Major League Soccer, May 14 2017
Nikolic (25 pen, 76)
Before Veljko Paunovic moved to England to manage Reading, he enjoyed four years at Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer. Although his time there did not bring any silverware – a big regret for Paunovic – it did include some truly memorable results, including a 4-1 win over reigning MLS champions Seattle Sounders.
Just months after Bastian Schweinsteiger joined the Fire from Manchester United, Paunovic’s side hosted a Sounders team that boasted Clint Dempsey and a key figure in central midfield in Osvaldo Alonso – the player Paunovic decided his team “had to target”. In possession, Paunovic set his team up to get Schweinsteiger and his midfield partner Dax McCarty on the ball, before looking to release his team’s talented attackers further forwards. Speaking exclusively to The Coaches’ Voice, he explains how his plan came together with a resounding victory that set Chicago Fire on their way to qualification for the 2017 MLS playoffs.