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Fire edges Red Bulls in double hat-trick game

The SportsXchange

HARRISON, N.J. -- For the first time in the 19-year history of MLS, two players had hat tricks in the same match.

Harry Shipp registered the first three goals of his young MLS career on Saturday, leading the Chicago Fire to their first win of the season, a 5-4 victory over the New York Red Bulls before 23,776 at Red Bull Arena.

Bradley Wright-Phillips countered with his second hat trick of the season for the Red Bulls (3-3-5), who suffered their first loss since April 12. Wright-Phillips has scored eight goals in his last four matches.

"There will be a time when I can't score, so you just have to enjoy it while it's happening," Wright-Phillips said. "I've been on a few runs before, but not since school days."

The 22-year-old Shipp, a homegrown signee this season from Lake Forest, Ill., was the 2013 ACC Offensive Player of the Year after leading Notre Dame to the NCAA College Cup title.

Chicago (1-2-6) was three games shy of the MLS record for longest winless streak to start a season. Real Salt Lake opened the 2007 campaign with an 0-5-6 mark.

"I'm honestly just happy to get the first win for this team," Shipp said. "Over the past four or five games or so, we've had some heartbreak with ties and losses, giving up late goals.

"If I score three goals and we don't win the game, it doesn't really matter."

The Fire scored four goals in a span of 15 minutes in the second half. Shipp had two of them and assisted on another.

"I don't think this is an indication of how good we are defensively," Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty said. "Just because of one bad stretch where they just put basically everything on frame and score four goals.

"I don't think you're going to see a game like this ever again."

The match appeared to have the look of a rare high-scoring affair, with both sides scoring six minutes into the game.

Shipp's first goal of the season, a chip shot from 18 yards, gave the Fire a brief 1-0 lead four minutes into the match. Fellow forward Mike Magee appeared to be offside and Red Bulls coach Mike Petke argued strenuously to no avail.

New York drew even at 1 when midfielder Tim Cahill headed in midfielder Eric Alexander's cross from the right post, just inside the box at six minutes.

The goal was Cahill's first of the season and the first allowed under 15 minutes by the Fire this season.

New York grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 39th minute on some superb playmaking from forward Thierry Henry.

The international superstar raced down the left flank past Fire defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and sent a cross to Wright-Phillips, who one-timed a shot into the goal from the right-corner of the box.

Quincy Amarikwa slipped behind the Red Bulls defense and received a long cross from midfielder Jeff Larentowicz that he promptly headed in for his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 49th minute, drawing the match even at 2.

Amarikwa returned to the pitch after serving a one-match suspension for a red card he received against New England on April 19.

Shipp's second goal of the match, in the 54th minute, snapped a 2-2 tie. He dribbled around three New York defenders and fired a strike inside the penalty area. The shifty Shipp scored the hat-trick goal in the 58th minute to move the Fire ahead 4-2.

Shipp fed midfielder Patrick Nyarko, who promptly sailed a 30-foot shot from the right side that caught Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles backpedaling in the 64th minute for a 5-2 cushion.

Wright-Phillips' ninth goal of the season, on a penalty kick in the 78th minute, drew New York to 5-4. He also scored in the 67th minute.

Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson preserved the win by stopping Henry point blank and Wright-Phillips' bicycle kick in stoppage time.

NOTES: Going into the match, the Fire's goals-against average (1.75) was tied for 17th in the 19-team league. ... Red Bulls F Bradley Wright-Phillips' three goals moved him into first place in MLS with nine this season. ... Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill and defender Roy Miller played in their last MLS game before joining the Australia and Costa Rica national teams, respectively, in preparation for the FIFA World Cup. Both players were named to the preliminary rosters of their clubs.
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