16 goals to go along with three assists.
Chicago sits in first place in both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings with 37 points and a 9-0-1 record at home (11-3-4 overall record).
A member of Hungary’s national team at Euro 2016, Nikolić kicked things off quickly for Chicago Saturday, putting the Fire ahead 1-0 with a goal in the 14th minute. Defender Matt Polster sent a ball from the right corner of the penalty area to the middle of the box where Nikolić fired home a right-footed strike.
Minutes later, Nikolić doubled the Chicago lead to 2-0 in the 18th minute when he received a through ball from teammate Michael de Leeuw, fighting off a defender in the center of the box and sending a shot just off the right post and into goal.
Nikolić capped his performance with a beautiful display of give-and-go play, providing an assist for de Leeuw’s 84th minute goal to secure a 4-0 Chicago lead. He has a 19 combined goals and assists, the highest total in MLS this season.
The Chicago Fire return to action on Wednesday when it travels to take on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park (10:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live).
The MLS player of the week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.